Thursday, July 9, 2020

Game 36: Stellar 7

Name:Stellar 7
Publisher:Software Entertainment
Developer:Damon Slye
Genre:Vehicle Sim
Time:1 hour

Its interesting to think that in six years a man who made a good Battlezone-clone would go on to be one of the top flight sim makers of the mid DOS era. I wouldn't even think of it. But Stellar 7 bears all the marks of something I actually like. Multiple enemies, levels, that sort of good stuff. Despite its relative simplicity, it is a distinct motion towards the kind of shooters I know and love.
But as part of a self-defeating loop, I don't like Battlezone, ergo, I am not good at it, ergo I don't like it. The game is generous with ammo and health, but that's something you'll need. There are seven levels and restocking of supplies is not on every level. And as it turns out I'm not very good at figuring out where to shoot in this game, especially with flying enemies. So I could only make it as far as level 2.
Same as Battlezone. 1/10

Quite a decent variety. You've got turrets, tanks, suicide bombers and flyers. Some of varying attack and armor levels. Nothing with a personality, but that can be forgiven. 3/10

None. 0/10

Now, part of the problem here is I only made it to level 2, but I think it can be said that later levels are not going to be mind-blowing. 1/10

Player Agency:
I dislike the way backing up works, but chances are that's just the same old, same old. 1/10

None, really. 0/10

I still feel like there's nothing here. 0/10

A bit nicer than typical wireframe stuff, but eh, not that much. 1/10

Some breakaway faction of humans are attacking, stop them. 0/10

There is no music, typical bloops. 1/10

That's an 8. Considering that its early in anything approaching a genre, and its a kind of game I don't like, high praise. Reviews back in the day usually praised the game, but today its been forgotten. Well...I can't blame anyone too much.

Stellar 7 is the first game in a series that spanned a decade and seven systems. Four of which you'd need to own. Two appeared on consoles, one on 3DO and one on Sega CD. In practice, these are just remakes of the remake of this game. It will be interesting to see if either game is hampered...or if I can even play the 3DO game. Last time I tried, it ended badly. There's one official sequel and Arcticfox seems to also be a sequel, but nobody has that bit confirmed. Damon Slye will reappear multiple times over the course of the following two decades.

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