Cavern CreaturesThe Game: Why do mountain climbers climb mountains? Because they’re there. Why are you flying a spacecraft into a vast complex of subterranean caverns? Because they’re there, and apparently because you want to blast the multitudes of critters who lurk there. The bad news: there are a lot more of them than there are of you. The good news? Your ship’s cannons fire in four directions simultaneously. Given that fact, and your ship’s maneuverability, you might just survive this little bit of aerial spelunking. (Datamost [designed by Paul Lowrance], 1983)

Memories: These days, the ‘net is loaded with tributes to video games past and present. But Cavern Creatures was one of the first tributes to classic games, and it’s an interesting tribute – it too is playable.

Cavern CreaturesGuest appearances are made by game icons such as Pac-Man, Tron‘s Recognizers, and even non-video-game obscurities such as pesky indestructible Rubik’s Cubes (they don’t move or blow up when you shoot them; they change colors instead). The game play is largely reminiscent of Vanguard, whose crescent serpents also appear in the game. And, like Vanguard, Cavern Creatures has an eventual goal for the player to reach, though some players may have been a little bit disappointed by it. What was it? A giant Apple II computer armed to the teeth!

Cavern Creatures3 quartersDespite the derivative game play and characters, Cavern Creatures was a challenging game – and a bit ahead of its time with all of its “guest stars.” Sadly, it was also a very pattern-based game – once you got to the end of the game and started over again at the beginning, there was hardly any point in repeating the process.

Cavern Creatures