If you like puzzle games, then AStar is for you! Inspired by a calculator game called Dstar, the idea of the game is to collect all the items that are spread through maze levels. While this may sound simple, collecting all the items is indeed challenging because of how you can move in the playing field.
You see, you can only move in a straight line and you cannot change direction while moving. In fact, you don’t even stop unless you hit something a wall or a small block within the playing field. You control the small block to assist you as you try to collect fruits and other items that appear in the mazes. In order to win, you must collect all the items within a minimum number of moves for each of the mazes. The number of moves you’ve taken is shown at the bottom of the screen by a counter. Should you exceed the required minimum, the counter changes colour indicating that you are losing. You may still finish the maze but it doesn’t count as a successful completion of the maze. AStar boasts colorful mazes as well as beautiful items to collect (cherries, strawberries, ice cream cones, etc.) that are rendered in two colours. The character you move around to collect the items is none other than Pac-Man, which is an interesting choice but fitting this puzzle game. Sound is also pretty good with a nice title screen tune and simple but effective sound effects during the game. AStar is AtariVox enhanced to save the game state. In other words, the game knows what puzzles you’ve solved successfully and lets you start at new ones when you return. Overall, a very nice game for the 2600 and one puzzle lovers should really enjoy!