Mountain King Studios is a game developer that specializes in vertical-scrolling shooters, beginning with Galactix in 1992, with Raptor: Call of the Shadows achieving greater success a few years later. The company would ultimately branch out into other titles such as DemonStar, a top-down shooter as well, with that particular title getting a few spinoffs, among them being DemonStar Secret Missions 1, which provides an experience on par with its predecessor.
The gameplay is almost unchanged from the original DemonStar, with the player guiding a ship across various levels (one in the shareware demo), shooting at enemy vessels and space debris, collecting powerups along the way. It’s easier to die than in Raptor, although the difficulty is mercifully adjustable, appealing to both newcomers to shooters and masochists, and in the end the gameplay definitely helps the title far more than hurts.
The controls are easy to get a handle of, although there is no midlevel saving.
The bulk of the story comes on Mountain King’s website, with no noticeable plot in-game, although this is negligible since titles in the shooter genre tend to not have well-developed narratives.
The music and sound are definite aural treats, with nothing of which to complain.
The graphics look nice as well, looking good even at higher resolutions.
Beating the demo, finally, takes less than an hour, with the multiple difficulties enhancing replayability. Ultimately, DemonStar Secret Missions 1 provides an experience on par with the original DemonStar, with solid shooter gameplay accompanied by solid control, aurals, and visuals, though the plot definitely leaves room for improvement. Those that can look past that particular fault, however, will likely have a fun time.
+Solid space shooter gameplay.
+Adjustable difficulty adds replay value.
-No mid-level saving.
The Bottom Line:
Great shooter demo.
Game Mechanics: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Playing Time: Less than Half an Hour