Bladestar is a sci-fi cinematic action shooter featuring visually rich worlds with potentially endless enemies on each level. Defend the galaxy flying a Manta Starfighter through asteroid, mine, and debris fields while battling pirates, rebels, and aliens.
User reviews:
Mostly Negative (11 reviews) - 36% of the 11 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 15, 2016

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“You’ll be hard pressed to name another shooter which looks better than this.”
75/100 – walawalagames

About This Game

Bladestar is a sci-fi cinematic action shooter featuring visually rich worlds with potentially endless enemies on each level. Defend the galaxy flying a Manta Starfighter through asteroid, mine, and debris fields. Pilots can switch between three different weapons and collects numerous power-ups battling pirates, rebels, and aliens. Players can customize their pilots with upgrades and collect experience to unlock additional ship customizations.

Key Features

  • Over 50 action packed waves to conquer across 6 worlds.
  • Procedurally generated content means it is never the same game twice.
  • Eight powerful bosses.
  • Customize your play style by learning different pilot skills in the Skill Tree.
  • Over a dozen different enemies and obstacles.
  • Unlockable custom paint schemes.
  • Waves are beaten by collecting items. There are no timers and no need to destroy all the enemies.
  • Unlockable secret level.
  • 36 in game achievements which earn you experience.
  • Multiple endings.
  • Story and Arcade modes.
  • Partial Controller support.

Will you defend the frontier?

Our plan is to make Bladestar the first in a series of games set in this universe.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP or newer
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Negative (11 reviews)
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7 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Negative)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
I got this game because I was in the mood for a good-old-fashioned shooter, but I was tired of all the "retro" pixel or SNES graphics that seem to plague this genre. I understand this is an old-fashioned genre, but I like flashy graphics and I want to have my cake and be able to eat it too!

I am pretty pleased with this game overall. I have an older laptop (still runs with Vista) and this game played very well, there may have been some lag with the bosses, I'm not entirely sure, it was ever-so-slight if it was lag. And the game feels like a pretty solid shooter. Lots of fire on screen, lots of moving targets to hit and avoid, powerups to collect all while the game gets increasingly faster and more difficult.

This is a more old-school type shooter difficulty-wise as it is fairly unforgiving with one-hit kills, no more than one shield able to be stored at a time and no mid-way save points, so if I don't beat the boss of a level, I start all the way back at square one for that level. I do like that each wave is randomly generated, though, rather than just trying to remember a certain pattern to beat each wave every time.

The weapon system took a bit to get used to. Three different weapon types randomly appear throughout each wave, and the more of each specific weapon type I pick up, the stronger that weapon type becomes. However, there is no way to choose between the different weapons, so every time I pick up a weapon I am not currently using, it switches to that specific weapon. This makes for a game of go for the "good" weapon upgrades whilst trying to dodge the "bad" weapon upgrades (defined by personal preference) all while at the same time trying to collect the blue resource, dodge asteroids and enemy ship fire, and gain bonuses. But at least there is unlimited fire with each weapon type, as I hate having to be stingy with my ammo.

I really like the graphics though. They are sharp and colorful and pleasing to look at. Sometimes it's just nice to have a little eye-candy while destroying everything on screen. The music is nice and fluid as well, and I enjoy the rock music that plays, signalling the boss fights.

I'm also glad that this game comes with partial controller support (you still need your mouse for menu options) as I found it easier to play with the controller than with the keyboard and mouse. It seemed like there was some slight drifting when I played with the keyboard, the controller felt more solid. Although I would have liked a help page that told me what buttons did what. I had an issue with pressing "Pause" instead of "Options" whilst in-game because, when paused, I could not go back to the main menu, but when I pressed optons, then I could. Even though both of those buttons bring up the same options menu, when the game is paused, the "Main Menu" button is disabled for some reason.

All in all, I got this game to be a fun, old-school shooter with pleasing eye candy, and I got exactly what I was hoping for.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
A quick review:

I'm enjoying this so far.

The controll with a game pad (X360 pad) is pretty good. Nice assortment of powerups. The explosions are big and bombastic. Most importantly the game is pretty fun.

Leaderboards aren't working yet, but I'm told that should be fixed in a upcoming update in the near future.

Even without it, its a fun game and well worth your ten dollars especially considering its cheaper then a number of worse shoot-em-ups that are more expensive).
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
This is a fun scrolling shooter that is worth trying.

