The Game: Robots, spiders and critters, oh my! You’re a lone human in a maze teeming with deadly robots, spiders and other nasties, and your trusty gun – which can dispatch any or all of the above – has only a limited amount of ammunition. You can obtain more ammo by walking over a briefly-occurring flashing gun symbol – but until then, if you’re out of ammo, you’re no longer the hunter, but the hunted. (M Network [Mattel], 1982)
Memories: This was the 2600 version of a similar game that Mattel had released for its own Intellivision console (Night Stalker), and it’s fair to say that this edition was just a wee bit simplified.
The web which spawns the nasties is completely absent from Dark Caverns, replaced by a completely symmetrical map (much easier on the 2600’s limited memory). But whatever nuances were lost in the translation from Night Stalker to Dark Caverns, somewhat better control was gained via the 2600’s joysticks.
Still, Dark Caverns was a fiendishly difficult game. The longer any single session went, the faster one’s enemies moved and the more nerve-wracking it got. Highly recommended for those who don’t suffer high blood pressure!