Retro Byte: Blue Star (Vic 20)


Well, annual leave is almost up – so thought i’d squeeze in a quick highlight of a Commodore Vic 20 game which might only really be obscure because its a Vic 20 game, and these are a rare thing. That said, they don’t seem to be that rare these days, what with about 30 new games released for the machine in 2009!

Blue Star is a game which came out a few years ago and which really blew me away with its simple, but very fun elements all within a minuscule 3.5 kilobytes of RAM.

Early part of the game, screenshots thanks to Jason Kelk.

If you know of the game ‘Jet Set Willy‘, then this game will be familiar in terms of its genre. It is a colourful multi-screen platformer, with a good number of screens, enemies and things to collect. The major boast compared to Manic Miner, is that this game does not suffer from the infinite death syndrome which caused pain for many gamers with the JSW series. Blue Star rectifies things with an energy system.

The simple aim of the game is to try and shut down the central computer by destroying its CPU’s. The problem is that you start off with very limited powers, with an inability to dispose of enemies or to reach platforms high up. It’s by exploring the game that you can find various items to improve yourself and help you progress further in the game and get past particular obstacles.

Later in the game.

The most impressive thing about the game is that the developer has managed to keep things down to run on an unexpanded 3.5k Vic 20. The game still boasts a large range of screens (Some repeated slightly to save on space), and plenty to do.

My only gripe, which you can find from my full review I did for ‘Old School Gaming‘ (Which can be found on this page.), is that its a little bit too short. Part of me wishes that an expanded version was produced to include more screens. Maybe this is an invite for a possible sequel?

Anyway, if you are exploring retro games and are checking over the Vic 20 platform, then I highly recommend checking this game out.

The game is free to download, and a link can be found on the OSG review page.

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