Astro Avenger

A top-down vertical scroller shooter rendered in beautiful 3D and can be controlled with the mouse.

Release Date

December 2004.

Pros

This is the first vertical scroller shooter where I used the mouse to play. Yes, you can use the keyboard too, but with the mouse you can move the ship much faster. After finding out that this game could be played with the mouse, I went back to Tyrian 2000 and found out that could be played with the mouse as well. Tyrian 2000 does not control as easy as Astro Avenger with the mouse but it is good to know there is an option.

Generally a fun shooter that is simple to play.

The graphics are rendered beautifully in 3D. The explosions look great and you can see enemy ships blowing apart.

Cons

There are only a handful of weapons. Although there are upgrades the variety still feels lacking, especially when compared to Tyrian 2000.

The levels feel very same same. Sure there are multiple worlds and several levels per world, but they all look and feel the same. In the later levels there are more enemies coming at you simultaneously but it still feels very same same.

The enemy ships also lack variety. Good if you like more of the same to blow up.

Like other simple scroller shooters, it is repetitive. The lack of variety makes Astro Avenger feel even more repetitive.

Other Points

Calling Astro Avenger a vertical scroller is not entirely correct. Yes it plays like a vertical scroller but the playing field also moves slightly in 3D forwards. As such, if you are on the left or right edge of the screen and shooting straight, your shots do not move straight up the screen. It takes a little getting use to but is innovative.

The sound of the guns are very “pew pew” sounding.

The game saves your progress as you complete each level.

Biases

Reviewed version 1.7.0

I really liked Tyrian 2000, Xenon 2: Megablast and Raptor: Call of the Shadows.

I also really liked RIP 3 The Last Hero and liked Theseus – Return of the Hero and Larva Mortus. They are not scroller shooters, but they are simple action shooters.

I have completed the game.

DRM

There is a registration key you must enter to play the full version.

I do not know if there is any other DRM device other than the registration key.

Minimum Requirements (from Readme.txt)

  • Windows 98/2000/XP/ME/Vista
  • Pentium 700MHz or better
  • Direct3D compatable video card
  • RAM: 256Mb
  • 35 megs free hard drive space
  • Sound card (optional)
  • DirectX 9.0 or higher

Computer Played On

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset and/or Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with Altec Lansing ACS41 speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

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