Steven Universe: Attack The Light is a fun little role playing game that pays homage to not only its famed source material, but to critically acclaimed games of the past, namely, the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi franchises. Attack The Light is available on iOS and Android devices, and has a level of polish that is on par with that of console games.
When it comes to overall presentation and aesthetic, Attack The Light is extremely faithful to its source material. It features a colorful and simple art style that goes along nicely with its platform of choice, the original voice actors from the cartoon, and plenty of references for for fans to pick up on.
Many of these references come in the form of humorous bits of dialogue, pieces of lore that pertain to the history of the Crystal Gems, and even famous Steven Universe items like Together Breakfast and Cookie Cats. Attack The Light also has a small, but cute story, and it was actually supervised by writers attached to the show.
Attack The Light is a turn based RPG in the vein of the early Paper Mario games. Players must be timely with their screen taps in order to maximize their damage output, while also minimizing the damage dealt to them. This makes for a much more engaging combat system, as you can’t divert your attention during enemy turns.
Player take control of Steven and the three Crystal Gems: Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl (and Steven!). Garnet has the greatest damage output, and eventually gains access to a very potent spread move. Amethyst focuses on spread moves and single target attack debuffs, while Pearl is somewhere in between. Steven takes on a supportive role, meaning he can boost the Gems’ stats, heal them and even equip them with his special Bubble Shield.
Rather than a traditional turn based system, where each character gets on move per turn, Attack The Light gives Steven and the Gems a shared pool of Star Points to use, with every ability expending a variable amount of points.The characters’ most basic abilities use about one to three points, but many of the more powerful ones such as Garnet’s Rocket Punch and Pearl’s Fireball can cost upwards of six.
The team starts with five Star Points, and Steven has access to various forms of Star Fruit that can increase their point total. In addition, all of your points don’t have to be spent in one turn, so any that you hold on to will carry over to your next turn, for a maximum of nine. The point system is a great way to give the player plenty of choices during battle, but it is also very easy to abuse.
Star Fruits are so common that you never really run out of them, meaning you can fire off powerful attacks while also running maintenance on your party’s stats. This makes Attack The Light a rather easy game, but players looking for a greater challenge can turn on Diamond Mode, which increases enemy damage, and limits your defensive options.
Attack The Light lacks a proper armor and equipment system, instead allowing each Gem to equip up to two badges. These badges, which can be found in the field, give the Gems a variety of passive abilities like health recovery, increased defense and resistance to status ailments.
The game also has a structure that is totally befitting of a mobile game. Instead of having one large overworld, Attack The Light has a world map that would be right at home in a Mario platformer. There are a handful or worlds, each containing about six levels packed with enemies to fight, treasure to find and secret areas to explore. These levels take about 10-15 minutes to complete, making Attack The Light a very easy game to pick up and play.
Steven Universe: Attack The Light is a great example of a game understanding its platform. A more standard RPG would have been a bit tiring to play on a smartphone, but Attack The Light was short and sweet enough to keep me entertained for the handful of hours I spent with it.
It was deep enough to hold my interest, but not so much that I ever felt overwhelmed. I’d recommend it to any fan of the show, or anybody looking for a more traditional gaming experience on their mobile device.