Publisher: Silmarils
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #66


The press release that plopped through our letterbox with this game states: "Silmaris are gradually building a name for themselves..." Take it for me lads, Silmarils is enough of a name without building any more to it. If it gets any bigger most reviewers won't be able to say it, let alone spell it.

Anyroadup, Starblade is Slirmials' follow up to their all-American adventure Colorado and features their now very-nearly-familiar style of graphics and large animated characters. But this time space is the setting and you're cruising the Orion Galaxy searching for Genolyn, a mutated queen insect bent on destroying all humanoid life. The coordinates of Genolyn have been scattered across several planets by the now-dead Julius Gordon. You must find the insert queen before she starts to breed.

Starblade is actually the cargo ship you, as Storm Walker, use the travel the vast void of space. And it's a good job it is a cargo ship 'cause you'll need to buy and sell loads of stuff in a wheelin'-dealin', duckin'-divin' kind of way in an effort to keep your ship on the road and buy essential items such as weapons.


Weapons are important to you as the Investigative Bureau (ally of Genolyn) has put a massive bounty on your head and it seems everyone wants to get rich quick. On planet surfaces or travelling through space you find yourself under almost constant attack.

You have a shuttle, called the Alta, onboard Starblade in which you travel planetside to go walkabout searching for necessary spare parts for your ship or magnetic cards. These cards hold important messages, some in the form of clues as to what you should do or where you should go next.

The cockpit of Starblade features system windows for checking the condition of the ship and its current cargo, entering space combat mode, plotting courses to other planets and loading/saving your game position. Walking around your ship is OK, very detailed and feature nice little touches, flashing lights and so on, to enhance atmosphere. When in ship-to-ship combat, control is pretty stick and graphics are not great.


Following space combat you need to check out Starblade's systems to see how unwell she is. The stores won't hold every spare part you require, so you need to go planetside to build up your stocks.

Being planetside is graphically rewarding but there's not a lot to do apart from fight bounty hunters, pick up the odd object and buy or sell goods.

Starblade ie enjoyable for an hour or two but quickly becomes repetitive and, apart from having different planet surfaces to look at and explore, you basically carry out the same tasks continuously. Also, FX are below average and planetside combat is fairly basic. A bit more variation would have been nice.