Just yesterday, the official release of Badminton Stars, a mobile game centered around the sport of badminton, took place. After experiencing several hours of intense gameplay, Badminton Stars proves to be the mobile badminton experience that badminton fans have been waiting for even with a frustrating layout and a dull collection of customization options.
Unlike other mobile games, Badminton Stars doesn’t have much to introducing the core gameplay mechanics. Outside of the practically mandatory introductory match, most of the lessons needed in order to succeed come from pure experience, which can come from two primary modes. These two modes are tournament and online mode. Tournament is easily the best mode to introduce new players to the game. It is a mode comparable to that of the season mode in games such as Rocket League for instance. It places the given avatar into a campaign, beginning with a village tournament. The player encounters five matches including a semi-final match and a final match. Each of these matches can prove to be a challenge, especially for a novice player. Some matches, not even the semi-final or final matches, can require several tries to master. Often times, the AI within the matches prove to be somewhat cheap and frustrating. Most matches end up in a deuce until an inevitable victor emerges. At first, this caused me to be disappointed and frustrated over the outcome of matches. However, as the game progressed and more matches were played, the frustration lessened but still was noticeable. The other key mode of the game, online, works mostly well as long as there is a good internet connection. However, there is a very small group of players cycling through online matches as of this moment, making the act of finding matches somewhat frustrating as well.
While the layout and online features of Badminton Stars may prove frustrating, the gameplay mostly makes up for it. The gameplay consists of tapping glowing UI circles that appear. While the gameplay at first seems to lack innovation, the speed and intensity of the gameplay quickly becomes apparent with more matches, especially in the state and city tournaments. Certain hits done by opponents will be too far for the player to hit and the UI circles will shift wildly throughout the screen, keeping the player focused. There are also many customization options available for the player. Currencies earned from perfect hits and victories in matches can be used to purchase skill points, cosmetic clothing, and furniture for your avatar’s home. Skill points are used to increase four critical skills in gameplay. These are critical for taking on the harder opponents later in the game. The cosmetic clothing is limiting however, particularly with the hair style. There is no custom avatar creation available and the clothing boils down to a placid collection of shirts and hair styles. Furniture is also on a similar level of dullness. The game is also littered with glitches, such as dysfunctional advertisements, and game-crashing events. However, these will be most likely fixed with future patches.
Ultimately, as a free mobile game, Badminton Stars is an enjoyable experience that proves to be the best badminton mobile experience available. It is littered with glitches that can often cause crashes and has a frustrating layout that weakens gameplay mechanics, but it still has enjoyable, intense gameplay. Be sure to comment with your thoughts on Badminton Stars and check out the first part of HBB Reviews’ walkthrough of Badminton Stars, including the first tournaments of the tournament mode!
Score: 7.2 out of 10