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Star Wars: Galactic Defense arrives for Android, iOS

The Force is strong with this tower-defense game, but you'll want to play it on a big screen.

Like a lot of tower-defense games, Galactic Defense feels cramped. At least you can zoom! Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but I had a hard time enjoying Star Wars: Galactic Defense.

Not because it's a bad game -- quite the opposite. It's because it feels small, even on a 4.7-inch Moto X. On an iPhone 6 Plus? A little better. A Kindle Fire HDX 8.9? Ah, now we're getting somewhere.

Announced last month, DeNA's "Star Wars"-themed tower-defense game just arrived for Android , iOS and Kindle, and based on what I've seen so far, it's every bit as good as I'd hoped. And in its defense, a lot of TD games feel cramped on smaller screens. Players with younger eyes are sure to be more forgiving.

Screen size notwithstanding, Galactic Defense offers nearly all the hallmarks of good TD. (For those unfamiliar with the genre, it's basically a build-your-base-to-withstand-attacks balancing act. Working within a budget of resources, you have to build just the right defenses at just the right time to avoid getting overrun.)

Here, of course, it's all "Star Wars." You can choose to play on the Light Side or Dark Side, and your ground forces will include at least one free-moving "champion" (Luke, Yoda, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and so on) possessing special abilities.

Just one problem: no fast-forward button. That means you have to sit through each and every skirmish, and although they're very exciting at first, eventually you just want to activate the hyperdrive, if you know what I mean. I find Galactic Defense's lack of a fast-forward button...disturbing.

What's more, the game walks that fine freemium line, letting you play for free but making it tougher to succeed if you don't pony up real-world money for gems. That's just the game world we live in, I guess.

Certainly Galactic Defense is worth a try for any fan of tower-defense games or "Star Wars." I think folks in both camps will find it very enjoyable -- but trust me when I say it benefits greatly from a tablet-size screen.