The game involves collecting little blue balls to beat waves. There are a variety of power-ups to pick up in your quest, and various enemies will try and kill you and get in your way as you pick up things. The game starts out pretty easy, but really starts to get tougher around World 3.

This is a shooter that has an old school feel despite the pretty 3D graphics. The most important thing in a game like this is control, and happily your ship controls very well. Movement felt natural and I quickly was able to figure out the weapon mechanic. Your ship can only take one hit. No life bars, just one hit. You can pick up shields, and you get extra lives.... but every moment is very edge of your seat due to this mechanic. The bosses are an interesting change of pace from the normal waves, but you need to figure out their pattern quickly due to how easy it is to die.

All that being said, I found time really got away from me playing this game, and before I knew it I was happily blasting my way through giant packs of green aliens. The art is great. The voice acting works, but doesn't stand out, and the music was fitting for the style.

The options are bare bones but functional.

Overall I had a blast playing this game. It is different from your normal shooter. It reminds me more of Galaga than anything released in the last 10 years. Very satisfying to blow up the enemies.

If you like shooters, especially "old school" shooters, this is one to try.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
I'd recommend this game to anyone looking for a classic arcade style scrolling shooter in the vein of Space Invaders but with much faster-paced action and prettier graphics. It's a lot of fun!
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
This game is a satisfying, space themed, shooter with fluid movement controls and it has an overall excellently polished feel to it. Bladestar is a bit reminiscent of the older arcade shooters and has a touch of Space Invaders meets Asteroids to its playstyle while still having all the fancy fire and explosions of the modern shooter. Game play is simplified down to a dodge, shoot, and collect tactic and yet maintains a highly challenging difficulty level.

It's easy to pick up and get into the game, and it's easy to just keep on playing.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
Old school vertical shooter with some more modern skillup features. Great for an evening of blowing up enemy spaceships, and decently difficult without being bullet hell.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
Bladestar. What a game! This is one that surprised me quite a bit. I've played quite a few scrolling shooters (ShMUps if you will) like this and was blown away that for $10, I'm getting voice acting, a heap of levels, a storyline, and more. They did a great job here and I definitely recommend it for the price. If you can get it on sale, even better, but for $10 you are definitely supporting a dev who put time and effort into this. The gameplay is typical for the genre, but this has been an addicting type of game since Galaga and it has been for a reason.

Check out my full video review here:
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Ladies and gentlemen allow me to inform you that Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen was not the only interesting title released on my birthday (January 16) this year. Of course it received the majority of the headlines and the water cooler discussion – online as well as off in gaming circles – but Fair Weather Studios’ first entry on Steam is well and truly worthy of your consideration. Unfortunately, for the most part it has been completely and utterly ignored. It’s a real pity. The game does a lot of things right and the majority of those who have played and reviewed it on Steam have walked away leaving positive remarks on the game.

Bladestar is yet another SHMUP, or an arcade action shoot ’em up, to add to your library if you’re a fan of the genre. Those who love the genre know that the really good ones are easy to learn and quickly become difficult to master. That is absolutely true here. In fact, I may have never seen such an easy shooter to begin with making it ideal for those who are interested in the genre but have been scared away from the tough as nails titles.

The majority of good games in a genre also have a point of difference that separates them from other games within the genre. The point of difference in Bladestar is one that I have enormous appreciation of. Instead of having to gun down as many enemies as possible your sole job in successfully completing each wave is to collect as much plasma as possible. Failure to do so will doom your home planet. This is introduced to you very well in story mode as the opening levels are without enemy fighters but there are traps in the form of asteroids that need to be avoided.

You may feel that the $9.99 asking price is a little high for a first time indie developer. You may be right. However, there has been a lot of effort into the game and the quality of the game is at such a level that I feel that you would be getting your monies worth. However, if you were to wait for a discount or a bundle you’d be getting an absolute steal. There is still time, however, as of posting this spotlight for you to take advantage of the 25% off Lunar Sale pricing. If you’re a SHMUP fan you’d be crazy not to pick it up at this price.

If I could offer one point of advice to the developers it would be add those those in game achievements to the Steam Achievements feature on Steam. That way not only are going to attract the card hunters – kudos on that – but also the achievement hunters as well. In game achievements are nice but to actually have them on Steam means as much if not more.

