The Adventures of Captain Comic

aka: Captain Comic: The Adventure
Moby ID: 497

[ All ] [ DOS ] [ NES ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Player Reviews

Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 31 ratings with 8 reviews)

A fun game, but it can use a little more.

The Good
This game has a good mix of fantasy, science fiction, heroism, and humor in it. It has a superhero with a funny name who goes to a planet named after a type of computer. He has to recover three treasures commonly used in fantasy stories that were stolen from another planet (that name is really cosmo spelled backwards). Michael sure used many good tricks while making this game.

Michael also does well with his use of story setting, items, and enemies. Rather than having a planet with one type of landscape, he combines several lands including a medieval castle landscape, an alien moon, and an indoor space station, which make the game interesting. Instead of aliens, goblins, and robots, Michael uses other types of enemies like evil birds, evil bees, evil toads, little UFOs, atoms, and even beach balls, which aren't used in most games and make the game even more fun. As for the items, some, like the jumping boots, are commonly used in Mario games, but like everything else in the game, most are not common in other games. The game graphics are old, but they look really colorful and are brighter than most 80's games. I think the game is really fun.

The Bad
Although this game is fun it really leaves plenty of room for other things. Every time you start a new game everything is the same. The Difficulty level is the same; there is no option to make the game easier or harder, and the levels always have items and enemies in the same places. The pause menu only has a quit option, rather than other choices like sound on/off, clear high score, and load/save. Michael also could have added a more challenging way to get the treasures when you come up to them, like solve a puzzle, or fight a boss. Also, if it's a planet with a castle, a space station, and several indoor areas, why are there no people and only animals? The story also could have gone into a little more detail, like show whatever stole the treasures.

While the graphics are alright, the sound effects and music are really lacking. A lot of it is very brief and quiet, and the theme song is a Marine Corps theme. I 'm sure Michael could've thought of his own theme.

The Bottom Line
Unlike most 80's games with the same graphics and sound as this one, it does lack a bit. Most fans of these games may put this game down, but I still think it is worth trying because it still has that good combination of game elements, and new elements not used in most games.

DOS · by Andrew Shepard (1389) · 2007

Not classic, but not horrible either.

The Good
Well, do you know how rare it was to find a good platformer on PC? We had 2 companies: Apogee and Epic. This was a nice little diversion.

The graphics aren't great, but they don't suck either. I guess they're pretty good for the time.

This also is a very good way to get your little brother away so you can play Captain Blood in peace.

The Bad
Control. The control was, in a word, pathetic. What the heck were they thinking? It responds 20 minutes after you hit the key!

Also, the speed was slow on older machines, but in the day of Pentium III, that isn't a problem.

The Bottom Line
Not great, but not horrible either. A good diversion for a few hours. After that, it will annoy you.

DOS · by emerging_lurker (160) · 2000

Great game for 1988 but outdated by 1990

The Good
It was the first EGA game I remember playing that was colorful and came close to what we were used to on the NES and Sega Master System. It was shareware and didn't cost anything to try it out.

The Bad
It was very slow on the average machine at the time. The animations are done with only a few frames so they look jumpy. It was late 1989 by the time it was really available on all BBS's. And shareware without an incentive of a new game when you paid didn't seem to make sense.

The Bottom Line
It is a side scrolling platform game like super mario brothers. It may have been the first of it's kind but quickly became old news as more shareware PC platform games hit the market.

DOS · by gametrader (208) · 2004

A great game considering what kind of "gaming machine" the PC was in 1988

The Good
I have noticed that most people who like this game like it because of fond memories of playing it in younger years. Well, that is also the case with me, but to the rest I have to say that it is not fair to compare this game to more modern ones. And in 1988 the PC was still primarily used for work purposes, and not for gaming. When I got my first PC (a 4.77/8 MHz Turbo-XT clone with EGA graphics) in 1989, this was among the first games that I played. Let me tell you why I think that this was an excellent game at that time:

THE GRAPHICS

At a time when many PC games still came in the classic (or let's say awful) four CGA colours, Captain Comic featured a stunning 16 colour palette. The main character's movement is nicely animated (compare it to Sierra's adventures and NOT to Prince of Persia which was released in 1990), the enemies are also well-drawn, but what I like most about the game is the beautiful landscape. It starts out a little lame in the nightly forest, then you get a glimpse of the futuristic indoor world behind the door underneath from where you picked the key, which is also not too exciting (and not the right way in the game, as you soon find out). But then you get to the LAKE area, and this is soooo beautiful! Turquoise water and distant evergreen trees in the background, what a landscape! From this point I was eager to explore the rest of the world, and I remember how excited I was when I first reached a point where I had never been before. Then you get to the... well, find out for yourself, the next levels and the rest of the game are in my opinion very beautiful.

