Developer:Chuck "Chuckles the Jester" Bueche
Despite the fact that you probably haven't heard of Caverns of Callisto or its author, both are surprisingly important given their modern irrelevance. Origin, as you probably know, was Richard Garriot's company, the fellow who created Ultima. Originally the series was published by other companies, but difficulty getting money owed to him resulted in the creation of Origin. One of those people was Chuck Bueche, who did some coding work on all three Ultimas at this time, in addition to doing quite a few ports. This isn't his first solo game, but it is the first non-Ultima game Origin published.
The story is not complex, the player is on the moon Callisto and mutants have stolen his ion drive and panels. What kind? I dunno, which makes me suspect that if I'm that non-specific about the problem, I don't have a chance of repairing it. Ion drives aren't even that fast, which is why scientists are planning on using it for travel in locations where that slow speed is less important than consistent speed. Don't know if Callisto has a low enough gravity for that to be effective. Anyway, the player explores the caves to find those parts.
|I wonder if the line-based walls are a sign that Origin didn't care too much about this conversion|
|A blue pad, which is one of two positive powerups|
|I can't say I ever had the gun overheat on me|
|I know I keep alluding to it, but I don't fine this an appealing-looking game, at all|
|The laser turret goes goes through a series of positions, so timing here is important|
Now, the problem with this game is that you have to find 9 items, your ion drive and 8 panels, across a generic cave. Exploring a generic, ugly wasn't really an interesting prospect back when it was Gateworld for DOS and I didn't really have anything better to do. Now that its Caves of Callisto and I have thousands of other titles to play it seems a bit of a joke. Still, I soldier on with save states. Surprisingly, I don't need to abuse them that much, just the laser turret and a few other unfortunate encounters. Fuel, as you can see down there, is also a concern, but I only ran out once, and your next life gives you a full recharge anyway.
But I can't "win", as much as it counts for in this game, where winning just starts the loop anew. I eventually find the last panel but I can't actually reach wherever the end is. Oh, well. What this title reminded me of is Action 52, specifically the weird selection of enemies from that game. Which isn't "what would be thematically fitting" but rather "what can I draw at this resolution". Answer, teeth and caves.
Your laser gun's mildly clever uses are unfortunately drowned out by how difficult it is to use. 1/10
Pretty generic. 1/10
I feel like I should be generous. Hey, something I can at the very least make a map and a route for! If it was 1983. 2/10
Its a bit loose here. Controls feel surprisingly floaty, and my ascent and falling speed were exactly the same. 3/10
The difference between everything is clear, but there's nothing else positive about it. 1/10
Your jetpack makes a noise every time you move. Considering that's all you do in this game, flying around with one, I tuned it all out soon enough. 0/10
Well, if this is a indication of what I can look forward to in 1983, I can say my fears have been realized. I hope that at least some of this is going to be interesting. Surely something will match Sinistar's 20...