Review: Captain Dynamo


More retro fun from Magic Productions and Telcogames with Captain Dynamo.

Author: Telcogames and Magic

Version Reviewed: 1.0

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Captain DynamoTelcogames are throwing out a huge number of remakes of classic titles, but one thing that they are doing differently to other mobile gaming companies is having these apps coded in Symbian C++ rather than Java midlets. While it does restrict the number of handsets that can run the game, the higher quality of graphics, sound and gameplay more than make up for this.

Captain Dynamo is a great example of how C++ can make a good program great when compared to a midlet. While there is going to be a group of people (mainly ex-Amiga owners) who are going to buy this title when they hear the words 'just like the original', everyone else is going to look carefully at what Telcogames has on offer.

In essence, Captain Dynamo is a simple platform game. You can walk left and right, you can take short or long jumps and you can duck out the way of any spinning blades of death. With these controls, you have to guide Captain Dynamo to the top of the game area, avoiding the obstacles, traps and enemies on the way up. As is also traditional, the only weapon you have is your feet - jump on the enemies to kill them.

Captain DynamoStanding in your way, of course, is the level design, and it is fiendishly complex. The terrain provides platforms at just the right distance apart to make the challenging. The energy beam devices are always in just the wrong place as you climb, and don't even start on the pits of lava, spinning blades, super springs and winch cables. The game needs a cool head, because while all of the obstacles are passable, you’ll need great care to do so. There’s very little margin for error.

Just like Nebulus, we’re back to the days when hard meant hard. Mind you, the personal reward when you complete even a single level is an achievement. You’ll not manage it very often, so savour the experience.

Captain DynamoYou do have a couple of things on your side. Being able to skip all the completed levels when you start a new game saves your lives to be (rather quickly) lost while exploring a new level, and there are ‘teleport capsules’ that save your progress as you progress through a level – without those, death means starting the level from the very beginning.

Captain Dynamo plays incredibly well (but beware that the controls can sometimes be a touch awkward on a small keypad such as on the N70) and looks just a platform game should, namely lots of colours and crisp graphics. It’s not actually bringing anything new to the genre. Rather it’s allowing platform fans to have a great example of the genre on their handset. No prizes for innovation, but lots of kudos for a pixel perfect port, and a damn good game.

(Now if only the game would remember the volume settings when I exit and restart). 

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