Wise Owl Software
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

Richard Eddy, Nick Roberts, Paul Sumner
Chris Bourne

Realising that the sun can be used to obtain something other than a tan, scientists construct 16 solar grids in space. These orbit all the suns of the universe, efficiently creating energy crystals.

However, the craft that once collected this raw product can no longer do so because of the accumulation of unstable energy pulses. The Sun Star supply craft has therefore been built.

Four white disruptor pulses exist on the gridwork of each solar panel. Firing at these with laser bolts makes them jump to another part of the grid, leaving behind a green energy crystal. But if this crystal isn't quickly collected by sliding the Sun Star over it, it loses energy and burns out all the crystals already collected.

When ten crystals have been gathered from one you move to the next grid by passing through the revolving warp gate and firing a laser bolt into the heart of an orange hyperwarp cell.

The Sun Star's energy, reduced by laser firing, high-speed travel and space obstructions such as red energy pulses, can be supplemented a limited number of times by entering the hyperwarp cell. Each time, one of the collected crystals is lost, though.

The Sun Stars position is pinpointed by a global scanner and a short-range viewer identifies nearby targets. The main 3-D screen shows the grid with the positions of the coloured cells and the dangerous red energy pulses, and the position of the last disruptor pulse fired is given at the head of the screen.


'Sun Star was probably meant to be one of those games which people play because it's wild and wacky - like Jeff Minter's work. But Sun Star fails miserably because of dull and inefficient gameplay and difficult screen layout.' RICKY … 31%

'The 3-D grid idea isn't exactly new - it's been used repeatedly in games such as Glass (Quicksilva 1985) and more recently Plexar (reviewed this issue). And because you have to keep your eyes on the scanners at the bottom of the screen, you never look at the grid itself. The idea of chasing white blobs around the grid and shooting hell out of them is so unappealing that it won't hold anyone's attention for long.' NICK … 49%

'The big 3-D scrolling area at the top of the screen turns out to be completely useless - the only useful thing, in fact, is the very basic scanner lower down. Sun Star has very little content and is simply lots of trekking around a black screen: the graphics create absolutely no atmosphere and the sound is a disgrace. Sun Star is a disappointment.' PAUL … 20%

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: terrible colour clash on the 3-D grid - and generally poor
Sound: weak spot FX
General Rating: An imaginative idea for a shoot-'em-up, but uninteresting gameplay and graphics.


Screenshot Text

Weird 3-D action in CRL's Sun Star.