It looks really good. IGN had a preview
and both of the people were pretty hard on it unfortunately. I have quite a back log so I'll wait on a few reviews before I buy it.
Rich’s Thoughts: The Cave is Double Fine’s new puzzle-based adventure game focusing on a group of seven characters exploring a mystical cave for a nameless object of great desire. You’ll select three of these characters for your own adventure – each with unique abilities (in my game, a Monk, an Adventurer and a Hillbilly) – and up to two friends can play alongside you simultaneously. At any time, players can switch characters with the touch of a D-pad, allowing for a mix and match of your capabilities to traverse obstacles and advance the game.
Here’s the bad news though – nothing about this game is all that impressive. I’m all for a puzzle-based platformer, and yet so many details just weren’t in place. Controls were sub-par, with characters having poor jump physics that not only felt delayed, but oddly unresponsive. The camera will only follow the single character that was last ‘activated’, meaning if I take control of the Monk, the game will ignore the fact that two other people are playing with me, leaving them off the screen unless I ‘snap’ the game’s attention back to me, which feels like a decidedly selfish act. Of course, the fact that on Wii U a second player would have a full screen available is completely ignored. A perfect solution is literally in the hands of at least one player. While that wouldn’t solve the troubles of a possible third participant, it could have at least been part of the solution.
There are even more things that frustrated me, but I know Audrey agrees, so I’ll let her explain.
Audrey’s Thoughts: As much as I tried, I just did not enjoy my time with The Cave. As Rich already mentioned, it’s absolutely maddening that, in a game that focuses on working together to get through various puzzles, the camera can only remained focused on one player at a time. Other than just being a weird choice, this also means that unless you’re controlling the character who was last activated (or stay right beside that character), you’re not going to be having any fun. Why waste the GamePad’s second screen, which was practically designed for situations like this?
Even more aggravating, though, is the game’s faulty puzzle logic. I’m all for a difficult puzzle challenge, but it has to still make sense. There was one puzzle, for instance, where you were trying to fool a person who was guessing your weight. You do this by making and then holding an object invisible, so when you stand on the scale the number that pops up is different from what the man (who miraculously knows your exact weight) guesses. It’s an extremely clever idea, but for some reason the trick only works if you use an invisible barbell. But… any invisible object should throw off the scale, right? Wrong. Only the barbell works, which leads you to believe you’ve guessed incorrectly if that’s not the first object you happen to try. Even though I only played for a bit, it was still apparent that the game is littered with half-baked puzzles just like this - ones that are timed but don’t tell you that fact, ones that require the teamwork of two people, even though you can’t focus on both at the same time, and so on. So far, it seems a terribly frustrating game, so hopefully the folks at Double Fine can make things a lot tighter before the game releases this January.