ThrustLander is a luxurious modern take on the classic cave flyer, and it is coming to the Atari VCS.

Phosphorescence is luminescence caused by the absorption of radiation, and it is an apt description of the underground world designed by Toronto-based developer Robert Capper in his new game ThrustLander. A modern cave-flyer with retro roots, ThrustLander debuts on the Atari VCS and will be an exclusive to the platform through mid-2021.

The environments in ThrustLander are rich in texture and color. The cave walls are rendered as organic surfaces, sometimes resembling crystal, sometimes rock, and often glowing with the intense glow-in-the-dark colors that you can only experience in a dark space.

Over two-years in the making, ThrustLander was inspired by the Capper’s experience playing Grav, a rotate and thrust title on the Atari ST. When he couldn’t find a modern alternative to Grav, he set out to make his own, complete with a wide array of features to add depth and complexity, and expand gameplay.

As players progress they can upgrade elements of their ship, upgrade and add new primary and secondary weapons, and more. Each upgrade provides players with new ways to overcome challenges.

There are a ton of levels to play, and you can experience them in three different game modes. The classic Destroy Mode encourages you to erase all opposition as you progress. In Timed Mode you race against ai controlled ghost ships, trying to clear levels as fast as possible. And then there is Retro Mode.

Sure to be a hit with Atari VCS owners, Retro Mode allows you to play in an 8-bit environment inspired by the Atari 2600.

The Atari Classic controller is fully supported in ThrustLander, including the twisting paddle control. One could argue that the Joystick gives players an advantage by making flying easier, which allows them to focus more on the challenges they face from turrets and other threats. Using the paddle motion on the main stick brings the ship alive and allows you to fly in ways that feel more natural that with a gamepad.

ThrustLander is already in the Atari VCS Storefront and will be available to backers on day one.

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