The Cave (out now, $4.99) is a puzzle-platformer adventure game brought to fruition by Monkey Island creator, Ron Gilbert. It was first introduced as a console game earlier this year, before being turned into an iOS title.
Filled with humorous dialogue, The Cave is a sentient landscape you’ll have to select three of seven characters to explore. At the beginning, the Cave will introduce each one to you: a monk, a knight, a time traveler, a hillbilly, an adventurer, a scientist, and twins. Each has a unique ability, as well as their own special story: an area only they can enter using their individual skills. Hence, to fully explore The Cave, you’ll have to revisit the adventure with different characters.
Whichever three characters you choose, they’ll have to work together to solve various puzzles. This will include pulling levers and using the right objects at the right places. Unlike some other adventure games, each character can carry only one item at a time. You may sometimes need to use certain items more than once, such as the crowbar you’ll find at the beginning.
The Cave has excellent graphics and animation. The narrator (the Cave) keeps you well entertained while it drops you hints. Sadly, the touch controls are somewhat lacking. It would have been better if there were a virtual D-pad. Jumping from platform to platform and over dangerous spikes can be an adventure in itself, and interacting with objects isn’t as smooth as it could be. Luckily, if any character dies they will be immediately resurrected fairly nearby. Sometimes I also wished I could group the three characters together so I wouldn’t have to go back and forth to bring them one by one to the same spot. To complete some tasks, you’ll also have to retrace certain routes several times. This is probably not a game for lazy gamers or anyone wanting a fast-paced adventure.
iFanzine Verdict: The Cave is intriguing to explore and the unique abilities of each of the seven characters may make replays worthwhile. However, the iffy touch controls drag down this otherwise entertaining adventure. Certain aspects of the game may also make it tiresome for those who prefer to breeze through adventures at a faster pace.