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Kaktus (VIC-20)

Kaktus VIC-20 Title screen.

MISSING COVER

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40602)
Written on  :  Apr 23, 2019
Platform  :  VIC-20
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Summary

A great game from Supersoft

The Good

I have played many VIC-20 games that ought to have made their debut in the arcades back in the ‘80s, and one of these is Kaktus, an addictive game from Supersoft. It is a difficult game where your attention must be focused on both sides of the screen. Wasps and hornets, your main enemies, make their way down to the bottom of the cactus (the eyesore in the center off the screen), and your job is to kill them before they take a chunk out of its base.

The wasps and hornets are a lot different than the ones in real life. You see, as part of their defense they have the ability to launch droppings down at you. Coming into contact with any of these droppings results in a loss of life. If that isn’t enough, moles occasionally pass by and attempt to seal off access to the outside, and from level two onward, you also have to deal with buzzards that drop eggs that will ricochet off the sides of the screen.

Supersoft is one of the few companies that designed the game’s graphics outside of the VIC-20 character set. Every sprite is detailed, they are not just random characters stuck together. The thing you control looks like some sort of creature from outer space, while the lethal hornet droppings actually look like snow as they move about on the screen. While you are shooting at the hornets, the corner of your eye is always focused on the cactus. When it has been destroyed, it pretends to be a flower blooming.

The only piece of music in the game is a classical piece which I heard before, but I have no idea who composed it. (I don’t listen to classical music as much these days.) While you are shooting at the wasps and hornets, you hear what appears to be a telephone ringing for some reason. And you always know when the mole appears on the screen.

The Bad

When you lose a life as a result of coming into contact with the droppings, they don’t disappear after the life is lost. This means if you have 50 of them dropping down, this makes it difficult for you to achieve your goal.

The Bottom Line

As I said, this game should have made it debut in the arcades. It follows a simple objective like good early arcade games do, and that is to protect something from a bunch of enemies. The graphics and sound are great, and if you're the kind of person that is into shooters, this game is highly recommended.