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Publisher: MacRun Games    Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: Not Supported    CPU: 601    RAM: 40 MB

Captain Bumper
September 13, 2001 | Adam Newman

Click to enlarge
MacRun games, a company based in France, has come about because of Captain Bumper! In the words of their CEO, Richard Soberka, they have "developed a cheerful and light hearted game which contrasts with the 3D 'kill ‘em all' games to be found in abundance on PC’s, some of which have been ported to the Mac. From the outset, the game was developed exclusively for Macintosh with the Mac user’s profile always in mind…”

Imagine being immersed in an action/arcade game based on your Sunday comics page. MacRun chose a 2D 1/2 graphic engine (of their own creation…see below) well. It gives a “homey” retro feeling to the experienced game player, and a “simple” enough feel to the new player to not frustrate them or overwhelm them with rendered details.

Your goal is a devilishly simple one: “help Captain Bumper to free Princess Lovita who is being held prisoner on a mysterious planet…To do this you must foil the traps that the evil Zeurbs have laid in your path, and find your way by exploring the 10 increasingly richer levels of the game.”

Controls are as simple as a side-scrolling game can be. You can use the arrow keys for movement (or an input sprocket capable device), the space bar to fire, and the control key to reverse direction. I personally don’t have a stick or gamepad to try out and found the arrow key controls to be a bit jerky, but I adapted quickly and haven’t had any major control issues. I did try playing with my trackball, but found it more jerky than the keyboard. I’ll have to tweak some of the setting to make it a bit smoother. Your mileage may vary.

In the course of navigating each level, you can pick up more ammo, fuel, and shield power as well as bonus multipliers and multi-shot capability. And, of course, the abundant “crate of bananas”. The levels start simply, but quickly become very challenging (even on the “easy” setting). Once you get to the third level, you must pay the $25 license fee to get access to the remaining levels of the game. Captain Bumper is distributed only through the internet, so just head over to and pay your fee. Your password will be emailed to you promptly so you can continue your quest to free Princess Lovita!

Although my initial response to the graphics was to find them cartoonish, I soon realized that that was not a criticism. The attention to detail was astounding. The graphics engine deserves special mention. It was hand coded in PowerPC assembly language and it is smoother than silk. They quote a rate of over 80 million pixels per second, which can rival some graphic cards!

As part of their rendering engine, sound is given particular emphasis as well. Each item rendered can have a stereo sound linked to it, and so will be heard in appropriate stereo space! Thus, even if there are literally hundreds of items on screen, each one can have its own stereo track!

What it all boils down to is one of the smoothest graphic engines with seamlessly integrated sound/music. That translates to great visuals that immerse you deeply and quickly in the game. I certainly haven’t finished the game yet. The maze level has me stumped right now.

MacRun has a winner. It truly will appeal to all family members, from hardcore games to the novice. Given that their graphic engine is easily adaptable to new work, I expect to see a great deal more from MacRun. And I expect it will be every bit as entertaining as Captain Bumper.

Captain Bumper
Publisher: MacRun Games
Download Captain Bumper Demo


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