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Review: Cavern Tale (Definitely not Cave Story!)
Author: Hill Gigas
Added: 04/01/2008

Here is an interesting game with a lot of great features. It's an action/puzzler with some fun levels and good gameplay. Your mission is fly around icy levels using your blowtorch and find a man and his dog in each level. After you find both items of interest, you touch a flag to complete the level. The game is presented well, and there are a lot of options to choose from. You can pick any level you want to play, as well as pick any music you'd like to listen to. (This is also one of the games weaknesses, as I'll explain later.)

Gameplay for this game is great, and controls are rock solid. The engine for this game was crafted brilliantly, and you will get the hang of the controls right away. Flying around with your rocket pack is a breeze, and exploring the levels is a lot of fun. Perfect 10, without hesitation.

Graphics are also excellent. Some areas feel a bit empty and expansive, but it rarely takes away from the gameplay. Levels are well designed, and they all have a pretty good atmosphere to them. The characters and enemies have a lot of personality and are well drawn.

Music also gets high marks. There is a huge amount of music to choose from, and each one is a great soundtrack. However, I do think that the game would have been better served if music tracks were assigned to different levels, instead of letting the player to listen to whatever he or she wants. Music adds a LOT to the atmosphere of a game, but without the music being linked to individual levels, the music never helps to distinguish one level from another.

Lastability is hurt by the structure of the game. Levels don't go sequentially. Instead, you pick them from a list. When you beat a level, you go back to the list. The only reward you get is your own high score, and your only motivation to go on is to beat your own high score. This isn't a very rewarding reason to keep playing. If there is a sequel, or a second release, I think the game would be immensely more fun to play if levels were structured into a story mode. It would give players sense of purpose and a sense of direction. Right now, this is simply a well made plarforming engine, with some levels to try it in.

Overall, this is a very fun game with a lot of potential. I think that with some minor tweaks to the way the game is structured this could be an easy 9. The game has a rock solid engine and great graphics. There is a huge variety of music, and some very interesting puzzles to think your way through. Highly recommended for people wanting to study a good gameplay engine.

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