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(Future Software)


"An Arcade Garden of Eden"

In this update to one of the first Microsoft QuickBasic games ever made, in Cobra you're a growing snake that needs its diet of apples to live. But for every apple you eat, your length grows longer, and slithering your way to more apples without wrapping around yourself gets more and more difficult. Can you swallow every apple to win?

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The graphics in Cobra take place atop an empty 640*480 hi-resolution black background, within a boxed-up playing field. To the right of the playing field is a gray status bar which displays the score, the game's speed level, the high score, and the holder of that high score (the default is Jorden).

During the game, the animated cobra slithers flickerlessly around the screen, an act that gets a little more impressive whenever the cobra eats an apple and gets bigger. Future Software did a fair job of creating enough graphics sprites to make sure that the corners of the cobra are well-rounded as it turns, and they also did a great job of drawing the cobra's head and tail. The overall look of the game is definitely polished, but there needs to be more detail in this game somehow to get a higher graphics score.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A Gobble as many apples as you like, but beware the fact that Cobra does not come with any sound or music.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe v
If you've played a Nibbles-type game before, the gameplay in Cobra should be familiar to you. The object of Cobra is to eat apples that randomly appear on a playing field without colliding into anything. This seems easy at first since you only need to be wary of the walls at the far end of the playing field, but as you eat more apples you notice that you're getting longer! This adds challenge to the game because eventually you'll grow so big that you might crash into yourself. But if you manage to eat all the food and your cobra grows to it's maximum length, the game will finish.

While the controls are precise, Cobra is a little slow-paced. To add to the gameplay and replay value, Cobra comes with different game speeds, which are set in the beginning of the game by pressing a number (1-9) on the keyboard as the game starts. But even at it's fastest speed setting, a nimble and focused player should be able to attain all the apples quickly and efficiently.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) Cobra isn't really much of a twist from the original Microsoft Nibbles, and a game with similar objects was released in a Microsoft game pack a while back. So it's hard to give it a score for story elements.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
(Very Poor) I wanted so badly to give this game a higher replay value score because it was based on one of my all-time favorite QB games. But the pacing of Cobra is just so slow that I couldn't do it. There's no variation in gameplay from beginning to end, and if you've learned how to grab all the apples you can easily repeat the same trick over and over again until you physically or mentally get tired.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
One thing that may catch you off guard the first time you play this game is just how long the cobra can become. The game has only one level, where your cobra will eat many more apples than usual. The result is the needed to make sure that your cobra is always in a good position, never able to accidentally collide into itself. If you've never played a game like Cobra, this could take a few tries to pull off.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
(Very Poor) Microsoft set the standard for games like Cobra when Nibbles was released with QuickBasic way back in 1990. Ever since, games similar to Nibbles have been released freeware-style by programmers in every conceivable language from Visual Basic to C++. And now, eleven years later, a new version of Nibbles (entitled Cobra) is released by Future Software for QB again, this time powered by the Future Graphics Library.

Unfortunately, graphics is the only category where Cobra really shines over it's inspiration from over 11 years ago. The low resolution was replaced, but Cobra misses a lot of the options that made Nibbles such a cult classic. There's no two-player support or sound effects, and an even bigger problem is the fact that Cobra's slow pacing doesn't quite match the intensity that Nibbles introduced so long ago. 

Overall, this is actually a very low score for a QB game that's very polished. Despite it's problems, Cobra is worth a download if you're into old-school arcade games. This is especially true if you've never played Nibbles before and the "eat the fruit and you get bigger" gameplay in Cobra is fresh for you.

Cobra Reviewed by QBShire

Players 1 player Genre: Arcade Game
Rating To solve: 10-15 min Final Rating: 3/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wOnce Cobra is unzipped, run "COBRA.EXE".
wWhen you run Cobra, you must first press a number on the keyboard (1 to 9) to determine the game speed.

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