Retro Coin Op Synopsis
In the future, castles will be formed from rotating rings of energy. Or so hypothesized Star Castle, a memorable game from vector graphics pioneers Cinematronics. For some unknown reason, your wedge-shaped spaceship had been given the unfortunate task of storming that Star Castle and annihilating the powerful foe that lay within. It took a steady hand, a quick shot and good timing, but nobody ever claimed that outer space siege warfare would be easy.
Plastic overlays gave splashes of color to the three circling rings of Star Castle. Each composed of twelve segments, the oppositely-rotating rings had to be penetrated one segment at a time, giving your ship a clear shot at the enemy inside. Logically, that open path also meant that the bad guy had a clear shot at you, too, and his enormous cannon was as fast as it was lethal.
The game’s other threat came from three sparks flying along the rings. As your ship blasted out segments, the sparks broke out and gave chase, making it even tougher to get a shot off at the main baddie.
An extra ring appeared if you shot out all twelve segments, forcing you to start all over again. Once the Star Castle was demolished, a new one arose to take its place, with even faster-spinning walls.
Left and right rotational buttons, fire, and thrust were all you needed to learn in order to play Star Castle, but mastery was another matter entirely. Simple, addictive and sweat-inducing, the game was a perfect example of the elementary appeal of early video games, and it remains a favorite of many old-school gamers today.