Elephant Software
Not Known
1984
Strategy: Management
£5.65
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

14
Chris Bourne

You are captain of the outdated space craft Red Beard 2, which basically makes you a pirate. You have embarked on a course of action which will result in your wreaking havoc in the orbital shipping lanes. The Red Beard has torpedoes with which to attack, a worn out and unreliable on-board computer, and a crew consisting of drones and cellular beings.

The game is played like a simple option adventurecum- strategy game, the screen display being the computer display for the ship. During chases, says the inlay, the computer will give you a representation of the chase and attack. This takes the form of a semi-3D representation of space with a firing cursor, moving stars and a victim ship. Using the directional keys will effectively bring the victim into the firing line. A damaged ship may be boarded and plundered. You could become dictator of Earth.

CRITICISM

'There is obviously not enough instruction provided with this game, so it is very hard to understand what is going on. And from what I can understand, this is a very boring game with no sound and hardly any graphics. When the program asks for an input (to be answered in numeric form) it takes a long time for the computer to accept the answer. If by mistake you press the wrong key at the wrong time, the game crashes. I have also discovered that when I chose to attack a ship, laboriously typed in the values of the lasers, crew and power etc., and finally got to do bathe, that the movement keys don't work.'

'Where do you start with this game? No indication is given as to what you are supposed to be doing (at least not in a direct form). The screen is totally crammed with information, the majority of it being completely useless. The computer asks for inputs - the inputs are not acknowledged -sometimes you have to keep your finger on the key for minutes before anything happens. There are some moving graphics in the game, although what you are meant to do with them, I'm still not quite sure. Where has 'all the excitement for all the family' gone? One of the most pathetic attempts at programming I have seen for the last twelve months.'

'The inlay makes a heavy point about not using the ENTER key, yet without any instruction, there doesn't seem to be any other way of getting the thing working. All too easily you can be presented with a delicately woven tapestry of stars working their way down the screen with the message finally appearing - SYSTEMS POWER DOWN. Very funny - yes, you've crashed. Great! How come a games programmer can spend more time working out a clever, clever way of crashing a game than on the actual game itself? In play, Kosmik Pirate is a sort of strategy simulation with knobs on - the knobs in this case being to find out how to work the ship in the first place. Simply ill-executed rubbish.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: (for space attacks) CAPS/X left/right, B/M up/down, S to fire otherwise numeric input
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: terrible with appalling responses
Use of colour: rather pointless and very messy
Graphics: poor
Sound: poor to non-existent
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 1
General Rating: Terrible.

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Screenshot Text

The Red Beard has a dodgy computer to control the ship - and perhaps a cluttered screen indicates a cluttered mind.