Get your expletive to Mars. Atari has been on a roll with bringing back the classics from Missile Command: Recharged to to the critically lauded Atari 50: The Anniversary. To add to that portfolio come the announcement of Caverns of Mars: Recharged. The classic down-facing spaceship shooter from 1981 returns with a new look and a co-op mode for a new generation.
The news was announced today. Uberstrategist provides more information on the game’s release. Caverns of Mars: Recharged will have more than a modern look. A pulsating original soundtrack, online leaderboards, more challenges, and more caverns will be featured in this new release,
Welcome to Mars, Man!
The original Caverns of Mars released in 1981 for the Atari home computer. The simple 8-bit arcade game was a downward-movie scroller and shooter. The goal was to descend through the Martian surface and straight to the central core of the planet. Players maneuvered around the ever-changing caverns while also destroying enemy targets. The caverns had their own defense systems, increasing challenge for the players. Additionally, players had to minimize fuels usage and search for more. If the player ran out of fuel, the ship would crash and it would be game over.
The original game would go on to have a solid legacy within the annals of Atari history. At the time of its original release, many lauded the game for its great pacing and overall fun. Caverns of Mars was built with the arcade player in mind. This created a gameplay mechanic that was rewarding but hard to master. The game won a Certificate of Merit award at the 4th annual Arkie Awards, which were hosted by the first dedicated magazine to games, Electronic Games
Journey to the Center of Mars
Caverns of Mars: Recharged comes from the same team that put the idea behind Missile Command: Recharged. Caverns of Mars: Recharged sports a new modern look that is sleek and vibrant. The game will have a local-co-op mode for players to coordinate their rapid descent into Mars. The environment is much more destructible than its predecessor. The trailer shows chain reactions to destroying certain enemy units. The trademarks of the original remain, from claustrophobic caves to managing the fuel supply.
Another addition are power-ups for the player. These introduce new weapons and abilities as players make their descent. All the action accompanies a soundtrack made by award-winning composer Megan McDuffee. CEO of Atari Wade Rosen weighed in on the announcement.
Caverns of Mars is a a great early example of a game designed for Atari’s 8-bit computers, which make it a perfect addition to the Atari Recharged family. It’s an intensely fun arcade-style experience in both single player and two player co-op.
Wade Rosen, Atari CEO
Cvaerns of Mars: Recharged launches for Steam, Atari VCS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One on March 9, 2023.