Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Jan 22, 2013
    79
    Delightfully, The Cave is, in fact, a pure, puzzle-solving adventure game rife with funny lines and chuckle-inducing non sequiturs despite trying to disguise itself as a side-scrolling platformer. It doesn't stay with you the way Gilbert's classics did, however.
  2. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    The Cave's puzzles are challenging, its story is well constructed and narrated, and its cartoon-like visuals and sprawling, morphing tunnels are pleasant to look at. Its mashup of elements from platformers and point-and-clicks fare less well, but if you can overlook those small flaws The Cave is a dark, yet humorous adventure that ably exercises the grey matter.
  3. Jan 22, 2013
    78
    At least you don't have to solve solo; The Cave supports up to three players working together on a single TV, but falls short of letting players split up, so you still have to switch back and forth as puzzles demand characters in different locations. Still, that cooperative vibe echoes the way many players first encountered the genre – a group of friends gathered around a screen, laughing at the crazy solutions required to slip past a perplexing blocked path. In replicating that novel experience, The Cave succeeds.
  4. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    Never bad, often good, but only occasionally great. Its frustrations are fleeting but with core gameplay that struggles to be as clever and witty as the script, it never quite manages to bring together its best features in a truly satisfying way. Plunge into The Cave and you'll definitely have fun finding your way out. It's just a shame it doesn't go deeper.
  5. Feb 4, 2013
    80
    The Cave is a solid adventure game.
  6. Jan 22, 2013
    91
    The Cave has a handful of faults, sure, but the overall experience is well worth checking out.
  7. Feb 9, 2013
    79
    A fine attempt at modernising adventure games that's sullied by too much repetition. [March 2013, p.71]
  8. Jan 22, 2013
    80
    An extremely entertaining, surprising, and inventive adventure all the way through. The characters' surprising stories make you want to uncover the dark history of each one, and the challenging puzzles are rewarding to conquer.
  9. Jan 23, 2013
    70
    Maybe we were expecting too much, but it's alright. It's entertaining and will make us smile, but there's no evolution or surprises here. We know it's just warming up for what's yet to come, however, if you miss those classic adventure games probably you'll enjoy this.
  10. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    Approached as the latest work from one of the industry's favoured fathers, The Cave could seem like a tourist trap, packed with old ideas to lure in passers-by. Taken for what it is – a simple, characterful adventure game from an independent developer – it offers just enough to be worth the price of admission.
  11. 75
    The Cave's charms aren't meant for longevity or deep, thinky examination. Its breezy morality play feels more like a small, self-contained, eccentric dose of dark humor, best suited for whiling away a gloomy afternoon spent indoors.
  12. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    At once entertaining, frustrating, beautiful and fleeting, The Cave is way better in concept than execution. And as much as it has going for it, some poor design decisions mean that frustration and boredom will quickly get rid of players that would otherwise have lapped this up.
  13. Jan 22, 2013
    80
    The lack of an overarching story seems unfortunate considering Ron Gilbert's pedigree, too. However there is a strong thematic link throughout the game: archetypes are turned on their heads by egotism, and by the time you make it to the bottom, one man's treasure has become another's trinket.
  14. Jan 22, 2013
    85
    A remarkable adventure with an imaginative puzzle design and a funny plot that offers the best face of Ron Gilbert.
  15. Jan 22, 2013
    80
    A clever adventure puzzle game that reminds me of a simpler time in gaming. The guys at Double Fine do a great job in working with mechanics of yesteryear and make The Cave a compelling adventure from start to finish.
  16. Jan 27, 2013
    85
    Adventure game fans should take the time to do a little spelunking in The Cave.
  17. Jan 22, 2013
    75
    A morbid, humorous romp filled with life lessons which should be apparent already to all but the total sociopath. While there are some niggling issues with overall polish, it's a fun time for fans of adventure games that should set you to giggling and, hopefully, feeling just a little bit guilty about that glee.
  18. Feb 7, 2013
    75
    The Cave is a nice game and worth it to play because of the good puzzles. You definitely need to be patient to solve all.
