Super Stardust Delta



Classic twin-stick space shooter has only inanimate zapping.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Patient, dedicated players may discover that practice and perseverance are key to achieving success when facing challenging situations.

Positive role models

There are no characters in this game, though players may imagine a tiny pilot inside their ship, gritting his teeth and taking satisfaction with each enemy ship he shoots down.

Ease of play

Players use one stick to control their ship and the other to control the direction in which their weapon fires. It's a simple interface to master, but the difficulty can become pretty extreme for rookies. Multiple difficulty levels exist, but even the most basic will be challenging for some players, especially later in the game.


Players control a tiny space ship with a variety of energy weapons used to destroy various inanimate objects and enemy craft. Foes explode in a burst of fire and disappear.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Super Stardust Delta is a classic twin-stick space shooter available only through the PlayStation Store for PlayStation Vita. It has some violence -- tiny ships explode -- but it's both mild and fantastical. Players never see anyone get hurt. While there is some opportunity for players to form strategies, the experience is primarily reactive in nature. Kids will hone their reflexes and not much else. Parents should also note that this is a challenging game, even on lower difficulty settings. Impatient players will likely be frustrated by the repetitive defeats they will suffer along the path to success.

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What's it about?

SUPER STARDUST DELTA, a traditional space shooter available only through the PlayStation Store, makes use of the Vita's twin thumbsticks: one to guide a ship as it glides across the surfaces of heavenly spheres, the other to control the direction of the energy weapons you fire at deadly asteroids and enemies. The front and rear touch screens are used to initiate special attacks, and players can quickly tilt the Vita to the left to launch an electromagnetic pulse bomb. Slower tilts shift the camera angle by a few degrees in different directions. You work through multiple missions on five separate planets, going up against a boss enemy at the end of each. Scores get posted to online leaderboards, and a new mini-game is unlocked each time the player completes a new planet.

Is it any good?


The exorbitant cost of Vita memory cards means you're generally much better off buying games retail than downloading them, but this shooter -- only available via download -- is well worth the memory. Its controls are instantly accessible and it's easy to get hooked on its simple but challenging play. Plus, its explosive visual design and pounding music are a treat for both eyes and ears.

It won't take most players too long to work through all five planets, and the mini-games don't add a lot to the experience (they're more like quick tech demos -- one simply involves destroying asteroids by pinching them using the front and rear touch surface). However, it costs just $10, and the replay value is terrific for players who take satisfaction in working toward higher scores.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about real-world instances in which reflexes are important. Swatting flies, hitting a baseball, and driving a car are all examples of situations in which hand/eye coordination can play a vital role.

  • Families can also discuss how to develop and foster patience. Some challenges in both video games and the real world are difficult and take time to overcome. What are some examples in your life in which patience, determination, and perseverance have paid off?

  • How is playing on the PS Vita different than playing on other consoles?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation Vita
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 22, 2012
Topics:Space and aliens
ESRB rating:E for Mild Fantasy Violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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