Super Nova was the first commercial release from Big Five Software, a company that would become renowned for high quality adaptations of popular arcade games.
Super Nova was based on the 1979 arcade game Asteroids, and it offers all the same controls as the arcade game: rotate left, rotate right, thrust, fire, and hyperspace.
The gameplay is roughly equivalent to the arcade game. The player controls a ship that must blast through a series of asteroid fields. Each shot that hits causes an asteroid to break into one or more smaller asteroids, with the smallest of the asteroids being vaporized into nothing.
This task is complicated by the occasional appearance of alien spaceships. The most powerful of these, the iconic "Flagship", features a rotating "eye" and fires deadly laser bolts at the player's ship.
The Flagship would go on to star in other Big Five releases, as well as making unofficial appearances in TRS-80 games created others.