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[minis Review] Stellar Attack

Stellar Attack expertly blends old-school deep space shoot-em-up action with classic puzzle gameplay. Use your skill and reflexes to destroy chains of coloured orbs and deadly gun turrets.

Eliminate orbs with your coloured lasers to expose the turrets and blow them out of orbit, but avoid the homing missiles and cannon fire that threaten your fragile ship. One missed laser could break your combo in this classic score-chasing action-puzzle game!

Color-coded space adventures are not that plentiful, and Stellar Attack decided it was time to mix the control style of Asteroids with orbs of four different, and bright, colors in order to destroy some evil turrets that are out to destroy something, somewhere. You must shoot each of the orbs with the same color in order to make them go away, or else you will destroy your score multiplier, and you will never rid the universe of this menace. Your lasers are controlled by the Square, Circle, Triangle and X button, and you can tell which button activates which colored laser by checking out the color indicator on the upper right corner of the screen.

Sounds simple, right? Well, there is definitely more to the game than just that. Some of the orbs you’ll face include one of several icons that can produce some very interesting effects. For example, there is one that makes the destroyed orb fire out homing missiles out to destroy you, some award you with extra bonus points, some increase the speed at which a ring of orbs circles around the turret, and one actually eradicates all the orbs connected to the destroyed orb, as long as they are of the same color AND they are located on the same ring. On top of that, the turrets you need to destroy will also fire at you and, if you’re not fast enough, they will also regenerate their lost health.

But what about our ship? What other abilities does it have? Well, it too can regenerate lost health, but with a twist: if you’re shot too much, part of your energy bar will turn red, which will prevent you from regenerating health on said red bars. In order to change them back to healthy health, you must complete the level, and some of the health bars will be returned to normal. If no bars are red, then you’ll get extra health for the next level! Remember, be extremely careful, and use the L and R buttons to dodge out of the way of incoming enemy fire! Also, when destroying turrets, you are gifted with one health bar, and that can be the difference before “to fight another day” and “BOOM!”.

There are 6 ships to choose from, separated into two groups of control schemes. Vector controls are basically how you used to control Asteroids back in the day (google it), and direct controls are traditional up, down, left, right and all around controls, just like you like them. I think it would have been best if you could “orbit” around a turret by hitting the L button and making R be a universal “blur-dodge” button, as that would have made it easier to control the game.

There are three game modes to choose from, to better enjoy your trip:

– Modern: Battle for a High score through 20 levels. Shield health replenished as normal. Replace 1 lost shield section for each turret destroyed. replace 3 lost shield sections for each level completed. No time limit

– Core: Attempt to stay alive through 20 levels. No shield – start with 3 lives and 1 hit kills. Gain 1 bonus life for each turret destroyed. Gain 3 bonus lives for each level completed. No time limit.

– Attack: Keep the clock ticking through 20 levels. Lose 10 seconds every time you are destroyed. Gain 30 seconds for each turret destroyed. Gain 1 minute for each level completed. Start with a time limit of 3 minutes.

Stellar Attack is an interesting minis that is held back a bit by a control scheme that take some getting used to. If you can look past that, you’ll have several hours of space adventuring fun-fun.

[review score=”75″ pros=”Interesting idea.
Great presentation” cons=”Controls feel a bit floaty”]

Cost – $4.99


Total amount of time played: 2 hours.

This review is based on a PS3/PSP copy of Stellar Attack provided by Laughing Jackal.