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Starion (1985)      

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Details (Amstrad CPC) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Melbourne House
Shoot 'em Up

Audio cassette

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Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Atari 800

An Amtix Accolade

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Your Reviews

Issue 1 (Nov 1985) (Amtix)   15th Jun 2016 03:48
Melbourne House, £9.95 cass Author: David Webb
Starion, very successful in an earlier life as a Spectrum game, has reached the Amstrad. Bea-ting Firebird's expected conver-sion of Elite, Starion offers Elite-style vector graphics at a very fast pace.
The game is named after you and 'you' are a star pupil just
Sraduated from the Space Aca-emy. Bright young thing that you are, the government has selected you to perform a mis-sion of utmost skill and daring. Evil aliens have been discovered using space/time travel and who are using it to create havoc in the space/time continuum. To retaliate, mankind has laboured long and hard to discover the secrets of time travel. Now the scientists have succeeded and your mission is to pilot a proto-type space/timeship back to the beginning of time to correct the nastiness that's been done.
Despite several interesting theories by Einstein and Planck, Melbourne House tell us that space time is made up from 3 time blocks each split into a 3x3 array of time grids. Time grids are then again split into 3x3 arrays of time zones. There are 243 time zones and these are the units of time you travel in.
The aliens created havoc
through temporal theft. Each time zone has been badly scra-mbled by the illegal removal of historically important items from their correct zone to one of the neighbouring eight zones. The object is to enter a zone and liberate the cargoes of any alien ships you find in the zone by destroying the ships. The cargo is a letter and all the letters together will form an anagram. Once a ship has been destroyed, collecting the alien's cargo is quite easy, you have to fly through the middle of the letter now drifting in space.
The anagrams, when correctly resorted, form the name of the stolen object. To replace it, you must correctly select the real time from which it came from a list of possible dates and clues. Solve all nine anagrams and you are given a grid code to allow access to the next time grid, where once again the process of alien zapping and tetter collec-ting starts over.
When engaged in space com-bat you are given a 3D view through the cockpit window. At the bottom of the screen is the instrument panel constantly feeding back vital information. To track the alien ships there are two scanners showing plan and
side elevation of your ship with the enemy marked as dots. The scanner is comprehensive also showing incoming fire and sur-rounding space debris. Pitch, yaw, dive and climb is the extent of control you have for manoe-uvring plus fire for laser control. If you wish to use a gunsight one is provided. Via the keyboard, a thrust control is provided.
The amount of ships (lives) left is displayed in the bottom right hand corner and one is lost every time the hull temperature reaches the top of the meter. If an enemy missile strikes true then the hull temperature incr-eases, and firing the ship's laser hots things up a bit too.
A facility to save and load to tape is included, accessed through a menu that appears every time you finish a zone.
Control keys: definable.
-4 Starion on the Amstrad certainly is wonderful.
J The vector graphics are
ust amazing and are the best 've seen to date. I have to agree with the cassette inlay's cocky boast that Starion utilises 'the most advanced vector graphics system ever developed for a home computer'. Usually with technically brilliant games like this the gameplay side suffers quite drastically but I'm glad to say that Starion breaks the mould. The anagrams really are good brain teasers and placing the solutions in the correct time zones can be the cause of many forrays into the family encyclopedia. Starion is a star piece and I'm sure it's destined to take pride of place in many an Amstrad owners software library-
It's nice to come across a game that manages so excellently to combine arcade action with mind action, and make each as important and interesting as the other. Starion graphics nave to be seen to be Believed, fast, smooth and convincingly 3D. On first playing, the arcade action seems a brt daunting, but the 3D space in which you are playing is thoughtfully programmed, so it doesn't take too long to find something to shoot at. The anagrams can give pause for much thought, and some of them are positively mean. I might have worried whether the pause in the action caused by
puzzle solving would ruin the feel of the game, but in fact that's the one moment when other members of the family can't resist joining in! Melbou rne House have a winner here.

There seem to be quite a lot of puzzle type games around at the moment, but Starion's the most polished I've seen, and the one that's the most fun to play. The shoot em up sequences are every bit as good as in any game of the type available, and the graphics are exceptionally fine. There isn't quite as much 'navigating' to be done as say in a game like Elite (which we should be seeing out soonl, but then, a large part of Starion's fascination lies in the solving of the anagrams and that ever popular pasttime. proving how good your general historical knowledge is. In most respects, this is a very worthy addition to anyone's software library.

