Double Fine’s The Cave is one of the most recent adventure games to come from Ron Gilbert and borrows from the concept of his previous title, Manic Mansion. During the game, you play as any one of seven adventurers who are seeking answers and items within a mysterious cave that can talk.
As soon as you start the game up you immediately notice how incredibly humorous the next few hours of gameplay will be, all due to some epic commentary, but the best part about the game is how many times you can actually play it, as with seven characters and only 3 slots to fill, you must play the game at least three times in order to complete the full story.
The choice between characters may seem a bit overwhelming at the start, specifically, since you don’t know what any of them do yet. Each character has their own unique ability that can be used to make your passage through the cave a lot easier, alongside which they each all have their own individual story that you will progress through as you solve the game’s puzzles.
For example, the Knight character will include his own playthrough in which he has to recover Excalibur, during which time he must win over the King’s daughter in order to gain access to the swords resting place, of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds (I won’t give too much of the game away), adding a great incentive to find out the other characters storylines too.
During your travels, you must also find various cave paintings scattered around the cave, each of which will provide a snippet of a characters story and of course once all have been collected it will provide you with a full background of what led the characters to the cave.
The main of the game however is to solve the various puzzles in order to get to the end of the cave, within which you must find various items and use them in various ways to progress, which no solution any more obvious than the other this can lead you to scratch your head, pondering for quite some time.
The one thing I had a massive problem with were the controls which I found to be lacking if I’m honest, jumping is an incredibly strenuous task and I often found myself trying to jump to another platform only to keep trying for another couple of minutes due to the fact that the character had run too far, an easy way to fix this would, of course, be too slow characters down.
I also found a few instances where the game would freeze and even crash completely, which could be extremely annoying but I didn’t find it to affect gameplay all too much, alongside this I also found the task of switching players during the game quite difficult, adding a quite large amount of time to the total gameplay, just running from one place to another, it would be best if there was some sort of button that could teleport all characters to the same location once you have completed a section of the map.
But it’s not all single player as The Cave also has its own multiplayer mode which will allow you to share the game’s character with a friend who doesn’t mind sharing the same have the screen (it isn’t split screen).
Overall I really liked The Cave and I have to say it will probably be one of my favorite games to play through Steam in the future, the storyline is more than amazing, characters have been developed massively with tremendous interaction from the commentator the whole way through, I found the puzzles within the game to be great fun with a slight difficulty not to hard that you want to throw your laptop at the wall however.
There are a few problems as can be expected with any new game, but I am confident those will be ironed out in the near future.