#891 Captain Forever

Posted: 23rd November 2012 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

196th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Internet
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Jarrad Woods

One of the nicer things the internet has enabled is the easier creation and distribution of games. It’s easier to create a flash game everyone can see. While this leads to a lot of copies and crud being out there, there’s also many gems.

Captain Forever is a throwback to older games – simple Asteroids-style graphics where ships are lines that have a slight CRT glow, shoot things and collect. True, there’s more to it, but today is a rather retro game for one released in 2009…

Our Thoughts

The basic mechanics of the game are fairly simple – move and shoot. Unlimited space to move around in, and you run around, shoot ships and so on. The controls get a bit complicated (partially thanks to some limits we’ll get to in a moment), but are mostly tight, assuming your ship’s balanced and set up right.

Because yeah, that’s the main thing in this game. Its addition to the genre is as ingenious as it’s fun. You fight against other ships similar to your own and, when you kill them by hitting their central part, you can take the parts of the ship that survived and connect it to your own, making it have more engines, weapons, but also adding bulk and slowing you down.

This gameplay of destroy, consume and upgrade really reminded me of the earlier levels of Spore where you are able to spark evolution by consuming other beasties. In Captain Forever you consume spaceships in the style of Mortal Engines which does add an extra element of fun to this game. Something which I haven’t really seen done as successfully in a game before.

Added to that, your parts have upgrades, you start with the most basic version (can’t stand up to a lot of damage, weapons do little and so on), but you can improve them by stealing them from stronger opponents – yeah, you need to strike them down before they can be useful. It makes it a challenge to get them, and getting them often gets you swarmed, making it difficult to take a break to put those new parts in.

On the whole, there’s more of a challenge here anyway – you can’t just keep adding parts on. If the engines aren’t divided right, you’ll find yourself flying in circles. If you are too bulky, you’re slow enough that you can’t chase after anyone and are less mobile. If you do it right, you can set your engines to allow you to fly sideways as well – minor but fun enough.

On the whole, the game is an interesting, slightly strategic twist on a shoot ’em up where you’ve got more of an influence than in most – it’s not just about shooting and picking up your upgrades, you need to decide whether you want to attack and what you want to use on a ship. It might be too insignificant to bother or too difficult to take on just yet – the purple ones are simply too tough.

Final Thoughts

You can’t say this game is inventing too many new things – all the parts are around, just not combined like this just yet. However, the visuals are suitable and charmingly old school, but made spiffy enough. The gameplay is solid and the upgrades integrated just as well.

It’s a good, fun shoot ’em up, available for free and worth a go if you have a few minutes – it’s that type of nice casual but not too casual game.