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RAM Requirement: 768k RAM

Control: Joystick and Mouse

Release Status: Shareware

Year: 1990

Publisher: Pangea Software

Developers: Brian Greenstone & Dave Triplett

System 6 Compatible: Yes

Hard Drive Installable: Yes

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Cosmocade was a rather ambitious project for Brian and Dave, wanting to create multiple games to sit under the Cosmocade banner, they were really pushing the envelope as to the limitations of what the IIGS was technically capable of. It also marked their last work for the IIGS.

The first game, Journey to Calibus, is a top down vertical shooter in the tradition of Xevious. This in itself was a bold move, because the IIGS has never been known for smooth scrolling of large areas. Technically, the game comes off 'all right', although gameplay can really drag when there's a lot of action going on. An accelerator card can help with this however.

The game can only be played with a joystick. The gameplay itself is OK - it becomes a little too repetitive although it does offer the chance to increase your firepower and take on bosses at the end of every level. And if you want, you can make your own levels with the built in level editor.

The second game, Naxos, places players in an Operation Wolf style scenario whereby you use the mouse to blow away the hostile alien fauna and flora you encounter in a god forsaken alien jungle.

The game itself is let down by its gameplay - the graphics, music and programming are all first rate, but the game becomes incredibly difficult and unnecessarily frustrating when it comes to ammunition, which drops from the top of the screen in the form of cherries. However, they drop so damn fast, they are very difficult to shoot. This does become easier on later levels, when the screen fills up with nasties and the game slows down under the weight of the action, and the cherries with it, but even still, chances are you will end up dying because you ran out of ammunition.

Cosmocade includes an operating system but can run happily from System 6 as well.