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The Cave Review

Anyone who has ever played the Monkey Island series will understand its charms. The puzzles, the humour and the adventure aspects of these titles are pretty much legendary within the gaming community. Now creator Ron Gilbert, in conjunction with Double Fine has decided to try a new twist on this style of game, allowing players to control three character at once, from a choice of seven. The basic principles which made Monkey Island so popular are still here to be seen, although The Cave is otherwise far removed from Gilbert's classic tales.


In the first play through my characters of choice were the Knight, Time Traveller and Adventurer. Each character has its own story, so off I started with the Knight, whose main mission in life was to find the perfect sword, in this case Excalibur. Heading through the deep caves, eventually I came across a king and the sword which as you would expect was stuck in stone. Unfortunately the king would not let me attempt to pull the sword from the stone until I wandered off to rescue his daughter from the dragon. So after exchanging a few words with the princess off I went down to the basement to steal a coin from the dragon. To throw a spanner in the works, a large door stopped me in my path, so I had to climb back up the tower and somehow steal the key to the door.

This may sound simple enough, however my path was blocked by guards, so the only way to get the key was to climb to the top of the tower and use the adventurer to operate the elevator, courtesy of the lever at the summit. Next I switched to the Time Traveller who jumped on the lift and used his ability to pass through walls in order to get the key. Finally I gave the key to the Knight who went downstairs opened the door and tried to take the much needed coin. Unfortunately the dragon spotted my Knight and fried him with his flame. At this point I had a fantastic idea, why not send the Knight to the opposite end of the room, distract the dragon and use his invulnerability power so that he isn't killed. This is ideal as although you can't move when invulnerable, it would buy my Adventurer enough time to steal the coin.

Coin in hand my Knight climbed to the top of the tower, sadly though the Adventurer had ignored the large sign which said please close the gate. This seemed to cause some commotion, in fact as the Knight climbed the tower I could see that there was blood everywhere and when finally arriving at the top and entering the princesses room he was just in time to see the dragon swallow her whole. Tough break Mr Knight.

This is the sort of twisted humour and brain bending puzzles you can expect in The Cave. The puzzles are difficult and at times very frustrating, but when you figure them out you'll be very pleased with yourself. Interestingly The Cave feels very much like a modern take on Monkey Island, but rather than being point and click it's a multiplayer side scroller. As mentioned you can control all three characters by yourself, however you can also have two friends take control of the other characters, although either way you'll find yourself switching between various positions in order to solve the puzzles.

The Cave itself is narrated by a nameless character, providing humour and backstories for each character along the way. As you make your way through the depths of the cave you'll pass through all manner of different areas, such as deserts, the prehistoric past, medieval times and a lot more. Players navigate through this vast cave, although not always with ease. Unfortunately the controls aren't always easy to use and even worse, there was also the odd occasion were my characters actually got caught in the scenery, which is hardly ideal. Occasionally the game also seems to suffer from drops in the framerate, although it's not too bad as to ruin the experience.

With seven different characters to use, The Cave certainly offers plenty of variety, although it must be noted that once you choose your three characters at the beginning of the game you are stuck with them until the end. Still, it's great to mix things up, playing through with a different combination of characters and seeing how you can take a new approach to each puzzle.

Maybe it's the dragon eating the princess, or maybe it's the fact that you can whack a dinosaur on the head with the first iteration of the wheel. I'm not sure, but whatever it is, The Cave is certainly unique and while it may not be unforgettable, it is certainly worth experiencing for yourself.

(Version Tested: Xbox 360 / Xbox LIVE)


- Full of humour
- Unique ability to control three characters
- Choice of seven characters
- Brain bending puzzles


- Framerate drops
- Some graphical glitches

Edited On 22 Jan, 2013

( 27 )
DynamiteWhyte 3 years ago
Definantely sounds like my kind of game. Loved a vikings game that was like this on the SNES but I totally forgot the name of it.
The Lost Vikings, a SNES classic
Ash Buchanan 3 years ago
Yeah, was brilliant. Hopefully The Cave'll be able to replicate it's enjoyment.
DynamiteWhyte 3 years ago
Pyroloveridge 3 years ago
nice review, might check this out tonight
amd500 3 years ago
Looks and sounds good. Will probably give this a go. Just need to decide which platform to get it on.
0000000000 3 years ago
i have 1900 unspent MS points which im deffo gonna use on this.. the price has put me of but sod it.. it looks fantastic and seems a good laugh so why i have the points i have no plans for i might as well get something ive been looking forward to for a while
rick75fowler 3 years ago
Very good review joe,I think I will get this later as looks fun and interesting,like the idea that there is choices of characters and I love puzzle games
Peter 3 years ago
The Lost Vikings, Dynamite? This game looks excellent too.
Legend! Was a brilliant little game, having 3 vikings and having to use each one to solve the puzzles in the game. Hours of gametime went in to that.
DynamiteWhyte 3 years ago
PrometheusFan 3 years ago
Good to see Double Fine have finally stopped wasting their time on Kinect and have gotten back to making real games. Will give this a try.
iMerle iDixon 3 years ago
Those two cons make me worry, are they common?
IGN have also commented on the framerate issues, giving it a 7.9/10 though.
DynamiteWhyte 3 years ago
I'll probably run through the trial a few times before I purchase it then just to make sure.
iMerle iDixon 3 years ago
FizzyDuck 3 years ago
Will definitely be downloading this on my Wii U when I next get paid. Just need to decide who to play as...
Gloria 3 years ago
Sounds good, will pick this up for the Wii U when I have the cash spare.
Robichoico 3 years ago
So the cons are stuff that are probably fixed in other versions. Awesome. Had my eye on this for the past few weeks so I'll make sure to get it.
shiny miller 3 years ago
Lost Vikings was good fun, but very simplistic when you play it again these days. Anyway, am intrigued by this but as soon as I saw the word 'spoilers' I skipped right to the end and only read the summary points, so I still don't really know what this is about!
shiny miller 3 years ago
Actually having (carefully!) read some more about this, it reminds me of Day of the Tentacle more than Lost Vikings, due to the time travel concept.
LFC Bywater 3 years ago
Sounds like a great game, literally the only thing that puts me off is the cost. I just simply don't agree with Arcade games costing 1600 MSP. Might get it if it becomes deal of the week at some stage or i stumble into some spare cash, which is unlikely.
1600 MS points is a bit steep, it's only £9.99 on Wii U.
Gloria 3 years ago
Gloria 3 years ago
I caved and bought it, the gas bill can wait till next week now.
Let me know what you think, very reluctant to hand over 1600 points
Pyroloveridge 3 years ago
Will do :)
Gloria 3 years ago
Robichoico 3 years ago
Also picked it up. Just couldn't resist it. Have yet to have a go on it but I'm certainly looking forward to it.
Gloria 3 years ago
Really quite impessed with this now I've played it for a bit, the puzzles range from the simple to some real head scratchers, and it looks like there's plenty of replay value with all the different characters, it's pretty funny too. The Xbox version is probably the worst, just because it's the most expensive, then the PC and PS3 versions, and the Wii U version is best because of the Miiverse community, if you get stuck, and you will, you can go and talk to other people and get some hints and tips, Miiverse is easily the best online social feature of any console.
fusearts 3 years ago
I don't want to spoil it by reading the review, but the screen shots looks stunning. Really love the variety of puzzle games on XBLA / PSN.
AlisterCat 3 years ago
This seemed like a generally more positive review than I have read on some sites, but you might have pushed me over the edge to give it a go. Might even be my first Ron Gilbert game!

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