Bladestar is a great little SHMUP that I would highly recommend to newbies and die hards of the genre alike. Easy to learn but difficult to master. With more play time I can see this becoming one of my favorite games in the genre and certainly my ‘go to’ for some time to come.

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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
Although I am horrible at arcade shooters, this one is pretty fun! The graphics look great, making for a beefed up version of your classic arcade shooter.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Bladestar provides many hours of space shooter goodness. The game adds an interesting twist to the traditional shooter by having you collect resources scattered across the screen in order to progress. This mechanic really shakes things up and keeps you involved. Bladestar is very easy to pick up while still providing a challenge even those experienced with this genre. I would highly recommend this game.
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Recently Posted
1.8 hrs
Posted: July 6
I think that this game might be OK for casual shoot 'em up players. I grew up iin the 1980's playing them and they are my favourite genre of games ( I dislike bullet hell ).

I thought that I would like this but you can tell that the game is aimed at the casual gamer market, based on the frequent shield pickups and "entire screen destruction" smart bombs ( every few seconds ).

Things that I disliked:

- The neon colour scheme is blinding. The bullets are neon, the background planets have bloom and neon, the pickups are neon. The developer needs to tone down on the LSD lighting.

- In story mode, when you repeat a section, you hear the same voiceovers, with no way to skip past them. I was rolling my eyes at one point.

Things that I liked:

- The controls are smooth.

I was going to give this a thumbs up ( for the casual gamers ) but the blinding neon colours, with no way to actually differentiate the bullets from the background planet in wave 20-30 made me uninstall in disgust and request a refund.
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0.2 hrs
Posted: June 30
Played for about 5 minutes before basically maxing content.
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4.9 hrs
Posted: April 5
A fun shooter with good art and voice acting.
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7.4 hrs
Posted: January 22
I got the key from the developer to review the game.

Bladestar is a simple and to the point shoot 'em up and, while it does nothing to standout from the average, it manages to be competent in what it does -- with the exception of the very obfuscating backgrounds and poor choice of colors throughout. This makes it fall into the "No" category, but it may still appeal to fans of the genre.

Presentation-wise, it tries to be a more modern, realistic looking game, against the many 8/16-bit games that most people are saturated with. Most of the models are nothing to write home about, once again being rather generic. The alien ships are the exception, which look pretty cool! Unfortunately, they're only present in the third stage of the game.

It has a nice lighting system, which surprised me when I saw my ship actually casting shadows onto other ships and responding to explosions and the like. The problem is that it only affects ships, which, let's be honest, is barely noticeable in a frantic shmup!

A minor complaint I have is regarding the visual effects on power-ups: for explosions, shields, etc. the particle effects fit with the general theme -- when you pick power-ups, on the other hand, a few pixel-y particles are created, which seemed like a weird choice... not too important, but still something to be fixed.

Still in the visual department, here's the game's biggest problem, to me: the backgrounds.
First off, they're just a couple of static layers with parallax -- nowadays, something more could surely be done! The backgrounds simply loop, which is very obvious when you see the same huge planet scrolling for the fourth time.
The real problem, though, is how they always make bullets incredibly hard to see, and even to distinguish between different color-coded weapons and power-ups.

Each level has a theme. For consistency, both the backgrounds and the enemies' colors are the same. While this makes some sense, it also throws visibility out the window!
The first level was okay. The others, however, were all a problem. The third level had green splashes on the background, which blended with the enemies' green bullets. The fourth level was in a debris field -- where most of the obstacles in the level were debris as well! I often got hit because I couldn't distinguish a real obstacle in front of the background...
The weapon pick-ups come in different translucent colors, making them blend with the backgrounds as well. This is a problem, as you'll often either pick-up a type of weapon you don't want, or pick up a weapon because you didn't even see it!

It was by far the biggest source of frustration I had with the game. Not being very appealing, visually, is fine with me, but when it obfuscates the screen in such a precise genre, it bothers me a lot! Hopefully, the devs can fix this! Tone things down a bit.

The music didn't really stand-out to me. It was simply background music, in no way connected with the game.
The sound effects were serviceable as well, nothing too wrong with it. The levels seemed a bit off, at times, with some explosions being much louder than the other effects (mostly the end wave explosions), but nothing that bothered me too much.
Separate sliders for the music, voice and sound effects are always welcome, which the game had!

