Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Up there with the very best that WiiWare has to offer. Essential playing. [May 2010, p.72]
  2. 100
    Cave Story feels like the most amazing console game from the year 1990; that it's only now coming to console 20 years later shouldn't be held against it.
  3. Nicalis did a fantastic job of turning one of the best indie games of all time into something Wii owners could be proud to download.
  4. It's currently the finest game available for WiiWare, and one of the best games available for the Wii.
  5. Cave Story is an incredible game that I'm sure I will be playing again and again for the rest of my life.
  6. Cave Story is incredible. Polished, challenging, fun and interesting.
  7. Cave Story is a great game. It feels like some sort of gem from a bygone era that, while complete, never saw the light of day (think Star Fox 2).
  8. A platformer that easily holds it own against the Castlevanias and Metroids of the world.
  9. Jan 1, 2011
    A love-letter to any gamer who plays for the sheer fun of it. Cave Story is not only the likely WiiWare game of the year, it's also a very serious contender for game of the year.
  10. Dec 27, 2010
    A title that is both retro and refreshing and ever so polished, Cave Story is not to be missed by anybody.
  11. Dec 20, 2010
    It offers little progress from the PC version, but then none is really needed in what is a masterclass in minimalist video game design.
  12. Dec 20, 2010
    Cave Story is one of the bastions of independent games, and its Wii port offers something else than just charging for it. Its new features are worth the money it costs: revised sound and graphics, a well-made difficulty system, good control and some extras both for veterans and newcomers.
  13. If this game had been released on the NES 20 years ago, it would be recalled by a generation of players as a high point of the 8-bit era. The fact that console gamers are only getting their first crack at Cave Story in 2010 doesn't make the experience any less memorable.
  14. Though the original is free to download on PC, Cave Story still feels like a steal at 8.40. [Issue#96, p.121]
  15. It's almost impossible to convey the sheer amount of charm and personality found throughout Cave Story. The game's eccentric world draws you in from the moment you begin playing and the ever-increasing intensity and action only further maintain the game's enjoyable gameplay scheme.
  16. Cave Story on the Wii can be recommended to fans of the original, fans of Pixel's other projects, and just about anyone that enjoys a challenging 2D game.
  17. This is probably the best game I've played so far this year, and I'm betting you will love it, too.
  18. Reinvigorated by the folks at Nicalis, Daisuke Amaya's remarkable game is engrossing, challenging, and quite lengthy for a downloadable title.
  19. It evokes classic Metroid, without the massive backtracking, as well as Ratchet and Clank's weapons.
  20. Dec 28, 2010
    Cave Story is fun, satisfying, well designed and, in its best moments, amazingly exciting. It has some flaws, but in general it reminds us how an action game should be done, and this one for Wiiware is surely the best version published.
  21. 85
    It tells an elaborate tale full of endearing characters, fun boss fights, and satisfying weapons. The polish and tight controls are on par with what you would have found in a first-party Nintendo NES game. Delightful, whimsical, and curious, this is a game that begs to be explored.
  22. Cave Story is a largely linear experience, but it's retained the intriguing ease with which it recaptures and improves upon the NES era of side-scrolling exploration.
  23. Dec 21, 2010
    Cave Story is a challenging, fun and interesting game. Probably one of best games available for WiiWare.
  24. The darling of the indie scene for so many years, it's a pleasure to see the game proving itself all over again. [June 2010, p.98]
  25. Cave Story is fairly short, but provides a unique, somewhat emotional, action-based experience totally worth $15.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. May 21, 2014
    This game is soo good, it's kind of hard to know where to start. This game was a master piece, and made by one person in the original version. Incredible. If I had to tell every thing I love about the game, I would exceed my character limit, so let me keep it short and sweet. I didn't know a 2d platform shooter rpg could have such entertaining, I was fun and challenging. The plot was also solid and very well made. God, this was a great game. Boss battles were soo much fun. (except for monster X, that boss fight was an a**, this game might give you the rage of a megaman game, sorry be warned, this is not an easy game, especially if you're going for the best ending. It helps if you save a lot however. My only complaints are, 1. I hated the fetch quest in the bushland. 2. It is very un obvious how to get the best ending.

    My final comments, get the game. You will love it, there is so much to love about it. Though, you may be saving and dieing quite a bit. This game is sooo much fun, and is a masterpiece when you include the plot and likable characters. Now keep calm, and shoot on.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 19, 2013
    Incredibly charming, inspiring, and intuitive. The graphics are retro and simplistic. The music is extremely catchy and memorable, the main theme in particular. The gameplay is enjoyable and familiar. The gameplay (let alone the entire game itself) is more or less a throwback to old NES titles such a Metroid and Megaman. Gameplay almost never feels repetitive, unless the area drags on or barely introduces something new. The weapons are all interesting, and the incorporation of a weapon-level system is brilliant. Each area feels relevant to the story, is littered with secrets and upgrades, and more often than not introduces a new weapon or mechanic. The level design is simplistic, but adequate. However, I feel that without the strong presence of story and hilarious writing, the gameplay and design would be nothing special. The story is omnipresent, likable, and surprisingly emotional for admittedly childish subject matter. The majority of the characters are incredibly charming. This game is fantastic, however, it is far from perfect. Some of the areas do tend to feel like filler, and if you are playing for a long time, the gameplay will get repetitive. This game heavily relies on the use of save points, so saving at any given time is always recommended. This does not bode well with the game's extreme difficulty. The game gets very hard very fast. The intense difficulty in conjunction with scarce save points makes failure become incredibly frustrating, as you often are forced to replay large portions of the game that are also painstakingly difficult. Rage-quitting is inevitable if you intend to complete this game 100%. This game features a lot of choices, for better or for worse. It works in terms of weapons, but not in terms of endings. Particularly the "best" ending. In order to get the best possible ending, you have to get all the best weapons, make sure certain characters don't die, and get all the obtainable health and missile upgrades. Once that is done, the final area of the game becomes excruciatingly difficult. Normally, the final area is four incredibly challenging bosses that get progressively difficult up to the forth and final boss. To get the best ending, you complete that same boss rush, only afterwards you have to complete a "hell level" and four more near-impossibly difficult bosses. Even if you manage to do all that, there's no real payoff to getting the best ending. Only play Cave Story for the "good" ending, for the sake of your sanity and patience. Even though completing the game to it's fullest is near impossible, Cave Story opened the doors for indie games and proved that one man can create a wonderful video game experience that rivals some of the triple A games in the modern market. Full Review »
  3. Apr 3, 2012
    An absolutely gem, people who don't appreciate this game can climb a wall of dicks. Seriously you can just feel that Pixel (the maker of this game) spent 5 years making it. This game is the best indie game ever ánd one of the best games of the last century. Full Review »