FUN FUN FUN
Hey, this is fun. I'd forgotten what a good laugh a simple little blaster like this could be. Your task is to guide a small android sprite across a horizontally scrolling playfield, wreaking as much havoc as possible as you go. There are four levels to contest, each packed with a wild assortment of reptilian nasties and strange blob-like spheres, as well as three Boss aliens per level. The excuse for all the pyrotechnics and alien slaughter is the usual alien invasion and the imminent destruction of the universe stuff.
Apparently, alien forces, based on the twelve signs of the Zodiac, are responsible for disrupting the universe's gravitational field and, thus, have to be blasted into protoplasmic slime.
Each level is based on a particular theme. For instance, the first world is a mixture of volcanic activity and frozen wastelands while the second world is a combination of jungle vegetation and underground caves. The last two worlds are made up of classic Grecian architecture and aquatic stages. All manner of nasties lie in wait, the majority of them following set attack patterns, while others vary their formations to prove more troublesome.
To help combat these creatures, your advanced tactical weapons system (i.e. the spindly little sprite under your control) can be upgraded with the help of an anti-grav jet-pack, a scooter, an assault platform and a heavily fortified alloy bubble. All help increase your sprite's maneuverability and protection, as well as increasing your firepower. To increase your arsenal still further, there are also a variety of power-ups dotted around each level, the most powerful filling the entire screen with a deathly shower of golden stars.
There's nothing amazing about Starush, but it is immensely playable. No need for complex instructions, hefty manuals or the like, just pick up your joystick and play. Each level is graphically different and throws up a mean selection of alien hordes to slaughter. There's also a two player option so you can blast away in tandem with a friend, which adds to the fun and carnage.
Don't worry about getting stuck on a level and not seeing the rest of the game (a la Project X), as you can pick and choose which level to play. If anything, the game is a little too easy in parts, but the levels are certainly huge. The scrolling is especially smooth and once you've completed one stage, the scrolling reverses and you have to do it all over again. Starush isn't wildly original or innovative, but it is a very entertaining and competent blast.