What Did I Review Hello Stars On?
I played Hello Stars on my LG V20 Android smartphone. It is running 8.1 Oreo.
How Long Was the Review?
This is a standard review. I played the game for two days. This is the first time I have played Hello Stars.
What kind of game is Hello Stars?
Hello Stars is a drawing puzzle game. This is a genre I recently started playing and seeing on Android. The goal is to solve puzzles by drawing lines.
How do you play Hello Stars?
For being a simple game, there is actually quite a bit to explain.
The game outside the levels
You play the game as an unnamed stick figure character. You are a singer and start a band.
People start to show up, and you earn hearts over time. This works like an idle/clicker game. Your hearts/fans will go up even when you are not playing the game. You can also tap to make things up faster.
As you beat levels, you earn coins. You use these coins to upgrade the music stage and change your characters outfits. As you upgrade the music stage, you gain more speakers and things like that. There are many outfits to collect for the main character.
When you collect enough hearts/fans, you move on to a new stage. You move on from stage to stage by playing the game.
How do the levels work?
The main goal of each level is to drop a ball on top of a guy to wake him up. You draw lines to make the ball roll towards him. There is a limited amount of lines you can draw each level, but you can draw as long as the ball is moving.
You earn more stars for drawing less.
While the main goal of a game does matter I tend to focus on how fun the game is to play. The fact that I am playing as some guy trying to start a band is nice, but I am more interested in how fun the games puzzles are to play. About that.
The game is a simple game. I have no problem with that as many Many developers make Android games with simple concepts, and it can work great. Like matching three things, throwing bubbles, etc. I judge a game on what it does different and how it presents itself.
The game of drawing lines is interesting and somewhat fun. My biggest issue with this game is that things don’t change enough. I understand this is hard to do, but there need to be creative and unique levels. At the same time, developers need to balance levels and not introduce too many things at once.
The levels in Hello Stars are too similar early on. I have played 20 levels in this game, and they all were about the same puzzle. I am going to bring this up in the annoyance section, but the fact that the levels are so similar and there a lot of ads annoys me.
The game is fun, but it is also somewhat bland. So I would say it about average for most Android games.
I like some things that others might call crappy/bad and the other way around. Graphics do not need to be fancy or flashy as long as the player knows what they need to do. Hello Stars is 100% in the simple and basic camp when it comes to graphics.
The stick figure style reminds me of old flash games I used to play as a kid back in like 2002. I don’t mean this as a huge insult, but that is what things look like.
To be fair there are many different outfits for your stick singer to wear, and they are nice and detailed. There are other puzzle games that present themselves much better even with a simple style.
Also for being a game based on improving a band the music is nothing special. Your standard Android game music.
The game presents itself about as good as most Android games. Average.
About the Subscription
I have plenty to say here. Hello Stars uses a subscription-based pay model. First, let’s go over what the game’s subscription over so you can judge yourself.
The game offers you a VIP membership at the cost of $3 a week, and this would cost $12 a month. Buying this subscription gets you a daily gift, 500 coins, and a rare outfit. You also need to pay for this subscription to get rid of ads.
First off I won’t pay $12 a month for most games. I am not talking Android only here either. The fact is most games don’t use a subscription-based model and the ones that do tend to be massive online games. Like World of Warcraft for example.
So it comes off as greedy to see something like this in a single player game. This game would charge you over $100 a year for something people might forget about.
Why the Subscription Is No Good
I know I will sound preachy here, but I need to point this out. The fact is not everybody pays attention to what they buy or knows how the rules of such things work. Keep in mind most Android games are not using a subscription-based pay model.
These subscription auto renewals until you tell it to stop. So this game will be getting $3 from you every week until you unsubscribe. You have to unsubscribe 24 hours before the subscription day, or you will get charged for another week. How do you unsubscribe? You have to go to a menu in Google Play and not in the game itself.
know I will sound preachy here, but I need to point this out. The fact is not everybody pays attention to what they buy or knows how the rules of such things work. Keep in mind most Android games are not using a subscription-based pay model.
