My 4th Game Development for the Atari 2600.

The Story of Encaved

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.

The Introduction Sequence

The cartridge starts up with displaying a plate showing the game logo and copyright note. The plate is fixed to chains which move it up and down.

The game title itself is a mixture between the word "encased" and the noun "cave" and describes the setting of the gameplay.

The 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. The number in the top left corner shows the current maze and the number in the top right corner is the countdown timer. The player's score is shown below the maze.

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...

The game ends when the timer reaches zero.

General Game Controls

Technical Details

The game is written in 6507 assembly and consists of 4 KB (4096 Bytes) of coding, graphics, sound effects and the level data of 23 mazes.

Due to differences between PAL- and NTSC-consoles, the game needed to be adjusted to both TV-standards and exists as two versions: PAL or NTSC.

The development is performed on a Pentium-PC using a normal Text-Pad as editor and DASM V2.12 as compiler. Testing is done using the emulator z26 V1.52 and V1.58.

Winner of the "Silver Joystick"
at the 4K MiniGameCompetition 2007.


Download of the Game

You can download the PAL version of the game file here and the NTSC version here. Use a VCS emulator to play the game. Please notice that you use the emulator and my game at your own risk, I don't take any responsibilty for problems occuring to your computer when using an emulator.

Production of Original Cartridges

The game is released as a limited edition of 75 copies. The limited edition contains these items: PAL- or NTSC-cartridge, plastic box, instruction manual, small bag with stitched game logo, envelope with photo prints of the level maps, serialnumber and signature.

Beneath the limited edition of 75 copies, the unlimited run (cartridge and manual only) will supply as many copies as requested. Please order your copy of the unlimited edition game cartridge (PAL or NTSC) with manual directly from this retailer:

Pictures of the Limited Edition

A complete copy of the limited edition.

All 75 boxes of the limited edition.

Purchase of the Limited Edition

The sale of Encaved is a bit different this time as the game is available from this site (PAL-version) and AtariAge.com (PAL- or NTSC-version). The cartridges are identical, as all of them are manufactured by AtariAge.com.

At AtariAge.com you can order cartridges (NTSC- or PAL-version) with manuals only. You can then order the additional limited edition stuff (box, envelope, bag) from this site here - so regard it as an upgrade from unlimited to limited edition. This upgrade (box, envelope, bag, serialnumber, signature) costs 20 EURO.
Shipping is not included in the games prices and varies from your location and the kind of shipment you want.

Payment is accepted through Paypal, bank-transfer or cash (USD or EUR) in envelope (I recommend using insured envelopes only). Germans should pay by bank-transfer only. In any case the buyer takes the risk of the shipment.

All items have been tested by me personally and I ship them in perfect working condition. Anyway I will not take any responsibility for damages appearing on your consoles or cartridges in usage. I'm not able to replace or refund any of the games.

As all the items are handmade there may be a few of them having spots of appearing not as perfect as others. This makes them even more unique and should be regarded as being something special and not as a bug. I'm not able to replace items in case you don't like them.

The limited edition consists of exactly 75 copies, so there might be more interest than copies available.

Please do only order your personal copy if you accept all the mentioned facts.

How to order

If you are interested in a copy of the limited edition of Encaved and accept the mentioned conditions, then please send me an e-mail containing the following information:

  • Your full name, address and country
  • The kind of postage (un-/registered, Airmail, cheapest) you want
  • The way of payment (paypal, bank transfer, cash) you want

  • Please use this address for ordering (replace [DOT] and [AT] with . and @ please). Thank you!

    Owners of the Limited Edition

    # Name Country
    01 Simon Quernhorst Germany
    02 Walter Lauer Germany
    03 Andy Ryals England
    04 Marc Oberhäuser Germany
    05 Mat Allen England
    06 Ingo Boyens Germany
    07 Richard Lecce USA
    08 Jeff Rothkopf USA
    09 Allison Lecce USA
    10 Jose Artiles USA
    11 Rick Weis USA
    12 Syd Bolton Canada
    13 Gregor Houghton England
    14 Joe Cody USA
    15 Jerry Greiner USA
    16 Matthias David Germany
    17 Michael Weiß Germany
    18 Jörg Konzan Germany
    19 Markus Bauermeister Germany
    20 Dieter Kosancic Germany
    21 Albert Yarusso USA
    22 Fabian Grossekemper Switzerland
    23 Luke Sandel USA
    24 Jose Garcia USA
    25 r_type2600 Austria
    26 Ron Engel USA
    27 Rob Neitzke USA
    28 Al Backiel USA
    29 Scott Freeman USA
    30 Laurent Dziubas Belgium
    31 Lance Bohy USA
    32 Chris Austin USA
    33 Jörg Müller Germany
    34 Michael Braun Germany
    35 René Meyer Germany
    36 Bernd Hofer Germany
    37 Alain Kohn Luxemburg
    38 Oliver Schlesier Germany
    39 Russ Perry jr. USA
    40 Martin Bay Germany
    41 LinkoVitch England
    42 Kai Darius Kohl USA
    43 Carl Howard USA
    44 Marco Kerstens The Netherlands
    45 Computerspielemuseum Berlin Germany
    46 Manuel Beckmann Germany
    47 Yannis Pachnis England
    48 Mr. Atari The Netherlands
    49 Andreas Lange Germany
    50 Dan Cage USA
    60 Conny Jungholt Germany

    This game for the Atari 2600 was written in 2006-2007 and is (C) by Simon Quernhorst.
    The URL www.quernhorst.de is owned by my brother, who is not to be connected
    with the development of this Atari 2600 game, so don't bother him with mails.
    Atari is a registered trademark, 2600 and VCS are trademarks of Atari Corporation.

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