Friday, April 08, 2016

Stardust


Stardust was released in 1994 by Bloodhouse and developed by several famous names from our demoscene and they've given us a wicked twist on the classic Asteroids format. One which plays like the old arcade game but with modern and ludicrously awesome aesthetics that superbly compliment the frantic gameplay.

There are five levels, which are set within six missions, all are host to a variety of rocks and dangerous baddies. After each level is completed, you are required to travel through a wormhole-like tunnel to the next part of the galaxy. These are filled to the brim with oncoming rocks for you to dodge or destroy and this is definitely no easy task. End of level bosses guard each mission and will take time and much perseverance! Bonus levels pop up regularly and feel similar to a certain Thrust clone, they are optional but you will be daft to ignore the fun.

Game mechanics are pretty much as you would expect and remain more or less the same as in the arcades. This is awesome and means you can jump straight in and start playing Stardust without too much of a learning curve. Controls are familiar too, of course with left and right turning your craft whilst pushing upwards will thrust you forward. A shield will aid you during those sticky moments and you have your main weapon for lots of gratifying rock-blasting!

The graphics are glorious. Bold and colourful with stunning animations and jaw-dropping 3D renditions - all of which whilst running in overscan!! Equally impressive is the audio with beautiful thumping music accompanied by BAM BAM BAM sound effects to blow your socks off. Take my advice and crank up the volume.

Stardust is a spectacular showcase of just what the Atari STe is capable of and is a joyride of rock-blasting thrills. They didn't simply rehash an old idea but unleashed one which feels both fresh and very exciting. A perfect ten!!

LINKS

 - Of course, I have a video recording of extreme gaming talent. Take a look and see!
 - 8BitChip has adapted this for hard drive installation.
 - Old Games Finder has all the floppy-based versions to nab.
 - AtariMania has Stardust in their ST database website. Take a look at the credits!