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Cosmic Collapse Review

Cosmic Collapse is a side-scrolling arcade style game with a space theme that pays homage to early arcade games like Scramble and Asteroids. There is even a bit of Darius in it and some humorous Easter eggs like Sputniks and the Tesla spaceman roadster passing through the background. Although Cosmic Collapse has its roots in older arcade games, there are some major differences to a classic arcade game.

In Cosmic Collapse, losing all three ships and ending the game does not really end all progress. In fact, most players will quickly learn to play the first few levels over and over to collect bluish spheres. These spheres are used to upgrade the ship between games, and these upgrades are persistent, unless the player ever goes into the settings and uses “delete data”. The upgrades account for faster projectiles, more damage, and faster rate of projectiles. Strangely, the power-ups during the game play can also be upgraded between games. For example, there is a beam power-up that lasts for a short period of time when picked up. It can be upgraded so that when it is picked up, it is more powerful. In fact, it is a bad idea to not upgrade it, as it may otherwise end up being weaker than the player’s main weapon.

The graphics and sound are fairly well made, not spectacular. Some of the enemies are fairly simple geometric shapes. Some look older school than others, but everything has a flat appearance; there is no shading that give a sense of depth to the objects. The music and sound effects fit the theme and there is quite a bit of variability to both. There are few options (mainly sound), and the controls cannot be remapped. Also, any controllers plugged in will impact the game, for example a HOTAS throttle will cause trouble if it is not neutral or unplugged.

The main problem with Cosmic Collapse is that the playing area scale is relatively small and the player ship movement is very abrupt. It moves and stops very sharply. The fastest ship (a few options are available to start with) moves so fast that it is very easy to zip across the screen right into an enemy or other object. The player ship is rather large on the screen as are all of the enemies, and the colliders are very tight. A one-pixel overlap is death. In some levels there is so much on the screen at the same time that having a very fast ship is a major drawback because there is very little room left and the abrupt movement makes for certain death. Some players may be put off by the twitchy movement (hopefully the developer may add some inertia to the ship movement and tone the speed down a bit). Cosmic Collapse is recommended for players that enjoy fast paced arcade games, but with a progressive upgrade mechanic that makes the game easier to win over time.

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Jacmac is an ancient gamer that loves open world, strategy, FPS, and tactical sims, but will play almost anything.

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