Back in the 1980’s, choices were limited on what video games were out there to enjoy at home. The industry had barely moved from the days of Pong and Asteroids, and arcade machines were still where gamers could really get their fix. Gravity shooters made up one of the most loved genres of the early days of home gaming, and today we can revisit those classic titles with the release of Captain Kaon on Steam.

Captain Kaon is available on Early Access, and is described by the developers, UK based Engage Pixel, as: “A salute to such 1980s classics as Thrust and Gravitar.” They declare that this new game “brings the vector graphics of old right ‘up-to-date’ with vibrant Amiga-style pixel art and a tight twin-stick control mechanic.”

The key features of the game are described as:

  • Classic sci-fi, tilt/thrust gravity-based gameplay
  • Battle enemies with twin-stick or 360° mouse aim
  • Explore vibrant Amiga-style pixel art environments
  • Manage resources and carefully select missions in Campaign Mode
  • Relive this ‘forgotten’ shmup sub-genre

captain kaon

Granted, this game may be aiming for a fairly niche market. It is doubtful whether the simple mechanics and nice, yet basic, graphics will win the hearts and minds of the newest generation of gaming enthusiasts. It is more likely that it will attract the attention of players who have melancholy reflections of a simpler time, when the ZX Spectrum and Amiga 500 were the height of technology. Indeed, Captain Kaon’s lead developer, James Buckle, is one such person. He says that he learnt to code on the Spectrum and grew up with a passion for the ‘shmup’ sub-genre of games. His new creation is a nod to his early years of playing Thrust and Gravitar. Buckle says that “Captain Kaon takes the best bits from this classic genre and brings them into the 21st century.”

Captain Kaon is available on Steam Early Access for £4.99/$6.99 with a full launch on PC timetabled for 2017

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