Moonpod's Starscape mixes old school arcade game play values with characterization and an involving plot to deepen the whole experience. With most of its crew missing and its weapons systems ruined, the space research station Aegis is all but lost.
User reviews: Positive (30 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 27, 2003
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About This Game

Moonpod's Starscape mixes old school arcade game play values with characterization and an involving plot to deepen the whole experience.

With most of its crew missing and its weapons systems ruined, the space research station Aegis is all but lost. As the last remaining pilot you must help rebuild the station's defenses, acquire alien technology and create your own uniquely configured set of fighters. By mining the asteroids within the grid dimension, valuable resources can be harvested to fuel the Aegis's molecular furnace to build devastating weaponry. Within the nodes of the grid you will encounter allies to aid in the struggle to escape, uncover the terrible purpose of the evil Archnid race and learn why you and the rest of the crew were brought here.

  • Beautifully rendered 32bit colour graphics
  • 800x600 resolution
  • Thumping music sound track and sound effects
  • Five different weapon technology threads to find and research, only the first is available in the demo
  • Five different zones to explore, only the first is available in the demo and the rest are much much bigger
  • Make alliances with friendly aliens and trade technology
  • Direct and protect your space station as it fights alongside you
  • Create your own "garage" of unique space fighters tailored to your own specifications
  • Mine the asteroids, gather raw elements, research new technologies and build new items
  • Recover the missing drive components and rescue your missing crewmates before escaping "The Grid".

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Windows
    • Processor: Pentium II 300 MHz or higher
    • Memory: 128Mb or more free system memory
    • Hard disk space: 100Mb
    • DirectX version: DirectX 8 or higher
    • Video: Any Hardware 3D graphics accelerator with 32Mb or more of onboard memory
    • Sound: Any DirectSound compatible soundcard
    • Controller: Any Direct compatible pad
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Interesting mix of shoot'em-up bullet hell games and 4X strategy. You can explore the Universe, fight through thousands of various enemy units, research new technologies, build a lot of stuff and experience the storyline, something that 4X games usually lack. The music is awesome, too.
However, the storyline itself is somewhat shallow, character depth is nonexistent, and the game only runs at 640x480 and 800x600, forcing you to play in Windowed mode, if you have a 16:9 monitor.
Overall, it's a great game, which I played for around 30 hours outside of Steam, and 13 more hours here. It's not worth the full price of 10 dollars/euros, because it's outdated, but you should definitely grab it during the sale.
Posted: October 11
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Even without the underlying story of fighting aliens, it's surprisingly fun to just shoot at asteroids and collect minerals.
Posted: June 25
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
This is actually a really fun game at first, when you are first upgrading and manipulating your ship. You can make missile boats, blaster-based ships, you get option drones to fire when you shoot, and so on. Mining is actually somewhat interesting to fool around with early on.

It, however, gets repetitive, starting with mining, and then upgrading, and finally the combat. The final ship components cause all end-game ships to look the same, and the final boss has a stupid mechanic which requires you to either have a way more responsive ship than the game gives you, or to angle a shot in a way that gives you a generally unsatisfying win because you didn't do the high-agility maneuvers that it feels like you should do. It caps the game off with not even allowing you to have a solid victory in the final "cutscene."

Overall, a good 75% of a game marred by an overly repetitive final zone. If you don't mind this, and the late 90s graphics, go ahead and get it! It's actually pretty fun, reminiscent of Asteroids with an upgradeable ship and uh, better graphics, though still a far cry from anything you'd call "modern."
Posted: July 30
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1 of 7 people (14%) found this review helpful
25.6 hrs on record
Basically Starscape is somewhat fun, and I played through it a long time before I got it on steam, then I played half through and the past days I finished it. The game has nice mechanics, but it is repetitive. The story could be interesting, but somehow isn't really in the end.

There are only 2 things which really bother me about it.
1: The resolution is limited to 800x600, which brings a lot of problems on newer hardware, and that resolution even bothered me way back then.

