The Cave PC Review

If you’re a long time gamer, you must have played (and therefore loved)
The Secret of Monkey Island and its first sequel, Lechuck’s Revenge.
Those games are both classic and belonging to a genre that sadly barely
exists anymore (only Telltalle Games has kept the genre afloat, and
while some indie developers also do it, their games usually lack the
humor of the best classics). Those games, and others in the same genre,
were the product of the great minds of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer.

Decades
later, both of them reunited to work together in a new project: The
Cave. The Cave has NOT the same style of gameplay as the Monkey Island
games, but it sure as hell has the same heart. It looks and plays like a
platformer, but it’s actually a classic graphic adventure in a clever
disguise.

You see, even though you control characters by moving
with the analog stick, jumping and using special abilities, this is no
Mario, Megaman or Rayman. You don’t jump on enemies or attack them with
an equipped weapon (mostly). No, the focus of this game is on puzzles
and humor, just like in the previous collaborations by Gilbert and
Schafer.

Along the game, you’re instructed, related, haunted and
made fun of by the titular Cave, a sentient geographical accident who
talks to you as you plow your way through it with three characters of
your choice from a group of seven, each of whom has a slowly-revealed
personal history and a particular useful special skill.

Interaction
between these characters and each other, NPCs, creatures or objects
found in The Cave is filled with the same kind of progression you might
have felt while playing old graphical adventures (i.e. trying to grab
every item you find in the hopes you might need it later, combining
items with one another and an almost pathological disregard for the
well-being of any character that is not under your control). As usual,
you will reach a part where you’ll be stumped for a while until it snaps
on you and you’ll feel dumb for not having realized the solution
before.

The game reminds a lot of the first graphic adventure by
Gilbert, Maniac Mansion, due to the fact that you switch control between
three characters in order to achieve your goals and that there are
things that only certain characters can do. This, of course, doesn’t
mean you will reach a point in which you won’t be able to advance
(something that could very well happen in Maniac Mansion) because you
chose the wrong character. To avoid this, every part of the Cave has
either several solutions, generic solutions that don’t depend on a
character’s special abilities, or parts that simply won’t show up unless
you have a specific character in your party. This encourages several
replays, since you’ll get to see specific scenarios according to who is
in your party.

The one point this game has against it is the lack
of protagonists dialogue. Your characters are silent, which is a
shame, because the dialogue of the protagonists used to be some of the
funniest parts in Gilbert and Schafer’s games, and specially because
some of these characters look really interesting. That being said, the
game still has enough humor and clever puzzles to make you love it as
much as you loved those classic ones. And, if you haven’t played those
classic ones, go and find them now. The first and second Monkey Island
games have been remade with new graphics for the PC, and they’re dirt
cheap, so there’s no excuse not to play them.

In any case, get this game. Unless you’re looking exclusively for gun-totting action, you won’t be dissapointed.    

Verdict: 80/100

Details:
Genre

Puzzle
Style

Adventure Puzzle
Release Date

January 22, 2013
Developer

Double Fine Productions, Inc.
Publisher

Sega of America, Inc.
Flags

Downloadable Release

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