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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Nintendo Switch – Starlink: Battle for Atlas Starter Pack Review #StarlinkGame

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product.
I'm old enough to say the first video game I played was Pong. The home version came out for Christmas back in 1975 through Sears. Boy has time changed things quite a bit since then. Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an open-world space saga that features modular toy technology that allows players to assemble and customize real-world physical starships, link the starships to their game controller, and launch into an epic adventure across the Atlas star system, either in single player or with a friend in two-player split-screen local co-op mode. It is available on the Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
To get started with Starlink: Battle for Atlas, you purchase a platform-specific starter edition. In addition to the game, you get a spaceship that can connect to your gaming controller as well as a couple possible pilots and some weapons. Who and what is connected to your controller has a real effect on what is shown in the gaming screen.
In addition to the starter edition hardware, you can purchase additional startship packs which have other space ships and additional pilot and weapons packages which allow you to add more abilities and powers to the game. All of these attach through a set of connectors so the game can detect what it should show on the screen. If you look at the picture above, you'll see connector on the back of the different elements which fit into a slot like the one on the controller up top. The pilot will sit inside the cockpit while the two weapons will sit on top of the plane. The wings are even interchangable, too, if you like the wings from one spaceship and the body from another. Once the spaceship is configured as desired, you're ready for exploration in the game.

The world your child plays within in Starlink is an open world with an enormous amount of areas to explore. The environment is rated E for everyone, with a target market of roughly 8-11, so it is a safe place for them to explore, and not a kiddie environment, so they feel more "grown up" playing the game, though without any blood and guts spread around with all the shooting. And, you always have a marker in the game to help tell you where you can go explore to fight the dreaded legion. They'll enjoy the puzzles to solve and the interplanetary quests.
While the Switch starter kit comes with a Fox McCloud pilot, Arwing ship, and an exclusive mission, part of the enjoyment of playing Starlink: Battle for Atlas is the ability to swap out your weapons, wings, and pilots to create all kinds of interesting contraptions, even placing elements backwards or upside-down. The ability to do all this swapping does add to the overall cost of playing, but you can spread out that cost over time and not get everything at once.

My eleven year old is probably at the upper age really for playing. Starlink is still fun for him, but at least for now, Fortnite keeps his interest more due to its online cooperative game play. There is a cooperative mode with Starlink, but players must be in the room together playing splitscreen vs. being online. I'll have to wait and see how much his friends want to play together when they visit. Surely a fun game to entertain, especially for someone with an interest in space and rockets.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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