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 This game is an impressive shooter, from the great introduction that looks like a Star Wars intro to the in-game action. The sprite animation is flawless and the graphics feature a great variety of metallic colors. The sprites (from ships to moving rocks) are all pre-rendered and they move smoothly around you. Although the STE version uses up to 16 colors on screen the visuals look superb and quite close to the Amiga! The Stardust sound features an in-game techno music (quite rare for an Atari ST computer) and sampled stereo effects (like lasers, explosions, a robotic voice that announces bonuses and more). The STE version is almost identical to the Amiga and it takes your Atari to its hardware limits.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit @ 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512 (520STE) -1024KB (1040STE) upgradable up to 4 MB / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 12-bit RGB palette (4096 colors) supporting resolutions of 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). Also features BLiTTER chip for copy/fill/clear large data blocks in memory (fill rate 4 MB/s) and Hardware-support for horizontal and vertical fine scrolling and split screen. SOUND: DMA sound chip with 2-channels stereo 8-bit PCM sound at 6.25/12.5/25/50 kHz, MIDI in/out