THE SPEED

The scrolling is of course by no means smooth - the screen moves in steps of about one character width (of a 40 character screen). But this does not really affect playability. And can you name an EGA-PC game that had smoother scrolling in 1988? Maybe there were some, but certainly not many. In the late 80s I experimented with programming little games in GWBasic and Turbo Basic. I kept all my games in CGA, because EGA simply wasn't fast enough with Basic on my 8 MHz XT. I remember that I was very impressed how well Captain Comic performed in EGA on my XT even with the Turbo switched off. Another good feature of the game is that it ran on exactly the same speed on all PCs from different eras, ranging from an original 4,77 MHz PC to a 450 MHz Pentium III (the last machine that I played this game on before switching to DOSBOX) - even many commercial games of that time didn't adjust to the proper speed, the developers simply didn't care about whether people would still be able to play their games in future years.

THE CONTROLS

Many complain that the controls react with some delay. I had no problem playing the game, only the big jumps were a little difficult.

THE SOUND

Of course the beeper sound was annoying, but the game was made in the year when the very first game appeared that supported a sound card (King's Quest IV), so in 1988 the beeper sound was still state-of-the-art for PC games. However, it generally sounded best when turned off...

GAMEPLAY

Simple gameplay with only minor puzzles to solve - just the way I like it. There are a few places where you have to decide where to go next, but with a little thinking and some trial and error you will find your way through the game. The game's difficulty level is challenging (and at times frustrating when you once again step into void and lose a life), but not too hard - you always know that you have a chance of finishing the game.

FINAL HINTS

In DOSBOX, I made this little batch file for starting the game to reproduce the scanline look of my EGA monitor that I was using in the late 80s:

CONFIG -set "render aspect=false"

CONFIG -set "render scaler=tv3x"

comic

CONFIG -set "render aspect=true"

CONFIG -set "render scaler=normal2x"

I prefer to play the game in windowed mode, as the scanlines do not look good in fullscreen mode (and also not in an aspect-scaled screen, that's why I turn scaling off).

The Bad
To be honest, I can't think of anything that I wish the author would have done differently. The only sad thing is that the author says that he didn't keep any source code of that game.

The Bottom Line
One of the first games that brought C64-ish gaming experience to the PC. It is still one of my all-time favourite games on all platforms.

DOS · by MacBertie (5) · 2015

For those who were around at the time, this is wonderfully nostalgic.

The Good
This was the first game of any kind I played on the PC, so I guess I'm looking at it through rose-tinted spectacles. At the time it was ground-breaking - 16 colour graphics, cool sound effects, great action, utterly addictive. Wonderful stuff.

The Bad
Then again, when it was the only game I had, I guess it was the novelty of playing it that kept me going rather than any inherent addictiveness.

The Bottom Line
It obviously doesn't compare to modern games, but that's not the point, is it? This game was free (well... shareware) at the time, so I guess still is. For anyone who's old enough to remember the quality of early games, I heartily recommend a look at this.

DOS · by Steve Hall (329) · 2000

Horrible game? I don't think so

The Good
First of all, back in 1988 there weren't tens of platformers available for PC. Again in that year the PC market was still very immature, and there were a lot of CGA-only games. So, if you wanted to play a platform game featuring decent EGA graphics, Captain Comic was almost your only choice. It features plenty of levels all take place in different settings. And you don't even have to play the levels in order.

The Bad
Yes, the controls are sometimes clumsy. But once you are get used to it, everything goes smoothly (well almost).

The Bottom Line
An old platformer that is fun to play. But it's of course no match to Apogee and Epic's action games. It may still appeal to younger kids though.

DOS · by IJan (1972) · 1999

For once, I agree with Tomer Gabel!

The Good
I really liked the fact that it was on loan from the local library, so that I couldn't throw it out the window. I mean, it was a perfectly good floppy disk (a floppy floppy, BTW) otherwise. The basic concept is also nice...

The Bad
...too bad the game is crap. I quite frankly had no fun at all playing it. The gameplay is reminiscent of the most irritating CBM 64 platformers, and the graphics are amateurish at best.

The Bottom Line
It really was the first EGA platformer I ever played, but I feel about as nostalgic about it as one would feel about one's first enema. Or something. I assume. Haven't had one myself. Not ever. No sirree...

DOS · by Late (77) · 2001

A truly horrible game.

The Good
Nothing!

The Bad
The controls are bad, the engine is horribly slow (even for an XT - jeez!), the sound effects are blah, everything here screams "don't play me!"

The Bottom Line
This is one game you should truly ignore.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Patrick Bregger.