|Platform(s)||DOS, Mac OS, Windows, Linux|
|Release||October 23, 1991|
The game was distributed under the Apogee model, meaning it was divided into three episodes with the first available as shareware, which designer Frank Maddin said "worked pretty well for the time."
Mylo Steamwitz is a down-on-the-luck space trader. Each game in the series follows Mylo going to the planet Altair to collect enough crystals from its mines to finance his latest get-rich-quick scheme.
Volume 1: Troubles with Twibbles
Twibbles are the hottest new pet in the galaxy, so Mylo hopes to earn enough crystals to buy a twibble farm. He succeeds and buys his farm. However, twibbles breed so quickly that the market is soon over-saturated, and Mylo is stuck with a planet overrun with twibbles.
Volume 2: Slugging It Out
After selling his twibble farm for a loss, Mylo heads back to Altair. A recent war has created a demand for medicinal slugs, so now Mylo wants to buy a slug farm. He collects enough crystals to do so, and for a while, business is booming. However, the slugs soon burrow their way into an abandoned salt mine and perish, depriving Mylo of his stock.
Volume 3: Mylo Versus the Supernova
A late-night infomercial inspires Mylo to quit farming and try his hand at real estate. He collects enough crystals to buy an entire solar system from Rip Eweoff. Mylo plans to turn the system into a vacation resort: tropical getaways on the inner planets, ski slopes on the outer planets, and luxury hotels in the middle. However, mere minutes after he buys the solar system, the star goes supernova, destroying the system. As Mylo looks at the nebula where the solar system once was, he's hit with an idea. He builds a restaurant overlooking the nebula. Thanks to its spectacular view of the nebula, the restaurant becomes the hottest spot in the galaxy, and Mylo finally makes his millions.
The game begins in a main level containing the entrances to 16 caves. To complete the game, Mylo must collect all the crystals in all the caves. Mylo can complete the caves in whichever order he chooses. Mylo can quit a cave at any time, but in doing so, will negate all progress he made in that level.
Each cave consists of some simple puzzles to solve. Pulling a lever will open the door of a corresponding colour. There will also be switches that Mylo can use to activate and deactivate obstacles.
Mylo is armed with a rocket gun to destroy enemies and obstacles. Mylo begins the game with five rockets, but can collect more as the game goes on. There are many other power-ups to help Mylo:
- P-Pill – Supercharges Mylo's gun so it can destroy all enemies with a single shot
- G-Pill – Reverses gravity, allowing Mylo to walk on the ceiling.
- Stop Signs – Freeze all enemies on the screen, allowing Mylo to sneak past them
Mylo begins each level with three hit points. Lose all hit points, and you go back to the start of the level. Finish a level with all hit points, and you get a bonus score of $50,000.
Crystal Caves was inspired by Miner 2049er. The main character's name, "Mylo Steamwitz", was coined by George Broussard and was meant to sound like a loser's name. Most graphics were created by Frank Maddin.
Development on Crystal Caves began back when George Broussard was still releasing games under the name Micro F/X. A few months into the development (when about 50–70% of the game was complete) Broussard joined Apogee and Crystal Caves became an Apogee product. It was originally going to be released on September 5, 1991 but was delayed for a month.
- "3D Realms Site: Crystal Caves". 3D Realms News. 3D Realms. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
- "3D Realms News: The Apogee Legacy #5". 3D Realms News. 3D Realms. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Frank Maddin Interview". Perilous Crystal Caves Website. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- Apogee Software 1991 Catalog
- "3D Realms News: Updates for some older titles available". 3D Realms News. 3D Realms. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
- "Crystal Caves HD". Retrieved 2020-10-12.