Sawbuck Gamer

Escape From The Very Bad Planet

Not As Bad As It Seems

Escape From The Very Bad Planet is a relaxing choice of flight over fight.

By Anthony John Agnello • September 14, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

There’s probably a reason why you’re trying to escape this dot-matrix cityscape, but honestly it doesn’t seem like that awful a place. Yes, it’s dark all the time, and you’re only really able to move your ship up and down as you ceaselessly barrel forward in space, dodging random scaffolding, but…doesn’t that sound exciting? “Very Bad” is a teensy bit of an overstatement.

The goal is to fly to the end of a color-coded map, which means dragging your mouse up and down to move your ship out of the way of laser blockades and the occasional missile. Collecting gold coins eases the process, as they can be put toward making your little ship faster and beefing up its running-into-wall resistance.

Even with a fully kitted-out ship, getting to the end is tricky. You can buy a gun, but it’s for emergencies only, shooting out a sudden wall or missile when there’s simply no other way. Plus, each run through the Very Bad Planet is randomized, so memorization isn’t a tool at your disposal. Okay, maybe it’s pretty bad.

But Escape is encouraging. If you make it to the dark blue section of the map and die, a message pops up saying that only 10 percent of players make it there—enough to quickly turn “very bad” to “good.”

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21 Responses to “Not As Bad As It Seems”

  1. HobbesMkii says:

    It’s not nice to use the name of one of my favorite games of all time in the title for a Sawbuck Gamer, guys. It’s misleading.

    • John Teti says:

      Oh man. That was a great game. I want to say they don’t make ’em like that anymore, but maybe they do, and I’m just not aware of it. Still. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Space Pirates and Zombies is the closest I’ve seen since EV: Nova was put out. But it’s not the same at all.

    • Heffenfeffer says:

      Oddly enough, you still have to pay $20 for EV, 16 years after its release. Even though it only runs on Mac OS 9 or older. EV Nova’s still $30 too. Perhaps Ambrosia can embrace Steam and have a Steam sale…

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Lame.  But the worst offender of the “old game should cost less” rule was the goddamn Diablo 2 Battle Chest.  It stayed at $40 for TEN YEARS!

    • George_Liquor says:

       What game is that? Googling “Not As Bad As It Seems” just netted me lyrics to a few lame songs.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Escape Velocity. It was only in the headline on the front page, I guess.

        • George_Liquor says:

           OK. I’m not familiar with that one. I didn’t own a Mac back in those days, so the only Classic Mac game I can remember playing was Lunatic Fringe.

    • SteveHeisler says:

      I sunk a whole bunch of hours into that game. Then I got the Star Wars mod, and holy hell, I continued sinking hours.

  2. Aaron Riccio says:

    Well, now I know why only 10% of all players make it that far. Because controlling your ship with a MOUSE freaking sucks. 

    Not that I didn’t suck it up and beat the game, but still….

  3. trilobiter says:

    I’m going to have to disagree.  This planet is very bad, and I never want to go there again.  No matter how many…shiny dots there..are…to collect…

    ::: Loads game again:::

  4. boardgameguy says:

    it was more fun beating it without using a gun at all.  but the coin magnet was the best investment i could possibly make

  5. HilariousNPC says:

    “Ain’t so bad!”

    Beat it without the gun. #2 high score overall.

  6. Merve says:

    Why does every browser game insist on prefacing itself with a useless cutscene nowadays? This ain’t a triple-A release that I’m running full-screen. Yeesh.