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Review by  Jonathan Martin
Reviewed on 2005-12-20
This is a great space shooter program, the best one I have ever seen for the TI-83 Plus. It is great. There are stats at the bottom of the screen, great gameplay, easy controls. The only bad thing is the size of the program. It should be illegal to not try this program. Try it now!

Controls-10/10 Simple
Memory-7/10 Huge
Usage-10/10 Great fun
Overall-11/11 The best game ever.

Review by  Willem Duiker
Reviewed on 2005-12-13
“Phantom Star” is an awesome shooter game that needs to be played.

Gamplay 10/10: perfect, no errors, small size
Controls 9/10: Easy, xton changes the black to white and the white to black
Graphics: 7/10 unoriginal, but good
Bugfreeness: 9/10 I have a version with twitchy ships!

Overall: it deserves the POTY award

Review by  T L
Reviewed on 2005-03-10
“Phantom Star” is not that bad of a game. It is fun and never gets old. In fact, the game gets more challenging, and power-ups make "Phantom Star" even better! Score is one of the things that you try and beat so be sure to grab the numbers floating around and power-ups (just don't crash into the enemies while trying to do so). One thing that I suggest for the author it to try and put in an accuracy score to try not to have people just fire at nothing. I give this game a perfect 10/10.

Review by  Alex Barna
Reviewed on 2004-11-16
Graphics: 10/10
Great graphics for a space-shooter game. The enemies, spaceship, and the power-up icons look good. Everything is fantastic!

Features: 9/10
There are plenty of enemies to shoot at. Power-ups are great because they can change how fast you can beat the level. The better power-ups you acquire, the faster you can beat the game. “Phantom Star” also has a contrast feature if you would like it darker or brighter.

Controls: 10/10
In “Phantom Star,” you can move around, dodge bullets, shoot enemies, and gather power-ups. The controls are very easy to use. But if you are like me and really don't want the [2nd] button get ruined from pressing it many times, then you would probably like an auto-fire function added to this game.

Addictiveness: 9.5/10
I'm sure you will be finding yourself playing “Phantom Star” for a pretty long time. It doesn't really get old because it becomes more challenging.

Overall: 9.5/10

Great graphics for a shooter.
Plently of enemies to destroy.
Easy to use controls.
A good game to pass the time.

No auto-fire function for lazy people.
Some people would probably like it horizontally instead of vertical scrolling.

Recommended? Yes.

Review by  Floyd Maseda
Reviewed on 2004-05-25
“Phantom Star” is by far the best “shoot-‘em-up game” for any of the Z80 calculators. This has the best graphics of any game I know of, too. “Phantom Star” becomes very challenging if you don't get the gun power-ups and others. The higher the levels get, the more gun power it takes to defeat the enemies. If you don't have a powerful gun, this can be very challenging because the action is intense. Bullets from enemies are flying everywhere, which only let you shoot when no one else is shooting at you. This makes the game even more challenging, and overall makes it a better game.

Overall rating 10/10

Review by  George Wellman
Reviewed on 2004-02-22
First, the way that it scrolls is truly genius. The enemies come in from the sides, but the screen can scroll up and down, giving you twice as much playing area.

Next, the game is highly graphically advanced. The sprites are very well drawn, and the stars scrolling in the backgrouind adds to the look of the game. Many of the sprites are animated. The powerups are very well done. Rathger than a money system you collect power-ups and other items. The powerups have animated rotation, again adding to the look of the game. It runs very quick, enhancing the gameplay. Granted the enemies are somewhat more boring, however only because they are all path-based.

There are some disadvantages, namely that there are no external level sets for Phantom (as yet!) and that the enemies may be slightly boring. But overall, this game is beautiful and well put-together, as we have come to expect from an author like Joe Pemberton.

Review by  Tom King
Reviewed on 2004-02-22
What strikes you first as you start up the game is its professional appearance. There's no default Ion-esque setup screen--rather, a scrolling star background sets you immediately into the action. And the action is intense. Superior enemy pathing and scripting can make your task a tricky one, as enemies you don't defeat from the first wave may hook on to the front of the second, and so on. Players must strategically position themselves while being constantly on the move in order to annihilate their enemies without being shot down themselves. A superb health management system, a replenishing shield bar guarding irreplaceable health and also makes players to dive for that shield repair to keep in the game.

The weapons system is also outstanding, boasting at least as many unique different increasingly powerful modes of fire as Phoenix but far easier to upgrade--rather than a tedious restock screen between stages and an overly complicated weapon-switch system, Phantom Star lets players retrieve oft-rare gun power-ups and stack them. Even better, your helper ship (also a key aspect of gameplay) can be upgraded, and retrieving those power-ups can make the difference between being on top of the high scores or floating pixilated space debris. The system couldn't have been designed better.

The gameplay requires players to fire manually, as opposed to the fairly easy to attain auto-fire power up found in Phoenix. This, however, was almost a game-breaking aspect of the older space shooter, allowing players after a certain amount of effort to breeze through latter levels by pressing down the second button and waving back and forth a few times. Not so with Phantom Star. The button mashing isn't critical, and skilled players can modulate their strengthened fire without giving themselves blisters. Certainly, the game can be highly challenging.

In conclusion Phantom Star isn't *perfect*. An external level system has yet to see its full potential, as Joe has been busy working on other ambitious projects, but if you're looking for a cool, fun space shooter to pass the time in algebra, you can't do much better than this. I'll give it a 9.5/10, and assert its worthiness of the Program of the Year title.

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