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Starr Mazer Kickstarter Promises Unlikely Fusion Of Genres

Shmup meets adventure game

Have you ever wanted to take some of your money and invest it in a "retro-sexy point-and-click adventure shoot 'em up in space"? Then have I got the Kickstarter for you: Starr Mazer.

Point & click adventures and shmups seems an improbable combination on the face of it. Some of you might be thinking of that Futurama "shut up and take my money" meme right about now. Others might be skeptical about the potential gimmickry that comes with fusing two entirely disparate genres together.

To both responses I say: hold on. Let's take a proper look at this.

I won't deny I've reservations about how broad the appeal is of a game that intends to transition between one of the most relaxing and contemplative styles of gameplay and one of the most intense and unblinking. From the information on the Kickstarter page it seems clear that the shoot 'em up parts of the game will be frenetic, almost bullet hell affairs. That's not a style of game for the faint-hearted - or for those who prefer to take their gaming slow and steady.

On the other hand, the Kickstarter is barely a quarter of the way in and it's almost half funded already. So perhaps people really are crying out for unusual combinations like this. Playing a lot of games makes you appreciate novelty all the more when you do come across it, and this is certainly one of the more novel fusions of game genre I've encountered in a while.

There's more to like than novelty, mind. The developers are describing their approach to how the game unfolds as "Open-Middled Gameplay", with authored episodes that can be entered and departed at a variety of points (which reminds me a little of how elderly space adventure game EV Nova's storylines worked). Actions and choices should have ramifications down the line, and we're all over that sort of thing these days. The plot also seems like it might offer some juicy space opera, which is a big plus in my book.

The shmup levels will involve some degree of dynamic assembly - which I realise makes my bullet hell comparison a little whiffy. If its levels ain't meticulously assembled, it ain't bullet hell, as someone didn't say that one time in Space-Texas. Still, dynamic levels should offer decent shooter variety - with an extra spicy note if the promise of thematic and behavioural consistency between certain enemy types proves true.

If you're interested in Starr Mazer then space-mosey on over to the Kickstarter and prepare to transfer credits into its space-wallet. Space-sorry for the space-prefixes. Space.

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About the Author
Shaun Green avatar

Shaun Green


Writes music, book and film reviews at www.nostalgiaforinfinity.com. Writes about videogames at www.arcadianrhythms.com. Plays guitar in www.wrecktheplacefantastic.co.uk. Occasionally sleeps.

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