Ron Gilbert's often incoherent and bitter ramblings about the Game Industry
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on Dec 31, 2013 twenty five to three pm
Long time lurker, etc., etc.
My first adventure game was Maniac Mansion on the NES. I was four years old. It's OK if you silently judge my mother. Then we got a PC when Myst came out, and I bought the LucasArts Classic Adventure boxed set. I played Monkey Island for a whole summer.
Grim Fandango was the last adventure game I liked from the so-called golden era. I still haven't finished Escape from Monkey Island or played any of the Telltale games (I did download a demo for Sam and Max once). I've kept an eye on the amateur/indie communities and developers. Some cool stuff has been made, but nothing I've felt was amazing.
Until The Cave that is! This game brought me back to my childhood. Beginning with Monkey Island and Loom, adventure games have been evolving to simpler interfaces. Full Throttle replaced it with a verb coin until Grim Fandango awkwardly got rid of it altogether.
The Cave fixed everything that was broken in Grim Fandango (frustrating navigation, difficult to find hot spots, only being able to slowly move two directions in the inventory). I disagreed with the criticism about the "platform elements" in The Cave. I wish more people would just give it a try. Being able to jump and run around gave me something to do while thinking about how to solve puzzles. Controlling three characters at a time reminded me of pushing the staircase in Maniac Mansion to open the basement door, or doing the same trick to get out of the dungeon. It also gave it some dimension. Pushing things from a height and letting them drop down below, for instance.
Searching every nook and cranny in The Cave was a load of fun. In a lot of games I just want to get from point A to B so I can see the next sequence and get to the game's ending, but I really sat down and savored this one.
Thank you very much for a magical game! Happy New Year!
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