As soon as you spawn into the game, your ship’s systems light up with the words “Welcome Commander!” You take a look around you – everywhere, asteroids slowly rotate in place, while in the background, distant stars glisten. In the winter, there’s even snow. After admiring the view, you proceed to fire up your lasers. A few minutes of tedious mining into the future, you’ve upgraded into a good enough ship to feel pretty confident. Getting ambitious, you try hunting down the leader (who just so happens to be AFK). However, just as you’re about to kill them, they return to the game and drop a torpedo into your face. So much for your plot to take over the server.
Created by the game company Neuronality and released on November 8, 2017 (Happy Birthday!), starblast.io immediately started to gain enthusiastic players. Starblast.io might be one of the many .io games, but the space-themed shooter arcade game boasts graphics that could rival those of Star Wars games (and certainly those ripoff “Space Shooter” games whose ads are everywhere). The in-game spaceships, which are 3D, are also designed with over 60 different kinds of textures. In addition, starblast.io also offers four classic modes (with 32 unique ships), 11 distinctive mods, and chaotic community events. Games can take between a half hour and a full hour.
With that being said, the objective of the game is deceptively simple: whether you’re out scouting on your own in survival or mining your base in team mode, asteroids need to be mined, or rammed open, to collect gems, which you can then use to upgrade your ship. Once you upgrade to the highest level, then the fun starts. With such unlimited power, you’re free to do whatever you want: help noobs, mine credits, or establish dominance in the server.
Unfortunately, life is not that simple.
In Survival, you’ll be constantly on the run from teams of toxic pirates that go around the map killing everything that moves. In Team, you’ll have to deal with stackers (people who join the team that’s already winning) and teammates who steal your gems, or even worse, those who sit around by the base with a full cargo (we don’t talk about the ones who try to ram you into the enemy base). In Invasion, you’ll have to survive all 10 waves of random aliens (why are they called Chickens?!). In Pro Deathmatch, try your skills against the best players in your region or in the world, but also try not to get ganged up on by twenty other ships. Actually getting to a top tier ship in any of these modes (except deathmatch) takes serious skill and dedication.
On the starblast.io homepage, you’ll see all the modes, as well as an excellent training mode that will teach you almost everything you need to play the game. On the left is the changelog and a bunch of other links (the 8k+ member Reddit, the official Spotify playlist, official merch, and more), while the right displays the modding space, ECP, training, and deathmatch leaderboard. In the center is the play button. The default is Team mode, in which you upgrade your team’s base by donating gems (in exchange for credits). Once your team is strong enough, you try to destroy the other teams’ bases. Next is Survival mode. In survival, you mine your ship to get to the top tier. Once the in-game survival mode starts, a repulsive gravity field kicks in from the center of the map and you must fight to become the last one standing. After Survival comes Invasion, in which you can only destroy aliens for gems. There are 10 waves of aliens (Caterpillars yayyy ), and you must defeat all of them to win. Last of the four classic modes is Pro Deathmatch, in which you battle other players to receive a worldwide ranking.
Once in the game, you’ll find yourself spawned in the middle of an asteroid field. In the top left corner will be your ship statistics: the shield, energy, and gems, as well as an RCS (reaction control systems) toggle. On the bottom, once you collect enough gems for an upgrade, you’ll find the upgrades – you can upgrade any of your ship’s stats: shield capacity, shield regeneration, energy capacity, energy regeneration, laser damage, laser speed, ship velocity, or ship acceleration. Once you get a full cargo, you’ll see the option to upgrade your ship, or to buy an extra life, at the top of the screen. Use the right mouse button to move, and the left mouse button to shoot. Now that you know the basics of the game, you can start playing!
No matter how many times you die, the joy in stablast lies not in supremacy (although that’s fun too), but in the piloting of your very own ship. Some toxic player might kill you with an arsenal of torpedoes and spam “Bye”, but that only gives you motivation to avenge yourself using actual skill. When you see a horde of teamers on the edges of your radar, it only gives you motivation to protect some helpless players. When you see a floundering base, join it and help reverse the game. But no matter what you do, you’ll have fun. Good luck, Commander. (￣^￣)ゞ