Cave’s are the worst when it comes to vacation spots. I mean they’re dark, cold, and you can’t have fun in a place that only bats live in (nature’s anti-partygoer’s). Oh and I never been in a cave. But aside from that very minor detail, caves are the worst!
This is surprising considering the latest title from Double Fine Studios, titled ‘The Cave‘. Automatically the first image that pops up in my head is a gritty horror game that’s all about fighting bat people with nothing but a flashlight, some hiking gear, and pure brawn! However, that’s not what ‘The Cave‘ is about! As I mentioned, ‘The Cave‘ is developed by Double Fine and was a dream project by Ron Gilbert. Basically the idea here was to make an old-school adventure/puzzle game.
And despite some minor hiccups along the way, Gilbert has succeeded in doing just that. From the start, you have the option of choosing 3 out of 7 (or 8) fascinating characters. Some of which seem to range from historical to pop-culture archetypes, while a couple of them are simply just unique individuals. Did I mention you can play as a ‘hillbilly’ in this game?! Then from there on out, you explore the Cave’s mysterious wonders (by the way, the cave itself is an actual character).
My team was comprised of a knight, a time traveler, and a hillbilly. Together they made one of the most out-of-place teams ever assembled! What’s really great is just how each character’s story is told through the gameplay, and most of them don’t end like you expect.
At the game’s core, it is ultimately a puzzle/platformer that does have an adventure type structure to it. This also rings up a couple of the game’s slow points, most of which involve going back and forth to figure out puzzle’s that involve more than one person to finish. Backtracking does get a little repetitive, and there are even some puzzles that completely confused me when it came to what they were asking. There were also several points where the game does get a bit glitchy, but they were kept to a minimum and didn’t frustrate me.
What the game excel’s at is what Double Fine has always been great at, charm. There is some pretty humorous dialogue and turning points in the game, half of which come from ‘the cave’ itself, but other times it has to do with the characters unfolding their own downfalls. The art design here is also top notch, especially for this type of downloadable game.
While ‘The Cave‘ isn’t exactly perfect, it is a very clever game with obvious creative input on it. It is a bit short, however with over 7 characters there is some replayability to be had here. It’s definitely a memorable game that I think people should check out, except if you’re not a big fan of puzzles. Although if you hate the shit out of caves, you’ll be fine, unless it’s a game where the cave turns into a monster…that would be the worst.