June 2, 2013
Platforming isn't really my thing: I suck at the timing for jumps, you can't really rush through them, and the puzzles...
But hey, there's always an exception, right? The Cave brings a lot to the table, and isn't your traditional platform game: hilarious commentary, fun characters, and the whole feel and sense that "WOAH THIS GAME HAD A LOT OF THOUGHT PUT INTO IT" makes it pretty badass.
The premise for the story is that you, brave travellers (held plural for a reason), are to seek out what you want more than anything in life in the Cave, which is a sentient being loaded with traps and puzzles galore. Now, I said "travellers" because you'll be controlling 3 characters in your run through the cave. Sounds complicated, I know, but the fact remains that this system actually makes sense. Your characters range from a knight to a plucky scientist, and you have free reign to pick from seven characters. More interestingly, still, depending on the three characters you pick you get different endings, gameplay, and commentary from the oh-so-funny Cave.
The levels exude a level of craftsmanship that I fell in love with way too quickly; each map is remarkably intricate, and it looks GOOD - toony, sure, but GOOD. The puzzles are seamlessly incorporated into each map, making the Cave have unbreakable continuity in transition between areas; gameplay doesn't take any odd changes or extreme turns that the devs had to throw in when they needed a new gimmick to keep players interested. That's the mark of this game: the fact that it's so damned good from the get-go that you don't need to worry about gettting bored anywhere from start to finish.
The big selling point for this game that pulled me aside and tickled my funny bone until i had to change my pants was the Cave's voice itself. DoubleFine Studios has long produced some of the world's funniest webcomics for your veiwing pleasure, and have taken that fantastic writing skill to this game; the Cave makes comments about his dating life, it's constantly slandering your good name, and it just doesn't seem very happy most of the time. Really, I can't do it justice with my shitty reviews, so go and play it.
As much as I hate to admit this, there are a couple drawbacks. The three character thing is a blast, but beware: these puzzles can be FUCKING HARD because of this. It gets frustrating sometimes, like any game, right? WRONG. While the trouble I had was minimal, watching other people play this game was painful when they let out moans of "where do I goooooooooooooooo? what do I doooooooooooooooooo? how do I do thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?"
Even if you use your noodle often, this game is still relatively challenging; and if you're looking for a game to kill time casually by fragging n00bs or stomping the goombas, then this is not for you.
Fun game, FUNNY game, and it plays well. For being a platformer, I really didn't expect to like this title as much as I did. It's cheap on Steam, go buy it.