Atari has given another classic the Recharged treatment with Caverns of Mars where you fly ever deeper into the core of the red planet.
Originally developed by Greg Christensen, Caverns of Mars was the first vertical scrolling game and a smash hit on Atari. Prior to receiving the Recharged treatment I had only heard of the title but never played. The concept of the game is that you are rapidly flying towards the center of Mars and ammo is limited. You must defeat your foes and reach the reactor before your fuel and ammo run out. Conceptually it’s quite simple. The gameplay is less so.
While it is a vertical scrolling game you don’t have much control on the vertical movement other than slowing it with firing your guns. You do have control over your horizontal movement though. As you descend further in to the planet there are more and more enemies and obstacles to avoid. In short time it will become quite chaotic.
Visually the game is crisp and highly detailed for the world around you and the world can be blown away to clear you a path but a slight shift in direction can spell your doom. The game is easily played in short spurts and a hell of a lot of fun despite the frequent dying.