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Rating: 3.4/5 (79 votes)

DoraNebulaDo you remember that one episode of Star Trek? You know, the one where Bones was trying to help a baby star become a red giant by painting lines of stars for it to follow around hazards? And Spock kept saying how illogical it was, and Kirk was all like, "Shut up, man, I'm trying to concentrate, these aliens keep getting in my way"? And then Uhura was all, "Yeah, it's like Nitrome wants this to be way hard or something"? And Scotty was all like, "I cannae do it"? If you said "Yes", well, you're a dirty rotten liar, because that never happened. (And it won't until J.J. Abrams starts returning my calls!) But the good news is you can pretend it did with Nebula, an arcade-style game of skill, reflexes, and lots and lots of patience.

You guide your young star along the path to greatness and red giant-hood by clicking and drawing lines of stars for it to follow. You need to collect the keys in each level to proceed, which is easier said than done since bombs, aliens, dark matter, and other hazards lie in wait. All, of course, rendered in Nitrome's signature lovely style. The areas are rich and vibrant, the enemies cheerfully cartoonish and varied. It's just too bad stopping to smell the roses is a good way to wind up getting blown to bits. While your intrepid star can withstand two hits, a third will mark the sad end to its journey. Well, until you restart the level anyway.

The problem here lies in an overly finicky control scheme. Or maybe it's just that our adorably goggle-eyed little star has the attention span of a fly and everything is so brightly coloured. In any case, guiding it safely around obstacles is less fluid tracery and more herky-jerky. It's really a shame that you don't get much time to enjoy your surroundings, lovely as they are, since staying ahead of the star and making sure it doesn't blow itself up can wind up taking all of your attention. Which is a shame because there are some really interesting things going on in some levels that I would have liked to experiment with more. Setting off massive chain reactions of explosions is fun, and the fact that some obstacles require you (yes, you!) to intervene is clever, if tricky.

At thirty levels, Nebula offers plenty of time to refine your star-rearing skills, especially for those of you who are quicker on the draw than yours truly. (Maybe a lifetime of having to fend off feral moose in the Canadian wilderness has left me jittery and ill-suited to games likes this?) Although the most relaxing game in town, Nebula still entertains, challenges, and features a hero so adorable I'd like to squeeze it to pieces, if not for the fact that I prefer my face un-melted.

Play Nebula


The Red Giant sorta reminds me of the King of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy, except not quite as weird. I think it's the mustache, or that you're playing his son in the game.

Oh yeah, the game's really fun, too.


I find the collision detection to be a bit off. And by off I mean when I collide with a wall or block, it takes a second to register, making the game a little more difficult. I'm on Vista and using Firefox 3 if that makes any difference to anyone.


Yeah, I'm having difficulty coping with the controls, too.


"finicky control scheme"... yeah, I'll say. I think the biggest frustration is how much the screen scrolls, which then takes my smooth mouse motion and turns it into a jagged line of stars the little sun can't follow.


I should note, however, that I applaud Nitrome's creativity. It just doesn't always pay off, as in this instance.


Apparently I'm the only one who's really enjoying this one. True it's not Nitrome's best game, but it's not their worst either. In fact I think some of their other games are worse. The controls are a little tricky, I guess, but they're not THAT bad. I dunno, I guess that's just me I guess.

I'm up to level 20, by the way.


I like the concept, but it's far too annoying to have the star follow the mouse trail -- it's far too much like having a 2-year-old in the house. The twitchy controls plus the dodgy collision detection means I lose patience rather quickly. Next..


simplistic and dull, like most of nitromes games


I like the idea, but I don't like having the scroll make my little star suddenly stop following my lead, especially near a dark matter...thing. Dropped it.

IUHoosiersFan (Cheesemeister) September 18, 2009 9:11 PM

I beat this game. I didn't like it. That leaves me with 3 more Nitrome games to beat and I would have beaten every game!


I love Nitrome's games; they have such a flair for the unusual and the backgrounds and gameplay are always so original. However, Nebula is very easy to lose patience with. The star moves so quickly and the control is so very unpredictable and finicky.

I've got to level 26 and I am so entirely stuck. As much as this game frustrates me beyond belief, I feel like I have to beat it, so does anyone have any advice? It's the hardest level so far and seems unbeatable unless I'm missing something *really* blatant!

Any help much appreciated!



I guess I'm part of the minority too in that I quite like this game.

I have to say though that level-24 is killing me. So many of those bloody Blue Stragglers to have to deal with. Has anyone figured out what they mean at the beginning of the level when they say "if only you had something to take out those blue stragglers"? What? I can't find anything to take them out. It's just a never-ending dodge-fest. Ugh!


*brain explodes*


You can control the blue stragglers

like you control the little star.

BTW: who can help me in level 26?

[Edit: Spoiler added ~ Kayleigh]


Beat level 26 by:
Sending hundreds of commands to your computer
(try opening about 30 internet explorer pages)
This will slow down the computer enough to be able to dodge the bad guys in slow-mo.
Hope this helps.

Matt Winslet October 22, 2009 10:03 PM

Apparently there is another Matt who has commented on this site before.
Thus, I changed to my full name.
P.S. If anyone has sucess with my tip about slowing down the computer, please let me know.

Matt is awesome.

Nitrome is innovative, but not always the best gameplay experience.

cookiemonster101 October 22, 2009 10:06 PM

Matt you are great!
The tip really helped!
Do you have any other secrets?
-CookyMonstr :)

Matt Winslet October 25, 2009 10:05 PM

For some older flash games, right-click on the game, and click "Forward". This will advance you in the game.
BTW, "Rewind" lets you go back to the game if you click it right after you die.

P.S. Nitrome's Parasite is a weird concept, but I like it.


God I hate this game. Just because of the pathetic controls that make my life unneccesarilly difficult. Like the fact that you can't smoothly get the sun off a jelly in one click - you have to click once to release him (at which point he randomly goes flying in one direction) and inevitably make a path with a second click. Of course by that point it's too late.
And the paths you make don't even work after a certain amount of time! The sun follows you faithfully until you change direction or have just been holding the mouse down 'too long', because then it gets bored or something and deserts you!
Irritating, stupid game. If it weren't for these problems it would be ok.


There is just nothing pleasuable about playing it whatsoever. Level 28 is a nightmare. EVEN WORSE that level 27. I hate it I hate it I hate it. And I hate Nitrome for making it. Worst Nitrome game ever. Even worse than Bomba, and that's saying something!


Gameplay is very frustrating (I'm stuck on level 26; the sun keeps leaving my path of stars!) but I absolutely adore the music, which is probably why I turn back to this game every now and then and then groan in frustration as the character gets squashed by those blocks.

I saw a walkthrough for level 30 once, and it looked like so much fun! Can't wait for the day I finally pass that level! =D


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