Gargoyle Games is a new company situated in Birmingham, and Ad Astra (To the Stars!) is their first game. It's quite a debut too.
This is an arcade space combat game which features very large graphics, all depicted in a very solid three dimensions with perspective. There are 20 segments, with each segment being made up of seven phases. At the start of each phase and after a lost life, large planetoid-shaped asteroids hurtle from the depths of space at the player's ship. These cannot be shot but must be dodged. As the last of these is vanishing under your ship (hopefully), alien craft appear as dots in the distance and then swoop down on you firing bolts. Five different types of aliens attack in eight different formations, firing two types of laser bolts at you.
This is followed by a large mine layer, which crosses the screen, loosing streams of rotating mines. These should be blown up as soon as possible because if they blow up themselves they fire off bolts at you, which come across the screen, making two directions filled with flying weaponry. Then come the spinning saucers, also firing at you. These need to be hit several times before they really blow up.
The last phase is a Way Station. Before the sixth phase starts, a security code appears for the next Way Station, and as the station appears, the player must input the correct code. An incorrect entry results in loss of a life. A correct entry results in a welcome message and an extra life.
The screen display is full of different coloured stars. Your ship is a large V-shaped craft which is able to move all over the screen, and is equipped with rapid fire laser bolts.