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1991
Arcade: Action
Ā£10.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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52,53
Alan Green, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

ALL YOU LENTIL-EATING, CFC-FREE HAIRSPRAY-USING FREAKS ARE IN LUCK THIS MONTH BECAUSE GOOD OL' CAPTAIN PLANET AND HIS GREEN GANG HAVE BOUGHT THEIR SUPER-RIGHTEOUS BRAND OF ECO-FRIENDLINESS TO SAVE OUR WORLD. ALAN GREEN FILLS UP WITH LEAD-FREE PETROL AND TRACKS DOWN THE PLANETEERSā€¦

For those totally un-'right on' drongos who haven't been following the cartoon capers of David Ike and His Fabulously Turquoise Flying Suits... sorry, I mean Captain Planet and the Planeteers, it features a team of environmentally sound, super-hard superheroes.

Set in a future age, the Earth's in serious danger of being destroyed by the activities of Hoggish Greedly, mad scientist Dr Blight and aptly named Verminous Skumm (now there's a bunch of dodgy-sounding dudes). These wicked types are foolishly ignoring the cries of a dying planet in their relentless pursuit of wealth.

As we all know, the Cap'n and his band of environmental warriors are constantly fighting mans' destruction of the natural world. All those money-grabbing industrialists have got a new force to consider as this right-on bunch of heroes smash their schemes. As if global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer, pollution and so forth aren't enough!

THE HUNKY CAP
In this shoot-'em-up you control the hunky Captain Planet himself (unlike other versions of the game, in which you control all the characters in a platform romp). He controls all the forces of nature in his battle: Earth. Fire, Air, Water and Heart. Er, well actually he shoots twinkly stuff at the baddies. He brings relief to the rain forests, aid to the animals, sanctuary to the seas and peace to the planet (hoorah!).

He begins the game flying through space (as these superheroes invariably end up doing). As he tears forward to infinity, he has to dodge oncoming stars (which splat him into oblivion on impact - no surprise there) and grab clocks which give him extra time to rescue the world. This is just an introduction to the real assault on the villains. Once splattered on an approaching star, he takes his time bonus and returns to Earth.

PRINCE
First off there's evil profiteer Sly Sludge to deal with. Known as the prince of pollution, he plans to destroy the protective atmosphere surrounding the Earth with his CFC-loaded missiles and ozone-unfriendly balloons.

Why? So he can turn the whole planet into a holiday resort ('cause it'll be so hot)! Cor blimey, the lengths some people go!

Capn Planet's got to fly along collecting the balloons, being careful not to shoot them (else the harmful gas will escape) and dodging rockets and other flashes that scream past. With dramatic explosions on screen (producing great showers of love hearts all over the place), stem parallax-scrolling by and all the other action, it's a scene of true psychedelic splendour (wow maaan!), enough to touch even the most environmentally unsound among us.

After a few hundred games (yep, it's not easy), you'll manage to defeat Sludge himself and deactivate the gigantic CFC warhead, but it's a painfully frustrating process getting this far. The amount of baddies is quite overwhelming - you've never seen so many little sprites out for your blood -and they move last, too. Exhausting stuff ... but it'll keep you trying until the wicked Sly

PLUNDER, SLUDGE AND BLIGHT
Once Cap's sorted this little problem out, he finds himself floating around in space again. Then there's other battles of conscience to fight. Looter Plunder (great name!) is planning to capture dolphins. Why? To use them in his deniable experimentation, that's why. He's going to poison them with vast amounts of oil waste!

The task's much the same sort of thing as dealing with Mr Sludge, but underwater. The barrage of enemy assault is just as fierce, but this time it's sea urchins and such like all over the screen, and the backgrounds made up of little upward-scrolling bubbles (cute, eh?).

The Captain's next goodly mission is to put a spanner in the works of dastardly Dr Blight. He's planning to burn down a massive area of rain forest. Why? (You knew he was going to say that, didn't you? -Prod Ed). To go and build a dirty greet Plutonium mine there. And you know what they make with Plutonium. Yes, those nasty nuclear bomb things.

To carry out this operation, Dr Blight's using aeroplanes to drop great fire bombs on the forest in question. If the destruction of trees isn't enough, think of all the animals in the area getting burned to death! You've really got you're work cut out in this game, haven 't you?!

I'm not sure Captain Planet is going to convert us all into green-minded warriors of mother nature, but it's a damn good genre.

Uncompromisingly pretty and dangerously fast, it'll have you at it for ages (oo-er). It's similar to some of Mindscape's previous offerings (Is this an echo-logical trend? haw haw), but I doubt fans of fast and forms action will be disappointed.

ALAN ... 88%

CRITICISM

'Wow man! My Speccy'e exploded and the colours have gone mad. No, hold on. Am I playing the Amiga version? Nope, It's definitely the Spectrum and it's terrific! Anyone who's played games like Extreme and Dan Dare 3 will know what to expect from Captain Planet as it's been programmed by the same team. The trouble with Extreme was that the graphics were amazing but the game was only a couple of levels long! Every Captain Planet sprite and background is packed to bursting point with colours and there's no clash to make things look untidy. Unfortunately the amount of things going on make it very difficult to keep up with the action, especially when there are rockets firing all over the shop. It's a bit like Bonfire tight around Ludlow! This is one game that even the slickest of gamesplayers won't complete in a hurry. Having a storyline covering green issues is a great idea and coupled with the slick presentation and graphics is a thoroughly enjoyable blast.' NICK ... 87%

A rampant and addictive blast and right-on, too.

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TEN 'RIGHT ON' THINGS TO DO

1. If you've mistakenly bought other Speccy 'mags', don't trash 'em. Cut them into little squares, put them on a nail in the wall of 'the smallest room' and use them when nature calls!

2. Paint everything in your bedroom green - even yourself. You won't be able to find a ****ing thing but you'll feel very green.

3. If you use tea bags, cut the top off old ones and empty out the soggy tea leaves. Then fill them with fallen flower petals, staple the top together and put them in your underwear drawer to keep everything smelling of roses - literally!

4. Don't use mild green F***y L*q**d or P**m***v* to blow soap bubbles, use plain water instead. You won't get many bubbles but you'll have a damn good blow (missus)!

5. Buy the Captain Planet videos and comics to swot up on the latest eco news. They're a jolly wheeze and when you're bored of them you can make a small portable WC with them.

6. Don't tie parcels with lots of string. Just use one short piece of elastic: It'll help develop your muscles and the parcel can be opened with remarkable speed and ease.

7. Instead of pampering to the whims of fashion, learn a little origami and use an old newspaper to make a distinctive titfer (hat)!

8. Preserve the peat bogs In East Anglia. Rather than Growbags and such like, put horse manure in plastic bags and spread dung over you flowerbeds. Then hope your neighbours don't complain about the smell of sh-(snip!-Ed).

9. Instead of putting your rubbish out for the binmen to collect or dropping it in the local tip, gather it into a large skip, take a trip to the Beeb studio and dump it over the Blue Peter team. This won't make any difference to the environment but it'll give a lot of people a good laff.

10. If you see any litter in the street, pick it up. You never know, that small piece of paper might be a fiver.

Screenshot Text

Looks like the Captain's got hold of Cupid's bow and arrows.

Sly Sludge - he's got less moral fibre than a Pot Noodle.

Glug Glug. He swims through the oceans to curtail those environmental enemies.

Captain Planet mingling with the stars. Oh look! There's Kenny Everett.

Crash, bang, wallop! 500-0 to th Captain.