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Have you played... The Cave?

From the creator of Monkey Island

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

There have been a lot of attempts to find a more modern form for the point-and-click adventure. The Cave has the benefit of being designed by Ron Gilbert, the creator of some of the best, with art and animation from the always-good-at-those-particular-things Double Fine.

The results were only OK, sadly. You select a character from a possible seven and then guide them through the tunnels of a magic, talking cave. On each visit, depending on the character you pick, new areas are available to you, including strange laboratories, ancient Egyptian temples and many more. It’s occasionally reminiscent of those skeleton-strewn tunnels near the end of Monkey Island 2.

It’s also as much a platform game as it is an adventure. Though you’ll advance by carrying and combining items in order to solve puzzles, movement is best controlled with an analogue stick, sometimes you need to jump between things, and the cave itself is the only character who ever speaks.

Unfortunately that means the experience often feels slightly hollow, as you never meet another living character to talk to and the movement is never designed to offer a challenge and therefore ends up feeling like a lot of time spent walking.

The environments and animation almost make up for that – Double Fine really do a good job of making the hillbilly’s giant padding feet satisfying to watch, for example – but it’s not quite enough to make it a modern incarnation of what made Gilbert’s older games so great.

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Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

Graham is to blame for all this.

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