STORY / GAMEPLAY
Novenia star system is under threat again from pesky Egrons. The whole story is related in another novella by James Follet. Egrons have hatched another dastardly plot to destroy the planet. Everything takes place in the Solice star system, which consists of five planets, some with moons. You begin on the planet Apogee. The planet surfaces are chequer-boards and each planet's surface is in different colors. The view operates the similar way as its predecessor. But this time, thrusting away from the surface will eventually take you clear of the planet's atmosphere. You then be able to see the star-field, the rest of the planets, moons and the sun. Your mission is to rocket around outer space at top speed, fighting and blowing things up, until you've accumulated the skills and equipment needed to dispatch the dreaded Ergons. Initially you are armed with just a laser but can pickup missiles, bouncing bombs, energy cuboids and neutron bombs. Each planet surface has different types of defenses and features (players from the original game will recognize most of the defenses such as gun-turrets, walkers, tanks and a variety of flying craft. Note that there are several space-pirates waiting for you to destroy you too. Controlling your ship its similar to the original Starglider title: use your mouse and monitor craft's vital signs by means of an agreeably gimmicky instrument panel that features nifty pseudo-holographic gauges.
There are several supply depots located in underground tunnel networks found on some of the planets. Fly into surface portals in order to reach them, and once inside the ship is safe any Egron attack. The hangars in which you can exchange items can also contain weapon supplies too.
Just keep an eye on the three most important gauges (fuel, shield and lasers) as running out of them will prove fatal and defenseless... A great game, unique for its age!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The ST version is fast with a few glitches in frame-rate when too many 3d models appear on-screen (a bit faster and smoother on the Amiga), but curiously this doesn't actually improve the gameplay when compared to its predecessor. All 3D models look infinitely better now and are filled with colors (in contrast to its predecessor), moving quite smooth and fast. Graphically there's hardly any differences at all between the ST, Amiga and MS-DOS versions.
Chip-sound effects are well matched to the game's atmosphere, although quite noisy on the ST version, offering a spot effect for every single laser-beam fired, explosion sounds and throttle noises (much like Starglider 1). Note that the Amiga version offers sampled sound effects here. Rainbird also included an audio cassette (!) in the box with an extended version of the theme music, leaving the Atari ST and Amiga all sound channels available to serve up the fearsome boom and roar central to this form of entertainment!