Zanrai’s Stardust Vanguards is a Four-Player Deathmatch Bullet Hell

Putting four people in charge of fighting mechs in space is a good idea all by itself. Letting them use laser swords and guns makes it even better. Putting them in a small arena where they can battle to the death will also make for some frantic fun, especially when the mechs can maneuver quickly. But what would make it even crazier? Drawing from the shot-filled screens of some great bullet hell shmups. With that, Zanrai Interactive’s Stardust Vanguards manages to squeeze even more chaos into a four-player battle to the death.

Each player gets to pilot their own mech in Stardust Vanguards, able to flit around the 2D plane with ease using jets and regular controls. You can use your swords and guns to kill your opponents, but you can also call upon a fleet of ships to back you up. These ships will fly in and start unloading on all the other players, filling the screen with gunfire to the point where you have to watch every tiny movement to stay alive. More than one player can do this at once, too, which soon turns the void of space into a laser-coated death field. As if that’s not enough, NPC ships can also fly in and attack everyone at random times, meaning there is somehow even more possible ways to die outside of the fact that your friends are somewhere in that mess trying to cut you down.


Stardust Vanguards just dropped a new video on the game if you want to see everything I described in action, and they are looking for some Greenlight love, so give them a vote if you think you need more brutal couch co-op in your life. With its inspiration from 80’s/90’s anime space operas, its sweet soundtrack, and out-of-control, fast-paced gameplay, it’s another good reason to have your friends over.

Fiction writer, indie lover, and horror game fanatic. If it's strange, personal, terrifying, or a combination thereof, he wants to play it.