Budget Day 2016 - Star Pilot (ZX Spectrum)

by Paul Morrison

Here's one I'm playing on a recommendation, and it seems appropriate to follow one vertically scrolling space shooter with another.  Star Pilot sees you navigating a number of levels, blasting nasties and dodging obstacles.  Get to the end of the level and you receive a large score bonus.

That's about it, really.  Worst write-up ever!  There's a bit more to it than that, as it happens, although not loads.  The game's most notable feature is that it has a split-screen two player mode.  Obviously if you play with your mate, you get to kind of race each other up the screen as you blast through each level.  I imagine that this could be quite a bit of fun because you can speed up and slow down, so you could have challenges as you played, seeing who could clear each level the quickest.

Ha! Wally's getting knocked off the high score table. Dudge is up next...

Ha! Wally's getting knocked off the high score table. Dudge is up next...

I didn't get to do that, though, so in all honesty I found the game a little dull and unremarkable.  The graphics are nice... they're well defined and the scrolling is good.  I'm not a big fan of the tiny play area, though.  It does work for the game, but I think it would be better if the whole of the screen was used.  I suppose it might have been difficult to do that and then switch to the split screens for the two player mode, though.

Star Pilot is not a write-off or anything bad like Dark Star.  It's pretty nondescript, though.  I definitely think I would have enjoyed it more at the time of release.  If I'd played it with a mate sitting next to me, the element of competitiveness from the split-screen mode would have been a good laugh.  As it is, it'll probably fade into obscurity for me.