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The Rob’s Video Game Review – The Cave

 

doublefine.com

The Rob reviews Double Fine’s latest downloadable video game!

The Cave is a recent downloadable video game that you can find on your X-Box 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, or PC.  It’s a cheap game, retailing at $14.99 but has a lot personality and charm for its smaller price tag.  It hit your preferred gaming console’s respective marketplace late January.

 

The Cave is historic in some ways as it, behind the scenes, was born by the reunion of Ron Gilbert and Tim Shafer.  These are the two men responsible for creating the Maniac Mansion franchise, which was an incredibly well-received and much-beloved series on Nintendo and PC from 1987.  The game spawned sequels, remakes, books, and even a short-lived Family Channel television show, and is often referred to as the high-water-mark for “point-and-click” graphic adventures.  It has been 25 years since the duo last worked together, and their latest collaboration is very reminiscent of their previous installment in Dr. Fred’s titular ‘Mansion.’

 

Like Maniac Mansion, the game starts with a character select screen offering seven playable characters, of which you can only choose three.  Each character has their own advantages and disadvantages.  You can use the Monk and his telekinesis; The Time Traveler and his ability to travel through doors and walls; The Scientist and her computer-hacking skills; The Adventurer and her grappling hook; The Knight and his temporary-invincibility; The Hillbilly and his ability to hold his breath for ten minutes; And the Twins and their ability to duplicate themselves.

 

You can choose a trio and head into the Cave.  The Cave is actually also a character in the game, doubling as a fully-voiced narrator.  The lot’s motivation for entering said Cave is unique for each character and somewhat of a mystery that develops as the game progresses.  The Cave promises to take each character into the darkest parts of their minds, but in exchange will give each character that which they desire most…  Provided they can survive their experience inside (which they will as there are no game-overs nor any true penalty for dying).

 

The game has a unique approach and an obtuse sense of humor…  Which is definitely a good thing and has become a staple for all games made by producer Double Fine.  It’s self-referential and never takes itself too seriously, and you will laugh out loud as you start to put some of the puzzles together.  To FULLY complete the game, players will want to beat the game three different times, to see all seven characters stories unfold.  This is less of a headache than it seems, because while the first playthrough may take you in the neighborhood of ten hours, you will probably finish you second in less-than-six, and your third in less-than-four.  Adding to the Cave’s replayability is the fact that, even though you’ve already bested a certain puzzle, because you’re controlling new characters, you will be forced to solve them in a different way.  The game is very well thought out in that respect.

 

The Cave’s unique personality, offbeat sense of humor, and nontraditional approach actually makes it one of my favorite downloadable experiences I’ve ever had.  For the modest price of $14.99, you would be foolish to pass over this lesser-known gem!

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