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User Reviews

"An incandescent meteor tore through space with a scissors sound" DOS Ashley Pomeroy (233)
A completely unique landmark in computer gaming history. DOS xroox (3966)
An original, replayable game. Somewhat repetitious play. DOS Andreas Halma (27)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Amiga 11 3.8
Amstrad CPC 7 3.7
Apple IIgs Awaiting 5 votes...
Atari ST 9 4.4
Commodore 64 7 3.2
DOS 23 3.3
Macintosh Awaiting 5 votes...
Thomson MO Awaiting 5 votes...
Thomson TO Awaiting 5 votes...
ZX Spectrum 6 3.2
Combined User Score 63 3.6

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Atari STAtari ST User (Jun, 1988)
Captain Blood was a brilliant game in its original French form. The English conversion has been significantly improved, and is now even better.
Commodore 6464'er (Apr, 1989)
„Die Arche des Captain Blood“ ist mit Sicherheit ein ganz besonderes Spiel. Streckenweise wird es bei der Simulation des Fluges über die Planetenoberfläche trotz 3D-Animation ein wenig langweilig. Dieses ist der einzige Minuspunkt im Spiel. Die Grafik ist durchweg von hervorragender Qualität. Sehr schön ist die Anleitung zum Spiel, die nicht nur ausführlich auf die Bedienung eingeht, sondern auch Bloods Geschichte in Perry-Rhodan-Manier erzählt.
Commodore (Jul, 2010)
"Captain Blood" ist sehr stimmungsvoll und weist eine für die damalige Zeit unglaublich hohe Komplexität auf. Auf meinem Commodore 64 habe ich wirklich Wochen vor dem Spiel verbracht und es gefällt mir nach wie vor, ohne mich zu langweilen. Allein die Interaktion mit den Spezies, ihre Eigenarten und auch die Kommunikationsschwierigkeiten, wenn die "Deppen" (^^) nur die Hälfte der Icons verstanden haben, reizen mich immer wieder aufs Neue.
AmigaCompute's Amiga Resource (Jun, 1989)
Combining always-excellent graphics with good sound, good documentation, and a story worth exploring, Captain Blood is an outstanding piece of science-fiction software.
Atari (Feb 09, 2012)
L'Arche du Capitaine Blood est bien plus qu'un jeu vidéo, c'est une expérience qui parvient à procurer une immersion profonde et une vague d'émotions sans précédent. Débarrassé de tout système de scoring, de niveaux et d'autres cadres, le joueur peut enfin errer librement dans un monde lointain peuplé d'êtres disposant de leurs propres préoccupations bien éloignées de celles du personnage principal. Perdu dans l'Hydra et au bord de l'agonie, le Capitaine Blood aura besoin de votre aide pour retrouver et anéantir les derniers clones qui aspirent son énergie vitale. Pour cela, seules vos aptitudes à dialoguer dans une nouvelle langue inédite et à voguer dans une galaxie immense vous donneront une chance de survivre dans cet univers hostile. L'heure tourne, et chaque seconde qui passe vous approche peu à peu d'une décrépitude irréversible. Il ne fait plus aucun doute, le studio Exxos vient d'être touché par la grâce.
Atari STST/Amiga Format (Aug, 1988)
The difference between this new version and the original French Captain Blood of some months ago is staggering. As if the graphics on the ST were not enough, the forthcoming Amiga version promises to take them even further. The wire-frame contours will undoubtedly benefit from the Amiga's anti-aliasing capability - all those straights and curves becoming more defined and continuous. Sound effects will also improve thanks to the Amiga's twin-voice stereo output and Monsieur Jarre has reputedly returned to the studio to further enhance his contribution. To sum up - Bloody excellent.
AmigaTilt (Feb, 1989)
Captain Blood is a great epic that takes you from planet to planet through the galaxy in search of your clones. There are funny encounters with extraterrestrials who engage in delirious dialogues. The Amiga version is beautiful: it is not a simple transcoding, everything has been redesigned and many elements added. Captain Blood is an adventure game like no other that has nothing to envy American productions.
Commodore 64Commodore Format (Feb, 1994)
Oh dear. The prospect of explaining this little number in under one hundred words is scary (that's 16 already).
The mould-breaking French arcade adventure looks just as good as it did on the ST. Thankfully, the attractive but overlong graphic sequences can now be cut short, making this version even more playable than its predecessor.
