Building a galactic empire takes a lot of money, and Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is all about raking in those sweet, sweet credits. Much like the Angry Birds Star Wars series, Tiny Death Star simply takes an existing mobile hit and adds some flavor from a galaxy far, far away — in this case it's based on Nimblebit's devilishly addictive Tiny Tower. And the two games play largely the same. On the left side of the screen is an elevator where a regular stream of citizens will come into your Death Star looking for somewhere to live or a place to spend some money, and on the right is your actual tower, which you can fill with apartments and all kinds of businesses.

People will come and go even if you're not playing, but you'll need to return regularly to tend to the details, like stocking businesses with goods and giving new citizens jobs. It's not exactly challenging, but there's a strange thrill in seeing your tower expand. Almost every aspect of the game has a built-in timer, so you'll need to wait for events to complete or, if you're feeling flush, spend real cash to speed the process up.


It's best enjoyed for a few minutes at a time

Just like Tiny Tower, Tiny Death Star is best enjoyed when you pop in for a few minutes at a time, as opposed to a lengthy single sitting. It also adds a few, minor Star Wars-themed gameplay twists. You'll be able to build "imperial" levels, which let you play the role of the bad guy by interrogating rebels and other dastardly deeds. There are also random events that will have you searching for spies or tending to bounty hunters; they're minor additions, but add to the Star Wars feel.

The biggest draw, though, is the presentation. In a lot of ways Tiny Death Star is just a reskinned version of Tiny Tower, but that's actually a good thing. The pixel art renditions of familiar Star Wars characters are downright adorable, and the elevator music-style soundtrack lets you listen to John Williams' iconic score in a whole new way. From the tongue-in-cheek dialogue to the hilarious animated cut scenes, Tiny Death Star is filled with fan service for Star Wars nerds. And the more you play, the more you'll see. You can also play it on just about any device at launch, as it's available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Check it out for free at the source links below.