Cosmic Force (Wavem Studios) £20 (digital) / £35+ (physical)
Game title: Cosmic Force
Game description: Cosmic Force is a three-in-one old school style shooter that looks to allow players to relive the fast paced arcade action that they would have experienced in the early 1980s. The sole premise of the game is to protect your colony planets from enemy alien attack by playing through three distinct defence phases. The first phase of defence provides a Galaxian style of play. Shooting enemies can result in power-ups becoming available which you can collect by shooting at them. Power-ups include Bonus Points, Extra Life, Force Fields, Double Lasers, Scatter Bombs and EMP Bombs that disable enemy drones for a limited amount of time. The second phase of the defence, switches to a first person / 3D perspective that attempts to mimic the Star Wars arcade. Here you are chasing enemy ships above the planet atmosphere as you try to engage them in a dog-fight. The final phase is akin to Defender and has you skimming your colony planet searching and destroying landing alien drones to stop enemy bases being built. Get through this section and you get to go through and repeat the same phases again, albeit with slightly more aggressive enemies. Scattered in between the defence phases are a number of challenge levels that allow you to acquire bonus points and additional lives. In total, Cosmic Force offers 108 levels across 9 colonies.
Graphics - 50%
Sound - 80%
Fun - 30%
Depth - 40%
Value - 10%
Graphically the game is quite sparse. Stephen Fletcher, the game’s coder will have us believe that this is intentional so as to put all emphasis on speed and interaction. However, the deviation away from the conceptual screenshots provided as part of the game’s Kickstarter campaign point to the reality that the game’s graphics has more to do with this being Fletcher’s first attempt at a C64 title and his limited coding skills. You simply have to refer to the 16K Neutron to see that it is possible to have a fast moving shooter that is also graphically rich and detailed.
The Galaxian style of game is perhaps the best of the three phases. Movement of your ship is smooth and responsive though the actually pattern of the enemy waves does feel a little limited.
The Star Wars section turns out to be glorified bonus points accumulation levels as the enemy does not shoot back at you in any way and what was perhaps the most anticipated game mode ends up being its most disappointing.
The Defender part of the game feels really sparse and the gameplay is not quite balanced as the enemies feeling like they are all clumped together within the same area. The movement and scrolling lacks that definitive feeling of smoothness (refer to Antonio Savona’s Chopper Command for a great example of quality movement), slowing down whenever too much is going on the screen, and the whole feel comes off feeling quite cheap to be honest.
If there is one area that Cosmic Force does excel at then this would be its great in game music soundtrack by Jason Page which is Rob Hubbard inspired and fits the classic 1980s vibe very well…its just a pity the music breaks up when an explosion sound effect is triggered.
The overall production within Cosmic Force is low. There is no smooth flow from one level to another as the game abruptly switches from one phase to the next and you simply lose track of your progress. You just can’t help feeling that you are playing a cheap budget title and there is very little to pull you back to the game. Good concept but poor execution…it’s a shame.
User Review( vote)
- In game music sound track
- Sparse graphics
- Limited enemy AI behaviour
- Star Wars stage disappoints
- Defender stage is jerky and unbalanced
- Lacks cohesiveness overall
- Expensive for a ‘budget’ game
Video Link Included