Starshine is a game of rays and angles in which the objective is to light all of the stars to advance to the next level. You have but a single shooting star in your arsenal to fire from anywhere along the outer edge of the circular field of play. The path your shooting star will take depends on the type of stars it comes in contact with.
Control is easy and intuitive. Moving the mouse will move a small white dot constrained to a circle surrounding each level. Position the dot where you wish to fire from, inward toward the center. Click the mouse to shoot the star and watch the result.
As you position the cursor while aiming, small arrow cues may be available to help you become acquainted with the behavior of each type of star, and the resulting angle(s) of deflection; but they will not appear in all circumstances. Think of them as hints, and nothing more.
Once successful in lighting all stars of a level, the next level is unlocked and your progress is saved automatically for you. There are no time limits nor lives to lose, and there are 50 levels to complete in the game.
Analysis: While there will likely be the obvious comparison to one of Ferry's Orisinal games, the similarities are only skin deep. Starshine is an original puzzle game that is a bit deceiving at first. What appears to be a simple game of angles of deflection reveals additional complexity with each new type of star that's introduced. Soon the player is immersed in intricate and divergent paths as stars split into shards like fireworks in the sky. Keeping track and making sense of all those paths soon becomes difficult, and the challenge of completing a level looms large.
While playing I wished for more and better cues to help me know where the stars would hit and deflect to. Jared tells me that it's part of the game to learn the different types of stars and the effect they will have. Maybe it's just me, but I got lost easily with all those stars lying about and it was rather difficult for me to gauge where all the bits would travel. Instead of being able to predict the best angle to fire from, I resorted to trial and error to solve a level more than once. Your experience may be different.
All things considered, Starshine is a wonderful and unique new puzzle game to conquer, with enough challenge to sharpen your mind and brighten your day with.
Update: A new version is now up that addresses some of the issues we noted. Specifically, additional arrows provide better clues as to the path of the star; and pressing [space] will activate 'retry' to help expedite the process. The main menu and more games buttons were also moved to the bottom of the screen.