  19. Jan 30, 2013
    80
    The Cave has become a special downloadable adventure which was obviously worked on with lots of love and care. The humor, clever game mechanics, fun puzzles and infallible visual presentation; anything you'd desire from an adventure-game can be found here. That makes it forgivable that the few hours of entertainment it initially offers contain a few minor errors.
  20. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    The mechanics could well help to rejuvenate the adventure genre, but the story and puzzles of The Cave are nowhere near as entertaining as they should be.
  21. Jan 22, 2013
    86
    Despite some brief rough patches and a structure that requires replay, The Cave is a thoroughly entertaining descent that lives up to its pedigree. Gameplay and narrative work together to create a funny and surprising adventure with inventive puzzles that hit the challenge sweet spot just right.
  22. Jan 23, 2013
    75
    The Cave does a good job creating a cool character (the Cave itself) and using the classic point'n click engine in a whole new package. Is funny to play, also charming, and definitely feels like a Ron Gilbert Game. It has some problems related with the core mechanic, but as a downloadable title deserves at least one try specially if you like the genre.
  23. 70
    The three-player co-op could well help with spicing up repeat journeys, though, and with every character's area worth playing (not least for the lovely hidden endings for those who think around the final section), those intent on searching its every inch will find that The Cave runs very deep - and dark - indeed.
  24. Feb 27, 2013
    80
    A brilliant adventure, platform and puzzle game. [Issue#95, p.84]
  25. Jan 22, 2013
    40
    Given the pedigree of Ron Gilbert and Double Fine Productions' past works, a lot of people will be understandably excited by the prospect of The Cave. On paper, it sounds appealing, with its variety of characters and plethora of reasons to replay. It looks charming and, at first, the humour hits the spot. Problems lie with its inability to give you any great reason to replay it. It's just all too disappointingly shallow.
  26. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    One does not lose talent that easily, it seems. The Cave shows that Ron Gilbert still has this little touch of craziness that sets him apart from other game creators, and that allows him to produce adventure games that are fresh. Despite some errors and shortcomings like its short length and not-so-extensive replayability, this cute title doesn't lack positive qualities, most notably in terms of writing and puzzle design. And it's also quite funny, smart, and affordable.
  27. Jan 22, 2013
    83
    Characters, puzzles, humor: The Cave bears the distinctive handwriting of its creator Ron Gilbert. But while this creative beauty was awakened after a 20-year-long slumber, it shows some facets that are not as pretty. The puzzles could be more elaborate, the level design more varied and the engine more fluent.
  28. Feb 6, 2013
    70
    The concept sounds fantastic, and there is potential in setting a game up like this, but in reality, The Cave’s take on telling a story like this ends up making it a fun but flawed adventure game.
  29. Jan 25, 2013
    75
    Whether you are looking for a short escape from the backlog of games, a treat before the gaming year begins or simply a pleasant arcade title that is actually worth the Microsoft Points, The Cave is worth picking up and will cater for most player's wants in an adventure game. Plus, everyone loves a good laugh and this one will leave you with a sore stomach!
  30. Jan 28, 2013
    75
    The Cave clings to some genre tropes that we could do without in 2013, but the game is redeemed by its wicked sense of humour and wonderful presentation. A must for puzzle fans.
  31. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    It's a sharp-looking game, the voice acting is largely on-point and funny (if occasionally obnoxiously repetitive), and there are at least a few solid hours worth of puzzle-solving to be had here. It's just that those hours don't really add up to a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, ultimately relegating The Cave to an interesting curiosity that sadly doesn't have much sticking power.
  32. Feb 7, 2013
    70
    The Cave is an interesting mix of platforming and adventure with the typical charm and humour that Double Fine is known for. The game drops the ball on every now and then, but the quirky characters, ludicrous puzzles and cartoony world – which unmistakenly sprouted from the mind of Ron Gilbert – are worth venturing into.
  33. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    Ron Gilbert and Chris Remo miss on the explicit narration, but their underlying story is perfectly pitched through puzzles and your own wicked participation.
