Captain Planet & the Planeteers is a classic 2D platform shooter released by Mindscape in 1991 for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Amiga and Atari ST home computers. It was ported a year later to the 8bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the 16bit Sega Mega Drive /
Genesis. The game is based on the synonymous animation TV series.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You control a super called hero Captain Planet. The game starts with you flying on the screen, collecting time bonuses and avoiding hitting stars. Once you hit a star, shooting begins. The Captain runs and flies, while firing a fusion of fire, water and air In order to save Earth from mutant creatures that were created due to the planet’s pollution! You must stop those enemies by destroying their rockets, barrels of poison and their minions. But be warned, they explode with a shower of hearts which makes it tricky to see where the other creatures are! The game consists of 3 levels (on the 8bit home computers) and at the end of each one you will be facing a big boss! Note that the overall game design (and gameplay) differs when compared to the 16 bit (Amiga and Atari ST) versions, while the Nintendo NES version looks quite similar. Captain Planet is really a decent platform shooter, no matter the version you're playing it.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Amstrad CPC version has nice and colorful visuals with fast sprite animation. The backgrounds do not add any special level of detail, but the overall graphics use up to 16 colors on screen and do the job quite well, while the game's scrolling is smooth too. Of note are the up to 3 levels of parallax scrolling! The sprites on the CPC version are poorly detailed and they look a bit "blocky" while, comparably, the ZX Spectrum version has better details on the sprites and the overall presentation! The sound is acceptable, offering a nicely composed introductory theme and a few typical sound effects during gameplay (but no in-game music).
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.