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Cave Creatures (TI99)

Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 2:04 pm
by scotland
Cave Creatures on the TI99/4a

Cave Creatures.JPG
Cave Creatures.JPG (23.58 KiB) Viewed 2469 times

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

Re: Cave Creatures (TI99)

Posted: December 15th, 2017, 10:18 pm
by lynchie137
I never played the game, nor am I'm likely to ever play it. But going by the screenshot, It definitely looked like it'd be a fun game to play in short spurts. I'm also detecting a strong Robotron 2084 vibe to it as well going by the visuals. But like I said, I never played Cave Creatures. So I could be way off base on that one.

Great review, by the way. Hope to see more TI99 game reviews in the future. Cheers.

Re: Cave Creatures (TI99)

Posted: December 16th, 2017, 10:01 am
by scotland
lynchie137 wrote: Great review, by the way. Hope to see more TI99 game reviews in the future. Cheers.

Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking of hooking up the TI99 for some fun!

Re: Cave Creatures (TI99)

Posted: December 18th, 2017, 12:54 pm
by Marriott_Guy
Excellent review - brought back a great deal of fond memories for me as well. Here is a great compilation video by my good friend Tom for those that may want some more info on the games / play:

Also, check out the comment section - John Phillips, one of the actual game programmers, chips in with insight on the programming and other interesting tidbits of info (i.e. who voiced the computer voice for Parsec).