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"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?
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.
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
||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
|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.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
||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
||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.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|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
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
||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
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
||Genre: Arcade Game
||To solve: 10-15 min Final Rating: 3/35
To download this game, click here.
Cobra is unzipped, run "COBRA.EXE".
you run Cobra, you must first press a number on the keyboard (1 to 9) to
determine the game speed.
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