Puzzle adventure game The Cave: 'a witty, nostalgic treat'

Jan 30, 2013

Puzzle fans will love Rob Gilbert's quirky adventure game featuring a wise-cracking cave

What you need to know
Double Fine's new puzzle adventure video game The Cave has been released in the UK. The computer and console game was developed by Rob Gilbert who created Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion.

The Cave tells the story of a magical, wise-cracking cave that draws people into exploring it, while prompting them to also examine the darker aspects of their personalities.

Players assemble a team of three adventurers from a cast of seven, including a monk, a hillbilly, a pair of orphans, and a scientist. Multi-player and single-player modes enable users to control their chosen characters as they explore the Cave, solve puzzles and avoid deadly hazards.

What the critics like
There's no denying the quirky appeal of The Cave, says Michael Plant in The Independent. It's an "odd ingenious puzzle" with some brilliant one-liners, and the bespoke route through the game for each character gives "plenty of replay value".

The Cave is "a witty, nostalgic treat", says Andy Alderson in The Guardian. It explores dark themes such as jealousy, revenge, greed and cowardice "with the kind of eclectic charm and wit for which Gilbert and Double Fine are famed".

Delightfully, it's a "pure, puzzle-solving adventure game" rife with humour, says Ryan McCaffrey on IGN. There's a "twisted, dark, and often hilarious logic", to the puzzles, which walk the fine line between challenging and frustrating, making you feel smart when you solve them.

What they don't like
It fails to deliver on an excellent premise, says Ashton Raze in the Daily Telegraph. The puzzles can be disappointing and repetitive on repeat play-throughs and, once solved, require players to spend too much time navigating the Cave to carry out the solution. The result feels "extremely hollow".

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