Cosmic Creeps
Atari 2600
Terrible things dying planets aren't they? All that evacuating, finding a new planet to colonise and so on, nothing but hassle if you ask me. Quite why Telesys decided to base a game around it beats me. Might as well write a game about getting a parking ticket ...

Played in two parts, Cosmic Creeps plays like a cross between Frogger and a sort of upside-down Centipede. The aim is to evacuate as many Cosmic Kids from their dying planet as possible while racking up a nice score and of course avoiding the ever-present hostile alien critters.

Part one - The Voyage
The first part involves steering an 'Orbinaut' from the planet at the bottom of the screen to safety on board the spaceship at the top. Progress is hindered by falling space debris and 'Skeeters' - fireballs which travel horizontally across the screen. Contact with either of these is fatal and means having to release another Orbinaut from the ever-decaying planet. The planet acts as a timer and gradually falls off the bottom of the screen during the course of play. Releasing a new Orbinaut also causes the planet to recede one notch. Once an Orbinaut is successfully guided to the spaceship, the second part of the game begins.

Part two - The Rescue
The aim in the second part is to score 5,000 points before the planet disappears altogether. 'Cosmic Kids' are released from the bottom left hand corner of the playing area and must be allowed to make their way to safety at the top right of the screen. Again, each kid released sees the planet slip down a notch. Aliens ('Cosmic Creeps') are also launched into the play area from the same position and must be prevented from destroying your Kids before they are rescued. Even worse, if a Creep reaches the safety zone the game is over. The player is put in control of a spaceship at the top of the screen which can be moved to the left and right and can also fire laser blasts down the screen to destroy the Creeps - but be careful, as Kids can also be destroyed in this way. Each successful rescue earns the player 1,500 points and 100 points are awarded for each Creep destroyed.

If 5,000 points have been amassed before the planet's devastation, the player is whisked off to the next level, where the Skeeters, Creeps and Space Debris all move that little bit faster. Failure to score the required amount ends the game. Cosmic, huh?

The first part - guide the Orbinaut to the spaceship at
the top

The second part - rescue those Kids!!

These guys are the 'Cosmic Creeps'. And whatever you do, don't let them get to where that one is at the top ...

An Orbinaut upside down. Ho hum.

Yes, yes, yes!! This is one of the few games I owned when I originally had an Atari as a young nipper, and I had forgotten it even existed until I recently came across a copy in a second-hand shop and recognised the artwork on the cartridge. Talk about floods of nostalgia :) I had also forgotten how it played, although I remembered that I loved it as a kid. I must have had good taste back then because this game is excellent! Both parts of the game are pretty straightfoward (the second part being the better of the two) but as a whole, they combine to make one of the most addictive games ever produced for the VCS. Starting off at a fairly easy pace, the action soon hots up and judging those laser shots as the Creeps fly by in pursuit of those precious Kids becomes more difficult and more gripping as the game progresses. Graphically, although hardly amazing, Cosmic Creeps does have a very unique apearance and the Creeps themselves look great but more animation wouldn't have gone amiss. Sound effects in the game are quite good, although the sound of your laser cannon does tend to grate after a while. Overall, a top game and one which has definitely stood the test of time. Highly recommended.

Graphics: 77%

Sound: 64%

Gameplay: 86%

Overall: 85%
Nicely defined sprites - especially the Creeps - but not much in the way of animation. Some quite powerful effects, but the laser cannon sound annoys after a while. Outstandingly playable and well-balanced. The two sub-games offer a degree of variety despite their simplicity and combine to make one hell of a game :) Brilliant fun. Go get a copy :)

R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
Centipede • Spider Fighter • Frogger II: Threedeep

O T H E R   F O R M A T S

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