aka Captain Sticky - Episode #4

Game Design: Tim Ferris


REVIEW by Nightcrawler

Episode 4 of the Captain Sticky Saga! The object of the game is to collect energy bars off of four different planets. To do this you have to complete four stages. The first sees you piloting a spaceship ready for take off on your home planet. There are four different coloured space tunnel gates above your planet, you need to choose one and fly into it whilst avoiding a meteorite shower.

Once inside the warp you are confronted with various coloured mines that you must shoot or they will drain your energy. This section of the game lasts 25 seconds, with the mines progressively moving faster towards the end. Once through the warp you find yourself exiting above an alien planet and you must carefully land your ship on the landing platform. Beware, as there are four enemy turrets that fire missiles in your current position. The turrets can be destroyed by your never-ending supply of bombs. You can either blow-up the turrets now or after landing and completing the next section of the game, as the warp tunnel will not open while there are still turrets about.

After successfully landing, you control an astronaut on the planets surface and have to collect the four energy bars at the bottom of the screen. However, there are three aliens out to get you and on some levels quicksand holes which can suck your astronaut or a hapless alien to their deaths. There are springs or a jetpack to help you in the corners of the screen. You can only carry one bar at a time, so must return to your spaceship before going back for another bar. After all the bars are collected it's blast off time! You are now taken back to the previous level, where any remaining turrets need to be destroyed, before flying back through the gate, avoiding the mines in the warp and landing safely with your remaining spaceship fuel. You will be given more fuel and any score bonus based on remaining astronauts, etc before you're ready to blast off and take on the other three planets!

The game is very easy to control with the take off and landing missions utilising thrusters and fire button for bomb drops. The warp stage is very reminiscent of Gyruss (an arcade game and eventual Atari 8-Bit conversion from the same year), but in a more simplistic form. The astronaut mission is a strange one, but funny as you exit your ship and attempt to grab those bars with a jetcopter or springs to aid you. The jetcopter I can understand but the springs seem like Inspector Gadget's prototype!

You start with 3 astronauts and a full tank of spaceship fuel, but if you run out of either, then it's game over! The aliens you face are as follows: Green warp - monstrous munchers, Purple warp - space turkeys, Blue warp - electric lizards, Red warp - dynobots. Once all four tunnels are complete you get the reward of a nice mission successful screen, with rainbow scrolling effect and firework sound effects.

Overall not a bad game, with the different stages keeping your interest and some fine sound effects. However, I found that during the warp stage I was having particular trouble hitting the mines and once through the warp the turrets were already firing as soon as my spaceship appeared. This can drain a lot of energy and is particularly disheartening after collecting the energy bars to discover you don't have enough spaceship fuel to return home.

"Space Turkey anyone?"




Screen 4
Try to walk in a random manner to throw off the alien pursuers and make use of springboards and jetcopters to aid your mission.
Also, you can make your astronaut run for limited periods by holding down the Fire Button on the Joystick.





CLICK HERE to Download an Unlimited Astronauts (Lives) file for use in the Atari 800Win Emulator.

Further Information:

Cosmic Tunnels, is allegedly Episode 4 in the Captain Sticky saga, with Capt. Sticky's Gold being the first part.
However, they appear to have forgotten to release episodes 2 and 3!

Cosmic Conspiracies
(UFO and Alien theories, including alleged Underground Tunnels on earth....?!)

World Gold Council
(News, Information and the latest Gold Prices)