Presentation 83%
Good packaging and instructions, several options, ity the definable key option is a it unfriendly.

Graphics 96% Fastest, flicker-free vector graphics yet on the Amstrad.

Sound 71%
Nothing super-impressive, but above average general and spot FX.

Playability 89%
Easy to fly the ship and the way arcade and mind work blends together makes for plenty of fun.

Addictive qualities 87%
Constant challenge provided by 243 time zones and increasing shoot em up difficulty
Value for money 82% A fine game, but just a touch expensive, though compared to Amsoft prices, it's a bargain.

Overall 92%
A really slick and enjoyable game.

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Anagrams and PasswordsThese anagrams and pass-words for Starion were sent in by Tim Dawson of Farn-ham Common. He did send in the entire solution but it is too much to print all in one go. So over tne next couple of months the rest of the sol-ution will be revealed. BLOCK 1 GRID 1 AD 1858: TELEGRAM - No message for the transatlantic cable AD 1905: RELATIVITY - Einstein's special theory AD 1985: STARION - Be present at your birth AD 1980: RHODESIA -Vanishes into Zimbabwe AD 1893: ASPRIN - Herman Dresser's Headache cure AD 1897: DIAMOND - Vicky's celebration lacks sparkle AD 1957: EEC - Established by the treaty of Rome AD 1831: ELECTRICITY -Faraday's dynamo output AD 0001: BIBLE - Book for lunar xmas on Apollo 8 GRID PASSWORD: RED-BREAST BLOCK 1 GRID 2 AD 1588: ARMADA— Drake bowls out the Spanish AD 1815: WELLINGTON— Duke gets his feet muddy at Waterloo AD 0814: EGBERT— Name him king of all England AD 1883: KRAKATOA— Big bang breaks Indonesian toe AD 1776: SEAL— Endorse the Declaration of Independ-ence AD 1587: AXfc- Get Mary ahead in Liz's chopping bdsk6t AD 1764: COAL— What's fuel for James' steam engine AD 1086: PREFACE— Begin the Domesday Book AD 1965: LEONOV— Weightless walker GRID PASSWORD: SPACE-WALK BLOCK 1 GRID 3 AD 1924: HITLER— Author of Mein Kampf AD 1783: BALLAST—Weigh the first balloon AD 1879: LAMP— Edison said 'Let there be light AD 1942: ATOM— Fermi's doing the splits AD 1547: IVAN- The Terr-ible Czar AD 1982: SPECTRUM— Sin clair's colour baby AD 1901: S— Marconi's signal across the waves AD 1919: TREATY— Agree-ment in Versailles AD 1889: EIFFEL— He towers over the World Exhibition GRID PASSWORD: ESTAB LISH BLOCK 1 GRID 4 AD 1953: EVEREST— Hil-ary's lost his mountain AD 1789: CAKES— The revolting French are hungry AD 1840: PENNY— Buy the first black stamp AD 1983: AVON— Thrust two without Blake's engine AD 1986: HALLEY— Bill's comet BC 2222: UMBRELLA— Noah's getting wet AD 1888: RUBBER— Erase Dunlop's pneumatic tyre AD 1896: AERIAL— Marconi's washing his radio AD 1565: TO
Anagrams and Passwords (cont'd)AD 1565: TOBACCO— John Hawkins is smoking GRID PASSWORD: PARA-CHUTE BLOCK 1 GRID 5 AD 1885: PETROL— Karl Benz's car won't start BC 0219: ALPS— Hannibal's elephants are here AD 0982: ERIC— Red man finds green land AD 2001: ODYSSEY— A space AD 1949: NATO— An organ-ised treaty in the North Atlantic AD 1898: RADIUM- Curried discovery AD 1959: HAWAII— Grass skirts in the fiftieth state BC 0035: ASP— Bites Cleopatra in the milky way AD 1895: GILLETTE— Invents the safety razor GRID PASSWORD: ORPHANAGE
No trivia on file for this title.


This title was first added on 16th August 2011
This title was most recently updated on 15th June 2016

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