Star Fighter (video game)

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For the Star Wars videogame, see Star Wars: Starfighter.
Star Fighter
Developer(s) Fednet, Krisalis, Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s) Acorn Archimedes, PC, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, 3DO
Release date(s) Acorn Archimedes
October 8th, 1996[1]
Sega Saturn
Genre(s) Space simulation
Mode(s) Single-player

Star Fighter or Star Fighter 3000 is a 3D flight based shoot-em-up. The gameplay is mission based and involves elements of strategy and planning. The player can order wingmen to fly in formation and attack specific targets.[2]

Acorn Archimedes (RISC OS)[edit]

Star Fighter 3000 was first released on November 1, 1994 by Fednet Software. The newest version for RISC OS machines is 3.14, released in 2009 by Christopher Bazley. It is compatible with the current generation of RISC OS hardware and can be played (multitasking) in the desktop. 3.14 is a free upgrade available to any owner of a previous release.[3]

Omega PC[edit]

A second version for RISC OS was developed for the Omega PC. It is essentially a back-port of the 3DO code. Development was done under the software label FlaYmz, headed by Nathan Atkinson, formerly of Visions of the Impossible (VoTI), coded by Lee Noar and a new short intro section completed with help from Paul Thomson (formerly Dfi) and Lee Johnstone (VotI). This version featured all the graphical and gameplay enhancements of the 3DO version. It was to be bundled with every new Omega sold, coded to specifically use its graphics hardware. However, the deal fell through when Microdigital started showing financial difficulties. This version was later made available for Acorn Risc PC machines through RiscWorld magazine, the full version being bundled free with one of its issues.


The gameplay for the 3DO version is slightly different from the Acorn. The map screen is in 3D, not 2D as in the Acorn RISC OS version. Also, to upgrade the ship the player must collect a series of 3D shapes after blowing up certain objects. In the Acorn RISC OS version, the player collects and spends money on ship upgrades. Another difference is that the player can blast pathways through mountain ranges with the laser.

PC, PlayStation and Saturn[edit]

Star Fighter 3000 was also released for the PC, Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn by Acclaim Entertainment.[4] These versions were ports of the 3DO version. Unlike the original Acorn version and 3DO version, Tim Parry and Andrew Hutchings had no involvement in their development.

These versions make heavy use of distance fog to significantly decrease the draw distance. Detail levels on the buildings, texture mapped ground, and other objects were also decreased.


Reviews for the 3DO version varied widely. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the 3DO version a score of 8.125 out of 10. They criticized the controls for being too loose but praised the huge number of missions, the addictive gameplay, and most of all the ability to fly freely in any direction.[5] GamePro summarized that "Star Fighter doesn't quite soar with the eagles, but it doesn't flop with the turkeys, either." They noted the ability to fly in any direction and the large number of missions as positive elements, and the slow game speed, undetailed graphics, and pronounced pop up as negative elements.[6] Maximum gave it two out of five stars, panning it for its "dreadful control system", pronounced slowdown, and grating music, as well as the simplicity of the early missions. They did praise the game's visuals, but concluded that "when inevitably compared to Air Combat, this ultimately fails to present a credible alternative."[7]

Stephen Poole of GameSpot gave the PC version a 4.4 out of 10, saying that flight simulators are much better suited for PC than console, and as a straight conversion of a 3DO game, Star Fighter retains the shortcomings of its console origins. He especially criticised the poor graphics, story and controls.[8]

Space Fighter 4000[edit]

In 2011 Andrew Hutchings entered a new game, inspired by Star Fighter, in the 2011 'Dream Build Play' contest.[9] Written for the XNA platform, it was released for Xbox 360 and Windows PC.[10]


  1. ^ "Studio 3DO Ships First PC Products; Star Fighter, Captain Quazar, Game Guru Available at Retail". Business Wire. October 9, 1996. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  2. ^ Home of the Underdogs (January 13, 2006). "Star Fighter 3000". Retrieved January 30, 2012. One of the innovative features about the game is the ability to order your wingmen to fly in formation, attack specific targets [...] 
  3. ^ Weston, Andrew (November 17, 2008). "Star Fighter 3000: The Next Generation review". Drobe. Retrieved January 30, 2012. For many years, Chris Bazley had worked on ensuring compatibility of the original game with all Acorn and RISC OS machines [...] Chris more recently even released a patch enabling owners of the original Fednet release to upgrade the game from the original floppies right up to the modern 32-bit compatible version [...] 
  4. ^ riscworld.volume8.issue6 RiscWorld article about Starfighter 3000: The Next Generation, the 3DO version ported back to the RiscPC
  5. ^ "Review Crew: Star Fighter". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (80): 30. March 1996. 
  6. ^ "ProReview: Star Fighter". GamePro (IDG) (91): 82. April 1996. 
  7. ^ "Maximum Reviews: Starfighter". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine (Emap International Limited) (2): 161. 1995. 
  8. ^ Poole, Stephen (November 15, 1996). "Star Fighter Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  9. ^ Youtube Video of Space Fighter 4000 gameplay
  10. ^ Space Fighter 4000 Home Page

External links[edit]