When your spaceship is in distress on a crash course with the nearest planet, who would you call on to save the vessel and rescue the crew? Why, the cook, of course! What, no? Well, that's all the help players are going to get in TARTARUS, a "retro-futuristic" sci-fi adventure coming next month.
TARTARUS is named after the Mining and Research vessel on which it's set in the year 2230. When the ship unexpectedly enables its security protocols, the doors are all sealed, "turning TARTARUS into a flying prison. As the sirens wail and the emergency lights flash, the powerless ship drifts closer to falling out of orbit and crashing to the surface of Neptune." The only hope for survival is to "reach the bridge and restart all systems one by one." Just one problem: the only crew member available is Cooper, the galley cook who has no education or "training in the old ship’s rudimentary terminal systems." Fortunately, Cooper isn't totally on his own, as he'll have remote assistance from the ship's engineer Andrews via intercom.
Created by indie Turkish developer Abyss Gameworks, TARTARUS is a free-roaming (well, as free as a ship in lockdown will allow) first-person adventure whose "retro-futuristic style and atmosphere have roots in iconic sci-fi movies such as Alien and Robocop." While the game's crisp 3D presentation may be modern, the ship's technology is not, so players will need to contend not only with failing mechanical systems as "pipes burst and the ship’s engines are pushed beyond their breaking points," but also the vessel's "antiquated" computer terminals. Hacking these will represent a major part of the puzzle challenge, using a realistic "command-line system like in the Amiga or Commodore days," though even those with no prior coding skills can succeed with "a little logic" and careful observation.
If you're eager to board the ailing TARTARUS, there isn't much longer to wait, as the game is due out on November 21st for Windows PC. In the meantime, you can learn more about it from the official website.