Star Raiders II

Publisher: Electric Dreams
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #26

Star Raiders II

Atari's Star Raiders never appeared on the Commodore, so this is really a sequel without a predecessor. The original version (which appeared all of eight years ago), saw the player destroying the invading Zylon fleet single-handedly. The evil Zylons are back, and the only person between them and the destruction of the entire human race is you - pilot of the most versatile fighting ship in the galaxy, the Liberty Star...

The screen is split into two main display areas - the top half taken up by the cockpit window, the bottom comprising a weapons and status display panel.

The conflict takes place over two separate star systems: your and the invading Zylons'. A marker shows the current position of Liberty Star, with an icon used to highlight map features such as planets or attacking fleets. To hyperspace to a new location or system, a destination is plotted with the icon and the fire button pressed.

Star Raiders II

Fleets of Zylon craft fly from their home system to carry out raids. If left unchecked, a fleet flies down to a planet's surface and wipes out its cities one by one. When every allied city is wiped out the Zylons are considered to have won the battle and the mission is terminated.

An invading fleet can itself be attacked by hyperspacing Liberty Star to the threatened sector. The annihilation of a Zylon attack force requires the destruction of ten number attack fighters, five motherships and a large flagship.

Throughout a skirmish the craft's power cells are drained, with this drainage represented by a diminishing bar on the status panel. The power cells are topped up by hyperspacing to one of the two giant space stations on opposite edges of the home system, here the Liberty Star automatically docks and the batteries are recharged.

Star Raiders II

As well as guarding the home planet system, there is the problem of undertaking bombing runs over Zylon planets. Failure to do so results in the continuing production of Zylon craft, and consequently an overwhelming number of attacking fleets. Bombing runs are carried out by travelling to one of the planets in the Zylon system, and utilising the 20 air-to-ground missiles which the Liberty Star carries specifically for this task.

When the complement of bombs have been exhausted, the Liberty Star flies back to the home system and re-arms by docking with a space station.

The action continues in this vein until either the home planets lie barren, or the entire Zylon fleet and their planets lie in ruins - it's them or us, ace.


Star Raiders II

The advertisements for Star Raiders II have certainly been around for long enough, and finally we have the game - I think I preferred the adverts!

The original Star Raiders never made it to the C64, though there have been many releases of a similar design.

Star Raiders II does have a little variation of gameplay, but hardly enough to warrant its asking price. It offers nothing new in the way of graphics, and there are certainly no musical advances. Essentially, Star Raiders II is playable but overpriced.


Star Raiders II

I've never been particularly fond of Star Raiders, although I did enjoy Americana's Sentinel which is in a very similar vein.

This sequel doesn't seem much of a progression over its predecessor; in fact, in many ways it's a regression.

Star Raiders II isn't as atmospheric or polished as Sentinel, offers less variety and playability, and is considerably more expensive.

Star Raiders II

Basically, I wouldn't bother.


After an initial disappointment, Star Raiders II gradually began to grow on me. What's most appealing is the way you have to control several functions at once.

It's a shame that the graphics and sound don't support the interesting and involved gameplay - the program looks and sounds bland, and most of the sprites and planetscapes are poor.

Star Raiders II

There's plenty to keep an avid galaxy-saver happy for a number of weeks, but before you purchase consider a point - Americana's Sentinel is a far, far classier product, offering more playability and depth and it's seven quid cheaper.


Presentation 83% Good all round, pleasant and well packaged.

Graphics 58%
Some of the sprites are very chunky and the backdrops are far from brilliant.

Star Raiders II

Sound 40%
Poor title screen tune and substandard sound effects.

Hookability 69%
Initially confusing, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Lastability 57%
Plenty of galaxy saving fun to be had, but only if you're heavily into this type of game.

Value For Money 39%
Too high a price tag for a barely above average game.

Overall 58%
Disappointing. A mediocre sequel to a classic game. Only likely to appeal to the most ardent of addicts.