Thursday, January 12, 2012


John Carmack, the amazing programmer and lead in games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, and many others, released this for the Apple II in 1989. Later on, it was ported to MS-DOS, and given features like EGA graphics. You're a magician looking for treasure in the demon infested 10-level Catacomb. This shouldn't be confused with Catacomb: The Abyss, which came out some time later and was first-person. Here's the first Catacomb, a 2-D action/adventure title.
Gameplay: 6/10
I could just imagine plugging the 5½'' floppy into the drive and hearing the loading sequences. It looks, plays, and sounds exactly like you'd expect a game like this to. We've all heard of Gauntlet, and this is the first game that comes to mind when I play this. You gotta fight through the level, get the key to open the door to the mirror to the next one. The levels are fairly small, not too intricate, but always have some messed up trick about them. When I first started playing, I accidentally hit Enter, which cast fireballs in all directions, found a secret warp area, went to level 9, and got killed. I thought that was just a little bit funny. Eventually I picked up the strategy to the game and just started slayin' demons. I like that you can charge while you walk, plus points, the special attacks are super useful, plus points, but I hate how you can't walk diagonally. -4 points.

Graphics: 4/10
EGA graphics can support something like 16 colors. Now that we know that, it's fair to say they could have atleast changed the color scheme to the levels. You're looking at the same purple walls, green floors, and red demons the whole game. Your guy walks around in a hilarious fashion, sort of shuffling along. Just for fun, I tried it in CGA mode, and the former is a giant improvement, but still not enough for me to give points. -6 points for the ridiculous color scheme that never leaves you alone.
Sound: 7/10
I really enjoy the effort that went into the sound. It's constantly rocking these arpeggio boops and blips, sounds very similar to Commander Keen, everything has a sound and it's just a lot of fun to hear. No music though. -3 points.

Overall: 7/10
It's so easy to see how Catacomb Abyss was created using this as a backbone. The play style is inadvertently similar to its predecessors. I know one thing, I wish that I had this game back then rather than all the other crap I used to play. The Catacomb series is pretty badass, and there's quite a few games in it, but just how do they stack up? You'll have to wait and see. Snatch this game from the link below!


  1. That's really cool I didn't know this game existed. I'm a John Carmack fan so i'll have to check it out

  2. The game sprite looks like a pixelated Michael Jackson, heh.

  3. I gotta try this game. Those graphics bring back so many memories. thanks :)