Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ iPad Review

By , on June 3, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 12 months ago

Star Wars™: KOTOR
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Gripping narrative spanning tens of hours.
  • Excellent combat system.
  • Exploration is a genuine delight.
  • It's miles better than The Phantom Menace. And Attack of the Clones. AND Revenge of the Sith.


  • Movement controls are a compromise.
  • Visuals look a little dated.


An excellent conversion of a sublime game. This is the port you're looking for.

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In some circles, BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic is considered the finest Star Wars game ever devised. Released back in 2003, it successfully captured not only the action-adventure sensibilities of the source movies, but also the epic scope of the Star Wars universe.

Not content to let the classic slide further into the past, developer Aspyr has ported the full game onto the iPad. Bar a few control tweaks, this iOS release is a near perfect recreation of the original Knights of the Old Republic experience.

The story takes place 4,000 years before Obi-Wan Kenobi ever picks up a lightsaber. You find yourself aboard Endar Spire, a Republic cruiser under siege from Darth Malak and his Sith cronies. You are immediately tasked with rescuing a captured Jedi by the name of Bastilla. This task is your first step in a story spanning tens of hours, one which will see you trained in the Jedi arts, and encountering planets and races only hinted at in the movies.

If you've played KOTOR before, then you'll find yourself immediately at home with the iPad version. The menu screens, battle prompts, and dialogue trees remain almost exactly as you remember them. Newcomers who are familiar with Mass Effect will likely get a sense of deja vu, too, as the game shares many systems (such as morality choices) with Commander Shepard's current generation franchise.

The biggest adjustment to the gameplay comes in the form of a revamped movement system. To guide your character around the game's impressive array of environments, you use gesture controls. Swiping up or down will move you forwards and backwards, while horizontal swipes will rotate your view left or right. This system is clearly a compromise, and lacks some of the efficiency and precision of the original joypad or mouse and keyboard controls. That said, it does the job surprisingly well. With a little practise, you'll be dashing around corridors and running headfirst into Sith patrols without a second thought.

Though originally released for the Xbox, KOTOR soon found its way onto PCs. As the game has already been optimised for a point-and-click friendly platform, the interface is well-suited to a touchscreen device. Besides a few additional dialogue prompts to address the lack of keyboard shortcuts, the old visual architecture is great fit for the iPad.

As for the game itself, it still stands shoulder to shoulder with most modern RPGs. The fully-voiced dialogue (which includes an array of alien dialects) breathe life into the game's stellar story and exciting, varied worlds. Combat is a tense mixture of real-time and turn-based strategy, with lightsaber duel and explosive force powers adding a layer of visual excitement to every scuffle. Of course, the graphics do look a little dated by today's standards. But, once the game has a hold of you, you'll be too busy interrogating Twi'leks and mastering your force push to worry about polygons.

Though it's a little expensive compared to your average iOS release, we reckon KOTOR is worth every penny. The artistry and ambition poured into this landmark title is as evident now as it was 10 years ago. Whether you're an RPG fan who missed out first time around, or a franchise diehard, KOTOR won't disappoint.


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