Review by IAX
"ARGH! My ears are bruised forever because of this game."
Space Cadet, like Hearts, FreeCell, Solitaire, and Minesweeper, is a free game that comes with your computer when you purchase it. The game is a pinball game published by the legendary strategy game producer, Maxis. Pinball and Maxis do not mix. Space Cadet is a mediocre Pinball game. It isn’t half bad, but it doesn’t have very many strong points either. It has good gameplay but the graphic layout in the game isn’t that great. Overall, as I also stated in my Hearts review, be glad this piece of crap is free.
Story- N/A- It kind of has somewhat of a story, but that really isn’t present in the game. It’s pinball, so you can’t expect much in the story department. Anyway, the little bit of story goes like this: you are a space cadet advancing through the ranks. You are driver you ship around, the ball, and you must complete tasks such as hitting bumpers or going up the launch ramp in order to advance through the ranks. I don’t think that’s enough the even get a rating though.
Graphics- 5/10- The graphics in this game are shrouded in darkness. The board is excellently designed, but it is hard as hell to see. You need to see the ball in order to see the next move, and at times the board can screw up your moves and make you flip a bit early or a bit to late. The board has a bright color scheme that hurts your eyes. The graphics are better than Hearts and Solitaire. This game receives a 5 in graphics for good design but a hard to see board and bright colors when you can see it bring it down.
Sound- 3/10- Sound in this game hurts the ears. This game features no music but has several random sound effects ranging from pings to zings to the sound of the flipper when you press it. The effects are all right but what drops this category is the annoyance of the sounds that repeat and repeat over and over again that causes a huge annoyance in this. Its very repetitive and can even annoy you to the point where you might lose your concentration from the game. The effects are good but the major, major, major, annoyance and repetition from this game bring the category down to a 3. Maybe if a sequel is release, this is something that Maxis can think about changing for future generations that will shun this game if it is not altered.
Gameplay- 7/10- The gameplay of this game isn’t half bad. There are a few down spots that drop this, but it is still fairly good. The game plays just like a real pinball game. You pull the trigger that starts the game by holding the spacebar. You use the Z key and the question mark key next to the left shift key to use the flippers to propel the ball upwards. It is fairly straightforward to use the tilt as well, but as in reality you can TILT it in to losing that ball. Bad things like in the other categories don’t overshadow the good points. There are still a few bad points. The ball is way too small and can easily fir into the center pocket which is way too big.
The training in the game requires you to hit the yellow buttons near the launch ramp. Once you have hit the button, head for the on ramp and you will get a mission that you must perform in order to advance. The game is also hard at first. But once mastery is achieved, scoring great amounts of points just becomes commonplace in the game.
Overall, the gameplay is a mixed bag, favoring the game’s good aspects rather than the bad ones. This receives a 7. It can be made worse, but it can better.
Replay Value- 6/10- After play this a few times, mastery is occurred and this game will bore. If you like pinball, this would be higher, but I gave it what it does for me.
-Some Good Sound Effects
-The board is a tad bit dark.
-Annoying and repetitive sound.
-Low replay value once mastery is occurred.
GameFAQs Score- 5/10- Maxis is damned when not making anything that doesn’t have “Sim” in it.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 11/10/02, Updated 07/26/03
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