The Cave

February 7, 2014

Goldenstar Games, Mobile, Steam

games_thecaveI recently purchased the adventure game by Double Fine called “The Cave” and wanted to share my experience.

Double Fine is also the company made “Costume Quest” which was a game my whole family loved. I was pretty excited for a new adventure game to plunge into. I purchased this on my iPad so I could bring it with me to play on my commute / lunch breaks / etc.

You are faced with seven characters and can select three to travel into the cave and explore it’s wonders. There are some static areas that each play through will see and there are areas that are dedicated to the characters you selected. It is in these dedicated areas that you will get the story of the character. The character itself doesn’t talk or behave in any manor not directed by you, the only story is given to us by solving the puzzle and the bits the narrator provides.

Just as I expected, this game is put together really well. The artwork and layout of the cave itself is enjoyable to look at. The narration by the cave (yes the cave talks) itself is done really well.

I did have some gripes about the game though.

Wonky Controls
The controls were driving me batty. You flick to jump, touch to walk in that direction, tap to interact and double tap to drop things. It wasn’t rocket science.

I don’t know how many times I plummeted to my death trying to jump somewhere and the character just running off the cliff without actually jumping. Or trying to just walk across but getting stuck on a ladder or a rope. Or trying to interact with something and my character just dropping whatever I needed them to carry.

Also there were some areas I found where my Knight kept getting stuck and required me to close the app and re-do everything.

I powered through it but let me tell you I had some choice words for it.  Remember I played this on the iPad so it’s possible some of this is a non-issue if you played on the PC.

Mismatched Number of Characters
I’ve since played through twice playing with every character but the scientist. Why not the scientist? I don’t have an answer for that. It just seemed to work out that way.

Since the game lets you play with a group of three and there

are seven characters, you have to play through three times to play with them all and the third time you have to bring repeats. I couldn’t bring myself to do it a third time. I thought the stories were good, but not good enough for me to volunteer a repeat performance for two of them.

The Old Return to Where You Came From Game
A lot of the puzzles require you to run back and forth across the map. Perhaps it was just me being inefficient and was putting my people in stupid areas that caused me a lot of extra footwork. . I felt a lot of time was wasted just trying to get to the other side which is annoying.

Those who know me from our old LOTRO podcast knows that I HATE this when MMOs do it. “Remember that place you just were? Go back and do this or pick up that, now”.  UGH!

I felt this ugh feeling several times through my two play through. Noticeably less on the second though as the common puzzle areas were the same.

All that negativity out of the way, I would not say that I really hated this game. Far from it. I wouldn’t have bothered to finish it at all let alone twice if I felt it unworthy of my time. Trust me. I’m a full time working mother. Time is precious to me.

It took me a couple days of sporadic play to play all the way through twice. I would guess maybe 5 hours or so total if you added them all up. My first play through I was actually telling Merric about how the Cave just seemed to go on forever… and two seconds later I finished it. It was apparently the perfect length for a single play through.

I found the puzzles to be fun and enjoyed story being told. I found parts of the game funny and the ways the characters got what they wanted devious but amusing. I don’t regret playing it. Just not hyped up enough to play it a third time.

Overall I don’t think I would recommend that $14.99 price tag for the game. Just because you will probably play through it rather quickly and you may not be keen on the repeat play required to see all the stories. It’s probably worth tossing a few dollars at if you catch it on sale though.

The Cave by Double Fine

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About Goldenstar

Goldenstar's primary happiness in games is anything that involves festivals, parties, cosmetics and pie. If there's any time after those things to kill bad guys, so be it.

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