If you like games that require real involvement and you think you could put up with some of the more repetitive aspects of the game, then Captain Blood could be just the sort of thing you're looking for. The game is surprisingly playable and extremely involving. The graphics are among the best yet seen for the ST. Animation is super-smooth, and the various aliens are all superbly drawn. It's a treat to see a programme that seems to use the 16-bit processing power of the ST to its full advantage.
As ever, the French manage to get more out of a CPC than most people get out of an ST - as far as graphics and sound are concerned at any rate. The gameplay's the same as the original - converse with aliens across the galaxy as you search out for your clone siblings - so there's still the fascination of a complex icon system to experiment with. There are still those nagging doubts about the thing's lasting interest too, come to that, but the look of it will overcome most people's reservations.
Apart from the inevitable cosmetic differences, the game remains the same: thankfully, the arcade planet landing sequence is well represented and the adventure aspect remains intact. In fact, the only real drawback of this (and other) 8-bit incarnations, is the lack of mouse control for which the game was primarily designed.
A novel idea well implemented.
Atari STST Action (Jun, 1988)
Perseverance is the name of the game here. The game takes a lot of getting into and, as such, can easily be written off as too difficult and put to the back of the games cabinet. However, once time is taken to understand the game, it becomes very challenging. Notes need to be taken constantly otherwise messages and coordinates of planets are lost. As for the aliens, well, there's no pleasing some of them. The best way to get ahead in this game is to "save game" after every successful encounter and then continue. All in all, a very worthwhile game and one that will keep you busy for many moons.
That intrepid clone-hunter Captain Blood takes to the space lanes once more, this time in CGA-only cyan and magenta. Don't let that put you off too much mind you, because those skillful French artists have done themselves proud with these four-colour masterpieces. The action's still as weird and wonderful as ever, with a marvellously animated cast of aliens and an impressive vocabulary of conversational icons. Fun stuff, if not necessarily a terrific one for lasting interest.
AmigaZzap! (Feb, 1989)
Weird but good just about sums this game up. Just like the other versions, the Amiga Captain Blood is a visual treat with the same Gigeresque cockpit display, colourful planets and hyperspace sequences and an exhilarating 3D Oorx flight. As you would expect though, the sampled music and alien speech effects beat the other versions hands down. The game's major stumbling block is still the UPCOM translation which continues to provide some pretty incomprehensible bits of alienspeak. Still, persevere and that's something you get used to. Perseverance is something you'll require a lot of, because when you first start playing it seems the game consists solely of flying down to a planet, getting some co-ordinates, hyperspacing to the next planet, flying down… but there is quite a lot more to it than that. Certainly enough to keep you occupied through a few cold and windy winter nights.
AmigaZero (Apr, 1990)
You may love or hate Captain Blood but for a fiver it's worth taking the risk to find out. [Budget re-release]
AmigaThe Games Machine (UK) (Aug, 1990)
[Budget re-release] Captain Blood requires deft piloting skills to avoid the crags and outcrops of the canyons and fool the relentless missile warnings. Once an alien's found, communication's a question of creative and intelligent use of icons to form crude sentences, Captain Bloods gameplay is a bit dated but at a tenner the interstellar detective work is worth tracking down.
Commodore 64Zzap! (Dec, 1988)
Not a bad game at all, considering, but it could have been better.
ZX SpectrumCrash! (Mar, 1989)
"The first time I played this was on the Atari ST and to tell you the truth this version was not all that different. Some of the edge has been taken off the graphics, but the game's 'feel' has been perfectly translated and playability remains the same..."
Atari STThe Games Machine (UK) (Aug, 1990)
[Budget re-release] Captain Blood requires deft piloting skills to avoid the crags and outcrops of the canyons and fool the relentless missile warnings. Once an alien's found, communication's a question of creative and intelligent use of icons to form crude sentences, Captain Bloods gameplay is a bit dated but at a tenner the interstellar detective work is worth tracking down.
Amstrad CPCThe Games Machine (UK) (Jul, 1988)
Given that Captain Blood is above all an adventure - albeit a very pretty one on both ST and Amstrad - there's very little difference in playability, making this a very commendable conversion indeed.
Atari STTilt (Feb, 1988)
Overall, L'Arche du Captain Blood is a success both in its scenario and in its graphic performances. The dialogues with the different creatures constitute the essential framework of the game. The pilot sequences are successful thanks to a very fluid animation. This is probably one of the best ST software.
