Atari 2600 Friday’s #34 – Dark Cavern
It’s like Pac-man with guns and no yellow dots to collect!
The Story: You basically have a nameless protagonist trapped in a cave with deadly blobs, spiders, and robots.
From the Manual: “The object of the game is to avoid the blobs, spiders and robots… and
destroy as many of them as you can!!! Your man is trapped in the cavern,
there’s nowhere to hide. Escape the creatures’ bites and keep away from
robot fire. Shoot to destroy… rack up points! It’s a bitter fight to
From the Box: “Start with 5 men. One is trapped in the cavern at a time. Keep away from the blobs, spiders and robots!
Start with 20 bullets. Get more as you play. Shoot robots one after another…get more points!
Lose your man when he runs into a robot or gets hit by robot fire!”
The Game Play: The game begins with you at the center trap door. as soon as you move up, the door locks and he is trapped in the cavern. Your character moves a bit like pac-man, push a direction on the joystick and you move until you hit a wall. To shoot, Push Joystick in direction and press Red button to shoot the gun. You can only fire one bullet at a time, you cannot shoot again until the current bullet is offscreen. You start with five men, you lose one each time you die and gain one for each yellow robot you kill to a maximum of five. Spiders will paralyze you for a few seconds leaving you defenseless. The blobs steal bullets, the longer you touch one the more you lose. There are one headed robots than can only shoot forward, and two headed robots than can shoot in both directions.
The Controls: Up/Down/Left/Right movement. Push Joystick in direction and press Red button to shoot the gun.
Post Review: This is one of those seriously hard games. The robots are constantly shooting at you. If you sit in the center cell they will circle and try to shoot you through the wall. It was hard to tell, but the enemies might be moving slightly faster than you are. Your best bet is to sit at a corner and try to shoot then move out of the way of their bullets, harder then it sounds. Definitely a game that could take hours of practice and be so satisfying when you get good at it. If you don’t give up first. For a first timer and only a few quick plays, even getting a kill was not easy.
The High Score: 11000