The first ever home console port to a full arcade game is believed to be Vectrex’s very own Cosmic Chasm. Cosmic Chasm was so well received by the gaming public in 1983 that it led Cinematronics to make a full colour vector arcade game based on their then new 68000 board. Only around 400 arcade releases were manufactured and today the arcade version of Cosmic Chasm is a much sought after collector’s item.
In Cosmic Chasm the player is the Commander and controller of a ship which has lasers, a shield and a drill. The action takes place inside a monstrous space station and as you progress from one cavern to the next your progression is displayed on a labyrinth style map. In each room there is a central core which is constantly expanding while you try and fight off the planet protectors before the core expands so as to engulf your ship.
Once your ship has eliminated all the ‘planet protectors’ inside a particular cavern the player needs to pick one of four or more exits so as to progress to the next cavern. Caution needs to be taken as each of the exits is protected by a force-field which will need to be drilled through to obtain access and go on.
Once your ship has reached the ‘central chamber’, which contains the planet’s power structure,of the space station, the aim is to plant a bomb which is intended to blow up the main power supply. Next much haste must be taken as hurriedly the ship must retrace it’s path through all the exits that have been drilled until the outside of the space station is reached and to victory. New levels appear in succession after each level has been blow and power supply destroyed.
Cosmic Chasm was my favourite Vectrex game as a teenager and it is definitely much more complex than many other original Vectrex game releases. It really is quite intense making for the exits after planting the bomb and some keen button work needs to be performed on the control panel to finally penetrate the alien planet. Cosmic Chasm can be found regularly on ebay for around $25 -$30. Be safe.
Review written by Daniel Foot
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