Space pirates, bounty hunters, a badass woman named Luna Starr and more colours that I think I'm capable of seeing - that's what to expect from Star Hunter DX, a neo-retro sci-fi bullet hell game that's out right now. I had a go of the free demo on Steam, and it's, well, it's a bit of a trip. While the artwork and 80s vibes are brilliant, the bullets sure did give me hell. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
If that talk of space pirates caught your attention, here's the gist of the game's story from developers 1CC Games:
"Betrayed by her cut-throat crew, Luna Starr - former Space Pirate captain turned Bounty Hunter - has a score to settle. As Luna, travel to 5 exotic planets to track down your mutinous mates, and face them in Bullet Hell dogfights to the death!"
When you start, you take on the role of Luna Starr, hopping into her ship to fight through wave of enemies before facing off against a big bad named Dol'Arr. You have wide spread bullets, lazers and a shield that will protect you and blast anything that gets too close. You'll wanna use that often too, because enemies do not go easy on you, even on the easiest mode. (Though truthfully, Dol'Arr himself was a bit of a wuss. The minion spaceships you have to fight through to get to him gave me a lot more grief.)
The Steam page claims Star Hunter DX is "old school hard", and yeah, I felt that. The demo is only short, but I died more times than I'd care to admit. It's the sort of game you feel as though you should be playing in an arcade, stressfully flicking around a joystick before begrudgingly pumping more coins into the machines because "I won't die on this level again, I just want to see what's in the next one".
There are a bunch of practice modes though, so you don't just need to keep banging your head against the spaceships with no help. Then if you fancy yourself a pro after all that training, you can see how high you rank on the leaderboards too. You will not find my name on those.
You can try out the free Star Hunter DX demo on Steam right now. The full game came out yesterday, so if you'd like to buy it, it'll cost you just £10/€11/13. It's also available on Nintendo Switch.