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Yoda Stories
Platform:  Gameboy
# of Players:  1
Developer:  THQ
Publisher:  THQ, Lucasarts
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
You may not remember when Yoda Stories came out for the PC a while back. It pales in comparison to the great LucasArts PC games such as Jedi Knight and all of the combat sims. It was a small quick play game meant to be a "fun alternative to solitaire". While this was not ideal for the typical PC user is fits very snuggly onto the Gameboy Color. For a system that is sorely lacking in good adventure games Yoda Stories delivers a much needed dose of thinking and action plus a Star Wars backdrop which is always nice.

Yoda Stories picks up in the middle of the Empire Strikes Back with Luke learning the ways of the force from his master Yoda. He sends him on various missions around the galaxy in order to make him a better Jedi. You play the part of young Skywalker as he travels from place to place. You are equipped with only a lightsaber, but as the game progresses you get different weapons and eventually learn to control the Force.

The cute graphics in the game are really what make it. True, that the game would not be as interesting if it did not have the Star Wars theme prevailing over it, but it does and seeing miniaturized versions of Yoda, Storm Troopers, Jawas, and X-wings makes the game fun. If you are not a Star Wars fan then you will probably not be really into the gameplay but you really cannot find anything else like it on the Gameboy Color.

The control is probably the worst part of the game. The character doesn't actually walk from place to place like in Zelda. He just blips from on square to another. This can be very aggravating when you are trying to take on 3 Storm Troopers and they are just blinking all around without having any kind of movement animation. Still combat takes a second place in the game to the puzzles that the game is really based on.

Most of the puzzles in the game are key and lock puzzles, but there are some challenges that keep the game interesting. The most interesting is the use of the Force. To get the Power of the Force you must have full energy and find Obi Wan Kenobi who will give Luke the Force which is used like a weapon. With the Force you can move immovable objects with your mind and perform Jedi mind tricks on the weak-minded. However, it must be used in very specific situations. It will not work against everything like a good blaster.

If you can get past the strange control then this game can be a very fun alternative to the turn-based adventures on the Gameboy Color. Yoda Stories requires a quick hand and a thoughtful brain as well as a keen knowledge of the Force in order to succeed and beat the Dark Side. Well at least it requires a good amount of free time.

Chris Shade

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