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. 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.
  2. Nintendo Gamer
    Up there with the very best that WiiWare has to offer. Essential playing. [May 2010, p.72]
  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. Cave Story is an incredible game that I'm sure I will be playing again and again for the rest of my life.
  5. It's currently the finest game available for WiiWare, and one of the best games available for the Wii.
  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. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. This is probably the best game I've played so far this year, and I'm betting you will love it, too.
  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. Though the original is free to download on PC, Cave Story still feels like a steal at 8.40. [Issue#96, p.121]
  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. Cave Story is fairly short, but provides a unique, somewhat emotional, action-based experience totally worth $15.
  25. Edge Magazine
    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]

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2010
#17 Most Shared Wii Game of 2010
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 89
  2. Negative: 6 out of 89
  1. TimH
    Mar 27, 2010
    I don't usually give out lenient scores like this but I enjoyed Cave Story so much that I almost feel obligated to give it a 10. First I don't usually give out lenient scores like this but I enjoyed Cave Story so much that I almost feel obligated to give it a 10. First off, the graphics are what drew me in. yes, they are in the old NES style, however the way they used the colors and designs really are interesting. Second, the musical score is absolutely fantastic. I've found myself humming the tunes to myself many times. Another positive is that unlike in most games today the difficulty is up there. If you make it through the normal ending (There are 3 BTW, bad, normal, secret) you might say to yourself "hmm... that wasn't THAT bad", I said the same thing. Afterward though, I found out that there was an even better ending. lemme tell ya, not easy. First you have to go through the game making certain requirements that make things a bit harder. It's the final secret level that takes the cake though. Several enemies and obstacles, and a few boss fights with NO HEALING BLOCKS OR SAVES. yeah... I died a lot XD. Through all this I thought that I would get really frustrated, and I did, to an extent. It could just be me, or it could be some sort of effect from the game but I actually started to get more determined than frustrated. Another quality is the story. Believe it or not, it is actually kinda good. You wouldn't think it would be all that great, being made in reference to the retro days, but it is a lot more involving than most of the classics, not to mention quiet a bit darker. I also found myself caring about the characters. I felt a bit remorseful if something bad happened and very happy when things worked out well for them. Oh yeah, before I forget, One of my new favorite Video game characters is Curly Brace (She's so cute!). The game play is very fun as well. The weapons, the upgrades, and just exploring the world and fighting the enemies are all very satisfying. There are some pretty epic boss fights too. I really like how they used the leveling system with the weapons.You can gain levels by collecting these gold triangles that enemies drop, however if you get hurt not only do you lose health, but weapon experience as well. The game has a good collection of extras as well. You can go through a boss rush mode, where you try to beat all the bosses as fast as possible, a mode where you can try to speed run through the final secret level, and a mode where you can play through the story as Curly Brace (who is still cute btw). I beleive these extra modes are unlocked once you've beat the game (any ending) once but I could be wrong. Curly Brace mode is a bit disappointing, as the only difference between it and the normal story mode is that your character looks different and there's a few changes to the dialog and some extra dialog. I had fun with it anyway, as it's a game that should be revisited a few times if not more. I'd say it will probably take around 5-10 hours your first time through. It may sound expensive at 1200 Wii points ($12) but considering all the content in it it is well worth it. Some may say, "why buy it if I can lay the freeware version for free". well the reason is that the graphics, sound, and translation have all been revamped with some nice added on features (And for all you purists out there, You can switch between the new and original art styles and audio). Also the fact that one guy did most of the work and that it's evident that he put a lot of love into making the game helps too. Overall It's a fantastic game that, if you give it the chance, you will most likely fall in love with it. BTW sorry if this is a bit long. Full Review »
  2. AlfredoP.
    Mar 29, 2010
    I've played the original, Pixel made a Masterpiece, everything, The Sprites, The Music, The Story, Alternate Endings, The Hell!, I've played the original, Pixel made a Masterpiece, everything, The Sprites, The Music, The Story, Alternate Endings, The Hell!, sincerely, My Favorite Game Ever, hoping this on PS3. Full Review »
  3. AlexT
    Mar 30, 2010
    Definitely a great game, but it's the same great game I've been playing for six years. Hard to reccomend that people pay for a port Definitely a great game, but it's the same great game I've been playing for six years. Hard to reccomend that people pay for a port of a free game, especially when that port doesn't add much. Graphics, sound, music, controls, level design etc, this game's got it all, but it's available for free on PC. The additions are superficial, and not really beneficial to the game's experience, and the price point is a little high. Full Review »