2: There are achievements for finishing the game on Easy, Normal and Hard. As opposed to common sense, finishing hard does not give the other 2 achievements as well, so you'd need 3 playthroughs to get all achievements, which is ridiculous.
If someone has endgame saves for easy and normal, please take a look at the discussion section of this game, it'd be cool to have thos 3 saves here so the achievements could be achieved properly.

So yeah, with those flaws and after all this time it's jut not worth 10€ anymore. If it's ever on sale again you might consider grabbing it if the points above don't put you off.
Posted: August 11
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
28.1 hrs on record
Awesome game. Makes for a decent 4X style game. Can't really expand your ownings, but can research and ugprade equipment, explore the place, mine materials to improve your odds.
Very very fun, got 21 hours into it and a year later I'm coming back to play some more!
Posted: November 11, 2013
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
I have seen this game ten years ago. I bought it about five years ago from a non-Steam service and promptly lost the ability to play it. I saw it up on a flash sale and promptly bought it. It is a testament to the game that it's imagery stayed prominent for so long with me. Either way, the game is SPAZ before SPAZ existed. Do not buy it expecting the same polish from a game with a decade of tech advancement inbetween. That said, it's a fun romp through space mining resoruces, builing tech and blasting aliens.
Story is shaping up decent for the first hour of game too. We'll see where it goes.
Posted: January 30
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
This older game is a more modern take on the classic Asteroids platform. Shoot asteroids, suck up all the resources, use those resources for research and development against aliens, yes aliens!

It's showing it's age with the limited 2D art styles, but as a quick and easy pick-up-and-play for only US$10, it's quite worth the price of admission, especially with the sheer availability you will have on Steam.
Posted: November 21, 2010
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Interesting Bosconian / Asteroids space-mining crossover.
Posted: March 23
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Insanely addictive top-down space shooter which reminds me of Armada for the Dreamcast. I'm completely taken with this simple yet fun game. I love the leveling up mechanics, and though grinding meteors for minerals can get tiresome, the combat is challenging enough to make it worthwhile.
Posted: January 5, 2011
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
This was a lot of fun, well designed. Too short.
Posted: December 19, 2013
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2 of 8 people (25%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Don't buy.

- Lots of controller lag
- Only refreshes at about 30fps.
- Joystick support is terrible (no analog support)
Posted: March 8, 2013
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0 of 6 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Ah Starscape... what's not to love?

Space shooter? Nice.

Physics based handling? Not bad.

Upgradable ship designs? Pretty good!

Lots of semi-interesting characters with a less than vomit-inducing plot? Not great, but it could be worse.

So... what's not to love? Why's this a thumbs down vote?

Well... here's the rub: the handling on your ships is very realistic, but it's slow and clunky. I'm alright with that, normally. It requires some planning of momentum and some good piloting to be competent, and that's fine.

The problem is that the boss battles aren't designed for the controls nor the physics of the game. They assume perfect, pristine, pin-point keyboard turning in rapid order. I'm fine with that if the interface made such a realistic possibility. Unfortunately, starscape's boss battles are like waltzing into the olympics' figure skating event wearing cross country skiis.

It doesn't matter how good you are, the controls simply flat out SUCK for trying to fight the bosses, and player skill seriously only has a very small amount to do with it. Someone with godlike reflexes could theoretically get through in a few tries, but most of your boss battles involve being expected to start moving out of the way before a boss even begins to box you in, without knowing when or where that attack will come from. If your ship were even remotely possible to be set up to cope with that, great, but it's not.

Keyboard turning and physics-based thrust maneuvering simply doesn't work for the style of bosses that Starscape throws at you.

The rest of the game is fun and fine, a few minor nitpicks here and there, but it's good overall... but the act-ending bosses are mandatory, and they suck HARD. I don't mean "it's difficult", I mean it in the sense of "this is one of the worst design decisions I've ever seen anyone ever make... did they even play test this to see if it was fun?".

Any fun you get from the game will be sucked dry as soon as you're stuck in a boss battle, and since the controls and interface flat out aren't up to the task of fighting the bosses, it's going to make you pull your hair out over it. I highly advise staying the hell away from Starscape just in general. Unless you're a masochist, then go right ahead.

