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There have been quite a few 'straightforward' shoot em ups released on the 64 recently and
Crazy Comets is a welcome addition to this category (perhaps the age of shoot em up has returned, but then did it ever leave)? The music is the most appealing aspect of the program and lends an excellent atmosphere to an otherwise average game. It's probably Rob Hubbard's best piece to date, being marginally better than the Monty music. Graphically, the game has some superb touches but, as is the case with the gameplay, there is little in the way of variation. Still, Crazy Comets does offer many hours of mindless and enjoyable blasting, and is at a sufficiently low price to tempt many shoot em up fans.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Crazy Comets
1985 Martech
Programmed by Simon Nicol
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (December 1985).
 

CRAZY COMETS
Martech, 7.95 cass, joystick only


Crazy Comets is a conversion from the brilliant, but rarely seen arcade game Mad Planets. It's a shoot em up in the first degree, with no game objective other than to stay alive for as long as you can by blasting everything in sight out of sight.

The scenario is thus. The Universe is out of control and is contracting into chaos. Matter is turning into energy in a chain reaction of disorder. Sounds pretty dire, doesn't it? Not to worry though -- all you have to do is destroy anything that wings your way and save the day.

The game is played in space on a single screen and you have a rapid-firing space ship capable of moving anywhere on the screen to repel what is thrown at you. When you begin a game, demented planets come hurtling from the side of the screen at high speeds. They start off small and, if not shot quickly, grow into huge great spinning planets which need to be shot many times before they blow up. A small planet only requires one shot once to destroy it, but as they get bigger, they can absorb more laser fire. Consequently, destroying them before they grow too big is very important.

The planets bounce around the screen pretty fast and they try to home in on you. This is not so simple for them as they can only change direction either by bouncing off the sides of the screen or by following a curve. Still, with three or so of these large worlds bounding about the screen, it's very tricky work dodging them.

There are two types of planet -- a World and a Nova. A world has sea and land on it and when pumped with enough bullets, explodes harmlessly. Novas on the other hand are pock marked with craters and start getting glowingly angry when you shoot them. This is the danger time because soon after they go completely bonkers and home in after you very fast indeed, leaving only split seconds to shoot them.

Sometimes a little comet will come on screen -- shoot it quickly, for it comes after you swiftly if left alone for more than a few seconds. There are also little rockets which usually float out with a comet. Run over these and you receive a 200 point bonus for each one safely 'rescued'.

There are a certain amount of planets which need to be destroyed on every round. Once you've destroyed that number, you automatically advance to the next, much harder round. On higher rounds, planets appear and grow a lot faster and the little comets hassle a lot more. You earn an extra man every 10,000 points, and you really need them after round ten!

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This is a neat shoot em up and has some lovely music (Rob Hubbard strikes again). The graphics are ace, with several large planets all-bouncing about the screen smoothly whilst spinning perfectly. If you look carefully at the world planets you see that they are in fact copies of Earth! The music suits the game perfectly, adding well to the game's frenetic qualities. This is definitely in my top five shoot em ups . . . and it's cheap too!
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Presentation
71%
Simple attract mode and one or two player option.
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This is really good uncomplicated shoot em up, its main appeal being in its classic mindlessness. The program is actually a derivative of an obsolete arcade game called
Mad Planets. The control over the ship is superb with the right amounts of inertia and momentum to make things realistic. A real pull for this game is the music, yet another classic Rob Hubbard creation adding intense atmosphere to the overall effect. Although Crazy Comets is just a plain old shoot em up, I'm glad to see its type reappear again. Well done Martech.
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Graphics 85%
Superb smooth, large and well animated sprites
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Sound 99%
Excellent electro bop that seems to go on for ever
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Hookability 89%
The simplicity and difficulty of the game keeps you coming back for more ...

Lastability 80%
... but there's little variety to hold interest for very long.

Value For Money 87%
Cheap for such a quality shoot em up.

Overall 84%
Excellent arcade conversion and great shoot em up.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (28 Dec 2003)

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