Caverns of Mars (or Conquest of Mars - Atari 2600 title) is a vertically scrolling shooter for the Atari 8-bit family of home computers. It was programmed by Greg Christensen and published by the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1981. The game became the best selling APX title of all-time and was moved into Atari, Inc.'s official product line, first on diskette and later on cartridge. In Caverns of Mars the player descends into cave and at the end must retrace their steps back to the top. The game is vertically scrolling variation of the 1981 Konami arcade game Scramble. Christensen wrote two less successful sequels, one of which is scrolls horizontally and is very similar to Scramble.
Caverns of Mars is a vertically-scrolling shooter similar in concept and visual style to the 1981 arcade game Scramble. Christensen changed the orientation of the caverns from Scramble, having the player fly down into them as opposed to sideways through them. Unlike Scramble, the targets generally do not move relative to the map.
Using a joystick, the player controls a ship descending into the tunnels of Mars, firing at targets along the way. The player's spacecraft has two cannons, positioned on either side of the craft, firing downwards. The player needs to avoid hitting the cavern walls, while shooting targets of opportunity along the way. Fuel tanks can be shot to add 5 points of fuel, and the craft is destroyed if it runs out.
There are several different sections of the map, with easier skill levels removing the more difficult sections from the areas through which the player has to fly. The easiest skill level has only three sections, the hardest has six. On any skill level the last section of the map is a reactor, which the player lands on and thereby sets to explode. The player then has to reverse course and fly up and out of the caverns to escape before the reactor explodes.
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This version of Conquest of Mars (Caverns of Mars) was designed for Atari 2600, which was commercially very successful video game console of second generation produced by Atari from 1977 to 1992. It was the first console that used removable memory modules with games. At the time of its greatest fame, more than 30 million units of this console were sold for about $ 200 a piece. To date, the game library for this console contains nearly 1,000 original games. More information about the
Atari 2600 can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB joystick that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a joystick, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Conquest of Mars (Caverns of Mars). These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Conquest of Mars (Caverns of Mars) are summarized in the following table:
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