Alas, The Cave was not playable, but we did get a demo and I’m here to give you all the juicy details. In case you haven’t heard of it, The Cave is a new Adventure game from the mind of Ron Gilber, creator of the Monkey Island games, as well as several other great classic adventure titles. It’s a title he’s wanted to make for a long time, and now he’s finally getting it made. So what’s it all about?
Well, the premise is as quirky as you’d expect, and the writing as funny. The story revolves around a magical sentient Cave which grants desires. You play as a group of adventurers who have each come to the Cave to unlock its secrets and gain your greatest desire. That is, you play as three adventurers, though there are a total of six. However, you select three for your playthrough, and this will dictate which levels you get and the stories you see as some levels are unique to each character. So here’s the cast you choose from:
Monk – Seeking Enlightenment and His Master
Adventurer – Buried Treasure and her lost companion
Hillbilly – Searching for Love
Scientist – Looking for a scientific discovery to change mankind forever
Twins – Looking for their lost parents
Knight – Seeking A Sword of great power
Time Traveler – Seeking to undo a wrong millennia in the making
Each of these has their own unique abilities, for instance the Knight has temporarily invulnerability, the scientist can work machinery, and the hillbilly can hold his breath for a long time. You can and must switch between characters in order to solve puzzles and progress through the levels. This can involve switch puzzles, but also more classic adventure type puzzles involving the use of the right item in the right place.
A few more miscellaneous details… There is no dialogue from the characters, but the game is narrated by the Cave itself. It features split-screen local co-op only, so each of you control one of your three characters. When dying in game, you automatically respawn, no loading screens involved. There is no inventory system; you keep what you can carry in your hand. There are multiple ways to solve puzzles and the multiple characters will ideally keep you coming back to replay and get each story.
All in all, it looked exactly like what you’d expect from Ron Gilbert. If you haven’t played one of his games before, this is a great title to jump in on. If you’re a fan of his previous works, this certainly doesn’t look to disappoint.