Saturday, March 27, 2021

Game 53: Star Strike

Name:Star Strike
Time: 1 hour

The trench run from Star Wars...did you ever think this would be good video game fodder? Because I didn't. A cramped corridor where the attacker is easily annihilated by enemies. I suppose nobody really cares about fridge logic in Star Wars in the year of our Lord 2021, but I'm throwing it out anyway. A ship that enters there is asking to get killed, your only shot is finding the end of that trench and shooting at the exhaust port from there. In a realistic situation involving a moon-sized mobile space station, that is the only way to get a successful outcome. Next, I'm going to prove black is white and wonder why Africans never domesticated horses.

Its hard to think that anyone could make a good video game out of that concept, but I think Star Strike succeeds. There are a few differences between the two though. Here, you have to take out a series of bombs rather than a single one, and there are no turrets. The things that remain constant are the enemy ships chasing after you and the bombs will destroy Earth if they're missed while Earth is in visible view.

Enemy ships are a constant, they take three shots at you, and then they pass you. There are two of them, so you have to be careful about taking them out with your own lasers. If you're clever, you can set it up so one enemy kills the other. If you've killed both enemies, you have a few seconds to hopefully take out a target, if you've killed one or neither, they quickly reappear.

The targets, or bombs as I call them, are a tricky thing to hit. You receive an alert whenever you're about to reach one, whether or not its been hit before is irrelevant. You have to aim the bomb carefully, as you have a very short margin of error. Of use is your own ship's shadow. Up and down only matters in the timing, if you're not in the center, you're not hitting anything. You have some time until the Earth gets dead center, at which point a single miss causes the Earth to explode. You win the game after all five targets are eliminated.

You have to pay attention to two things lining up, the enemy ships with your laser gun and the bombs with your own bomb. Slightly more interesting than the usual fare. 2/10

There was some thought put in here, their shots can destroy their allies, enemies who aren't killed return instantly. Although that cleverness disappears when I found out I can just move up and down and the enemies will never figure it out. 1/10

None. 0/10

Its the same bland corridor over and over again. 0/10

Player Agency:
I can't help but feel buttons don't work as they should, befitting a game being played in an emulator, but so few original Intellivisions must exist these days, I doubt anyone's going to find anything interesting these days. Usually the games came with inserts for the weird phone controller, so you know which buttons do what. Here, I think the buttons only affect the difficulty. Although this might be caused by the game in some settings. 2/10

None. 0/10

There's a little in the franticness of trying to stop the Earth from getting blown up. 1/10

Simple, smooth, but not very interesting. If that's supposed to be the Earth, which part am I looking at? The stars look weird too. Oh, well. 1/10

Prevent planet from getting blown up by aliens. 0/10

The usual assortment of Intellivision bloops and beeps. 1/10

That is 8. Typical high score from the era. Curiously, the game was later ported to the Atari...after the infamous crash. Yes, it was by Mattel, which makes things very strange. That version appears quite inferior, but I have no reason to find out for myself.

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