Virtually every Playstation Network title I have ever reviewed before could be summed up roughly by saying, “It’s a bit like (insert other well-know game here)” but I certainly can’t say the same for Stardrone.

For starters, it’s a 2D game which uses the Playstation Move peripheral, which is unusual in itself. It has colourful and bright graphics, which make you think “retro” without actually being so, and it is very fast moving indeed. Each level starts with you firing your Stardrone out of (effectively) a cannon in your chosen direction, where it heads off into the void, travelling faster and faster as it collects stars — until it hits something nasty and you die. The twist is that you don’t directly control the drone, rather you use the Move controller to highlight any of the many “hitch” points on each level which tether your drone, and drag it towards them, until your drone is simply whizzing around and around the tether point like a catherine wheel. Then, you release the button and the drone flies off in a different direction. You use this method to navigate around the levels to complete the various objectives — collect all the stars, kill all the floating enemies, collect parts of a giant star, etc — simple.

Or at least it starts out simple, but like many PSN games, it quite quickly gets very difficult indeed. The retro feel to the graphics extends to the gameplay — and old games were punishingly hard. There’s no mid-level checkpoints here, you soft flabby modern gamer, you. While you do have a shield (which can be replenished), many levels have spikes and black holes, both of which instantly kill you. Others have bomb-like enemies which, in theory, you can hit several times without depleting your shield and dying. Except when they blast you into a field full of other bombs and/or spikes — whereupon it is game over and you’re back to the start of the level. This happens a lot.

Stardrone has a very arcade feel to it, plus it has target times and leader boards which will definitely appeal to the competitive gamers out there. It can get frustrating when you’ve played the same level over and over again and failed every time, but that does mean that when you finally crack it the satisfaction is immense. The game even revels in its own difficulty by awarding you the “Epic Fail” Trophy for failing twenty times in a row. How do I know? Because I have that bloody Trophy.







2 responses to “Stardrone”

  1. paul avatar

    I bought this last week and have yet to play it. It was cheap on PSPlus so thought may as well. I am def THAT type of gamer so I will be playing this v soon.

  2. Alex avatar

    Yep, got it too its really unusual.
    Paul, whats your leaderboard position?

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