Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Ad Astra'

Rating:4 User: Matt_B

Although more famous for their graphical adventures, Gargoyle Games made a fairly auspicious debut with the is fast paced pseudo-3D shoot 'em up.

The graphics are pretty good, and there's some great use of colour in a genre more typically blighted by monochrome, although this is at the usual price of your spaceship, and many other objects in the game, moving around in obvious character square blocks. The 3D effect isn't totally convincing, with it largely just being a 2D game with some scaled frames for the sprites; the fudged perspective generally just serves to make it really difficult to fire into the top corners of the screen. There's also an irritating graphical glitch that allows you to shoot holes in your spacecraft when moving directly up the screen.

What will most likely have you cursing at it though, is the difficulty of spotting the bullets being fired at you and the slightly suspect collision detection. Still, neither is a game killer and with a bit of practice they can both be lived with.

Although not quite the finished article, and rather inferior to the later Light Force, this at least showed that Gargoyle Games was going to be a force to be reckoned with.