Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

Posts Tagged ‘futuristic’

SkyRoads

Posted by Tracy Poff on July 16, 2008

SkyRoads was a driving game released in 1993 by Bluemoon Interactive.

The object is to complete each road, passing through the pipe at the end. There are various obstacles along the way, including blocks or gaps that must be jumped over, pipes that must be entered or avoided, as well as the threat of running out of oxygen or fuel before the end of the road.

The early roads are quite easy, requiring little jumping. Each can be completed on the first play through with minimal difficulty.

As the game progresses, though, the roads become more difficult, some requiring multiple tries to complete. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Sometimes, pipes hide walls or missing sections of floor, which will kill you, so you must remember to avoid those pipes the next time through. In my opinion, since the levels are so short (each requiring less than one minute), this required repetition does not detract from the gameplay.

SkyRoads has nice graphics, and very nice music as well, together with fun gameplay–the makings of a great game. It does fall short on replay value, though. While the roads are still nice after you’ve beaten them, there’s no real incentive to play them again–no way to try to beat your best times (which wouldn’t really matter, since most roads will be completed at maximum speed anyway), no secrets to be found, and only one way through the road, with minor variations. Despite this fault, though, SkyRoads is well worth playing, even if you might not play it much after you’ve completed it.

Below you’ll find a video of the first three roads, Red Heat, being completed:

SkyRoads can be downloaded for free from Bluemoon Interactive.

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Posted in 1993, DOS, Driving, Freeware, Full Review, Good | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

First Impressions: The Adventures of Rad Gravity

Posted by Tracy Poff on May 22, 2008

The Adventures of Rad Gravity is a platform shooter by Activision.

The game begins by giving us our mission: to discover teleport locations by infiltrating the computers on the planet below.

With this goal in mind, we are sent down to begin. The enemies are rather odd, and the level designs leave a great deal to be desired.

It isn’t obvious from these pictures, but certain of the blocks which make up the scene can be walked through, and others must be jumped over. There’s no particular indication which is which, although I think that they are color coded.

After passing through a few screens, we encounter these robots, which are initially very difficult to kill. The weapon we have at the beginning is some sort of energy knife or something, and its range is about the width of Rad’s body. The robots move fairly quickly, so you have to tap the button pretty quickly as well in order to kill them.

As you move through the level you pick up powerups, including additional life bars and a gun, which seems to be slightly less powerful than the knife, but has the enormous advantage of being a ranged weapon.

Not all the levels are identical, as you can see in the above screencap. The thing with the up/down arrows on it is a sort of elevator (which I got stuck on and had to jump to disembark), and the thing center-right is a teleporter.

Here we see an example of extremely stupid level design. Every horizontal line is a surface, so you can–if you release buttons at the right moments–move yourself to whichever height you desire. Of course, it’s much easier to dodge the electricity (which is bouncing between the ceiling and floor) when you’re at the bottom of the screen, since it gives you more time to run past it, so there’s no particular reason you want to be anywhere except on the the ground.

If it weren’t for the rather painful graphics and horrible level design, Rad Gravity might be a pretty good game. If you can stomach those faults, give it a try.

Posted in 1990, Decent, First Impressions, NES, Platformer | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

First Impressions: The Adventures of Captain Comic

Posted by Tracy Poff on March 24, 2008

This time a platformer, The Adventures of Captain Comic.

Like The Adventures of Bayou Billy, Captain Comic is frustratingly difficult. Most of the time, there are three or four enemies on the screen at once, and they respawn a few seconds after you kill them.

The level designs place many obstacles in your path, and though the controls are generally quite responsive, I found it difficult to manage the fine control to move on small platforms without running off into the abyss.

There were several different areas with unique backgrounds and enemies, each of which had different movement patters. This variety is nice, but unfortunately each area is similarly difficult.



Having read a guide after my attempt, it seems like some of the areas seemed so totally unfair because I tackled the game in the wrong order, but the complete lack of guidance made it impossible to know just what I ought to have done. Were it not for the benefit of save states, I’m sure I would have given up before seeing the third area, for the effort to get through the game is completely disproportionate to the entertainment granted.

The game looks fairly good for an old NES game, the music, though very repetitive, isn’t bad, and the controls are good if a bit too enthusiastic. Unfortunately, the game’s difficulty more than compensates for these positive points. I can’t recommend the game unless you don’t mind frustration.

Posted in 1989, Decent, First Impressions, NES, Platformer | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

First Impressions: Tasac

Posted by Tracy Poff on September 24, 2006

Tasac is a vertical scrolling shooter by Sachen, and it sucks.

Tasac_01

The title screen looks pretty cool, so one might expect the game to have decent graphics, or something. Most of your in-game time is spent in a position like this one:

Tasac_04

There’s no real challenge in this part, except that the laser-like weapon you start with sucks, and the upgrades suck even more. When you get to the end, the boss appears.

Tasac_07

But you can’t kill it yet. In fact, you can fly right over it. Why is the boss there before you’re able to interact with it? I don’t know. But the game carries on just as if the boss weren’t there. In fact, it carries on the same way even once you can fight the boss–the random enemies keep appearing, there’s just a boss on the screen at the same time.

Tasac_09

Although the boss shoots a pretty large number of projectiles at you, they’re not hard to dodge. If the weapon weren’t so stupidly slow and hard to use, they boss wouldn’t be even slightly difficult. As it is, the boss just takes a little longer than it ought to.

The second level was just like the first. I think that the boss was slightly rounder, but I don’t really care to recall.

Verdict: Pointless. It’s just a below average vertical scroller.

Posted in 1992, Bad, First Impressions, NES, Vertical Scrolling Shooter | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »