Written by  :  Roedie (5253)
Written on  :  Jul 08, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Feels more like a tech demo than a real game

The Good

Star Goose! is a space shooter. A weird one. That's good cause weird usually means interesting. First of all you're a goose and you pilot a craft that's not floating in space but one that's gliding along the the metal surface of, what I presume is, some huge space ship or space station. Instead of traditionally fighting your way through the level to catch up with some end-boss, you need to collect 6 colored crystals in each level. Have you missed a gem during your first run through the level? No problem. Since every level loops around infinitely you can get them on your second run. Once you've got all crystals you can enter a warp point to the next level. Often it is actually better to take out all the missile launchers first and get those gems later.

Power ups are not collected during regular play but during weird bonus runs through tunnels. These tunnels are reproduced with vector graphics. Inside you swing your ship from left to right to collect blue eyes. Those eyes replenish either your fuel, ammo or shield depending on the color of the tunnel. Why?... it's all a mystery to me.

Most space shooters, like R-Type are very frantic. However Star Goose! is rather sedate. The game lets you determine the pace by whitch you advance through the levels. By pressing the up-key you increase your speed and the down-key is your brake. When you keep the down-key pressed down your ship crawls along. In this game your chances of survival are the largest if you take it slow. Furthermore, the relative scarcity of enemies and the fact that the most dangerous enemies are stationary enemies means you're never under pressure. Another reason why the game is relatively easy is that when you die (and don't exit the program) you start your next game at the beginning of the level in which you died. The result is a game you finish in a weekend. If you're an experienced gamer with fast reflexes you'll probably find Star Goose! boring. Other people may enjoy it because they actually have a chance of finishing it.

The opening tune is nice and the great pseudo 3D graphics are by far the best aspect of the game (go ahead and read Trixter's review cause he explains it better than I can).

The Bad

  • Very repetitive scenery & gameplay. Sure at first the 3D graphics look great, but why does every level have to look the same? The same colors are used in every level. The levels themselves are also very repetitive. There's nothing that sets one level apart from another.
  • Dead ends. The game doesn't allow you to turn around and fly in the opposite direction (or put it in reverse), and the overhead view means you won't notice you took a wrong path until you're about to die.
  • Cheap deaths. There are some sections where, at first, death is unavoidable. In level 1 for instance you will instinctively enter a tunnel to replenish your shield. The moment you leave the tunnel you're killed by a missile. There's no way you can escape this.... rather cheap. Only then you learn you first need to go past the tunnel, disable the missile launcher behind it and then you can enter the tunnel if you need a second run to complete the level.
  • No decent ending, no bosses. After you've completed level 8 you're sent straight back to either level 2 or 3 (not sure) and the whole thing starts all over again.
  • Like I mentioned before, some people may find it way too easy & boring.

The Bottom Line

A space shooter with cool pseudo 3D graphics that introduces some cool ideas but fails to fulfill its potential. With some extra variety it could have been so much better.