Four-Player Anime Space Battles: Stardust Vanguards


Anime space operas are a pretty good subject for a local multiplayer game. Rivalries and uneasy alliances form, the power of friendship is tested but ultimately triumphs, and it’s all a reet laugh. Then you probably do some kissing. Stardust Vanguards may not promise that last one, but looks like it’ll have a good crack at the rest.

It’s a local multiplayer arena shoot ’em up which starts with up to four mecha duelling in space, but escalates over rounds to include floods of allied spaceships and random space pirate attacks players will need to respond to. Come have a gander at a recent trailer.

The mecha sound like what I’d hope for: dash moves, guns with limited ammo, and great energy swords which can deflect bullets. Each kill earns points to spend on reinforcements, and soon swarms of ships are flying about and blasting away and it’s all a bit bullet hell. Then space pirates arrive. These and other NPC events will shake up battles, perhaps sparking brief moments of cooperation or at least giving more to shoot. I do enjoy multiplayer games blurring that line.

As well as good old deathmatch, it’ll also have team and co-op modes.

Zanrai hope to release Stardust Vanguards in late summer or early autumn. With Cara’s purple hair and my blue, I’ll just need to round up a redhead and a brunette to form a perfect group for friendships, romances, rivalries, fallings-out, and blowing up spaceships. Stardust Vanguard is, of course, scrapping with the mob to climb the ranks of Steam Greenlight.


  1. Dante80 says:

    Badass soundtrack, weird boner now.

    Looking forward to it.

  2. gwathdring says:

    This looks fantastic.

    Hmm. Except for the always-unfortunate Spoils To the Victor style mechanic wherein kills give you points that help you summon allies that help you get kills that get you points while meanwhile dying loses you those points. Skill based gameplay is nice, but I prefer it to be unamplified or even damped by way of catchup mechanisms.


    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Their website mentions that more powerful enemies are worth more RPs, and that simply staying alive will gradually earn you RPs as well, so it seems like there should be room for comebacks. I’d like to think so. Definitely keen to try this one out.

      EDIT: Also worth pointing out that the player mechs all die in one hit. That’s definitely going to leave room for comebacks.

      • gwathdring says:

        It’s not that there’s no room for comebacks in it. It’s that, as a design feature, I find it mildly disheartening. It’s still playable and plenty of games do it. I just think doing it the other way round or not at all works better. Either balance it to topple the winner to make staying on top harder (and more interesting), or balance it so everyone is equal regardless of how often they’ve won in the past. That’s my preference, but again, it still works the other way.

  3. int says:

    Comes macross as a gundam fun looking game!

    • Niko says:

      Eureka! Let’s have a pun thread!

      • possumboy says:

        I geass this game could be good

        • fake_squirrel_gamer says:

          I had to Lagann to say I’m looking forward to it

          • Harlander says:

            Aldnoah about local multiplayer, but I’ll give it a big O. Big… big go.

            (Also, something something something Exosquad)

          • Geebs says:

            Not to Labor the point…

          • Apologised says:

            These puns are just Goufy! If I was a moderator I’d Votom off the site!

            You’ve all got to Getta grip! These puns really Drag-on…ar?

            Okay, that last one was terrible.

  4. Niko says:

    What are those? Mecha for ants?!

  5. Detocroix says:

    Whhhhyyyy don’t people google their game’s name before setting it in stone? Stardust is a bullet helly top-down view shooter from 1993 that is still an active IP with most recent game from two years ago and published by Sony. It’s VERY likely these fellas are going to get kicked in the nuts for the name.

    The game does interesting though, also I love how they didn’t use black color for space. Pretty :)