Video gaming icon and goat enthusiast Jeff Minter has just pushed out the latest offering from his development studio Llamasoft, called Caverns of Minos [$1.99], which has just gone live in the App Store. Caverns of Minos offers a similar brand of retro-inspired gameplay and psychedelic visuals, and, just in case you were worried, a hefty dose of minotaur rescuing.

Caverns of Minos is a mishmash of genres – part cave flyer similar to Lunar Lander, part rescue game sort of like Choplifter, and part vertical shmup like... well, about a million games since the dawn of time. Its biggest influence was an old Atari title called Caverns of Mars, which should be immediately apparent to those familiar with that game. Caverns of Minos boasts 4 different ships to pilot as well as 21 different caverns to explore and complete. You're tasked with rescuing minotaurs as you explore each cavern looking for a special item which must then be delivered back to the mothership. Yep, this game has that great Jeff Minter craziness we all know and love.

Check out this developer gameplay video which shows Caverns of Minos being played on the iPad, and then about halfway through demonstrates its iCade compatibility:

Our resident retro expert and Minterologist Blake Patterson has already spent extensive time with Caverns of Minos, and the consensus seems to be that "the game is great." We'll be taking some time to write up a proper review beyond just those four words in the very near future, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that. However, if you're a fan of Llamasoft's previous App Store offerings, or just a fan of retro-style arcade games in general, then it's probably a pretty safe bet to just go ahead and pick up Caverns of Minos, and you can always head into our forums for even more on the game.

  • Ivan Ivanov

    Who the hell needs those dozens of oldies with crappy graphics and primitive gameplay? There are truly awesome old games, which should be ported to iOS (like Star Control), instead we are flooded with these "retro-inspired" nonsense of zero value...

    • Anonymous

      Dude, Minter wrote half of the old classics. Look up llamasoft. And his games are still genius.

      • Ivan Ivanov

        So what? Why is that a reason to create more retro-clones instead of thinking of something new? Because it's easier. Not less time consuming maybe, but it's a primitive (non creative) work in general. I don't believe in that nostalgia thing. Back in 90s and beyond i have had really good time with those "classic" games. But i do not want ALL of them flooding our modern and future reality.

      • drelbs

        So you're upset that Minter took elements from a handful of great old games and made a great new one for us to play?  If the game was identical, but had modern (or scribble) graphics and no mention of the 'oldies' would you have been as upset?

        I've been looking forward to this since I heard of it, all of his iOS titles have been fantastic!

      • Ivan Ivanov

        I'm upset not with this specific game or developer. But with the overall tendency to clone those tons of retro-classics. There indeed are good games to replicate on modern platforms, but not in that numbers we are getting in appstore.

      • tom tiki

        I don't think I've ever seen someone be so wrong on the internet.

      • Ivan Ivanov

        Well, that's my imho. Maybe i just can't correctly express my opinion so you can well understand what i'm trying to say. English is not my native language, sorry.

      • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        So don't buy it if its not your cup of tea. I don't get this attitude of every game has to be what YOU want. There is room for variety. Oh better yet program your own games!

      • Anonymous

        I kinda see your point - there are a ton of "retro" games, with several being lazy. Easier to do less with less. What I love about the llamasoft stuff is the little details, the extra graphic flourishes that weren't possible back then.

        So yes, more new forms of games, please. I'm always up for a new game type. Line drawing, RTS,FPS, even RPG...somebody had to invent them.

        And make us all happy (me included) by including the option to switch tile sets. Meant retro? Go retro. Want cartoon? Go cartoon. Want modern, go modern. I don't know why nobody's done that yet.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, because Doodle Jump and Cut the Rope are so deep. Oh, and if anyone remembers Caverns of Mars on the Atari computers, I'm sure they'll be jumping on this.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I cant believe the article doesn't mention Caverns of Mars which this whole game is based on!

      • Jared Nelson

        Uh, it does mention it in the second paragraph.

      • Anonymous

        I could swear it wasn't there yesterday, hence two people mentioning it... sorry if i missed it.

    • blakespot

      Minter's iOS titles are among the very best available in the App Store. This gentleman has been crafting exquisite games since the early '80s and if you pass them by you are missing truly landmark gaming. We're fortunate that iOS is his current target. 

    • Alex

      I hope the power of the Minotaur may dissolve the iron curtain to equalize your mind with your malevolence. May his goats be upon you, amen

  • Alexander R

    Looks excellent.  Never mind the guy above with the fake name.  Ivan Ivanov  ?  Really ? 😀

  • Simon Finn

    Will definitely pick this up. Usual ruminant craziness which is always good. Jeff hasn't missed so far on his iOS releases in my mind and I doubt he will with this. Minotron 2112 is still one of my favorite games on iOS.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, so much of the sprite design reminds me of Scramble.... Awesome!

  • CJ

    I love Llamasoft games like a Wookie loves Wookie-cookies.

    • Doc Lyons

      Thanks CJ! Now I've got a craving for Wookie-cookies and I'm not flying to
      Kashyyyk till next week.

  • Anonymous

    Looks fun, wonder what the dev. Team smoked making this game.

    • Jonathan Westlake

      Jeff Minter has always made games like this - plus this gives me the opportunity to point out that he lives in West Wales, Woo! Go Wales!

  • Archagon

    We got an iCade at work a few months ago at work. The only thing we keep coming back to is Goat Up. Can't wait to try this!

  • BenchWarmers Clique

    whats up with the soothing price is right showcase music?  Not complaining, mind you, its just such a strange choice!

  • Stuart

    I weep with Nostalgia. I bought this game (Caverns of Mars) home with my brand new Atari800 48k circa 1981. That Moonbase IO with speech courtesy of tape deck. It was an awesome game at the time. Gotta get myself an iCade but they are a bit price hiked here in Australia. Might be worth it since I grabbed iMAME whilst it was there. But at about AUS$145 plus postage it's bait steep. Haven't seen it in any stores here in WA

    • Anonymous

      Oh! Moonbase IO -- I so remember that -- used a tape accompanied soundtrack or something like that.  Grab an iCade - it's so worth it and getting better all the time with continuous support. 

  • bones boy

    Happy to support Llamasoft!

  • Anonymous

    Lmao @ Minterologist 😀

  • Oooooomonkey

    Love all these llamasoft's games.

  • steven bell

    Great game! Kept me up very late last night

  • Steven McDonald

    Love Mr Minter's work - here I got to show it and buy a copy!

  • Anonymous

    Someday I hope to be able to put "Video gaming icon and goat enthusiast" on a resume.

  • Ubersnuber

    I spent so much time playing Llamatron in the late 80's, and I was overjoyed when I read here that Llamasoft has set up shop on the app store!
    Minter knows how touch controls should be implemented in games, that much is obvious after I tried Minotron 2112.

  • Giulio Alè

    Cavern Of Minos is my best iphone game. I grew up in arcades (45 years old) and this game is AMAZING, the sprites inspired by so many games..ever seen on level 14 or something tetris pieces falling down ? atari asteroids...robotron minotaurs, scramble enemies...cosmic avenger radar cannons.. everything is pure nostalgia and great effects and sounds ! FANTASTIC, Jeff Minter is a Real Guru.