Cardiaxx is a science-fiction scrolling shooter video game for the Commodore Amiga. It was developed by Eclipse Design and published by Team 17 in 1993, although it was originally published by Electronic Zoo.[ The game features a ]spaceship as it flies through various levels of varying graphic styles.[ Each level has a ]boss at the end, and each level is separated by a sub-level of avoiding asteroids while the next level loads from the floppy disk.
Cardiaxx was developed by David Mariner and Jon Mitchell of Eclipse Design, with Joe Karthouser later joining them.[ The game's original publisher, Electronic Zoo, failed to release funds owed to Eclipse Design for its development shortly after its public release in 1991. ][ As a result, the ]Atari ST version was never released, and legal action followed. However, Electronic Zoo closed down during the legal proceedings.[ The game was later released by Team 17, but again no funds beyond the initial signing fee were ever released. ][ Therefore, Mariner and Mitchell still retain all rights to Cardiaxx to this day. ][ ]
The gameplay for Cardiaxx is a shooter, where the plater's ship can travel left or right when in a main level. The player is given the direction where they need to go, in both background text, and an arrow in the status bar at the bottom.
A given level consists of destroying a specific enemy or wave of enemies, all in order. With each target destroyed, the player is given the direction tot he next target - with an optional receipt of a weapon powerup, extra energy, or extra time. The player is given two extra lives for the game.
Each level must be cleared within 90 seconds (with time extensions), and running out of time results in the game ending.
A significant difficulty of the game occurs with the camera. While it does show what is ahead of the player, the panning speed is extremely slow should you need to switch directions.
At the end of each level is a boss fight, where the camera locks position and control reverts to a more conventional horizontal shooter. When the boss is destroyed, a deep space segment starts where you have to dodge or destroy incoming asteroids and enemy craft.