Monday, 27 May 2013

A Star

By Darken

Genre: Arcade: Fallacy

The first thing to notice about ‘A Star’ is the nice loading screen and annoyingly, loading protection to stop me messing about with the code easily, grrr.  On loading we see the following info:
A new star?  A crushing wall of super fame?  Surviving Hollywood?  Handling media fallout?  Sex, drugs and exposure?  How tremendously exciting!  If this build up is to be believed we have quite a mixed adventure ahead of us, involving not only excitement but the gamut of genres too.  My first guess was it was a text adventure, and on pressing a key to start I discovered I was wrong.

What follows is a scrolly, rally-ish game in which you must find the path through the wall that rushes towards you.  The shift key acts as a rudimentary gearstick and allows the player to move at twice the speed, in fact most times you will not be able to reach the safe pathway without it.  I must confess I’m struggling to fully make the leap of imagination that links the actual game with its star spangled description.  I can imagine a game like this being advertised in the back of a magazine during the 80’s with a suspicious absence of ‘in game’ screen shots, and the many times bitten customer parting with their cash in exchange for weary disappointment.

I do love simple games though, so as long as you don’t mind character based movement there’s nothing really wrong with this and, like me, you might find it good fun.  The High Score challenge starts at a pitiful 90 (I know the one above shows 39 but I did reach 90- honest!).


There are some nice crap effects for ‘Game Over’, such as a machine code loop to colour the screen that is slowed down enough to be BASIC!  The main game engine is BASIC and it calls upon some machine code subroutines, and I’m a little puzzled why the intro screen is printed using a very fast unrolled print loop instead of BASIC’s ‘PRINT’ (it’s very nicely done though).

A Star is a simple game that uses ASCII graphics and has a massively inflated and misleading storyline.  As such it is most welcome in this years competition.  Thankyou Darken!

HACK SACK   Easier wall POKE 25989,31: 25990,210

                        Download the disassembly here.

Tipshack:        Use the Shift key most of the time, and when at either far edge be ready to come back to the centre before you see the wall.

Download the game here.

1 comment:

  1. Something I failed to make clear, in fact did the opposite in fact, is that the foe in the game is not a wall but a metaphorical falling sky or ceiling. Darken made this clear in his original email and I missed this fact.