  34. Feb 8, 2013
    80
    The Cave reminds us why adventures like Monkey Island and Zak McKracken were so loved: even if offering a much more essential experience, Ron Gilbert’s irony and creativity are all still there. It fumbles on the weird co-op implementation and some frustrating moments, but it surely deserves to be played.
  35. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    On almost every turn, The Cave stumbles over its own feet and its desire to be different from the rest - a wish that most certainly came true, only proving that you should sometimes be careful what you wish for. Ironically, that's exactly the lesson The Cave wants to teach you. In the end, this is a nice, but ultimately too ponderous, puzzle game with a whole lot of nothing in between its sometimes funny, sometimes clever stronger moments.
  36. Feb 5, 2013
    65
    If you’re the type of gamer that likes talking about games as much as playing them, The Cave will give you plenty to talk about. Otherwise, if you’re just after a fun and well-crafted experience, there’s too much chaff in this package.
  37. Feb 1, 2013
    70
    The Cave's offbeat sense of humor is mostly charming, and actually solving the puzzles inside it feels delightfully difficult. However, the severely diminishing returns on its replay value make it more of a momentarily amusing distraction than something you'll be holding onto for years to come.
  38. Jan 27, 2013
    40
    Considering Double Fine nailed the whole 'characters with differing abilities' concept so well in the brilliant Stacking, it's bizarre how poorly it's been pulled off here. Disappointing as a puzzle game, inconsequential as a platformer and far too reliant on players having the patience to traipse around, The Cave ends up feeling extremely hollow.
  39. Jan 23, 2013
    90
    The graphics are sharp, with that distinctive Double Fine cartoony look, and both the soundtrack and voice work are top notch. The Cave and other voiced characters are funny as well, and while it's possible Gilbert either enlisted his friends to do the parts or picked hobos at random, they all do a great job.
  40. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    It's amusing more than ever really funny (it thankfully avoids the gratingly desperate irreverence of Gilbert's DeathSpank), and it's self-congratulatory about its own darkness, which - in the grand scheme of things - is still fairly tame.
  41. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    Although it's not as funny as past Ron Gilbert games, The Cave still manages to charm through its visuals and honey-tongued narrator, but it falls flat when it comes to storytelling.
  42. The Cave is a game worth experiencing at least once. Truly funny games are rare, much less funny games that cover themes as diverse as sin, murder, redemption and desire. The fact that it covers these topics with a sense of style and ease (and without feeling like you’re being bludgeoned with a philosophy textbook) is praiseworthy.
  43. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    Unfortunately, however, the 2D platforming element, which one feels was included to counter the slow pace of point and click adventure games, leads to one or two problems. With three characters on the go and each only able to hold one item at a time, players will spend a lot of time backtracking, which becomes incredibly tiresome, while the platforming itself handles a little clumsily.
  44. Feb 25, 2013
    50
    More a disappointing rocky hole than a glorious crystal cavern.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Quite a game should i say. Interesting, astonishing, with a splendid humor (even black humour sometimes), a great addition to those games created by Shafer and Gilbert. Lot of puzzles. Haven't seen such a game for a very long time. Oh, yeah, and there is also a bit of moral for every story you will hear from The Cave. Full Review »
  2. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    The Cave is incredibly fun. The puzzles can, at times, be ridiculously hard, but so few games have those kinds of puzzles any more, so it was a nice change. I thought all the playable characters are all great, even the ones that initially seemed boring. The narrator and characters you meet along the way are fun, well-written and interesting. The controls can occasionally be annoying but are otherwise good. And I loved the graphics and music! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes puzzle games. Full Review »
  3. Jan 28, 2013
    3
    This is pretty much a kids game only IMO. For an adult I felt that the platforming was very tedious in the sense that it was slow and clunky. Climbing a ladder in this game is just brutal and it has to be done quite often. The puzzles were not very well designed. If you were looking for clever puzzles that give you a huge sense of satisfaction after solving this is not it (unless you are a kid of course). The characters unique special abilities mattered so little I'm really not sure why they wasted time putting them in the game at all. Kinda frustrating to see all that wasted potential there. The scenrey was cool though and the art really had me sucked into the game. I would have rather dealt with bad art than bad gameplay though. Full Review »