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Review: Star Fortress (ColecoVision)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM

This is the home brew version of Star Castle ported to the ColecoVision by John Dondzila.


You command the familiar looking Asteroids type ship while you blast away the rings to destroy the cannon in the center.


You can use the two buttons on your controller to fire and thrust and your joystick to rotate left and right. You can also push up on the joystick to thrust which I have found is much easier. I dabbled playing this game using the Roller Controller but I found the Coleco controller to be the better option.


Graphically, the game looks great. Although the star field is static backdrop it’s something you’d miss if it wasn’t there. The sparks flicker but that may have been done intentionally to mimic the effect in the arcade game.


I like the audio effects in this translation. The drone of the rotating rings hasn’t been left out and the other effects are vintage ColecoVision: the game looks and sounds like it could have been released back in 1983.


There are two flaws I found in this game. The first is when you attempt to bounce off the rings: at times you will go through a missing segment and get trapped between two rings.


The second flaw is the lack of acceleration for your ship. When you thrust from a dead stop, for a second your ship stutters like it’s running on fumes before it actually accelerates. In this type of game you need full acceleration.


Between arcade, Vectrex and this version I’d have to say Star Fortress is the most difficult. The cannon watches you like a hawk and more often than not when he unloads on you it’s certain death.


The nostalgia has been captured in this release; however it would be more enjoyable if it weren’t so difficult.


Grade: C+



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