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Spelunkery: The Cave's Characters In Action

Scare bear stare.

I visited a cave once. It was very dark and echo-y. Also, it made lots of drip-dropping sounds – perhaps in an effort to communicate its stalagmite-heavy cave agenda to the world at large. But it never spoke to me. Not in firm, authoritative English, anyway. And it definitely didn’t contain any carnivals, spooky murder houses, or secret science labs. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Ron Gilbert and I haven’t been to the same caves. I think I like his – aptly titled The Cave – better, though. I mean, it gives hillbillies with the apparently common hillability to breathe under water a chance to reunite with their lost loves. (Incidentally, Ron and I have also not met the same hillbillies.) Dig into the break’s rich, earthy soils to see a new trailer of the Maniac Mansion spiritual successor in action.

As ever, Double Fine’s trademark charm and wit is on full display here – albeit with a decidedly darker tinge to the proceedings. For every glorious sun-kissed kingdom or foliage-dappled forest, there’s a macabre (and also hilarious) mention of murder or poison or mad science death lasers. It is, in other words, definitely a Ron Gilbert game at heart.

Which is awesome, to be perfectly honest. I recently got the chance to play the Hillbilly’s level in co-op and chat with Gilbert about the current state of PC gaming, what he’s going to do next, and Double Fine’s wild evolution over the past year, and you’ll see all of that very, very soon. Until then, though, I can say that I came away pretty impressed in spite of some janky controls and strange restrictions in multiplayer.

The Cave’s coming out in January 2013. Or rather, I suppose it’s staying in one place and we’re entering it. Whichever. At any rate, will you be taking a tour of its blackest, most wretched depths and – perhaps in the process – your own?

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Nathan Grayson

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