We love a good arcade shoot 'em up here at Time Extension, so when we spotted Brandon "Tpot" Beauregard's Stellanova while scrolling through Twitter, we knew we had to stop everything and immediately write about it.
Stellanova is a horizontally-scrolling shooter that has you blasting your way across space and the planet Earth's surface. You can fire in two directionals - forwards and back - and have two weapons that you can switch between. This includes a standard blaster and a laser that you can charge up.
Of course, there are pick-ups too, which you can collect within the stages. These let you grab a shield, increase your firepower, and so on. But what really impressed us was the dash ability, which you can use to break apart meteors and clear the screen with the debris. You can even use the dash to bash enemies, but this isn't implemented in the demo of the game just yet.
Beauregard tells Time Extension, "Honestly, [the influences are] mostly just Thunder Force IV and a little bit of Einhander. Though I've only actually played the former. I mostly wanted to make Stellanova because I wanted to play a space shooter that felt kinda like the film Top Gun in 2D, with more dynamic movement and more action-focused gameplay, and I couldn't find what I was looking for!"
Here's the story for the game taken from the Itch.io page:
"In a future several centuries from now, civilizations are beginning to expand across the Milky Way, and Earth now shares a single unified government body.
Due to advanced artificial intelligence, warfare is now entirely coordinated by machines, leaving military training focused on moulding human soldiers into machines of obedience before they reach the front-lines.
No matter how brutal this training is, it still doesn't break everyone however.
Stella Lucera is a 26 year old star-pilot, performing consistently top of her class and without any doubt the most talented and capable pilot in the Star Force.
Despite her exceptional abilities, she has never been placed on a single mission after being considered a severe liability due to her consistent failure to follow orders and her unpredictable nature.
After years of having to stay back from every mission, the planet is threatened by an alien force unlike anything they've ever faced before, and Stella's erratic nature and unique skill set might be the federation's only hope.
Now's the time to shine like a star!"
The demo is available now for PC and is roughly half an hour long. It features some boss fights and a sample of the first few stages. We recommend following Beauregard on Twitter to keep up to date with when it will release.
What do you think of Stellanova? Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comments!