MacintoshTilt (Jul, 1990)
Voilà enfin la version Macintosh de ce Tilt d'or 1989. Blood recherche cinq de ses clones qui se promènent dans la galaxie et drainent son fluide vital. On retrouve les éléments qui ont fait le succès de ce jeu : un vaste champ d'exploration, des aliens étranges et une excellente réalisation. Certaines séquences perdent de leur magie en monochrome mais les graphismes sont beaux et les animations fluides. En outre, les bruitages utilisent parfaitement les possibilités du Mac. Un très bon soft.
Atari STThe Games Machine (UK) (Jun, 1988)
The design influence of the French magazine Heavy Metal and Alien designer HR Giger help make Captain Blood the most stylishly evocative game the ST has yet seen. Just as in The Pawn the desire to see more graphics provides a powerful incentive to keep playing long after the magnificent Jean Michel Jarre intro tune has finished. Unfortunately the difficulty of actually communicating with the aliens makes success difficult and often frustrating. It is also irritating that the game only allows one save per disk. Nevertheless for adventurers seeking an exotic, new twist on the adventure format Captain Blood is certainly worth some serious consideration.
Atari STHappy Computer (Jul, 1988)
Ein grafisch exzellentes Science-Fiction-Abenteuer mit einem neuartigen Spielprinzip. Für Spieler mit etwas Ausdauer interessant.
AmigaThe Games Machine (UK) (Feb, 1989)
Gameplay may be dated, but the interstellar detective work of Captain Blood remains interesting.
Atari STPower Play (Feb, 1988)
Wo man auch hinsieht, ist das Spiel edel au(gemacht. Das beginnt mit der Musik von Jean- Michel Jarre, die astrein digitalisiert ist und wie frisch aus dem CD-Spieler klingt. Und dann erst die Grafik! Allein die Planeten-Vernichtung ist so toll farbenfroh, daß man am liebsten alle Welten in die Luft sprengen möchte. Aber nach dem dreißigsten Mal hat man die Grafik-Spielerein satt und würde gerne schneller weiterkommen. Genauso geht es einem mit dem Flug über den Planeten: Die ersten paar Male ist so ein Fraktal-Trip faszinierend, aber auf die Dauer wird‘s langatmig.
ZX SpectrumSinclair User (Apr, 1989)
"...the French write really strange games. Captain Blood should win the Prix Internationale de Strangeness, it's so strange."
Atari STComputer and Video Games (CVG) (Sep, 1989)
[Budget re-release] Captain Blood's high points are very high, but the gameplay bails down to not very much at all, unfortunately.
ZX SpectrumYour Sinclair (May, 1989)
"I doubt, however, that there are many gamesters', zappers, strategists or adventurers - who are willing to put the long preliminary hours in, simply to get properly involved. This is reflected in my mark, but those who chose to persevere might find an intelligent strategy game lurking here."
ZX SpectrumThe Games Machine (UK) (May, 1989)
The Alienesque H.R. Giger-inspired organic spacecraft console doesn't lose too much in the translation to monochrome and, although grainy, the 3-D canyon sequence are effective. Hyperspace and planet-destruction graphics sequences are disappointingly crude, but Jarre's Zoolook music is enjoyable enough and so's the overall gameplay. Unfortunately, Captain Blood is showing its age now.
DOSThe Games Machine (UK) (Dec, 1988)
Lacking audible speech and featuring only a droning Jarre theme, sound is standard for the PC - this version relies on the interesting and original gameplay.
[Budget re-release] No real improvement over the ST version, apart from a few sounds here and there. And the 3D bit is slower.
Commodore 64Commodore Disk User (Jan, 1989)
Captain Blood was one of the most original games around. Much, however, has been lost in the translation from the Atari ST. such as the flying sequence, and the jump into hyperspace. The game that remains is good but not that good.
CB's strengths are an unusual concept (surviving five 2 1/2 hour time limits by locating an equal number of individuals scattered throughout a large galaxy), equally unusual execution (the UPCOM language needed to talk to different alien races), delightfully surreal graphics, and the pleasant variety of sound. There is enough arcade action thrown in (landing the OORXX on planets) to break up any monotony that may be incurred while moving between planets and conversing with the aliens. Finding aliens to talk to isn't easy, and getting good information out of them is downright difficult. Therefore, finding the Duplicates and Torka is not an easy task- Thus, CB is not for the beginning adventure gamer, but will be supremely satisfying to those that can overcome the game's obstacles. Those garners looking for a difficult adventure, who enjoy unusual graphics, like science fiction games, and enjoy arcade sequences will find tremendous play value in Captain Blood.