PrintE-mail Written by Tom Acton

The year is 1988. It’s a Saturday morning, and you’re sat on the floor putting a video into a VHS with a bowl of Count Chocula beside you. If that image pulled on the nostalgia nerves you thought you’d buried deep in your subconscious – and you liked it – then there’s an early access game on Steam that could be for you, going by the name of Captain Forever Remix.

Captain Forever Remix’s (CFR) roots come from 2009, with a game called Captain Forever by Jarred ‘Farbs’ Woods. The game was quite interesting, you’d pilot a ship through deep space, blowing up other ships and salvaging the bits that fall off, making your ship bigger and better. The aim of the game was to survive for as long as possible by keeping your command module safe, and this was done by covering it in hull, and covering said hull in lasers and such.

CFR is quite similar, but it puts a spin of it. The spin, of course, being that the adventures are actually concocted by two over-imaginative siblings in the ‘80s.You play as Natalie Norberry, or Captain Forever, as she prefers to be called, as she and her brother go on an adventure fuelled only by the imaginative neurons in their brains. Natalie is the hero of this adventure, Captain Forever, whilst Kevin plays the villain, creatively named ‘King Kevin.’ Truly, this is a superiority complex in the making.

There is no hiding the fact that the game is set in the ‘80s, as one look at the main menu will tell us, which shows a hero of Natalie, watching an episode of Captain Forever on an old TV, with a bowl of multi-coloured cereal. Also present are a very retro-looking handheld system and video tapes and… ok, clearly the nostalgia is too much, let’s take a minute, and we can carry on when we’re both good and ready.

Anyway, we’ve been speaking about the time zone for too long; let’s look at the gameplay itself. It’s relatively similar to the original in that you recycle parts of your ship from your fallen enemies; however, there are some changes for the remixed edition. The game is no longer a mission to survive now; there is an objective, which is to take your ship from one end of the solar system to the other, battling increasingly difficult opponents. Throughout your adventures, you’ll see various planets being “pranked” by the villainous King Kevin. Neptune has a ‘kick me’ sign on it, Saturn has been tied up in knots, and the less said about Venus the better. One thing we will say though is that the music is amazing. It’s that sort of peaceful music you imagine while floating through space, however the music gets more action packed depending on the strength of the enemy you’re fighting.

Thankfully, you won’t start this mission with nothing as there are various ‘packs’ to use at the beginning which allow you to outfit your ship with the weapons and hull integrity that you’ll need to start out. As you play the game, you’ll unlock more packs, so you can decide whether to focus on speed and turning, or strength and defence, or whether you want a ship with long range lasers, or some dirty great saws. There are many different techniques and strategies, and it may take some game time to find the one that suits you.

The controls are a bit wonky as a result of the environment. What needs to be remembered is that we’re floating around in deep space in a zero gravity setting. If you start the ship rotating, it won’t stop until you do something about it. The controls are relatively easy to get down, but difficult to master. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself uselessly floating into the path of a ship with eight missile silos attached to it, and try not to get too annoyed when that ship turns yours into Swiss space cheese.

Each run of the game can take quite a while, up to forty minutes if you’re doing it right! The game is in early access now (although it feels complete) so currently, the ending is a rather anti-climactic wall of text set to a white background. However, we’re promised that this is merely placeholder, and that something better will come in the future. Besides, we think that the journey more than makes up for the current ending, which reminds us of a certain ‘congratulation’ we got at the end of NES Ghostbusters.

So, to summarise, this game is amazing. The music is incredible, the gameplay is fun and addictive, and it’s able to remind adults not only of the Saturday mornings of old, but of the zany adventures they may have had with their siblings. Captain Forever Remix will set you back £10.99 on steam, and although it’s in early access, the game feels complete (barring the ending). Fun, challenging and able to leave you feeling wistful at your desk, this is definitely a game to add to your wish lists.


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