QBasic Gamer

MONOSPACE - Milo Sedlacek


Monospace is one of the QMunnities favorite time wasters - It's a quick, fun, simple and well done spaceship game. It's the equilivent of minesweeper for window users - And it's a game I often find myself fiddling at to pass the time. One of my personal favorites, how does it score against my incredibly strict scoring system?

Graphics : *** (Good)

You might assume that any game that can't boast anything more for graphics than black and white can't get a particularly good mark in the graphics department. You'd be wrong. Although only two colors are used to do it, all of the graphics are well done. Incredible amounts of detail has gone into things like enemy movement and smoke streams from your missiles. Explosions seem to have a powerful effect on your eyes - despite that the explosions only consist of one color, white. The black and white thing is really part of the game's feel - Maybe it was an attempt to show that a good monocolor game could work? I don't know, but I do know one thing - it doesn't matter. The graphics are pleasing, well animated (Particularly the rotating cubes) and certainly original. And it doesn't stop there. You might expect such an explosion of black and white special effects to make the game run at a slug's rate. One again, you'd be wrong. This is one of the most fluid games I've ever seen.

Music: *** (Good)

Only one tune is used for the game and only one insterment is used for the tune. It's a mellow piece that is accually refreshing to hear considering that music is the department where most QB games fail. It's an intresting piece that your mind starts to remove naturally. Becuase there is only one song, I was tempted to leave a lower mark - but because the piece is so suitable, I think a Good mark is well deserved.

GamePlay : ***** (Excellent)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, all that really matters in any game is gameplay - everything else is just an extra. The reason why this game is so popular is just that - gameplay. There is nothing to count against the gameplay - the controls never give you any trouble, the game has been configured fairly and the special effects keep you intrested. The game is fairly simplistic is it's methods. You start with a small ship. As you kill enemies, cirles containing the letter P and triangles containing the letter M float away from the explosion. Collecting the M's give you missiles; more powerful bullets that you have a limit of. Collecting P's increase your ship's power. There are 8 types of enemies, including a huge boss. And that's it. It's that simple. Just plain old fasioned space shooting. And it's great.

Replay Value: * (Very Poor)

That's the catch with MonoSpace - Only one level. For a while you'll just play away at the one level, but you'll get sick of it soon enough. I don't know what the accual suituation is, but I suspect that this game is not complete - Unfortuantly the programmer, Milo Sedlacek has died. It's a sad state of affairs that I really can't say much about - I don't know enough of it. Anyway, I suspect that had the programmer lived longer, he might have done more with this game. Without getting morbid and depressed, let's continue with the review.

Challenge: * (Very Poor)

Another one of the game's failings. It's pathetically easy.

Variety: *** (Good)

The game boasts 8 different enemies, all used well. Your ship will occassionaly meet a "Checkpoint", where you meet different types of enemies. Only 8 enemies mightn't sound like a lot, but it accually is - You'll see when you play the game. In terms of variety, It would have been nice if there had maybe been more weapons, but like it is now is fine.

Overall : ** (Poor)

Poor is a bad way of putting it. This game is certainly not "Poor". In fact, it's very very good, and I urge everyone to download it. The reason for the result? It's the rating system. I hope to change it soon - At the moment, it's ludicrious that equal marks are rewarded for Graphics as Gameplay. But under closer inspection, the mark IS deserved. It's too easy to hold your attentian, and it's really only a game you can play once. I guess I'm going both ways on this game. But don't listen to me- go download it and decide for yourself.

Download this game at : http:\\www.vplanet.cjb.net

Reviewer - Terry Cavanagh (terrycavanagh@eircom.net)