Star Fortress is a space shooter video game that resembles a combination of the games Star Castle and Yar’s Revenge.
Classification: Space Shooter Publisher: The Gold Disk Programmer: Dennis Lo Year: 1985 Rating: ★★★★★
Just a few months ago, I stumbled across Star Fortress and it immediately became one of my favorite pick-up-and-play games. It’s a relatively straight forward game, with one goal: to destroy enemy ship at the top of the screen. It was written by Dennis Lo and published by The Gold Disk – Issue #12, and appears (from what I can tell from the disk image it is on) to be part of a larger publication; which included tutorials on programming in machine language. The game’s “main menu” also makes reference to “The Game of Nim.”
When I first started playing Star Fortress, it seemed to me like a combination of the games Star Castle and Yar’s Revenge. However, rather than having the enemy ship in the middle of the screen, with shielding encircling it (like Star Castle), Star Fortress puts the enemy at the top of the screen and the shielding stacked as layers beneath it. Your task is to blast holes through the shielding and target the enemy ship behind. But, watch out for the orbs raining down upon you from above and once there is a clear path through the shielding, the enemy ship will fire laser bolts at you, too.
As the levels progress, the shielding builds up layers (up to a certain point). Also, the number of times you have to hit the enemy ship to destroy it increases. And, every time you hit the enemy ship, it moves faster. When you get into the higher levels, this really increases the game’s level of difficulty, as you really have to stay nimble to avoid the enemy’s laser fire. But, I have to say that, when you do land that final blow that destroys the enemy ship, Star Fortress has one of the most satisfying boss explosions I’ve seen in a space shooter like this. Blam-O!!
One of the more challenging things that happens in the game is that, on level 12, the shielding becomes invisible. So you have no idea where the gaps are and, therefore, have no idea as to when the enemy ship will attack.
Although the game play is simple, the game itself is excellent. The controls are responsive, the graphics are colourful, and the sound effects sound very authentic for the genre. I really enjoy playing it.