Friday, April 08, 2016

Stardust


Stardust was released late in the ST's life by Bloodhouse in 1994 and it's not only one of the last commercial games ever released but is actually an STe-only product. Developed by several famous names from our great demoscene (thank you Aggression) these guys managed to deliver a wicked twist on the original Asteroids format.

Stardust not only plays similar to that arcade favourite but also adds modern content. Such as ludicrously awesome aesthetics which are quite stunning - it's not all for nothing because they compliment fantastic gameplay.


Here is the War Plan. I think it says, "Kill everything and don't die!!"

There are a total of five levels and each contains six missions which are all host to a variety of rocks and the expected dangerous baddies. After each level is completed, you are required to travel through a wormhole-like tunnel onto the next part of the galaxy like something from Buck Rogers or Starwars!! These tunnels are filled to the brim with oncoming rocks for you to dodge or destroy - which is definitely no easy task.

Bonus levels pop up regularly and feel similar to a certain Thrust clone... Now, these are optional but you will be daft to ignore the fun. So don't be daft!! Of course, it wouldn't be right without End-Of-Level Bosses and each mission has them. These guys are tough so beware! Much perseverance will be required during these enjoyable romps!


I gotta say, blast rocks has never looked so great!! Wow, these backgrounds are stunners!

Stardust is something else and on another level. However, the basic mechanics are pretty much what you would expect so it also feels more-or-less the same, expected experience. Which is actually very awesome because you can jump straight in and begin playing without much of a learning curve. Heck, dodge and shoot!

The controls are also familiar: left and right will manoeuvre your spacecraft around. Pushing upwards will thrust you forward into hell. Don't worry, we have a shield which can aid during those sticky moments. Finally, our ship's main weapon is more than capable - perfect for gratifying rock-blasting!! Nothing wrong here, folks.


Wow, this looks the part alright. Damned hard but it's mind-blowing STuff!!

Graphically, Stardust is glorious. Everything is bold and colourful with stunningly-smooth animations. The rocks are also something else with jaw-dropping 3D renditions that look beautiful. I've not finished yet - everything is running in overscan!! Yep, not only does it look HOT but it's in overscan which means lots of extra pixels to blast.

Equally impressive is the audio with beautiful examples of thumping stereo tunes, accompanied by BAM!! BAM!! BAM!! DMA sound effects. This is one game that's gonna blow your socks off. If I can offer one piece of advice: crank up the volume!! I guarantee you will love everything Stardust delivers so turn it up :-)


It doesn't only look fantastic but everything moves so smooth and incredibly fast!!

This is a spectacular showcase of what the Atari STe was capable of when in the hands of people with talent and commitment. These guys didn't rehash an old idea or produce a weak Amiga port. No, they unleashed a product which feels fresh and exciting. Stardust is a joyride of rock-blasting thrills and a perfect shoot 'em up!!

Download for floppy or installed onto a hard drive.

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