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1984
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£5.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

Other Links


51
Chris Bourne

Cosmic Cruiser comes packaged in Imagine's new cassette design with a profile of the programmer and detailed instructions and game objectives. Essentially you have parked your Cosmic Cruiser underneath an Earth-owned space station which has been overrun by aliens. Your task is to rescue the captured crew and bring them to the safety of your Cruiser. Your ship is equipped with a laser canon and a hatch, and you also have a laser hand gun. Cosmic Cruiser is not a moving game in the sense that the ships fly about; both your ship and the space station remain static. The object is to shoot open one of the hatches in the station which line a revolving outer wheel. This is done with the canon. You can then fly up to the opened hatch and dive in. The scene cuts to the interior. If you are lucky the compartment will contain a crewman, and after blasting the alien guards, you can drag him to the safety of your ship.

But not all the compartments contain crewmen. You will have to kill all the aliens before you can leave. Outside, the aliens are gathering. There may be fighters which will bomb you and the warriors from the station may come after you. Firing the hand gun while carrying a crewman will result in his floating away from you.

Progression from level to level is either by time or by rescuing eight crewmen. Bonus points are awarded after each level. As the levels progress the enemy become nastier.

CRITICISM

'Cosmic Cruiser is, in my opinion, rather similar to Pedro by Imagine in as much as the game is a good idea but generally falls down on playability . Graphics and sound are good, but the graphics do have some problems. But the main problem is the sheer lack of playability. For instance, when Inside the space station you must kill off all the aliens to escape. This is difficult due to your man being hard to control and only firing very slowly. This is another good idea gone wrong. Are Imagine going down the same street as that of waning pop groups? Just releasing material and expecting fans to buy it won't work in this industry. Even thouclh I feel this is essentially a bad' game, it's 'average' because it is still better than many games available. Imagine just don't seem to get the whole thing working correctly. They brag about their programmers, musicians, artists, techs, etc, let's hope they all work together to give a co-ordinated presentation next time!'

'Looking at Cosmic Cruiser and, before it, Pedro, / begin to suspect that Imagine tried lo wering their prices to £3.95 because they thought these games were not worth it, and for £5.50 they're not. The basic idea is quite good, but your man is poorly drawn and very fidgety to control,. He wobbles and bounces ofthings. is slow compared to the aliens and fires slowly, considering how many of them there are. Inside the space station, the compartments are drawn in a false perspective, but the objects lining the sides cramp the space so much that there is little room left for the man to move away for target distance and he has to be facing the alien to shoot it, so he needs that space. The result is unplayable and very soon completely pointless. '

'I'm afraid the best thing about this game is the title screen and start music. There's precious little sound anywhere else and the graphics, while reasonable to look at, behave very oddly at times. Your laser canon jerks violently in turning, and when you leave it, your man materialises away from it, rather than being animated out. This violence of control runs through the rest of the game too. I think it's totally astonishing that the company to have released a game like Zzoom should have let this one go,

COMMENTS
Control keys: alternate bottom row for left/right, 2nd row down. 3rd row up, top row fire
Joystick: Kempston, ZX 2, Protek, AGF, Fuller
Keyboard play: average responses, but hard to control
Use of colour: good
Graphics: average
Sound: poor (except for start music)
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 4
Screens: 2
Originality: not a bad idea, and certainly quite original, but poorly implemented
General Rating: Below average.

58%
62%
30%
74%
35%
68%
48%
54%

Screenshot Text

For the Cosmic Cruiser, getting into the space station proves quite easy...

...getting out is quite another because the aliens give the hero a fit of the jitters.