Chomp! Chomp! Safari
|a game by||Utopian World of Sandwiches|
|Editor Rating:||6.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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- Manufacturer: Cosmi
- Machine: Commodore 64, IBM PC
No matter how long you've been playing computer games, you have never played anything like Robert T. Bonifacio's Chomp!, a compelling little program whose offbeat concept is its primary strength.
Imagine a game where the player is cast as a pet-shop goldfish with a yen for freedom. Spying an open window overlooking a river at the far end of the pet store, the goldfish conceives a fantastic plan: eat and grow strong, then leap from aquarium tank to aquarium tank, from one shelf to the next, slowly and inexorably working its way to that open window and the river beyond.
Each of the shelves full of aquarium tanks is actually an aquatic difficulty level. The scenarios have names like "Amazon Rivers" (full of deadly piranha), "Arctic Seas" (where the water is much too cold for a tropical fish to survive long) and "Swamp" (where even the aquatic plants are dangerous). The gritty goldfish must dodge deadly sea creatures and anemones, avoid periodic sweeps from a net manipulated by a pet-shop monkey with a taste for tropical fishes and elude the cat's paw. All the while, the player/goldfish has to greedily consume every particle of protein in its current environment.
Much as an army moves on its stomach, so does the player's surrogate goldfish. The fearless fin gobbles up flake food, brine shrimp, fellow fishes and a rarely appearing bonus waterbug (yummy!) in order to swell its little body. When the goldfish grows sufficiently to make the jump to the tank to its left or right, the bottom of the screen flashes. An inadequate leap results in the little fishie sliding unceremoniously into the toilet, where it is flushed to freedom, the hard way.
The graphics, on both the Commodore 64 and IBM PC versions are quite attractive. The varieties and colors of aquatic life are accurately represented in a convincing series of artificial environments. A little music would have been welcome, but the silence is compatible with the undersea world. Additionally, the excellent documentation not only explains the game in welcome detail, but contains illustrations of several types of fish.
In a world that already contains dozens upon dozens of martial arts games, flight simulators and statistical sports contests, it's good to know that there is now at least one entertainment in which players can help guide a bold goldfish in his quest for freedom. Chomp! is a cute contest that should be especially appealing to younger computerists.