Review by chartreuse
Don't be a sucker, give this game a shot
Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure is standard side scrolling platform game with a twist. All memorable platform games have a gimmick and this game is no exception - the main character, an alien kid, has plunger-like suckers for hands that allow him to stick to walls. It works a little like Megaman X's ability only Cosmo doesn't slide down - he can stay stuck to a wall for hours on end with a grin from ear to ear. But that's not all- it turns out Cosmo is also pretty handy with all the TNT that's left lying around the planet. He can use these static timed explosives to blow virtually anything to kingdom come, including himself if he's not careful.
Apart from that it's a pretty standard platformer, which is a good thing. Jump on monsters' heads to kill them, collect items for points, reach the end of the level and discover a secret or two. We've all been there so no one is at a loss for what to do.
If you're playing this game at all then you've come with something to expect. You know you're playing a platformer so the simple action is actually fun. Cosmo's abilities make playing the game a novel experience - something the game loses from being less fast paced, it gains by giving the player control. Controlling Cosmo is easy - he jumps very high and the game is very responsive. Jump at a wall to stick to it and catch your breath.
There are places where you can't see where you are jumping to, but there are usually pickups that guide your way, and sometimes leaps of faith prove to be rewarding. You get three health bars and unlimited lives, plus a chance to obtain two extra hidden health bars in every episode, so if you make a mistake the punishment isn't that severe. You can also save your game at the start of every level.
Just shy of winning the Pulitzer prize the story is about Cosmo & Family and their unlucky crash on an unknown planet on their way to Disneyland. While the folks are fixing the ship Cosmo goes off to investigate. When he gets back, what do you know? No parents! No, they haven't fixed the ship and flew off without Cosmo, they were kidnapped. Now imagine that happened to you? What would you do? So off goes Cosmo in search of Ma & Pa. Simple but effective motivation.
16-colours to create a varied alien landscape? Looks great! There is alot of detail, comparatively, in both the foreground and the background. The innumerable enemies look the right shade of cute for a lighthearted game such as this - there isn't alot of frames of animation for each, but enough to give them all a smidgen of personality. And the variety of landscapes is also a boon - mountains, forests, factories, cities, caves and even the insides of a monster.
There's 19 individual tracks spread over the three episodes, and some are very memorable. All provide sound atmosphere if you consider the hardware limitations. The blips and blongs of Cosmo doing stuff are also suitable. The music alone deserves an 8, the songs -are- catchy.
A seasoned player should have little trouble with this game since you get unlimited lives. And while there a number of secrets to discover and alternate paths to take, unless you've really gotten into the game you won't be playing it again for a while (having finished it, or not).
So in the end it's a fun little title that once you get into it can really provide a few hours of entertainment. But come in expecting something else, and you'll be disappointed by everything. So give it a chance.
The first episode is Shareware which means download and enjoy, but don't pay for the full version unless you reaaaaaally must have it. I don't know what Apogee/3D Realms are playing at making people buy this game that's been out for more than 10 years.
FINAL SCORE - 8/10
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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