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Oh, The Cave, how much I wanted to say that I like you, that you’re an experience no one can’t miss and sing nothing but praises to you; but I can’t.

On paper, The Cave, developed by Double Fine studios and directed by Ron Gilbert – of Monkey Island fame – is a game I should’ve loved. It all begins when eight strangers gather at the entrance of a (talking) cave, each ready to descend into the depths to find what their hearts desire most.

To begin the adventure you’ll first create a group of three from those eight strangers, then, off you go. You’ll do some light platforming, solve environmental puzzles and scratch your head while trying to figure out a couple of obtuse riddles. All to reach the conclusion of the seven available storylines. (The Twins share the same story and essentially work as a single character). Intrigue and mystery abound as the tales of these characters begin to unravel, but beware, the forecast is grim.

During my first play-trough I was unlucky enough to break the game’s narrative, which is unfortunate because the story is The Cave’s strongest point. The dialogue is smart, dark and funny, with the highlight being the lines written for The Cave, perfectly voiced by Stephen Staton.

It will take you three runs through the game to witness the conclusion to the seven tales. This may not sound like much in a game that may take you 5 to 6 hours to complete but when you take into account that with every new game you start there are three sections that you’ll have to revisit, no matter what characters you choose, tedium does manage to rear its ugly head.

In The Cave’s case, sadly, three times isn’t the charm, in fact, delving into its depths for the third time may prove one visit too many. I know there are people out there who will enjoy The Cave as much as I wanted to, but for me, Double Fine’s latest, while fun, falls short of its potential.

The Cave review info: