Star Wars Episode I Gungan Frontier - Box

Star Wars Episode I Gungan Frontier
Ages 9 and up

For this one - you really have to do your homework. This is like Sim Park taken to the max. Be circumspect about the age range. I think that kids in the lower range will find the game frustrating - and there isn't enough eye candy to hold their attention.

The game involves populating a planet with a viable ecosystem so that the Gungans can thrive and prosper. The easy level will release plants and animals and their associated food into their correct biome. For the advanced level, you have to do the selecting and it's a good idea if you are aware of who eats who and what. You make the decisions for predator/prey balance and supply the necessary food for the animals. These plants and animals must have compatible environments, otherwise you will have plants growing in the deep swamp while your animals starve in the desert. To start the advanced game you choose 12 different kinds of plants and animals out of a pool of 80. The possibilities make for repeated game play while you acquire the experience to make wise choices.

The reason for a balanced ecosystem is to provide the Gungan people with resources to support their population and grow their cities. The Gungans will not be happy if you just random harvest any old thing. The items harvested must fulfill specific needs for things like building material and food. If, by now, this doesn't give you enough variables to contend with - you can have random disasters - or you can choose specific ones - disease, moonquake, pollution spill.

The multiple steps required to make informed decisions take a lot of work because one must acquire the new information since all the species are alien. There are new forms, new names to learn - shiro, tooke, rancor, veermok, shaupat. The players can't count on their background knowledge of what tigers prey upon, that zebras are not predators, and that elephants are herbivores - one wishes that there was a book or simpler way.

At the game's normal speed it plays like an arcade game, only instead of shooting things you are widely shooting out plants and animals in response to emergencies. I would suggest playing the game at slow speed. This will give you time to read the messages and respond. In addition you can type P to pause the action while you think things through. The strategies section of the manual gives hints, such as releasing plants first and not allowing harvesting until your eco system is functional. I would add turning both Jar Jar and Bos Nass off - you don't need any interruptions on this job.

Reviewed by Genevieve

  • Star Wars Episode I Gungan Frontier
  • © Lucas Learning Ltd. $29.95
  • Windows 95/98 and Mac - System 7.6 or higher
  • 11/99

  • Other Voices

    Sometimes we get opinions other than from girls. We've made a place for them here. Here is an interesting review of Gungan Frontier from a boy.

    You have to build a whole city for the Gungans. The Gungans' boss sends one of his men to help you and you can be queen Amadala or Obi Wan Kanobe. You have to put mud and stuff to let the animals live in it. They give you a book that tells you where the animals should live. The part I liked best was picking out animals and trees to build.

    The guy at the training mission who tells you what to do for about five minutes is boring and annoying. I don't really like Boss Nass because he bosses you around. Playing the game is fun and interesting. You learn how to build cities. You have to put animals and trees and soil and plants.

    I would play this game again. You can't play it with another person. I don't think girls would like it. It's more of a boy's thing. I would make this game better by being able to go on adventures like figuring out how to kill Droids so the Gungans can live there.

    Reviewed by Malaika W. 10/99