Released in September 1980.
This was one of the first games to use an experimental artificial intelligence to harass the game player's ship. The star constellation in the background was actually the outline of a centerfold from a 1980 issue of OUI magazine. When management found out after shipping about 5,000 units, they flipped out and almost stopped production. They eventually came to their senses and nothing was changed.
About 14,000 units were produced.
The original inspiration for the game reportedly came from an early version of Larry Rosenthal's never-released "Oops!" in which the player controlled a sperm trying to fertilize an egg in the center of the screen. Later, Dan Sunday changed the game so that the player rotated in the middle of the screen, protected by rotating blocks, and shot snowflake-shaped objects that were flying towards him. Eventually, the player would be overwhelmed by the objects and the game would be over. Tim Skelly later changed the game around to its final form by anchoring the enemy in the middle of the screen, and having the player fly around and destroy the shield to get to the enemy.
Licensed to Mottoeis for Spanish manufacture and distribution.
A bootleg of this game is known as "Stellar Castle
A Star Castle unit appears in the 1982 movie 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High', in the 1982 movie 'Rocky III', in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks', in the 1986 movie 'Maximum Overdrive' and in the 1996 movie 'High School High'.
A Star Castle cabinet can be seen in the background of the 1984 movie Ghostbusters (in the scene when they're eating and suddenly they get a call to their first case at the Sedgewick Hotel).
A Star Castle unit appears (multiple times) in a 'Columbo' tv movie episode : (Murder, Smoke and Shadows) directed by James Frawley (in the same episode you can see beside this cabinet a "Joust
The Atari 2600 game "Yar's Revenge" originated from a rough version of Star Castle for that system which never made it to production.