Now to be fair, the game tells you this. In tiny font at the bottom of the huge button telling to subscribe, but they tell you.
But is this is enough? Even with good intentions, this type of pay model sounds predatory. I can 100% see people not paying attention or kids paying for this only to be surprised at future payments. I don’t care what developers say in public. There is no way they at least did not consider making money from people not paying attention.
By default does not password protect purchases and Google Play begs for you give them a payment method until you do. You can close this prompt and ignore it, but I imagine some people will give in a and give Google a payment method.
It is important for the consumer to make sure their account and payment information is secure as Google Play and developers are not necessarily doing it for you.
This subscription doesn’t even give you very much for such a high cost. Keep in mind Hello Stars is a very simple game of solving puzzles. So why would I pay $3 a week for this thing?! The game is very basic and average. Even if this game was amazing and one of the best in its genre this price is still too high.
Oh wow, some in-game currency, a free gift, and a random outfit. These things can be earned by playing the game. The outfits are not that flashy, to begin with. Some games offer very fun and cool looking cosmetics, and you feel like you want them. This game does not do that.
If the developer offers too much in this package and then the game becomes pay to win. That dirty phrase nobody wants to see anywhere near a video game. Well, to be fair Hello Stars is not a pay to win game. The puzzles are so simple I never felt like I needed any help. There are hints available though.
The thing that annoys me more than anything else is hiding the option to remove ads behind a subscription-based pay model? Charging $3 for a one time purchase to remove ads is average and a bit high for some people.
I know I am ranting about this for a long time, but I have to say this. No Android developers. It is not OK to have predatory practices as subscriptions in your games and not offer much of anything. At least I am going to call you out on it.
The Other Payment Options
You can still buy coins in this game. Keep in mind coins are needed to upgrade your stage faster and to buy a few other things. I suppose this for people who are impatient and don’t want to wait for things. This alone is OK. Many games offer such options.
The game offers multiple ways to get rewards by watching optional ads. There are also multiple ways to get free coins and boosters by playing the game.
The fact that is game is not pay to win and does offer some free options is the only thing holding it back from getting the lowest score possible here. But not by much.
There are plenty of annoyances to be had. First I will go over what the game does right. I like to try to be fair.
The game does not beg for good reviews. The game did not spam me notifications. It did send some notifications, but that is OK. I don’t mind a few gentle reminders as long as things do not go overboard. Some developers abuse notifications.
Remember that subscription model I just ranted about? The game has pop ups reminding you about it. Also when you look at the store the subscription purchase option is right at the top and above the fold. This is a fancy advertiser phrase to mean the things you see on a page without scrolling down. This really tells me what the developer’s priorities are.
The game also shows ads often. The game doesn’t show ads after every level, but then the levels are short and easy to beat. Remember that the only way to get rid of ads to pay for the optional subscription.
This is not the most annoying game I ever saw though. It is somewhat below average.
Overall this game is meh. That word describes this game. It is a simple puzzle game that offers a bit too much to pay for.
Even without the odd subscription-based model, the game does not offer too much as it is average. But with these things dragging it down it is a below average game.
I suppose you could ignore this. I know some players will do this. But as a reviewer, I need to point these things out.
I am bit surprised to see a game like this as the number two free to play game at the time I wrote this review. The number one game Happy Glass a game I also wrote a review on is a very similar game but does things much better.
What Do You Think?
I wish I knew why people love this game so much. I have seen better puzzles games.
But maybe you know something I don’t. Feel free to leave your own review of this game. I am very curious to see what people think.
Hello Stars is a bland game about drawing lines.
- Somewhat fun game.
- Upgrading the stage can be fun.
- Pointless subscription option
- Graphics are a bit too simple for my tastes.
- The game is repetitive.
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