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Super Stardust

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Released: 1994

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amiga CD32

Publisher: Team 17

Developer: Bloodhouse

Submitted by: Neil Pritchard

Asteroids and sweat. Are two words that define 1994’s Super Stardust.

The asteroids concept is given a high glass makeover that looks a million dollars. The graphics are sumptuous ray traced creations with rocks that feel real enough to hurt and metallic spaceships that look that they have warped in from Hollywood.

The game starts with a Star wars type text scroll whilst a resounding fanfare plays. Following this is a CDXL anim showing a penguin in a top hat blowing up a planet (err okay).

Each level is made of sectors that can be played in any order from a map screen. Each sector has a difficulty percentage and a description of any enemy that will be encountered. The sector is completed by shooting the all rocks in time honoured Asteroids fashion. These rocks are massive and come in different colours and shots required to split. Luckily your ship has a limited shield that can ward of collisions and enemy fire. Some rocks leave golden tokens when they explode. The tokens yield extra points, smart bomb or instant power-ups depending on its letter. New weapons are obtained by shooting enemy resource carriers that only appear in some sectors.

Once the last sector is cleared the level boss warps in and must be defeated before moving on the next level. The journey to the next level is through a stunning 3D warp tunnel filled with rocks, mines and enemy craft. Fantastic. Later warp tunnels contain rockets and even giant golden robot heads or are replaced by a 2D underwater maze. This is a shoot-em-up of rare proportions.

The sound effects are suitably meaty with explosions, laser blasts and klaxons signifying enemy reinforcements. It is the music though that really stands out with true CD quality techno playing direct from the CD. Fast beats for the intense sectors and quieter, mellow tunes for the underwater mid-level sections.

This game was available for the A1200 but the CD music and game pad controls mean that the CD32 is the true home for the sublime Super Stardust.