OF ERIBAN (1986)
this game, your task is to take supplies deep into Eriban to the 25 mines situated
deep in its caverns.
My first opinions of this game were very mixed. I started playing and instantly disliked it. However, I persevered and a couple minutes into the game, I was intrigued. And then I started to get frustrated with it again, but something about Caverns of Erbian kept me playing. I think it was because I knew somewhere underneath it all, lay a good game. Unfortunately, it was buried under poor controls and programming bugs, and it was whether one could be bothered to dig through these problems to find that game.
First off, the idea is to land in one of the yellow landing pads dotted around the surface of the map. If you make this without crashing, you collect 5 supplies. You're then supposed to go into the caves, and find a mining depot (27 in all) and land on its red landing pad. If you manage to land safely you drop off one supply, before taking off again to find the next depot. In all the time I played it, which was many (before I gave up) I only managed to drop off 1 supply.
The controls are difficult. They're slow, unresponsive, and unpredictable. You try to time flying down to land, and you end up speeding in and crashing into the ground. Not only that, when you go onto your next life, you're still stuck in the ground and die again, and this goes on, until you manage, slowly and through losing a good few lives, to fly away from the ground.
Your ship is equipped with lasers, and the caves are scattered with "ancient defences". Ok, so that's good, but your lasers do absolutely nothing to these defences. For ancient things, they're pretty tough. You can shoot the missiles that are fired from some of these "ancient defences", but that's only if you can successfully manoeuvre the ship around in time to fire off a decent shot.
The map is vast and it's easy to get lost. There is no music, and minimal sound, but it suffices for this game.
Overall, the difficulty alone tars Caverns of Eriban that could potentially have been a great game. It's a good idea ruined by bad programming and layout.
"Eri-ban this game!"
If playing this game using an Emulator then Save the game often as the landing crash bug can quickly deplete your lives.
(Firebird & Rainbird)
(History, Original Firebird Club Newsletters and more...)