Those incorrigible miscreants who reads this stuff regularly and actually take note of what's said will have rushed out to buy Hyperforce the instant they read my loony rave review in September. Well, Starburst is by the same bloke - Tony Takoushi.
The game is not the kind of thing that makes me go totally ape crazy bananas and dig out the Superscript file with words like superb, stunning, sensational and dead good. On the other hand, it's good enough to justify original, different, colourful and fun.
It's one of those abstract efforts that has balls and squiggly things instead of little sprite people and the like. Here's a taste of the blurb: "They called themselves scientists. They were fools."
Good, eh? Want some more? "To them it had been a simple experiment to discover what made their planet's core active and it had all gone badly wrong. The planet Systasis", (sounds like a nasty infection) "had exploded and only the mutant evil Plastron boulders remained".
As the blurb goes, I reckon that's not half bad. The game itself has three stages. Stage one involves you blasting away at red and yellow 'home slots' at the top and bottom of the screen. After a while they start to pulse and your corastron ship turns into a bat. You must then, in a limited amount of time, bat a yellow and green plastron boulder into the home slot in a sort of Breakout fashion.
There are complications. A grey plastron boulder screws things up by hitting your yellow and red ones out of their home slots. But, your slots can be protected with the bat and, if you manage to destroy all four core pods you get to play the bonus round, followed by stage two.
Stage two involves blasting plastron boulders on a grid with your wormer. The object is to destroy the grid by hitting the boulders, but the nearer you get to your objective, the more boulders appear. Stage three is a sort of plastron boulder sheep farmer special - you have to round 'em up the easy way - by shooting them, only it's not that easy.
Starburst is really three games in one, pretty good value at a quid each. Fans of the strategic ball game (a phrase I've just invented which means games like Breakout, Marble Madness and Trailblazer) will love it. Oh I nearly forgot to mention that the sound is pretty wild.