Cave Creatures on the TI99/4a
This is a prototype game, with the source code being played on a Flashcart. This is a great kitchen sink game! Its part Asteroids, part Space Invaders, part Galaxian, part Centipede. Seriously. Its a mash-up of all early arcade mash-ups.
Here is a video.
You have that F-16 looking ship in the middle, and you move like Asteroids with rotation and thrust. You can fire out the nose. You are also constrained within the dotted box, and will just bounce off the sides of it. The Space Invaders looking aliens move like in Centipede, and if you shoot them they turn into mushrooms or whatever the circles are. You can shoot the circles too. If the aliens hit the mushrooms, they seem to disappear but they are just moving inward toward you -- but they often just seem to reappear as if by magic somewhere else, often closer or even inside your dotted box. Occasionally they just fly out of formation at you like Galaxian with a dive bombing whirrrrrrrrl sound. Sometimes a mother ship or something comes flying silently at you.
For a prototype, the gameplay seems solid and well done. The flaw - if it is a flaw (maybe its a 'feature') is that the disappearing / reappearing aliens just pop up sometimes right inside your box and you have no time to react. Maybe if you get more experience, that is predicable and you will not be right there to collide.
The other thing is your rotational speed is not nearly as quick as you would like. Incoming aliens are often fatal because you can neither outmanuever or twist to gun them down in time. Well, that's why its an arcade game. It could be worse though - there is no penalty for having mushroom circles inside your box. You harmlessly float through those.
As to the bugs -- are they the Cave Creatures of the game title? in Space? Are we in space? Space with mushrooms and a box? I don't know....maybe had it been released it would make more sense. Maybe not. It was the 80s, after all.
- These two video game reviews brought to you by the letters T, I and C, and the numbers 9 and 4
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