Starflight (Electronic Arts) Review | ST Format - Everygamegoing

ST Format

By Electronic Arts
Atari ST

Published in ST Format #11


Many computer programmers have dreamt of providing travel hungry games players with a complete and fully explorable universe - witness the immense popularity of Elite and the countless commercial and public domain attempts to simulate the adventures of the Starship Enterprise. Unfortunately, the only "boldly go-ing" that most of them achieve is straight into obscurity. Limited graphical displays, a tiny universe and only one or two species of alien don't make for thrilling space exploration. The release of Starflight from Electronic Arts is set to push back the frontiers of the known universe by billions of miles, for Starflight is a game with incredible depth.

The flight of fancy begins at a wagon wheel-shaped space station orbiting your home planet of Arth. A small, private research group, Interstel, have created several spaceships capable of traversing the universe and you've been chosen as a ship's commander.

With a space craft that's all your own, and 12,000 MUs (monetary units) to outfit it and purchase a crew, you dally between the outfitters, fuel stores and personnel department, trying to stretch limited resources. Once suitably equipped, you're ready to begin the journey. But where should you go? What should you do?

Star Flight

Not for you a mere joyride buzzing the wonders of the univese. You've been assigned a top secret mission to locate other civilisations and discover what happens to the original inhabitants of the Old Empire (a conglomeration of races now long since gone).

It's a tough life as a spaceship commander. Aliens abound, and although some can be reasoned with, many are as xenophobic as the average stand-up comedian. It's kill or be killed as you struggle through solar systems light years from home discovering helpful devices, valuable artefacts and creatures weaker than you that can be captured and sold into slavery back home.


Starflight contains probably the most beautiful representations of planets this side of Spielberg celluloid. Complete solar systems containing highly colourful, rotating worlds which you can land on and explore make Starflight one of the most comprehensive space games since Elite. And some of the aliens you encounter have you gagging for air after viewing their vile countenances on the visual intercom.

Sound is limited to an opening tune reminiscent of a five year old let loose with one of Bontempi's creations and a few spot effects accompanying airlock doors opening and closing.


Space travel/scavenging games often leave the player with an "is that it?" feeling. Encounter an alien or two, dock with other craft and cavort around a planet hither and thither and your interest is soon waning. Not so with Starflight. With 237 star systems, over 800 planets ranging from colourful gas giants with murderous atmospheres to blue-green worlds just like home and more aliens than you can shake a laser beam at, you'll be examining just one more star system, exploring just one more planet and wiping out just one more alien race late into the night. And if it all becomes too much and you simply much have a cup of tea, try a trip to the third planet at solar system location 215, 86. Look familiar?

Jerry Glenwright

Other Atari ST Game Reviews By Jerry Glenwright

  • Pro Tennis Tour Front Cover
    Pro Tennis Tour
  • Xenophobe Front Cover
  • Pinball Magic Front Cover
    Pinball Magic
  • Star Wrek - The Voyage of U.S.S.Less Front Cover
    Star Wrek - The Voyage of U.S.S.Less
  • Warp Front Cover
  • Hawaiian Odyssey Scenery Adventure Front Cover
    Hawaiian Odyssey Scenery Adventure
  • Day of the Viper Front Cover
    Day of the Viper