Captain Kidd

Publisher: Bug Byte
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #13

Captain Kidd

Captain Kidd is a bomb disposal expert, and living in a surreal land where bombs appear every few seconds he's a very busy little fellow. The game takes place on a grid made up of 15 x 12 squares and good ol' Cappy can move, in all four directions around it. When the game starts, a bomb appears somewhere on screen and a timer begins to tick away. What the Captain has to do is reach the bomb before the timer reaches zero and the bomb detonates. Once the bomb has been successfully dealt with, another appears until all the bombs have been defused, whereupon Cappy is moved on to another, more difficult screen.

As Kidd moves around the grid he dissolves any square he lands on, and since he can move only on the squares and not in between, careful route planning round the screen is required. If he runs into trouble and isolates himself, all is not lost. The row of squares he's sitting on can be scrolled left or right by keeping the fire button pressed and moving the joystick, but sometimes even this doesn't help. There are also harmless flags dotted around the screen which reap bonus points if run into.

Also occupying the grid, are two breeds of nasties, skulls and boots. The skulls are static, occupy one square and are fatal if blundered into. The big problem they cause is when a row of squares is being scrolled - if the player isn't concentrating then it's easy to scroll them into the helpless Captain. The boots try to chase after the hero and crush him if they track him down. When the game starts the player is given five lives to play with, but extra ones are awarded at regular intervals.


Capt 'N Kidd

This is a clone of the ancient arcade game Grid Trap (or Check Man as it was alternatively named) which never really took off. Why Bug-Byte have decided to resurrect the title is a complete mystery - the sound is dated and the graphics very dull and uninteresting. Although it's fun to play for a few games there's no real variation in the screens apart from having to collect more bombs and avoid more nasties, consequently the game soon palls. There are better games than this for a quid less.


I used to enjoy playing Sumlock's Grid Trap when it first appeared - but that was some time ago and on playing Captain Kidd, which is a derivative of the aforementioned game, I didn't find the experience as enjoyable. The graphics are very simple and quite crude, as are sound effects and music and the game itself. Not one of the best examples of budget software and there is better available for less.


Presentation 82%
Five skill levels to choose and instructions on the title screen.

Capt 'N Kidd

Graphics 37%
Little sprites which trundle about uninterestingly and boring screen layout.

Sound 29%
A naff version of the Entertainer and crummy spot FX.

Hookability 43%
Simplistic gameplay means it's easy to get into.

Lastability 31%
But subsequent screens give more of the same.

Value For Money 36%
Cheap, but dated.

Overall 32%
Just an ordinary conversion of a dated arcade game.