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Review: Starfeck1 (Episode XVII)
Author: David Newton (DavidN)
Added: 21/11/2002

My first impression of this game wasn't good - the psychoanal humour of the title screen and intro didn't impress me much, but I appreciate its 'trippiness', if you can call it that. The review contains spoilers of the missions.

On to the main game, then - the object of the first level is just to shoot your way through some "bouncing ball" stormtroopers. The movement of the player here is far too slow, but it speeds up occasionally, as if there's another object off-screen, or something else slowing the game down.

After shooting my way to the exit (which it took me about a minute to walk to, even though the level is only one screen), I got a short cut-scene, after which a piano sample started playing.

And playing...

and playing...

Even when the frames changed, I still got the same five piano notes, repeated over and over. Even hitting Ctrl-S didn't get rid of it. It was here that I was compelled to turn the sound off entirely - what I'd heard so far was just standard Europress music, so no real problem there, but nothing special either.

One mildly amusing cut-scene later, it was on to the next level - another shooting level. Walking veeeery sloooowly around and shooting at Stormtroopers. I actually died a couple of times here as the player moves so much more slowly than the stormtroopers. When you die, you get an "angel" effect and you're sent back to the start of the level, which makes it more annoying than challenging.

After that came a change - some flying training. Unfortunately the ship only has eight directions of animation but can actually fly and shoot in 32 directions, which can make things confusing. My computer had trouble with the scrolling at 640x480, though this might not be an issue with everyone.

I turned the sound up. That piano was still playing.

Another cut-scene, where you're introduced to the Bi-Fighters. Yes - making the enemy fighters bisexual is "humorous". I think.

Then some "real" flying. This was actually quite fun - fly around destroying the enemy fighters, then gain control of the turret and destroy the rest. The sound from the turret almost managed to drown out the noise of the piano (which was STILL playing).

The mission type changed again. This time, I was in a C-wing, with no weapons, trying to guide it through a maze with enemy ships, to retrieve a pilot-in-a-box. It took me more than a couple of tries to pass this level - it actually takes at least some skill to work out the patterns of the enemy fighters and how to avoid them.

The next mission was to destroy an outpost - I destroyed it fine the first time, but due to the craft's painfully slow turning and speed, couldn't manouevre past the enemies fast enough to escape. Eventually I passed it, growing increasingly more irritated at the Eternal Piano Player.

Now, imagine my amazement when the next level was the same as the first. Only, there were only three stormtroopers on the screen this time, and a couple of flowers were strategically placed to make it as irritating as possible to get past them. After dispatching the stormtroopers and crawling along at the cutomary rate of one pico-second per hour to the exit, I was rewarded with another mission.

More stormtroopers, but this time they respawned. The walking pace and fire rate were faster as well, which was a blessing. After getting rid of them, I made a carefully-timed run towards the captive and the captor, the Poof (I'm not kidding), only to die for no reason at all. Having learnt my lesson, I replayed the level and shot the Poof to escape.

That was the end. I sat through the credits, then was treated to the standard Games Factory exit window. I then clicked 'OK'...

...And the piano sample FINALLY stopped, making me decide against taking a mallet to my speakers at the last minute.

I don't mean to be harsh to this game. To its credit it was of decent length and was mildly funny in parts. The author should be able to make some great Click games with more practice and experience.


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