A perfect PC blaster for a rainy Sunday afternoon and what’s more, it’s totally free.
Stargunner by shareware gurus Apogee Software/3D Realms.
Choose between three difficulty classes (the harder the game, the better it looks), and equip your ship with progressively better weapons as you rack up the greenbacks after each level. There’s four schmup-tastic campaigns in total ranging from laser duels out in deep space to Skramble style planetside skimming and further down into the big drink below.
Stargunner plays just as well as any other side scrolling schmup with a nice difficulty curve to keep you coming back for more. o.k, so it can be a little annoying when a enemy sneaks up on you from behind and the unavoidable collision wipes you out but apart from that it’s a solid shooter, especially when you can afford some of the more expensive weapons. The graphics have that slight 3D rendered look to them yet still retains that retro 2D look. Some of the later levels kinda remind me of the Amiga classic, Project X – there’s definitely a Team 17 look to the game!
You can download the game directly from the 3DRealms website to use with DOSbox (or natively it you’re still rocking a DOS rig) or alternatively you can download it for free via GOG who have wrapped the game around a preset DOSbox configuration file so that you don’t have to configure anything yourself, simply launch and play.