Developer:Robert Tegel Bonifacio
Cosmi is one of those companies I always associated with shovelware. Any purveyer of the last physically released PC games will have heard of them at some point. They publish low-budget titles released digitally or just release low budget titles themselves. If it looked cheap and was on PC, chances are it was Cosmi. While researching for early titles to cover, I came across their name. Apparently they didn't start off releasing shovelware, they started off like any other golden age company, releasing crap that doesn't really look distinguishable from other crap.
Robert Bonifacio was one of many hired guns who developed games for Cosmi, but would later claim fame as the lead on an X-COM competitor called Strike Squad and, appropriately enough, a few bass fishing games. Perhaps fame is a strong word, but those are the biggest titles he was on.
|Self portrait of the author?
|Buckle up kids, its all downhill from here
The game starts with an animated title screen blasting a pretty cool tune followed by an animated intro. A woman takes her infant into a building, then a man runs up to the screen. A bomb goes off. The woman comes out of the building. But wait, the child no longer looks human...and the mother is dead. Then a second title screen pops up and now the game itself loads up. Very long loading times, I should add. Its also very glitchy.
|Five seconds in and I'm already getting shot at
|It looks like he's about to bite it, but that assume I can actually hit him
|Hey, I got someone, only several million more to go!
While in action mode, you can move into doors, or at least as close as moving into doors is. You can't really move forward and backward, but you get an impressive amount of sidestepping action. You press forward in front of a door. Hopefully after a moment, it opens and you can step through. Naturally, the obvious door from the start leads to another room with a guard. I thought this was supposed to be an apocalypse? Why does it feel like I've been put into an infiltration kind of game? It doesn't work well. Worse, it feels like this game is constantly in danger of falling apart.
|Oh, no, I died, anyway...
|It flashes to this screen quite a bit at times, for seemingly no reason
|An interior, just after a disk load
|Oh, no, I died again. Anyway...
|The flamethrower can't even be reloaded, so its useless
The game has at least three weapons, each very difficult to aim, practically indistinguishable from each other, and near useless. Reloading is also a chore, since you need to get out of action mode and into the inventory mode in order to use the ammo. 0/10
Various generic enemies. 1/10
A bizarre recreation of Chicago that seems to be aiming for some kind of realism, but fails miserably. 0/10
Moving around and shooting feels like its going to break apart at any moment. The menus are slow to get to what you actually need. At least you can switch between the two quickly. 1/10
For a game described as an adventure game by Mobygames, I expected there to be some kind of interactivity. 0/10
Funny, the game started with an interesting cutscene, but then devolved into nonsense. 1/10
Things look like they should, for the most part. My issue is that everything looks flat, and there's the distinct look of tiles not properly linked together. 1/10
One music track and then various crackily noise. 1/10
Somehow this managed to sneak its way to a 5. Not bad for a game that's on the unplayable side of things.
This is it for pre-1988 titles. Those Tandy titles I had found turned out to be some kind of weird text adventures, not really something I felt qualifies as material for this blog.