Sunday, January 27, 2013

Demo Friday: patronizing hole in the ground

Shut up, I know it's Sunday.

Just like in the coin op, you never win.
Let's clear up something right off the bat: The Cave is a poor man's Lost Vikings. Sure, there are seven characters to choose from at the game's outset but they have identical abilities: they can jump and pick up objects. From there The Cave is filled with puzzles that require a lot of backtracking and using every item on every problem just to see what works. I assume that the 'morality play' bits are altered depending on which characters are chosen but I never got that far.

The different character abilities is a big art of what made Lost Vikings work. You had to have the right viking in the right place at the right time. Getting him there was half the battle. In The Cave it doesn't matter who is there as long as they have the right item. Plus if you leave your other characters too far behind they follow on their own. To make up for this simplification Double Fine has increased the difficulty of the puzzles themselves. I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to get the handle off of one well to use on another, having forgotten to bring the crowbar with me that I used to break into the cave in the first place. Solving problems via the shotgun approach in encouraged and not very interesting.

Does the game have character? Of course it does, it's a Double Fine game. Each of the seven characters are distinct and humorous, my favorite being the twins that count as one character. The Cave itself is sentient and serves as the narrator, but his constant chiding for dying too  often or taking too long got old quickly. None of it comes together in the demo, though, so I will not be exploring an further.

No comments:

Post a Comment