Commavid's first retail release after the mail order only
MagiCard and Video Life, Cosmic Swarm is a interesting little
game with a few rough edges. One can see that Commavid was
attempting to make games that were a little different than what
was currently on the market. Unfortunately Commavid didn't
have the manpower or distribution to make much of a impact in
The goal of Cosmic Swarm is to shoot the termites carrying blocks that slowly fill up the screen. There are three termites in all and they will respawn at the top of the screen if destroyed. The termites will also, depending on the difficulty settings, attempt to hunt down the player in addition to just dropping off their blocks. The controls of Cosmic Swarm take a little getting used to as the player must hold down the fire button to rotate left and right. This odd scheme can cause the player to unintentionally rotate when doing a lot of firing.
In addition to shooting the termites, the player must also deal with all the blocks (referred to as nest blocks in the manual) that the termites drop off. Running into one of these blocks is deadly so they must be eliminated before they clutter up the screen. Unfortunately these blocks are normally indestructible when green and can only be destroyed if turned red. To turn the blocks red (energized) the player must shoot one of the blocks a termite is carrying on the bottom (not the sides). If done correctly all the blocks will turn red and can be shot. Be careful though, the second the player shoots a termite they will turn back to green.
Every minute or so a ship will start moving
down one of the screens. This is the fuel ship, and you
must touch it before it goes back up to the top of the
screen. Failing to touch the fuel ship will result in an
instant game over, no matter how many lives the player has so be
careful. Thankfully the fuel ship moves so slowly that
it's not very difficult to get over to it in time. The two
difficulty switches can be used to select the aggressiveness and
speed of the termites. On the highest settings the
termites are very aggressive and move very fast.
One oddity of Cosmic Swarm is that the player instantly
loses a life the second they start the game. For some reason
the player and all three termites start lumped together in the
upper left corner, so when the game starts the player touches all
three termites and is instantly destroyed (along with the
termites). It's unknown why the game does this since it
doesn't happen in the prototype version.