Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Oct 22, 2003
Platform  :  DOS

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Collect the crystals to advance to the next cave

The Good

Crystal Caves is one of the first EGA games that Apogee developed. You are Mylo Steamwitz, a so-called adventurer from outer space who just loves to travel to many caves and grab the crystals within them, and after he does, trade them at the Galactic Trading Post (GTP) for real cash, so he can fulfill his dreams once and for all.

There are three episodes: “The Trouble with Twibbles”, “Slugging it out”, and “Mylo vs. the Supernova”. In each episode, you have to steal crystals from all sixteen caves located on the world map, so Mylo can then trade them at the GTP, and face one disaster after another. Once you have collected all the crystals in each cave, the screen border will turn from red to green, which means that you have to make your way to the exit. Some crystals are behind locked doors, and you have to find a lever that has the same color as the locked door and flip to open them.

In every cave, you have to deal with two types of bats: black bats and alien bats that drop eggs on Mylo. When some eggs are broken, the broken egg will turn into another alien bat. Also, you’ll encounter snakes, robots, green monsters, two-eyed monsters, walking rocks, beasts, and a few creatures that I can’t name. You can kill these enemies by shooting them with your gun, with the exception of the walking rocks, which you can kill if you first get a gray circle with the letter “P” inside it.

You start the game with 5 shots, and can get more by grabbing the guns that are scattered throughout the level. You can avoid using your gun by jumping over enemies. You must also avoid water drips, laser beams, hammers, and stalagmites. The laser beams can be turned off by flipping a switch. Rarely, you can come into contact with a stop sign that will freeze every living creature or hazard for a number of seconds, allowing you to pass them without being harmed. You can pick up some special items, which include a red mushroom that will make Mylo stronger for a limited time, or a gray circle with “G” inside to reverse the gravity so you can grab those hard-to-reach crystals. Gravity is also reversed permanently in a level in each episode.

As well as collecting crystals, you can get bananas, strawberries, and cherries that randomly appear out of nowhere for 500 points. Other ways you can get points include banging the bottom of platforms to reveal hidden gems, and shooting mushrooms, collecting the letter “B”, “O”, “N”, “U”, and “S” underneath them and not just pick them up; opening treasure chests with a gold key; collect what a miner collects including candles, axes, shovels, and spotted mushrooms; and finishing the level with no health lost

Speaking of health, health is represented by three hearts, and you lose one of them by touching enemies and come in contact with water drips, laser beams, or eggs. If you lose all three hearts, the level is restarted. You will automatically lose three hearts at once if you hit an air generator or touch a poisonous mushroom.

The graphics has the same detail as any Apogee game had in 1991 (Commander Keen and Secret Agent comes to mind). The sound is only in PC Speaker.

The Bad


The Bottom Line

If you like games like Commander Keen and Super Mario Bros. where you are presented with a world map and then choose a level in any particular order you like, or just like platform games in general, then this game is for you. ***½