Encaved - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

Darkness. Your head aches. Where are you? What happened to you? Then you remember the steady beep of a technical device. You start groping for the source of the tone and find a PDA laying near your legs. You grab it and watch its display.

You stare at the screen and can't tell what the numbers stand for. You stand up and move a step to the right and come to know that the small dot on the screen represents your position. You continue walking, but a wall abruptly stops your movement. You are in a giant maze and the PDA screen shows the map of this big dark surrounding!

While examining the electronic device in your hands you find a button and a small stick. Your curiosity and raising panic results in pushing the button instantly. You are still standing in complete darkness, but the screen shows something like a spotlight. It seems to be produced by a radar spot scanning the caves. Moving the small stick while the button is pressed moves the spotlight around the maze on screen. You spot ways and walls on screen and decide to follow the lanes and hope to find an exit somewhere... unfortunately you come to know that the numbers in the top right corner of the screen are counting down and you feel that it can't be any good if this timer reaches zero.

Encaved is Simon Quernhorst's fourth Atari 2600 homebrew game! The game starts with the screen showing a black maze within border lines. Your position is represented by the small cursor in the left down corner. Moving the joystick starts the countdown timer and you player moves through the maze. You can't move further when you run into walls. Pressing the fire button lightens the spotlight on your screen. You can move the spotlight around with your joystick while you keep the fire button pressed. A box is hidden somewhere in each maze. Locate it with your spotlight and collect it with your player to gain more time. As soon as you found an exit and moved through it with your player, you receive the remaining time as points. If you know the maze very well already and manage to navigate through it without switching the spotlight on, you score double points. After having escaped a maze a door closes behind you and you come to know that the next maze is already awaiting your exploration...

Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL television formats, please specify above when ordering.

Encaved Limited Edition

Encaved's author, Simon Quernhorst, has created a Limited Edition version of Encaved that you may purchase from him directly. The Limited Edition includes the game cartridge, plastic box, instruction manual, small bag with stitched game logo, and an envelope with photo prints of the level maps. In addition, each copy is serialized with a unique number and is signed as well. To learn more, please visit Simon Quernhorst's Encaved Home Page.

Author Simon Quernhorst
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 4K
Label Design Nathan Strum
Manual Design Nathan Strum
RallyRabbit on 04/18/2022 08:28pm
Interesting concept. No enemies just an escape maze. I found it fun at first but the. Very tedious. The game is well done, but just not one I pull out and play a lot.
Nathan Strum on 10/15/2007 06:32am
Encaved is an interesting take on the "find your way out of a maze" genre. There are no enemies, except time and the darkness. Your goal is twofold - find a box hidden somewhere in the maze (which gives you more time) and then find the exit. The darkness is what makes Encaved unique: you can't actually see the maze - only a small part of it that's illuminated when you press the fire button. You can move the spotlight around to look at different parts of the maze, but not while you're moving. You have to plot out a course, memorize it, then run around in the dark. If you get out before the timer expires, you'll move onto the next of 23 mazes. If you don't, it's game over.

While an interesting concept, I didn't care much for Encaved. Moving a dot around on screen and blindly bumping into walls just isn't how I enjoy spending my afternoons. For starters, I would have liked to have seen a larger spotlight on the screen. The mazes tend to be very twisty and complex, and I found them tedious to navigate through because I had to frequently move the spotlight to get a good look around. But more frustrating is that if you bump into a wall, you come to a stop. You can't "slide" along walls, looking for the next turn, as you would if feeling your way through a real darkened maze. You have to keep off of the walls, which means a lot more maneuvering to to get through the maze than should be necessary. I got through a couple of mazes, but there's no way I'd want to work my way through all 23 of them.

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