By Imagine
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #21

Galivan | JR | RE | PS | Verdict


Over the last few years, numerous members of the most elite law enforcement agency, the Cosmo Police, have been assigned the task of seeking out the origins of the evil generated from the planet Cynep. All those sent on the mission have failed to return, presumed dead, killed in action. Now you, the remaining active member of the force, have been asked to do what the rest of the force have failed to do - penetrate and neutralize Cynep's hazardous defences and finally bring an end to its reign of terror.

Unfortunately there's hardly any background information regarding the mission. All you know is that the caverns of Cynep are swarming with a robotic and alien presence and the end of each cavern is guarded by a horrible laser-spitting multi-headed monster. All of these meanies have one arm in life - to destroy any intruders, who wander into their realm. These creatures have to be destroyed if you are to achieve your objective.

Galivan is a multi-directional scrolling shoot-'em-up in which you have to make your way through the caverns and confront the demon which resides at the bottom. You can walk in any direction, as long as the landscape allows you to do so, and jump over or duck under obstacles.


You begin the mission completely unarmed, your sole defence is your ability to punch - not much of a defence when you come up against a swarm of flying alien creatures. Any contact with one of these horrors results in your energy, shown as a bar at the bottom of the screen, shrinking a little. And if it shrinks to zero, you lose one of your five lives.

This rather dodgy position can be made a little better if you manage to run over one of the power pyramids littered around the caverns. If you touch one of these triangular-shaped objects your lost energy is stored, your body is mysteriously encased in armour and you're given a laser pistol which can be activated by pressing the fire button. If you run into another power pyramid the laser pistol turns into an 'arc blaster', firing three blasts of laser fire at one time.

This firing capacity can be further improved if a third pyramid is picked up, resulting in a highly powerful 'white bolt neutralizer'. Unfortunately these weapons only last for a limited period of time; after that the laser gun returns once again. Power pyramids can also be obtained by destroying blue android robots which clank around the cavern system.


Although you're clad in a suit of armour, the effect of aliens bashing into your frail body is still the same and the power bar diminishes. If it shrinks and turns yellow, the suit of armour disappears and you go back into the vulnerable punch mode.

If you manage to penetrate deep enough into the Cynep complex and reach the bottom level you will encounter the demon guardian. This multi-headed horror has to be shot many times before it dies, and while you're piling in the laser fire it spits great glowing lumps of deadly phlegm at you. Once you've disposed of the disgusting creature a door opens in the floor, allowing you to drop through and escape... to another, more difficult Cynep cavern system which has to be shut down in similar fashion.


This isn't exactly the apex in Commondore shoot-'em-ups, but it's quite an enjoyable and challenging game which will give the buyer a couple of days of entertainment.

The graphics are a bit on the naff side and the sound isn't inspiring, but the game is quite fast and frenetic. If you're after an instantly playable game you could but a lot worse than this. But if you're into longer lasting action, look elsewhere.


A mission you can never complete, eh? I did, several times - at least I thought I had. Each time I found myself plonked, rather unceremoniously back at the start. The game itself isn't so bad, but it's not very good either.

It's quite playable - when you've got to grips with the layout of the caverns. However, the graphics are substantially weak on more than several occasions. The main sprite is the worst - he looks like a matchstick on legs with a goldfish bowl on his head.

The evil onces are just as bad. It's blatantly obvious that little thought has gone into the graphics which really spoil what could have been a neat game.


Galivan is an odd game. Not odd in an original sort of way, just odd in that it looks so abysmal, sounds really terrible, is very repetitive but (big *but*) it plays quite well. It's even quite addictive in an odd sort of way. I wouldn't advise buying this at all, but it is interesting.

I don't know why. I really don't know why Galivan kept me captivated for a good hour or so. Go to your computer shop and try it out. You might be able to tell me why. I'd like to know.


Presentation 57%
Naff title screen and nothing in the way of options.

Graphics 65%
Some of the backgrounds are reasonable, but the sprites back crispness and definition.

Sound 32%
Awful tunes and equally four spot effects.

Hookability 78%
Simple shooting action paves the way into the game.

Lastability 49%
Not enough variety to keep you coming back for more.

Value For Money 51%
Give it some thought before parting with your cash.

Overall 53%
A no frills, fair-to-middling shoot-'em-up.

Galivan | JR | RE | PS | Verdict