C&VG1st May 1985
Published in Computer & Video Games #43
Unlike most computers that have emerged during the past three or four years, the Amstrad is almost the only computer to have a substantial software catalogue already available for it at the launch of the machine.
This means that conversions of well known computer and arcade games take some time to appear. Star Avenger is typical of the fast movement in Amstrad games and is a complete conversion of the arcade game Scramble with lots of extra features added too.
The aim of the game is guide your rocket ship through a guarded underground fortress. First you must break through the outer defences of the city, following up with a bombing run over the city, and then onto the hidden lair of the robot controlling the city's automated defences to destroy it.
The program also allows you to jump through any of ten or so levels of the game, so you can practise playing a particularly difficult or tricky part.
My first big disappointment with the game is that the controls are solely confined to the keyboard. It is ridiculous that no provision has been made for gamers with joysticks, especially in a game like Star Avenger where a lot of very fine adjustments in direction are often necessary.
Graphically the game is fairly impressive. Lots of colour and rapidly changing scenery help to give the game the touch of an arcade game. Although the animation of the ship is of the same quality, the jerkiness of the movement makes it difficult to negotiate tight corners and also makes hitting rockets and fuel dumps even harder.
Star Avenger is a reasonable shoot-'em-up. It is well worth grabbing a copy for the odd zapping session, although I'm sure that this game is not going to become a classic on the Amstrad.