The Cave – Review

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Ron Gilbert takes us on an adventure of puzzlement, sarcasm and spelunking in Double Fine's latest release.

Ron Gilbert, he who brought us the likes of The Secret of Monkey Island, this time bids us partake in a spot of spelunking; the titular Cave providing yet another setting for Gilbert to challenge us to his patented mix of exploration and puzzlement.

This particular cave isn’t any normal hollow however, it being possessed of both sentience and a wicked sense of sarcasm, as your trio of explorers – chosen from seven shadowy characters – make their way into its depths.

Fairy tale castles, high tech laboratories and desert islands provide the backdrops (along with Gilbert’s trademark grog machines and cracker-eating parrots) as our adventurers seek out their life’s desires.
 

When played with the optimum number of three people The Cave is a rare treat, as our intrepid spelunkers combine their unique strengths and talents to conquer whatever environmental and logic puzzles come their way (and without the annoyance of having to endlessly zip between characters, even if a split-screen option should have been included).

Played solo however, the constant chasing back and forth between your characters’ locations can get a little repetitive – a particular problem given puzzles are rarely genuinely challenging, but instead simply time consuming in their unravelling, as levers must be pulled in specific order to unlock gates and so on.
 

Still, there’s no denying the quirky appeal of The Cave, its odd ingenious puzzle and those occasionally brilliant one liners. And, with each adventurer receiving their own bespoke route through the game there is plenty of replay value to be found too.

For the bargain basement asking price, plunging into the depths of The Cave is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Score: 3/5

Price: £9.99
Format: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC (all via digital download only)
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Sega

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