Vortex Crystals, Commodore 64, ViTNO Game Review

Sometime in the near distant future, our scientists travel to the planet Vektor and discover a form of energy crystals that will help protect mankind from future alien invasions. The Scientists all agreed that the crystals should be brought back to Earth and stored in a complex 16 level security system for safe keeping. Great idea right? Well there are some alien droids that don’t agree and have come to get their crystals back and have taken over the Vortex complex. The Prime Minister has called for your help, can you stop the aliens from taking back what is theirs?

Vortex Crystals is a single screen platform game where your role is to guide the Special Forces operative through each of the 16 floors in the complex and collect all the crystals on each floor before moving on to the next level.

Platform jumping and ladders galore

Stopping you from reclaiming the crystals are various forms of obstacles such as alien droids, airborne spinning aliens, super-fast moving robots, spikes and never ending holes. Your ammunition is not infinite so it must be used wisely but eliminating an alien will result in an ammo card being dropped giving you 10 more valuable bullets. Once you have collected all the crystals on each screen, you need to eliminate an alien in order to obtain an Exit pass in order to complete the level.

Vortex Crystals is a lot of fun to play and can be quite addictive. Your character movement around the screens is fluid and you always feel that you have good control over your Operative as you climb up ladders and jump from one platform to another. The game is not overly difficult and good progress can be made through the game if you display some patience and plan your path ahead. To make things a little more interesting, you have a set time limit to complete all 16 levels.

Danger signs and spikes ahead, tread carefully

Originally developed by The New Dimension (TND) back in 2015 as part of the 16KB Game Cartridge Dev Compo 2015 run by RGCD, the Final Edition of Vortex Crystals was released last year with a number of enhancements including a new front end, brand new music, a high score table and in game sound effects.

The Final Edition of Vortex Crystals features vibrant graphics, done by Alf Yngve, with each screen having a different colour scheme. The main character, along with the alien enemies are well defined and are sufficiently animated. The highlight of Vortex Crystals is the soundtrack, by Richard Bayliss, which can be described as nothing less than SID tune heaven and adds so much to the overall enjoyment of the game.

Level 13 requires careful navigation through robots and aliens

TND releases all their games on a freeware basis but Vortex Crystals illustrates that this does not mean that gameplay should suffer. Vortex Crystals is a well-executed game that is sure to satisfy fans of the platform game genre. Can you clear all 16 rooms and stop the alien’s invasion? We hope so because the world is depending on you.

For further insight into Vortex Crystals, check out the video review link below.

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Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64 and Amiga releases. Contributes to RetroGamerNation YouTube channel, Vintage is the New Old blog site, Reset 64 Magazine, K&A Plus Magazine and various other publications. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/retrogamernation Website: http://retrogamernation.com Email: retrogamernation@gmail.com

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