Developed by: Derek Leigh-Gilchrist and Leigh Christian
Thought I’d give this Codemasters title a chance and really try my best to finish it. All I can say is: “I tried”. I must admit its appeal back in the day were the graphics, playing it now though I tend to look for a little more than shiny characters and level design. To put it into perspective, I own the original Amiga boxed version of this game, 3 times I’ve tried to sell it on eBay at 49p with free postage. Not even any views. I took it as a sign and decided to review the game!
Dragged out of retirement, the aged hero Captain Dynamo must once again amble into action and stop his evil arch nemesis Austen Von Flyswatter (who has just stolen the world’s largest diamond collection) from getting away. The general objective is to retrieve the diamonds, (scattered throughout the levels) and whilst doing this dodge, duck, jump and swing your way past spikes, lasers, monsters and lava pits. At the end of each level you must make it to the transporter at the top which then teleports you onto the next booby trap laden lair. Every floor of this cavernous underground lair holds quite a few diamonds that can be recovered before teleporting to the next, although it doesn’t seem to matter how many you collect.
The game play is smooth and the controls are simple, which is a good thing because in places it can be quite challenging. The nature of this platformer means timing a jump is crucial and can be frustrating if you don’t get this right. For some reason, including the fact you ‘climb’ the level rather than the usual side scrolling left to right, makes this game feel more of a slog than a fun game. The graphics are very nice and the level design pretty well thought, certain effects and shadowing give the main character a nice rounded 3D look and the diamonds appear, well, shiny. The music is repetitive and annoying, even with the change of level do you get the same looped piece of music, there is also a distinct lack of in-game sound effects which would be more appealing than the music.
Overall you get the feeling the testers either hadn’t played anything exciting ever before this or they were just so nice they couldn’t bring themselves to be honest about the game. On the plus side the game has simple and smooth controls and nice looking ‘cartoony’ graphics with plenty of shading to give it a 3D look. However, the smooth game play doesn’t make up for what is basically a mind numbingly dull and repetitive platformer which feels as slow and old as its protagonist. Captain Dynamo is great for Sunday afternoon gamers but certainly nothing special here for the majority.
I guess you either love it or hate it!