Game Reviews

Star Wars: Cantina

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| Star Wars Cantina
Star Wars: Cantina
| Star Wars Cantina

When you think of Star Wars you might picture blasters, X-wings dogfighting, Jedi, and the spoiling of childhood memories by a bearded man and his army of green screens.

Waitressing at a bar, however, is unlikely to factor.

In fact, knowing that Star Wars: Cantina is a Diner Dash style time management game set in the Star Wars universe may make you wonder who exactly the game is aimed at.

The weirdest creatures you’ve ever seen-ah

If you’ve played any time-management games before then you know the drill. Essentially your task is to serve as many customers as you can as quickly as possible, juggling the individual demands of the tables with each customer’s patience level.

Except that instead of serving hot food and ice-cream, you’re serving up multi-coloured drinks in plastic cups, and instead of families and businessmen it’s jawas and stormtroopers.

The graphics are very detailed and full of character, keeping within the Star Wars universe while simultaneously applying a retro-cartoony look to everything.

This is aided by the increased zoom level over most of the other rivals in the genre, allowing you to easily identify the various clientele. It also makes the various improvements you can buy, like a live band or server droids, obvious at a glance.

Red 5 to table 3

The zoomed-in viewpoint does mean the controls are a little different from the norm, though.

Whereas Diner Dash clones love to stick to the ‘one table, one button’ approach, Star Wars: Cantina has you manually dashing across the two sections of the bar in the direction you want your server to move in.

It’s not too much extra work due to the character ‘leaping’ from spot to spot rather than crawling along, but it does require some dexterous finger-work – more so than the more accepted method of control.

Making this change slightly easier to handle is the lower complexity of the game. Whereas Dash layers desserts, babies, and customer positioning on top of working fast and coping with demands, Cantina places no such burden on the player.

Instead, the main focus is getting the right coloured drink to the right person, and even if you do get the colours muddled up they don’t seem to take that much offence.

Let the wookie win

The customers may not get mad at the wrong order, but they go bonkers if you forget to serve them.

In keeping with the Star Wars feel, this means scenes such as irate bounty hunters shooting other clients in anger or those pig/orc things from Return of the Jedi smashing up your tables if you don’t serve them.

Unlike Dash, which mainly restricts punishment to individual characters (they leave without paying), Cantina tends to snowball out of control after putting one foot out of line. It occasionally feels like the game’s kicking you while you’re down.

Still, the 15 level Career and Endless modes should prove a test of your time management skills even with the lower complexity of the gameplay, and the setting and charm of the game is enough to please any fan of the genre.

Just don’t go in to the game hoping to shoot Greedo first, because this isn’t the game you’re looking for.

Move along.

Star Wars: Cantina

Charming graphics and a huge dollop of character go a long way in making Star Wars Cantina an interesting take on the time management genre