Star Goose logo

STAR Goose can best be described as a surreal shoot 'em-up combined with elements from Marble Madness and Slap Fight. Developed by Steve Cain and Graham Everett, it bears their very professional stamp of presentation throughout. The Marble Madness overtones stem from the landscape, which scrolls vertically. It is made up from hills, banks and concave slopes which ensure the game is not just another vertical scrolling shoot 'em-up.

The aim of the game is for your Star Goose to reach checkpoints at the end of each level while obliterating anything which stands in its way.
Equipped with a standard blaster and missiles the game takes a light hearted view of absolutely mindless destruction.

While you advance, small pods can be collected which replenish ammo, fuel and shield status. Without these the game will not last very long. The action can be broken by entering a tunnel which allows your goose to collect egg shaped energy orbs giving a boost to the fuel status.

The variety of enemies and the quality of animation are the most striking features of Star Goose. Each alien seems to have its own character and pattern for movement. Generally the graphics are acceptable rather than stunning.
Sonically Star Goose is none too impressive, the programmers have ported the sound from the ST so the music and spot effects are very tiny.

As with most games from the authors of Star Trek and Black Lamp, the gameplay is initially very difficult but once mastered soon becomes compelling. However, once you reach this stage, and you get over the surreal graphics, the game becomes a touch monotonous as the action does not vary.


Star Goose logo

Logotron
£24.95

The authors of Firebird's Black Lamp, Steve Cain and GP 'Kenny' Everett, have put their heads together again to produce Logotron's latest shoot 'em up, the unusually titled Star Goose.
The Star Goose of the title refers to the oddly-shaped craft which the hero of the piece, one Mr Scouser-Gitt, has to pilot over the geodesic landscape of Nom in his search for the Nommians' jewels.

After being dropped from a mother ship the first of three Star Geese begins the negotiation of the vertically scrolling Nommian landscape. Made up of angular sloping hills and valleys, the Star Goose hugs the contours of the ground as it moves along, altering its orientation as it does so.

The Nommian defences are made up of gun emplacements, static mines and small fighter craft which whizz around the landscape. The surface of Nom is also littered with hazardous liquid-filled pools into which the Geese can fall and are destroyed.

The current Star Goose has shield, fuel, ammo and missile supplies which are constantly drained during play. Shields, fuel and ammo can be replenished by flying into the corresponding entrances which are guarded by a blue metal face whose mouth opens to allow the Goose access.

A tunnel is then entered which has a series of large eyes dotted along its inner walls. The Star Goose can be manoeuvred around the tunnel interior and collecting the eyes progressively restocks the supply in question. Missiles are simply collected by flying through gateways along the route.

At first sight, Star Goose looks quite interesting, and the way in which the craft follows the contours of the ground is really captivating. Unfortunately, the gameplay fails to fulfil the promise of the graphics (is this becoming a trend on the Amiga?) and you're left with a shoot 'em up of very little variety, and one or two annoying design faults.

The aim of each level is to collect six differently coloured jewels, and then re-enter the portal from which the Star Goose appeared. A similar but more fiercely defended landscape is then entered, and the process repeated.

Destroying many of the obstacles and emplacements is made difficult by dint of the fact that the Goose can only shot objects on the same level as itself. Your bullets fly uselessly into the air or simply hit the ground when moving up and down slopes, respectively. So gun emplacements sitting on top of small hills are almost impossible to shoot - you usually end up ramming it and wasting your shields. One could then argue that this is a job for the missiles - but guess where the missile fire buttons are? Yes! On the keyboard - and it's not even one key - you have to prime and fire the twin missiles individually using the 'A' or 'Alt' keys. A minor quibble, but one which I found really annoying, considering the precision needed to guide the Goose in the first place.

As the hero says in the intro: '... they're so boring. If you've scrolled over one planet blasting away at God-knows, you've scrolled 'em all'. I couldn't agree more, you Scouser-Gitt.


Star Goose logo

Logotron, £29.95 disk

Scouser-Gitt, probably the best, but most unemployable, one-legged space fighter pilot this side of the Orion Nebula, has got a job. All he has to do is pilot his Star Goose fighter over the eight vertically-scrolling surfaces of the planet Nom's supply rings, collecting six precious crystals as he goes.

The Noms are not ones to leave their crystals unprotected, though. The Chief Nom has posted his best Nom Warriors in strategic positions on the rings' surface, where they can use Nom missiles and Nom Heavy-Light blasters to knock seven shades of Tipp-Ex out of Scouser-Gitt and his ilk - unless he can do it to them first.

To deflect Nom projectiles, the Star Goose comes with a handy deflector shield which requires constant topping it up as it takes hits. Energy, shots and missiles can be replenished by flying through tunnels on the ring's surface and collecting large stone eyes. Doesn't life get weird now and then?


Kati Hamza I settled down with the joystick, sure that any game with such an unlikely title had to be good. Wrong: Star Goose is a pretty average vertically-scrolling blast. There's very little variation during or even between the levels, the only real event being to enter the 3D eye-collection sequence - and even that just isn't exciting. The game is well catered for graphically, but the music sounds just like an ST. A great disappointment after Star Ray.
Paul Glancey The package claims that Star Goose is 'the first truly original vertical scroller in years' - but after the impressive opening sequence, I was shocked to find this was really nothing special at all. I found play really bland, not to mention difficult. My past experience with shoot 'em ups compelled me to get the Star Goose going at a moderate speed, but this only made crashing inevitable. In fact, your only real chance in the game is to fly at very slow speeds, and this draws the levels out longer than my patience could stand.