Microcosm (CD32)

Title		Microcosm (CD32)
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Publisher       Psygnosis
Players		1
Compatibility	CD32
Submission	Courtesy of Sean Caszatt

MICROCOSM was one of the most anticipated games for the CD³² system. This
is a game that was in development for a long time.  It's roots go
back to the CDTV. Don't let that mislead you.  Unlike LABYRINTH OF TIME,
this game will NOT run on the CDTV.  It's a CD³² game.

Psygnosis have always had wonderful introduction animations in their
games.  As if to flex the muscles that the new CD³² console provides,
the intro animation on MICROCOSM is the finest computer generated
animation I've seen short of the dinosaurs in the movie JURASSIC PARK.
It's stunning.  The accompanying sound effects add a lot to the
atmosphere provided by the visuals.

One doesn't buy a game to watch the introduction.  Does the game live up
to the expectations and claims we've heard people make about it?

Let me say that this game has "slick" written all over it.  The
packaging is nice and of high quality.  Although the screen shots on the
box are from the PC version of the game, they do not mislead you on what
you will see when the game boots up on your CD³².

The game, if you don't know already, revolves around a plot similar to
the that of the movie FANTASTIC VOYAGE.  The player is in charge of
manning various miniature vehicles through the inner workings of the
human body to cure an ailing man.  You have to kill the viruses inside
the body and remove a computer controller device that is implanted in the

After choosing the part of the body you'd like to travel through first,
the game displays an animation of your vehicle (different vehicles for
different parts of the body) entering the bloodstream.

The game boils down to a simple shoot-'em-up.  You basically try to blast
everything that comes toward you, while simultaneously avoiding collisions
with objects and the walls of the veins or arteries you're passing

The graphics are stunning as you pass down the "pipes" of your patient.
The walls glisten as if reflecting the spotlights from your craft.  The
action is fast, sometimes too fast, and really exhilarating.  After a
while, the graphics do fade into the background and you begin to
concentrate on the game.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE was also turned into a game.  It looked nice, but was
hard to control.  The same problem haunts MICROCOSM, but not nearly to
the degree that it did FANTASTIC VOYAGE.  The CD³²'s keypad type
controller is at fault here.  It simply doesn't provide enough control
over the direction of your vehicle.  It does get easier after repeated
plays, but it is frustrating at first.

For all it's slick packaging though, there seems to be one slight
oversight.  The snazzy looking instruction book is wonderful to look at
but it is not full of details on how to play the game.  More than one
person has contacted me via E-Mail to tell me that the information needed
to get from one level to another is not included in the manual.  And
frankly, without their help, I wouldn't have gotten to the second level.
That's a real shame.

Nonetheless, I couldn't stop playing MICROCOSM for very long.  I'd stop
for awhile and grumble that the game was too hard, but I kept coming back
to it.  The hooks were in.  It's kept my attention longer than any
shoot-'em-up for the CD³² so far.

Waiting for this game has been hard for the CD³² owners who really wanted
to see what their machine can do.  Well, the wait is over.  MICROCOSM shows
that the CD³² CAN handle more than platform games and 16-bit type
shoot-'em-ups.  It's just a shame that it didn't come with decent

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