LGR – Star Wars Yoda Stories – PC Game Review
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LGR – Star Wars Yoda Stories – PC Game Review

October 1, 2019

[typing] Mmm… solitaire. That game, it exists. It’s great for when you want to waste a few minutes, procrastinating and avoiding lame things, like your boss, your kid, your trash can. But once, in a galaxy far, far away, there was another time waster for Windows that involved no cards at all. Star Wars: Yoda Stories, developed and published by LucasArts for Windows PCs in 1997. There was also another version of the same game for the Game Boy Color a couple of years later, but we’ll be focusing on the Windows one here. This is the second and final game in the LucasArts Desktop Adventures series with Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures being released the previous year. And even though this one has a “not for resale” sticker due to being bundled with something else, it typically retailed for $20. So its claim of “a whole lot of game for a low, low price” wasn’t completely without merit. “It’s time for a Star Wars adventure break,” apparently, and it’s billed as an alternative to
other desktop games like solitaire. Unfortunately, many seemed to ignore all of this and treated it as a complete
LucasArts adventure game experience, which led to a LOT of disappointment. Inside the box, you get the game on a single CD-ROM, which is both surprising and not, seeing as it takes up a grand total of 8 MB. You don’t get any manual,
as there’s a Windows help file on-disc. But you do get a yellow readme card, which mostly just tells you how to insert a CD, and pay way too much for the LucasArts hint line. Insert the disc and you’ll get one of
those new-fangled autoplay programs, complete with lightsaber sound effects. [lightsaber sounds] From here, you can play the
game from the disc, install it, or check out “Making Magic.” Which to my chagrin is not an expansion for The Sims, but is a behind-the-scenes look
at the then-upcoming re-release of the only Star Wars trilogy. There are no others. The game begins with some low-quality John Williams and a tiny X-wing flying by a giant Yoda bust in space. You then begin Yoda Stories as… Luke Skywalker… Wait, so you’re telling me that
a game called Yoda Stories has nothing to do with the stories of Yoda? Yes, I’m telling me exactly that. Having just landed on Dagoba sometime between “The Empire
Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” it’s your job as Not Yoda Skywalker to do a bunch of random missions. And yes, I do mean random, as the experience is randomized
each time you start a new game. There is no big story or plot to follow. There is no defined in-game goal. It’s just YOU and a randomized
list of quests to complete. Not much to do on Dagoba but talk to Yoda real quick, and he’ll give you a randomly chosen quest and one item needed to complete it. Go back to your X-wing and you’ll be off to whatever planet corresponds to the current quest. You’ll always start at a spaceport, but the rest of the world is
randomized each time you play. You stay in this top-down perspective the entire time, and it’s all tile-based with up to 100 areas to explore on each planet. Controlling Luke happens with
either the numpad or the mouse, and you have one button to interact with things and one to attack. While you could just let the
Force haphazardly guide you, and by that I mean blindly explore the map like Stevie Wonder on glitterstim, it’s best to try and find a locator hidden in one of the areas surrounding the spaceport. This will give you a map and maps are neat. Depending on the quest you’re on, it’s your job to explore either
a forest, ice or desert planet, and find out how to complete your main objective. These are things like destroying a relay station, repairing an ion cannon, or rescuing a prisoner. But the core gameplay is exactly the same every time. Explore the world completely, the find the required objects or people to gain access to your objective. While you do point and click, it’s not exactly a point-and-click graphic adventure, though it follows the same basic logic
you would find in those games. Like you need to talk to a dude to get a unique item to open a chest to get a key to unlock a door to get another unique item for another dude which gives you access to some other area where you’ll have to do it all over again. In between all of this exploration and fetch-questing, you’ll run across enemies to take out with whatever weapons you have on-hand, like blasters, rifles, thermal detonators and the ever-present lightsaber. Thankfully, it’s pretty hard to actually die and you can adjust the difficulty because the combat is about as fluid and smooth as a bag of gravel mixed in with molasses. When you DO die, you get THIS insanely confusing screen. Uh, really, Yoda? Try again? You’re giving me mixed messages here. What about that time you said, YODA:
Do. Or do not. There is no try. LGR:
But whatever. Most of the time, you’re wandering
around trying to solve puzzles and locate hidden items, which is actually pretty darned enjoyable. Each mission takes about an hour to complete, though it can take more or less, depending on how big you set the world size. So for a desktop adventure game distraction, I think it’s freakin’ awesome. It’s not a full, fat graphic adventure game by any means. It’s just a bite-sized short diversion from work or school or whatever. As a supplement or alternative to short, simple games from the Microsoft Entertainment Packs, this is great. The only real problem I have
with Yoda Stories is the repetition. And in most adventure games, the story, items, people and places vary enough to make this not so noticeable. But when the game is as simple and shallow as this, it gets old very quickly. Now part of that is because I sat down with this and played it for hours at a time to review it, so it’s really not a huge issue if you’re
playing it as it was meant to be played. And that is, in short bursts whenever you have a free moment. So, if you’re looking for a Star Wars
adventure with any kind of depth, this is just not it. But if you understand what the
game is and who it’s meant for, Yoda Stories is definitely worth a look. A quick look, but a look nonetheless. [MIDI “Star Wars” theme] And if you’d like some other quick looks at some… quick and non-quick games, why not take a look at some of my other videos? Or hit Subscribe, since I do new ones every single week. You can also check me out on Twitter and Facebook and support me on Patreon, ’cause those are there. And as always, thanks for watching.

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  1. I think this was a much fairer and more balanced review of this game than the one Jontron would do a year later (though not quite as funny).

  2. I remember playing this as a kid. It wasn't anything on the same caliber as other Star Wars at the time like Dark Forces or Tie Fighter, but was fun to occasionally play around in.

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