Star Wars (Domark) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

Star Wars
By Domark

Published in The Micro User 6.01

May the force be with you

Several years ago Atari released a coin-op arcade game based on that most famous of space adventure films - Star Wars. Employing fast moving vector graphics, it was an instant success and Domark has now released a version for the BBC Micro.

As in the original, the action is divided into three scenarios: Dogfight in space, through the towers, and down the trench. These three scenes are repeated with increasing difficulty as you proceed through the game.

Scene one is based on Luke's dogfight in space en route to the Death Star. The Empire's Tie-fighters zoom in at high speed, launch laser bolts, then veer away. Using the four direction keys you steer the fighter's gunsights over the laser bolt and fire.

Star Wars

The same tactics work with the fighters too. but the bolts must be your main priority. Each hit you sustain destroys one of your shields - you begin the game with six. Lose every shield and the next hit will destroy your one and only fighter.

If you survive the dogfight you are transported down to the surface of the Death Star - except on level one: Here you begin a strafing run through a forest of laser-firing defence towers. I found this to be the easiest of the three scenes. By swinging your sights slowly left and right while pressing the fire button you can destroy all towers and laser bolts in your path without sustaining a single hit.

The third and final scene is set in the trench. To destroy the Death Star you must travel its full length and accurately blast the exhaust port at the far end. Success is rewarded with a devastatingly mediocre explosion scene- the Death Star explodes outwards as an expanding series of multi coloured concentric circles - yawn.

Star Wars

On level one, the only hazards in the trench are laserbolts - you can avoid every single one ofthese by flying high and left, only venturing down into the trench at the very end to zap the exhaust port. Unfortunately these tactics do not work on the higher levels where the trench is criss-crossed by stretch barriers - these must be flown over or under. Oh yes, I almost forgot the missile emplacements you've got to shoot - while still ducking and dodging the stretch barriers.

Those of you who have already mastered the Force may find level one to be too easy a starting point: It is for this reason that Domark has included the option to begin on levels three or five - not recommended for beginners. Fast moving vector graphics are employed throughout.

These are fairly simple but effective. My only complaint is with the controls - which are restricted to keyboard only - a strange choice considering the sights move both horizontally and vertically. Joystick control would have been greatly appreciated.

Once you've mastered the keyboard controls you will soon begin to enjoy this very acceptable version of the arcade original.

Steve Brook

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