Control-wise, the game is pretty good! I played with a controller, and it responds well to the analogs, actually behaving like one!
The menus are not controlled with a controller, but a couple of clicks and you're in the game anyway. Would be better if it existed, but hey...
It's very straightforward, you move and you shoot. That's about it. There's an auto-shoot button, which is good! For the most part, I had that on, but the later levels did require finer control!

Onward to the actual game, now.

You control a ship that can only have one weapon at a time, out of 3 available. You can also have up to 2 drones at your side, each of them adding a bullet. There are 2 types of shields: one covering your whole ship, and small spheres that orbit around your ship. The former is destroyed when you're hit, while the latter can block bullets and stay strong, only being destroyed when it collides with an obstacle. All of these drop during the levels.

To beat a level, you don't actually need to destroy anything. There are little blue orbs that fall randomly that you need to collect X of to end each wave. Each level has 10 waves + a Boss fight. Needless to say, you actually do need to kill the bosses!
This little mechanic changes things a bit, but not enough to seem meaningful, in my opinion.

Weapons have different levels. Whenever you pick up a weapon, its level is incremented, and they max out at 8-10, if I recall correctly. This is an interesting thing. If you focus too much on pick only one type of weapon, you may have problems later, if you pick up a lower level weapon! On the other hand, if you want to balance them all out, you have to play slower, waiting for the weapons to drop.

There are various types of enemies as well. Some shooting ships, asteroids, and mines. The mines I've found the most interesting, gameplay wise.
With asteroids and ships you know what to expect. Mines, on the other hand, come with 2 types: EMP and ... bullet-shooting mines, for lack of an elegant word.
EMP mines destroy all of your ships if they're destroyed. The other mines explode into bullets, one in each of 8 directions.
Higher level weapons not only do more damage, but also have a larger spread -- which refers back to my previous point of not wanting to shoot in later levels. Something, it's best to play safe, keep your shields up and dodge for a while! Moreover, it also gives you a reason not to have drones/orbiting shields. These will explode a mine when they hit. As you can imagine, they also make avoiding mines far more difficult, if you're in a tight spot.
So, once again, in later levels, I had to change my style significantly, by not picking up drones nor shields, for more maneuvering space!

From what I've written, so far, you can certainly see the potential! It's simple, but it does have a few elements working together, leading to interesting strategic choices. Unfortunately, the visibility was a huge issue. For example, I often blew the bullet-mines up without even seeing them (leading to a chain-effect). You can see things going wrong fast.
That, with the levels being crowded (read: difficult), it was infuriating, at times!

Finally, the progression and upgrade system.
Something I disliked quite a lot is how your power-ups/weapons always reset when you beat a level. I mean, if I beat the first level, I should be able to carry things onto the next one, right?
The upgrade system is also very, very lackluster (to the point of making me wonder if should even be there). When you beat a stage, you have 1 point to spend in: 1 (of 2) more lives; +1 level on one weapons when you start a level; +1 wave orb, etc.
Seeing that in each level you'll collect probably around 10+ weapons, starting with +1 seems a bit... pointless?
You'll also have 4 or 5 points to spend, max. It's ... barely noticeable, unless you spend every point in one single weapon!

Then, you also gain experience points. These can be spent on more lives (max of two), a "secret" level, and ship skins.
Why not have a more fleshed out upgrade system with which to spend experience? I don't understand.

Of course, the levels would require a different kind of balance if the upgrade system was actually meaningful but... that's the point of upgrades, isn't it? Because, as is right now, you can experience the full range of your ship's abilities in the first level! After that, there's no "exploration" anymore, and it boils down to a precise grind to beat each level (which is valid, but, in this case, it seems like the two approaches are conflicted).

The game has potential, but there are conflicting design choices, and the visibility, once again, "killed" things for me.
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3.8 hrs
Posted: January 20
Overall recommended but overpriced - this needs to be $5 tops, i think now it's more than that? Seriously, you can get very similar games on your smartphone for free. The Xbox controller works fine in game, but not for menus, there's some nice voice acting from one bored-sounding, but pleasant dude (your commander, apparently), and mechanically there's nothing wrong with Bladestar. Just quite low production values and the gameplay is typical vertical scrolling shoot em up. Like another reviewer said this is purely an "if you're in the mood for genre X" type of title.

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