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The similarity to
Fort Apocalypse and the control of your craft are initially off-putting, but as you get into the game and discover its size and complexity it becomes more attractive. The fact that everything is so small detracts and sometimes bullets don't destroy objects unless you hit them dead centre. If you can get over the fact that it's a copy you'll quite enjoy this.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Caverns of Sillahc
1984 Interceptor Software
Programmed by Andrew Challis
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (May 1985).
 

CAVERNS OF SILLAHC
Interceptor Micros, 7.00 cass, joystick only

In an alien world you are taking sides in the fight between the Torms (a nice enough bunch of lads) and the Humans (a real nasty bunch of invading farmers).

The Torms who live underground have pinched the farmers' robots to drive them away, but your job is to get them back from the underground caverns where they have been hidden and protected. As a secondary aim, you're asked to destroy the Torms' power plant -- charitable huh?

Your craft can carry ten robots at a time and behaves much like a helicopter in that it responds to gravity unless you maintain upward movement. You are armed with bullets that shoot in the direction of movement, but only destroy the antigravity mines and blocks that are put in your way.

Your craft pauses between two moving doors. Also
visible are three wandering bombs which must be
avoided. The white-orange wall on the right can
be shot through.

The maze of force wells, electric beams and other moving defences are what you have to negotiate and this takes patience, skilful joystick control and good timing. Most of them are set up in small spaces where it is hard to manoeuvre and constant concentration is required.

The robots are dotted around in groups where they shuttle left and right waiting to be picked up from above. But you must be careful how many you take before overloading will cause you to crash. Touching anything else except robots and the landing places is fatal. Landing spots are occasionally refuelling stops as well - your power runs out very quickly.

The power plant you're supposed to destroy is located in the centre of the underground complex. There is some robotic sounding speech synthesis, a jolly title screen tune and bone-marrow-irritating sound effects. Your craft looks like a hamburger with big ears, but the rest of the graphics are competently done.

BW
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I wasn't impressed with this very poor copy of
Fort Apocalypse. Control of your egg-like craft is poor and the graphics aren't anything special.

Within the caverns, controlling your spaceship through the tricky maze-like passages is frustratingly difficult, and death from mysterious causes made me soon sicken of the game. If you want a good Fort Apocalypse type game buy the original -- it's far better.

 


Bug in the demo

If left long enough, the program goes into a demo mode as in Trollie Wallie where you are shown the whole playing area and the hazards within it. This is handy for planning your way around and spotting where all the robots are.

However, at one point when I was playing, an interesting alternative occurred. My ship suddenly appeared in the middle of a tower and with a bit of difficulty I was able to move it through all the scenery and dangers, although I couldn't pick up robots. When I fired, the noise persisted but no bullets emerged.

The author, Andrew Challis (Sillahc backwards, OK), told me that the bug had also appeared on his machine but attributed it to the old graphic chips in some 64s and said it didn't occur on newer ones.
.

 

Interceptor have done it again -- yet another copy. OK, the graphics are different, but being a Fort Apocalypse player I soon noticed a lot of similarities. The graphics were barely passable and the sound effects strange but competent. The speech was from the same

stable as the Arabian Nights voice. But with digitised speech such as that in Impossible Mission to compete with, it detracts rather than adds to the game.
.

 

 
PRESENTATION
ORIGINALITY
52% Skimpy instructions with Interceptor's usual silly scenario.
21%
Fort Apocalypse look-alike with some obstacle elements from Trollie Wallie.
GRAPHICS
HOOKABILITY
57% Attractive settings but jerky movement on small graphics.
49%
Nasty control and a perplexing environment don't help.
SOUND
LASTABILITY
59% Harmless title tune, 'speech' and teeth-grating sound effects.
63%
Large caverns provide tough opposition, good long-term challenge.
VALUE FOR MONEY
60% Cheaper than Fort Apocalypse but not as good.

 

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (24 April 2001)

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