Starlit Adventures invites you in with a very cute and gentle visual presentation, but it’s the mildly challenging gameplay that will keep you coming back, long after you have been acquainted with its protagonists.
The gameplay experience revolves around getting Bo and Kikki, the former of which is a giant mole-like creature, through the game’s levels. The catch is that Bo can barely jump, so the only way to get through each level is by digging down. As you dig you’ll unearth gems that convert into points, as well as sticker packs which can be utilized for perks, and keys that unlock the treasure chest at the end of each level for a hearty serving of gems.
As a downward-focused platformer, Starlit Adventures involves lots of digging, dropping, falling, and bopping onto the tops of enemy’s heads. Adding to that list of verbs is zapping, pulling, shooting, sinking, and a myriad of other functions that you can alter Bo and Kikki with, by selecting to wear one of their varying outfits. Outfits, beyond adding a nice visual customization, offer players the chance to approach levels in different ways. For example, one suit may allow the player to electrocute enemies and utilize magnetic fields to move blocks that are too tough to dig through, while another suit lets the player shoot arrows to clear out breakable blocks and enemies from a safe distance.
Suits are unlocked with the special green tokens collected by finishing levels and leveling up your profile. Alternatively, paying $2.99 unlocks all the suits in the game. So for a small fee, you don’t have to worry about saving up your tokens.
After playing the game for a little bit, the Infinite Tower and Challenges gameplay modes unlock. They are both exactly what they sound like — Challenges present the player with objective-based gameplay. and Infinite Tower is a game mode where players can see how far they can descend before they get knocked out.
Thanks to Starlit Adventure’s dangerous (but cute) monsters and traps, I found myself getting hung up on navigating through some of the game’s levels. Though, only temporarily. As I mentioned in the opening of the review, the game is “mildly challenging”. The only aspect of Starlit Adventures that I disliked was that the jumping mechanics felt magnetic; If I didn’t land squarely onto one chunk of dirt, the game tended to pull me towards the neighboring square. Apart from that issue, I never felt frustrated at Starlit Adventures for being difficult for the sake of being difficult, nor did I feel like I was wasting my time because the game was too easy. Starlit Adventures found a comfortable middle ground and clung to it the whole way through.
If you found the idea of Downwell appealing, but were turned away by the rigid intensity or the rough visuals, then consider Starlit Adventures. It’s a good, lighthearted, and far less deadly trip down.