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The Cave (Video Game Review)

The Cave is a brand new title from developer Double Fine Studios, publisher SEGA and the creative mind of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion creator Ron Gilbert. The Cave can be classified as a puzzle platformer, but like its predecessors, the new title offers up plenty of replay value and an entertaining and humorous story the exudes enough charm to have you progressing through the game numerous times before you're completely satisfied. Simplistic puzzle design will challenge you throughout your time with The Cave, and the game's seven unique characters each come with their own storyline keeps you searching for cave paintings while spelunking through the mysterious cave. The Cave is the best downloadable title of 2013 so far, and luckily, it's available across nearly every platform.

The storyline of The Cave is told throughout multiple playthroughs of the game as you use three of the seven available characters and learn more about their past and how they came to meet up at the entrance of the strange and omnipotent cave. The cave will narrate the action throughout the game, not completely unlike the narrator of Bastion, but the cave has plenty of subtle hints and humor mixed into the dialogue, so you'll want to listen up! The cave has many twists and turns, and you'll want to search your way through an entire area to find all of the cave paintings before moving on to the next area. Each cave paintings corresponds to one of the three characters you take into the cave, and each will unlock another piece of the history of the character that is also viewable from the main menu of the game. The storyline of The Cave is the main reason to play the game, but you're sure to enjoy the tongue-in-cheek, dark humor of the game as long as you have a funny bone in your body.

One of the most underappreciated aspects of The Cave will be the fact that you can't really die in the game. Fall in a pit of spikes, get pounced on by an unseen enemy or get burnt to a crisp, and you'll simply turn into a mist, as the cave spawns you back a safe distance from where you just were. This keeps the frustration low with the platforming aspects of The Cave that aren't one of its strongpoints. The puzzle design is excellent in the game as well, and you'll rarely find yourself stumped for too long at any point throughout the campaign. It's also a lot of fun to play as each character just to use each of the special moves assigned to each character such as the twins ghostly apparitions and the monk's telekinesis. The Cave only stumbles in a few minor ways; playing with all of the characters in the game will mean repeating the tutorial levels three different times in new games, and the framerate of the graphics tend to drop at random times during the game. Still, neither problem is a big deal, and you'll barely notice with so much fun to be had in the game.

Despite a minor hiccup, the graphics in The Cave are strong. The animations of each character look fine, and using each of the character's unique moves is a thrill. The game features a pretty good soundtrack, though you'll rarely hear it in the game except for while the game is paused. Level design is also very creative as you search for prize tickets at the hillbilly's carnival or explore a medieval castle and fight a dragon in the knight's main quest. The Cave supports local cooperative play for up to three players as well, making it the perfect couch co-op game all while offering up special gameplay that few to no games do. The Cave is the funniest game of the year, but it wouldn't be comical to overlook this gem!

The Cave is now available for PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade, Wii U eShop, PC, Mac and Linux and can be purchased for $14.99 or 1200 Microsoft Points. The Cave is rated T by the ESRB for Blood & Fantasy Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official The Cave website

Game Features:
  • Cooperative Players 1-3
  • 7 Playable Characters
  • From Creator of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island
  • Character Driven Narrative and Unique Missions
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Double Fine
    Publisher: SEGA
    Platforms: PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade (reviewed), Wii U eShop PC, Mac, Linux
    Release Date: January 23, 2013

    Score: 7.5 out of 10
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