Anyway, to stress it again, there's a difference between "difficult" and "bad design and poor UI/controls". Having a ♥♥♥♥ poor interface does not equate to "difficulty", it just equates to being BAD.




Final Verdict:

Not worth it, even if it's on sale for $1. You'll probably break a keyboard that cost more than $1, even if you don't have a history of such, and are a pretty mellow person normally. While the game has lots of really good points to it, and does a lot of stuff very well, it's flaws are gamebreaking. When you put more effort into fighting the game's interface than you do fighting the boss, the game's a bust.


Score: About 35%. It has some really good stuff, but the flaws are devastating and overpower any potential the game had.
Posted: January 29, 2012
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1 of 9 people (11%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
This is the kind of game where, if they had more of a budget, they could've done really well with. Buuut it's just too repetitive now. Not enough features at all.

Fun story: I actually played the demo of this waaay back when it first came out. At the same time as Massive Assault (which as we all know is a game I absolutely love). I really wanted to get it back then, so I got it on Steam when I heard it existed. While it's not that great a game, I have zero regrets on the matter!
Posted: June 29, 2013
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11.3 hrs on record
Surprising depth of travel and customizations. Customize the weapons on the space station and have it back up your customized ship. Only single player. Tough learning curve on controls. You can see how the graphics are. Well worth 5 bucks. Ten? Maybe, if its your style.
Posted: October 7, 2011
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10.7 hrs on record
Starscape is a very pleasant combination of Asteroids with a plot and some other gameplay types: a bit of adventure, a bit of tactics, a lot of fun. You shoot asteroids to get resources (you need them to build parts or repair your fighter or base); all the while you're under attack by all sorts of enemy types. You can research new parts -- fighter hulls, engines, shields, weapons, batteries -- which you then need resources to build.

Time is paused while you are in your base station, so you can choose what manpower to allocate to research or building, and you can arrange parts onto fighter hulls to try new tactics. However, stuff doesn't progress until you get back out into the action. And don't take too much damage out there or you'll use up the resources you need for building new toys, and have to go get more. This is so fun!

I bought this (and Mr Robot, the other game by Moonpod) before it was available on Steam. I liked it enough that I bought it again on Steam. Nuff said.
Posted: September 29, 2011
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30.6 hrs on record
Any of you grow up playing SubSpace? That old online top-down space shooter, that could have been the first MMO? (lots of players per server, 'till the very end, and that game was OLD - the days of dial-up. Beat that.) Well, this game feels a bit similar to that and Asteroids - fly around in a spaceship, blow up asteroids, and like in SubSpace, collect stuff to make your ship cooler. But in this, you collect minerals from the asteroids and enemy capital ships with a tractor beam, and you can only hold so much before you have to drop it off in the hangar. To actually make stuff out of it, you have to do some R&D - research better stuff, then actually build it. Both actions take minerals, and there's only so many minerals per area. And they don't come back. Thankfully we have a dangerous zone with infinite resources. *gulp* Oh, and this will play on pretty much anything. Woo!
Posted: December 15, 2011
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13.9 hrs on record
An 80's-style adventure game where you are a fighter pilot assisting and defending the AEGIS, an exploratory vessel now lost in space and under attack by aliens. Help them by mining asteroids, researching technologies, outfitting the Aegis and assaulting alien space craft.
Posted: July 10, 2011
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25.3 hrs on record
If you like a great, addictive, arcade-style game? Than this is it. Starscape is a top-down view shooter that incorporates researching and constructing new tech such as weapons and ship components for your fighter and mothership. In order to do this, you have to mine minerals and save lost crew that you can assign to help speed up the research and build times. All the while, you're having to fend off and defeat the alien threat.

Have fun.
Posted: July 3, 2011
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16.1 hrs on record
It's fine. It's fun. It's retro. It's fine retro fun. Just give it a try.
Posted: July 16, 2013
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6.7 hrs on record
its suprisingly deep and fun!
Posted: September 29, 2011
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