Museum of the Game ®

International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Star Castle Star Castle - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Star Castle - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


You control a ship that fires at a cannon surrounded by three oppositely rotating energy rings of twelve segments each. When a clear line of fire is open, the cannon fires back at your ship with a big "fuzzball". Three sparks start off on the rings, but eventually fly loose and chase the player's ship.

Star Castle was produced by Cinematronics in 1980.

Cinematronics released 33 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1976. Cinematronics was based in United States.

Other machines made by Cinematronics during the time period Star Castle was produced include: Sundance, Tail Gunner, Space Wars, Starhawk, Embargo, Armor Attack, Rip Off, Solar Quest, Boxing Bugs, and Jack The Giantkiller


Name Star Castle
Developer Cinematronics (United States)
Year 1980
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 9754
Class Wide Release
Genre Space
  • Orientation: Horizontal
  • Type: Vector
  • Color: Black and White with a Color Overlay
Conversion Class Cinematronics BW Vector
Dipswitch Settings

Star Castle Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Buttons: Rotational (left, right)
  • Buttons: 2 - FireThrust
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cocktail - Very rare
Control Panel Star Castle Control Panel Image

Star Castle KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.93 (15 votes)

Fun Factor: 4.18

Overall Like 4.36
Fun (Social) 3.29
Fun (Solo) 4.21
Collector Desire 4.36

Technical Rating: 3.90

Gameplay 4.14
Graphics 3.87
Originality 4.21
Sound/Music 4.00

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

Originally, the three sparks were slow enough that it was possible to outrun them in the ship. The player could, by using the wraparound playfield, fly out of the right side appearing on the left, while firing a few shots, then fly out the top appearing at the bottom, again firing a few shots. This pattern automatically avoided the sparks, and opened up the walls of the Star Castle. This technique allowed for hours of play. A later revision of the game sped up the sparks enough that this method would fail.



This was one of the first games to use an experimental artificial intelligence to harrass the game player's ship. A barely noticable feature of the game from our perspective, but a fundemental element of all video games today!

At approximately every 182,000 points, the game play slows down.

As opposed to some games, the points will not roll over at 1 million approximately four hours of game play. It is unknown if the score might roll over at 10 million.

This game can be seen in the 1986 Stephen King film, Maximum Overdrive.

Cabinet Information

The cabinet at the top of the page shows a close-up of an original cabinet with the standard control panel overlay. The cabinet image on the right shows either a prototype overlay or an aftermarket design view close-up.


BOOTLEGS: Space Castle, Stellar Castle and Space Fortress

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Star Castle Census

There are 14,958 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,547 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,359 machines (6,939 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 243 known instances of this machine owned by Star Castle collectors who are active members. Of these, 222 of them are original dedicated machines. 4 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 16 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 7 active VAPS members with a Star Castle machines for sale. There are 2 active VAPS members with a Star Castle circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 29 active VAPS members currently looking for Star Castle.

This game ranks a 62 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 48 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



The monitor uses a colored plastic overlay that makes the rings different colors.


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: C1; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 84; Color photo Price guide: No
  3. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 84; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Upright

eBay Listings

Click to search eBay for Star Castle Videogame machines and related items.

Click to search eBay for Cinematronics for machines and parts.

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Ebay Compatible Application

Star Castle Arcade Marquee/Sign (26" x 8")

Auction ends in: 2 weeks, 4 days


Cinematronics Star Castle PCB & Sound Board Working

Auction ends in: 4 days, 22 hours


Flyer STAR CASTLE Video Game advertisement original see pic

Auction ends in: 1 week, 5 days


Auction Results

Logged in members can see all related auctions.

Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2016 2 345.00 345.00
All Years 2 345.00 345.00


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