Stardust is an arcade shoot 'em up game based loosely on the Asteroids series. It was developed by Bloodhouse for the Atari STE and the Amiga (OCS) computers back in 1995. The Amiga version is available in three discs.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You control a spaceship (viewed from above) and you must destroy all the meteorites and other space debris or spacecrafts that move around you. You use your laser guns and collision shields to protect your ship and complete each level. Each world is divided into 6 levels with different difficulty levels. At the end of each level you must confront a big mother-ship in order to fly to the next world. When travelling to the next world, the camera perspective changes and it takes you to a 3D-style shooter (you see the enemies coming from the background, like in Space Harrier). The gameplay is pretty addictive, even if you are not an Asteroids series fan, since Stardust takes the series to a much higher and more impressive status. You must also collect bonuses by shooting each enemy which will help you upgrade your weapons, gain energy and refuel your shields.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Stardust is very impressive, from the great introduction that looks like a Star Wars intro to the in-game action. Although there is no background scrolling, the sprites are pre-rendered and move fast and smooth around the screen. Each level is superbly detailed, having a variety of animated scenes. The animation is flawless and the visuals feature a wide variety of metallic colors. The sprites (from starships to moving rocks) are all pre-rendered and they move smoothly around you. I must also admit that the 3D perspective stages are way too impressive! Note that the Amiga version offers up to 32 colors on screen (the STE version uses up to 16) and although Amiga could easily use more simultaneous colors (say, an EHB-mode with 64 colors) the graphics look great. The game's sound features in-game techno music and sampled stereo effects (lasers, explosions, a robotic voice that announces bonuses and more). Comparably, the Amiga version has minor differences when compared to the Atari STE except of the larger color palette and the screen mode.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs