Get your friends and bust out the controllers, STARDUST VANGUARDS is a local four-player dueling game inspired by old-school anime space operas, combining arcade-style battling with the ability to summon your own NPC army as support!
User reviews:
Very Positive (56 reviews) - 83% of the 56 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 30, 2015

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About This Game

Get your friends and bust out the controllers, STARDUST VANGUARDS is a local four-player dueling game inspired by old-school anime space operas, combining arcade-style battling with the ability to summon your own NPC army as support!

Each battle is unique with the game's random event system, forcing players to respond to dozens of potential surprise attacks by computer-controlled space pirates. The pirates can even win the whole battle themselves so perhaps a temporary truce is in order? STARDUST VANGUARDS brings fast-paced dueling, a dash of strategy, and plenty of bullets to competitive couch-multiplayer fans.


  • Lightning-fast local (shared screen) multiplayer dueling that rewards precision
  • Summon reinforcements as you earn reinforcement points (RP) by taking out enemies
  • Random event system with dozens of NPC space pirate scenarios. Trivial line attacks, pincer tactics, transport convoys, mercenary squads, fleet blitzkriegs, and more!
  • Space pirates are gunning to win the battle themselves. Will you team up with your rivals to stop them or use the moment to your advantage?
  • Unlock 13 different battlefields each offering unique offensive and defensive strategies
  • Deathmatch, Team Battles, Conquest (King of the Hill), and Space Ball Mode (soccer style capture the flag)
  • Cooperative Mode for 1 to 4 players with shared lives across three different difficulties and an endurance mode through all three
  • Custom Deathmatch options let you build your perfect battle. Infinite ammo, swords only, reinforcement variables, pirate event regularity, and more!
  • Rocking in-game soundtrack


STARDUST VANGUARDS is a local multiplayer game (with no online functionality) and is recommended to be played with 4 Microsoft Xbox 360 controllers. The keyboard can alternatively be used as an input for one player.

System Requirements

SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7 or higher
    • Processor: 1.5 GhZ (w/ SSE2 instruction set support)
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2.0 Support (generally anything newer than 2004)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: K/B can be used as an input for one player. At least one additional Microsoft Xbox 360 controller required (or direct input device equivalent). Looks best in 1080P (1920x1080) or 720P (1280x720).
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or higher, SteamOS+
    • Processor: 1.5 GhZ (w/ SSE2 instruction set support)
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2.0 Support (generally anything newer than 2004)
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: K/B can be used as an input for one player. At least one additional Microsoft Xbox 360 controller required (or direct input device equivalent). Looks best in 1080P (1920x1080) or 720P (1280x720).
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (56 reviews)
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45 reviews match the filters above ( Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
38 of 43 people (88%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 15, 2015
I highly reccommend this game. One of my favorite games on steam. Oh, and if you are reading this Zanrai, PLEASE add online play. Sure, it's not as good as local, but it's better than solo. I don't have many friends to play locally.
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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 13, 2015
Stardust Vanguards is a local-multiplayer title, and I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to rope anyone in to playing with me. Regardless, I put some extra time in to get as good a feel for the title as I could, and I’m pretty confident I gave the overall experience a fair shake.

Stardust Vanguards is a pretty straightforward game, pitting the player characters as the eponymous “Vanguards” against sinister space pirates bent on bringing anarchy to the galaxy. Each of the four playable characters is roughly identical aside from aesthetic differences, and comes equipped with the same basic gear. Players are set with a beam sword to act as a primary weapon, a limited-ammo ranged attack, a shield, and the ability to call in reinforcements by spending points earned by defeating enemies. Play can be cooperative, with players working alongside the others to defeat the pirates, or versus games including Deathmatch, Team Battle, and king-of-the-hill style Conquest.

While Stardust Vanguards is definitely focused on the multiplayer aspect, it’s entirely possible to play alone. The cooperative game mode allows for a difficult but doable single-player experience, and is a great place to hone your skills when you’ve got nobody handy to take up another controller. I’d really love to see some AI bots thrown in the mix to allow team-ups and versus battles when flying solo, or perhaps online support for those of us who’d rather connect with friends that aren’t in the same room, but developer Zanrai Interactive was very upfront about the local-only support, so it wasn’t something I expected — just something I think would really top this title off.

Stardust Vanguards doesn’t offer a ton of variety to play, but it does a great job with what it has. Gameplay is frantic and requires lightning reflexes and precision to be successful. Since your ranged weapons are, by default, extremely limited in ammunition, you’re going to do most of your combat up close, meaning you’ll need to be razor sharp with your sword and shield usage to avoid the cold clutches of death. While enemies and projectiles don’t exactly fly at breakneck speeds, there’s more than enough quantity to make the going tough as you try to overcome common foes or fellow Vanguards.

Stardust Vanguards is, at its core, a well-made game for players that have plenty of local players to jump in on the fun. With a $9.99 price tag on Steam, I’d hesitate to recommend it unless you’re really set with that, though. Since there’s no online play, and the single-player options are very limited, it’s tough to see most of today’s gamers getting their money’s worth out of this one. With plenty of game styles and custom rules to play around with, it’s certainly not without merit, but I think the reality is that the lack of online support is a serious shortfall. Perhaps if a future update adds this in, I’ll reconsider this, but as it stands today, I’m hard-pressed to feel like I can recommend this one to anyone but the dedicated “couch co-op” crowd. Overall 6/10.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2015
It's like a 4-way bullet hell game in space.

You pilot your Totally-Not-a-Gundam around the screen and try to kill all your friends.

Everything is a one-hit-kill, but you can reflect projectiles with your blade or use a Super Smash Bros. -style bubble shield to block. Alternatively, there's a little dash you can use to dodge or close in on an enemy.

The game gets really interesting when players collect "RP", because spending RP lets players call in units from offscreen. The more RP a player spends at once, the more units spawn in that wave, even spawning large cruisers with fighter complements when the player uses a full RP meter.

Every minute or two, special events happen. These are typically pirate attacks, where tons of NPC ships flood the map and try to kill *everybody*. There are also VIP targets of opportunity and bounties set on players who are doing really well. This keeps everyone on their toes and shifts the balance of power around enough that nobody ever really feels safe.

If you get tired of killing your friends, you can try your hand at the survival mode, which pits the four of you against increasingly-difficult waves of pirates and severely limits your ability to call in support. Alternatively, you can play Space Ball, where two teams compete to smack the Space Ball into a goal zone, much like air hockey or foosball.

It's great as a local co-op game, but at the time of this writing there's no online component. If you can't get anyone to play this with you locally, the only thing you can really play is the survival mode. It's not enough content for a solo player to really carry the game. Be warned that my recommendation comes ONLY with the assumption that you have enough people to play local co-op with, or a future update adding some form of online multiplayer.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 31, 2015
(Note: I've only played the single-player portion to any significant degree)

Although it's perhaps a little light on content for the price (especially for solo players), Stardust Vangaurds oozes style and boasts a rocking soundtrack to duke it out with friends to. With a few minor balancing tweaks in Co-op (keeping Reinforce points between waves to discourage just blowing them all constantly, always reloading bullets at wave-halfway marks rather than only if you're empty, allied ships sticking around rather than puttering off randomly) and perhaps some cheesy pixel style cutscenes, this would be almost perfect. Happy to see Zanrai coming out swinging with the first release.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 3, 2015
Stardust Vanguards is a fantastic game for local play.
(Note that there is NO ONLINE MULTIPLAYER, only local co-op & local multiplayer)

There are quite a few "local multiplayer only" games on Steam these days, and if you like those sorts of games, you will like this game!

The singelplayer consist of Wave Survival with 4 difficulties and it's really challenging. But it can get a little bit monotonous in the long run. But the multiplayer is where the game shines, it's fast, hectic, tactical, skill-based and very good for trash talking with your friends.

The game could do with some minor polishing though. I'll list pros and cons below.

Rewards tactical and skilled players.
Punishes button-mashers.
Fantastic with some friends.
Plays well on keyboard. (though a controller is recommended)
Good selection of game modes for multiplayer.
Good selection of maps.
Sound effects are great.

Somewhat monotonous singelplayer in the long run.
Menu transitions can be really slow and annoying.
The game quits to the main menu after each finished match.
The game doesn't teach you all the mechanics.
UI lacks information regarding remaining shield time and thruster heat build-up.
The music is nothing special, though that is a highly subjective opinion.

TL;DR - Got friends and controllers? Buy it!
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2015
This game is awesome. The developer managed to create a game with simple and limited mechanics that is SUPER FUN to play. It is impressive how such a simple game can be so good.

+ Pros:
+ Beautiful pixel art;
+ Gundams!
+ Fast-paced-1-shot-death gameplay;
+ Bullet reflection through sword swing at right timing;
+ Balanced, because it is only skill-based;
+ Limited ammo and ally droids forces you to use you sword frequently;

- Cons:
- No online multiplayer (PLEASE CODE THIS, DEVELOPERS! I know fast-paced games usually present problems about online gaming, but the users still need it!);

I certainly recommend this! It is an awesome game and it is definetely better with your couch party friends. It is not so good alone, but it is still pretty fun.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19, 2015
TLDNR: I Bloody love Stardust Vanguards very much.
Let me start off by saying I really love Stardust Vanguards a lot. Stardust Vanguards is a great Local multiplayer game, but unfortunately no online multiplayer. It has some of the most fun 4 player craziness. The deathmatch is a lot of fun. Especially when you unlock the custom deathmatch. I had a friend over and we played deathmatch with infinite bullets, full reinforcement points, and the maximum amount of pirate encounters. There was so much happening on screen that it was hard to keep track of it all. It was still a ton of fun, me and my friend were just laughing and having a great time. Then we moved onto conquest mode. The mode was alright though nothing too special. It was your average king of the hill style game mode. Now that is out of the way let us move onto what I feel is the main event. SPAAAAAAACE BALL, yeah that is right Space Ball. In my opinion this was the most fun and fast gamemode. Me and my friend started it up and were greeted with a map with lots of walls, a ball in the middle, and a base on each side. We at first thought we were supposed to kick the ball into the other teams base, but it turns out that was not the idea of the game. It turned out were were supposed the get the ball back to our base using our swords, boost, and bodies to move the ball around. The ball almost never went where we wanted it to. It would rather just ricochet all over every wall, only sometimes hitting into our base. Sometimes we accidentally got it in the other persons goal. We played about 6 rounds of Space Ball before trying out the Co-Op part of the game. The Co-Op was your standered survive for as many waves as possible without losing all your lives.

+Great music
+Fast gameplay
+Amazing Deathmatch
+Supererd Space Ball
+Great looking retro graphics
+Great on the couch multiplayer
+Being able to hit bullets back at the enemy with your sword
+Great Framerate(over 700fps)

-No Online multiplayer
-Only okay King of the Hill game mode.

I love this game, but can not ignore the problems that hold it back from being a 10 for me so it is a 9/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
A very fun and fast mecha game to play with friends. However, I have no friends to play localy with so kind of defeats the purpose. Would love online multiplayer or a lan feature but still, really fun and highly recomended

-simple controls
-actuon packed combat
-great gameplay
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 17, 2015
Saw these guys at SXSW and just had to pickup the game. Had an amazing time playing 4 player battles in my living room after the convention. The game is simple to understand and hard to master perfect for this genre. The new update coming up should give it some nice polish as well.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 21, 2015
An interesting mix of mecha and anime with simple visuals and awesome music.
Playing it with friends is what makes this game great.
Playing it solo...not so much.
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Recently Posted
1.5 hrs
Posted: July 19
Great Game! Recommend to bring friends If you want an intense Mecha/Gundam Shoot Em Up Battle!
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1.1 hrs
Posted: July 6
Game is fun, fast, light. If you carry around a set of controllers, you can waste time at your job or school playing this.

A must for old school gamers and Gundam-Robotech fans.
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wooby dooby doo
3.6 hrs
Posted: July 2
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weeb trash
0.4 hrs
Posted: June 28
Amazing game, but really, really needs online multiplayer.
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|TOM| Mægh†y-Muƒƒins©
1.2 hrs
Posted: June 27
Alright... about 20 minutes into this I can easily say 'Get it now'. And by now, I mean while it's on sale at .99 cents. It's a steal, even if you play *local* co-op once in a blue moon. You can always play waves vs. the computer as well.

This game oozes 16 bit mecha style. The soundtrack is great as well.

Playing as something like a gundam in a sort of twin-stick shooter. You can engage your shields. Slice enemies with your energy sword, which also can bat away bullets with a well-timed movement. Or shoot some sort of energy gun with limited ammo. It goes all the way up to bullet hell levels.

So... if you like bullet hell, mecha, modern 16 bit intrepretations and saving money - this game is for you. There's nothing wrong with saving money, or eating before sundown.
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1.6 hrs
Posted: June 25
TL;DR Fun guaranteed! Buy this if you're looking for some local multplayer fun when it's on sale.
This is the first review I write on Steam because I think that this game deserves a lot more attention.
Slight note of caution: If you got no one to play with and are looking for online multiplayer you should not buy this.

At first glance, this game looks like ♥♥♥♥ weird. It also looks like a huge mess. The graphics appear to be outdated and they definitely are.
But if you don't really care about visuals and think the playability aspect is way more important anyways, like I do, then be assured: It's good. It turns out not to be a huge mess since you will be focussing on your character most of the time anyways. And after learning what everything is and how it works it's actually pretty fine. To be honest, you could also just use the "you get used to it" excuse and keep in mind that it is a 1 Euro game.

It is comparable to multiplayer games like Melee. This means you have to bring friends or just force your brothers to play with you. You will see that the menu navigation is clunky and you might experience some weird bugs (like the game's resolution randomly changing). Every controller connected can control the menu. This is an ideal opportunity for your little brother to annoy the hell out of you and see him embracing the troll within himself. It is at least good for some laughs and goofs.

The thing that is making this game so good is the gameplay. You get to choose from four colours, each one of them representing a team. You then fly around in space and do stuff.
The controls feel very fluid and comfortable. The animations are pretty lame.
You can swing your sword, fire some auto-targetting bullets (ammo exists so you can't spam that) or just block everything with your shield that breaks after some time.
For extended mobility you can also dash which can lead to some insane anime battles and you can even call some allies to help you out.

This, on the other hand, costs Reinforcement Points (RP) which can be gained by killing other team members or NPCs/Pirates.
But you lose your RP after dying and the risk of getting caught while charging to call for help is high.
So you want to be in a safe position to call them. This makes you want to have a strategy as this game rewards tactical play:
Charging in spamming sword-swing will lose against a well timed counter swing after blocking.
Running away too much abusing your dash makes you unable to use your dash again for some time as your suit overheats.
You have a spawn shield that runs out after a short time that can be interrupted by attacking but wether you do it or not is in your hand. It all depends on the situation you are in. There exists a depth.

There are two Gametypes to choose from: Co-operative and Versus.
You can either clear out some waves of Pirates and try to survive or make your friends and their NPCs explode by slashing, shooting and styling on them in Deathmatch. You can also play King of the Hill and even have Spaceball (Glory to Spaceball!).
The various modes make you adapt and change your game plan everytime.
Honestly, Versus is way more fun than co-op as there is more stuff to do.
You will see yourself having unlocked everything quite fast, as you unlock new stuff by playing the new stuff you have unlocked just before. And there is not that much to unlock to begin with.
The way the game is right now is more than fine. It is an excellent game overall.

I came with low expectations thinking I got nothing to lose and was actually pleasantly surprised.
So, if you have one spare €uro, a bunch of controllers and friends/family that are nerds like you and willing to play a video game you can prepare for a great time.
Also, your favourite Anime is ♥♥♥♥.
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[MGK] lolhaxman
0.3 hrs
Posted: June 24
Unity game developed by someone who isn't Team Reptile
>Controller Support is terrible

Otherwise 10/10
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1.3 hrs
Posted: June 23
Simple, yet fun and engaging game for people that still stay true to local multiplayer.
During the sales it'd be a waste not to buy this game.

There`s just one thing that's holding me off from playing it further in survival mode:
I appearently have too good reflexes for this game.
If I hit an enemy and instantly face the opposite direction (commonly known as hit and run) Ill get knocked back inside the enemy, which is a simple to fix and minor bug, but it makes the game somewhat unplayable for me.
Hope that gets fixed soon
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0.4 hrs
Posted: May 6
"It's like Bomberman, but Gay"
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1.8 hrs
Posted: April 8
Shake your laser sword to defeat drones. Basically the North Korean defense agency. 10/10
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