A PC computer game developed and published by Apogee Software and released in March 1992, this was the one of the first PC game to feature parallax scrolling backgrounds. The working title was "The Adventures of Zork".
He's green! With spots! The star of the game is Cosmo, a green alien with red spots and cool funky red hair, as well as suction cups - these suction cups allow him to cling to walls, and with repeated use of the jump key, he can climb up walls, too. Some walls are too slippery for him to cling onto - such as ice - and unless you keep on jumping up, Cosmo slowly slips downwards.
The plot: At the start of the game, Cosmo is heading towards Disney World in his parents spaceship - it's his birthday tomorrow! A comet hits the spaceship, forcing it to land on an unknown planet. Cosmo goes off to explore, and when he gets back, his parents are gone! Have they been kidnapped by an alien? Cosmo must save them before it's too late!
Featuring over 20 enemies (more on them below), 19 sound tracks (in Adlib sound) and three massive episodes, this is one of my favourite games of all time. The first episode was released as shareware, while the latter two were only available to registered customers. At the end of the first episode, Cosmo was eaten by a strange creature, while at the end of the second episode, Cosmo discovers the city which contains his parents.
The sound effects were primitive - using PC Speaker - but the music tracks were good for the time, and are still enjoyable to play along to. The music routines in the game were created by id Software, who as we know were destined for greater glory. One less-than-ideal part of the game was that restoring saved games placed you back at the start of the level you were playing.
Fun things! You begin the game with three lives, but can gather more by eating Hamburgers. Duke Nukem puts in a surprise appearance in level 7 of episode 2 where he gives you one, and there are others scattered in various places about the game. You can have up to nine bombs at a time, and Cosmo can drop these anywhere before running away from the imminent explosion. They can be used to blow up the hint globes (blowing 15 up gives you a secret bonus), the purple tentacle eyeball things which are watching over you (they hang from ceilings and stick to floors), TNT crates (which explode and set other TNT creates exploding), as well as enemies.
There are bouncy springs, barrels and crates scattered around the levels, as well as many powerups (normally in the form of various pieces of fruit). These powerups are normally arranged in lines or curves so that Cosmo can collect all the items in one leap.
Grr, argh! The enemies are extremely varied, and this is one of the things which makes the game so enjoyable to play. The first enemy you encounter is a strange red monster with teeth and little tentacles. To kill most of them, you simply jump on their heads (basic enemies die instantly, some other take more effort). Other enemies include purple snail-like creatures, pale blue ghost-like creatures, birds, blue blobs which roll towards you (they're sometimes dropped from the sky by a caterpillar-like bird), various robots, a blue blob with yellow spots which is stationary and fires fireballs towards you and what I like to call the 'reaver', a large red one-footed monster with spiky claws.
There are also a few harmless creatures - such as the little green things which swim about the levels and produce a random item when jumped into - as well as various other enemies.
Creative levels.. The levels are extremely varied, and some of them feature rain and/or lightning. There levels are themed in high-tech, icy, muddy, toadstool and various other ways. The levels are full of hazards such as spikes (some of which move) and spears, various things which cling to walls and shoot in your direction, rocks and vines which get in your way (the vines can be bombed to temporarily lower), pipes which burst flame, piranha plants and more. One level largely consists of Cosmo flying around on a hovering platform.
There are stars scattered about the levels, most of them set to drop down from the top of the screen when Cosmo looks up there (as well as health power ups and bombs). This leads to some complicated jumping as Cosmo must sometimes look up to the top of the screen and then jump off a ledge to catch the falling stars before they drop through a hole. It is not known what is in the holes at the bottom of the levels, between the platforms, but Cosmo makes various speech bubbles - OH NO!, and MOMMY! being the contents of two of them - when he falls into them, and then the level restarts.
.. and bonus ones, too Depending on whether Cosmo collects enough stars or not, there is a bonus level every couple of levels. There are two bonus levels in the first episode, the first one is just a long fall in which you collect points, whereas the second one (which needs even more stars to be collected than the first) involves jumping between bouncing springs placed on the top of pillars while collecting points. The bonus levels in the other episodes are along the same lines.
The main cheat code, given away as a registration bonus, and which only works in the registered version, was ctrl+0+f10 - which gave you full health and bombs. tab+del+f12 turned on a debug mode, from which you could press f10 and g to turn on god mode, and f10 and w to warp to a specific level.
System requirements: EGA, 525k memory, hard drive. Supports Adlib and a joystick.