Acorn User1st September 1986
Published in Acorn User #050
A Blast Of Fun
There's nothing particularly novel about this piece of software, but it's written to the high standards we've come to expect from Superior, is enjoyable to play and has a high addiction factor, despite its lack of originality.
It's a high-speed arcade game that revoles around a revolving space ship. You use two keys to spin it clockwise or anti-clockwise, Asteroids-style. Left to its own devices, it will accelerate off in whatever direction it's pointing, whereupon the screen scrolls impressively smoothly. Your spacecraft shares the cosmos with some lumpy planetoids, some nasty red Worker ships and some even nastier blue Warrior ships. Their job is to collect crystals from the planetoids with which to build a Deathstar, an unsightly object which will try to annihilate you.
Your job is to collect the same crystals to make Starbombs, which are your only defence against the Deathstar. You mine crystals by blasting the planetoids with a laser, which also comes in handy for blasting Workers and Warriors.
That's about all there is to it, rotating and blasting. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it? But it is. For one thing, everything happens pretty fast, and it's a real white-knuckle job keeping your little ship under control and firing your laser. For another thing, there's a constant tactical problem to resolve.
The Mode 5 graphics are as elegant as they need to be, and the animation is as zippy as the sound is zippy. Although there's nothing surprising or revolutionary about Death Star, it's a neat demonstration that an old formula, when cleverly handled, can still produce a thoroughly enjoyable game.