Conclusion: The Cave is not a game for everyone, but given the quality of the story and the dialog and the low price, this is the sort of adventure and puzzle mix that needs to find an audience outside the hardcore public.
Pros: + Character choices, + Sentient cave, + Puzzle design
Cons: - A lot of backtracking, - Some weird character interaction
Conclusion: The Cave is a game that showed lots of promise, given those pulling the strings, and when it’s great, it’s really great. The Time Traveler’s level deals with manipulating the past and present to affect the future in what makes for one of the game’s best puzzles.
Excerpt: What is it? Anthropomorphism is a common thing in games; we have any number of animals given humanoid form and nature to act as our avatar in the setting of a game. But never before have I come across a geological structure as a principal (albeit not our avatar in this game) character.
Conclusion: Overall, The Cave was stylish yet confusing. The visual effects, sound, music, and comedic asides are all well-crafted elements that do not completely mix together well; a rewarding, whole experience is, disappointingly, lacking.
Excerpt: The Cave tells the story of seven characters who explore a mysterious Cave because...well, because why the hell not. There's the time traveler, the hillbilly, the adventurer, the knight, the scientist, the monk and a pair of mysterious ghostly twins (who control as one person).
Conclusion: But even if its narrative falls short, so much of The Cave works well. Ron Gilbert’s most recent game is innovative in many of the same ways as his very first: it gives adventure gamers new ways to interact with the world, a new type of inventory, new methods for puzzle solving.
Conclusion: As it stands, The Cave is a reasonably entertaining product, giving you a sufficient amount of content for its price tag. While all the adventure and platform elements were fused well together, you'll always somehow find yourself expecting more.
Pros: Ron Gilbert's touch is evident, the whole thing is stacked with plenty of zany Monkey Island inspired humor, smooth and uncluttered design, fun and easy-to-learn gameplay mechanics;
Cons: Level design and, well, we were hoping for more "adventure" when a name like Ron Gilbert is involved.