Stellar 7

Moby ID: 39286
Apple II Specs
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Gir Draxon, Supreme Overlord of the Arcturan Empire has declared war on the Terran Federation. The leaders of Earth respond by sending the Terran Fleet on their way to Arcturus to intercept Draxon's armada. But this was a deadly mistake: the Arcturans have discovered warplinks, which allow them to transport troops from one link to another instantaneously, even across vast interstellar distances. With the fleet halfway across the galaxy, the enemy has already reached the Sol system and occupied Saturn's moon Titan. Now, humanity's only hope is the experimental Raven armored vehicle. One courageous pilot must take the Raven through seven different star systems, from Titan to Arcturus, defeating any and all Arcturans, using the warplinks to travel from one system to the next.

Stellar 7 is a first-person action game inspired by Atari's Battlezone, with similar wireframe graphics. In each of the seven levels, the player must defeat a number of enemies. Doing so reveals the warplink that takes the Raven to the next system.

Next to a cannon, the Raven is equipped with radar, shields, and a cloaking device. The cloak drains the energy level of the vehicle substantially, and the depletion of the energy reserves or the shields destroys the Raven. Some of the levels include fuel bays that allow the player to recharge the energy.

Various enemies await on the different worlds. These include both ground vehicles (sleds, tanks, hovercraft) and aircraft as well as stationary laser turrets, homing bombs, robot drones and more. All enemies vary in firepower, speed and armor ratings. An in-game mission briefing introduces most adversaries, but some special ones come as surprises.

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Critics

Average score: 68% (based on 3 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)

Totally intense, white-knuckle reflex 1st-person tactical shooter I never won.

The Good
Wait a minute: The DOS version dates only to 1990? In the mid-Eighties, I coulda sworn I played this wireframe-graphics, 1st-person POV game called Stellar 7 on my Commodore 64, loaded from an original-label Dynamix 5-1/4" disk dated 1984 or so, at least well before their similar C64 Arcticfox! Maybe your DOS version's graphics look more like the solid-polygon Nova 9 which I remember playing on PC in the early 90's. Regardless, it was the gameplay lessons I learned from C64 Stellar 7 which got me to a comparable level in Nova 9. On the C64, Stellar 7 was unusually fast-paced for the kind of graphics crunched thru its 1 MHz CPU; the frame rate would put most Windows AutoCads to shame. In order to survive, one moment at a time, you must coordinate your reflexes/spider-senses with short-term strategy via your directional radar. Same graphics engine as Arctifox but enemy threats are more direct, relentless and numerous. Since it's 3-d there are infinite ways to get through any given level of the titular seven, but you will discover certain maneuvers which work best in their applicable tactical situation.

The Bad
C64's digital all-or-nothing joysticking for slew rate, plus absolutely no control over cannon elevation, which could've come in real handy for aerial targets. Don't even try to convince me that this game is a "tank"-simulator--there's no turret traverse! "Terrain" as well as enemy configurations only scroll over the span of one radar screen, so anything you run away from, you run into again on the other side, pac-man-style! However, that forces your tactical play to emphasize efficient, head-on kills, rather than avoidance or stealth. Also in the minus column, your cloaking function doesn't make you invisible enough to justify its exorbitant expenditure of your precious energy. However, in the C64 version I noticed no overabundance of power-ups, contrary to DOS reviews!

The Bottom Line
It makes a good Articfox trainer, but otherwise don't waste your time (at least on the C64 version).

Commodore 64 · by Jim Dohring (8) · 2003

Trivia

How to Squeeze an Arcade Into Your 64

Stellar 7 on the Commodore 64 appeared in an article by Julian Rignall in Zzap! (Issue 3 Jul 85 p80) about how accurate to the arcade original, Battlezone it was based on. It scored 87%.

Penguins

Most Penguin Software (or Polarware) games contain a humorous little remark about Penguins on the back cover of their games. In this case it is "Penguins have yet to defy gravity." Since this is some sort of a Penguin software "trademark" it is only featured on the Penguin software release of the game, not on other package variations from other companies.

Sales

According to the magazine Retro Gamer, the Apple II version sold about 8.000 copies in 1982.

Awards

  • Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #22 'It's the Zzap! 64 Top 64!'

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: partykiller, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added February 16, 2009. Last modified March 10, 2024.