Double Fine Does It Again
It started with this.
I was introduced to the video game developer, Double Fine, with Costume Quest in mid 2010 and was instantly sold. Besides being seduced by its unique charm and snarky character dialogue, the story itself is beyond brilliant. Your little brother (or sister, however you choose to play it) is kidnapped by candy-loving monsters on Halloween night. It is clear from the get-go, adults in this game are unconvinced of the situation, leaving it up to you and your newly met misfit band of costumed warriors to not only save your brother's life, but ultimately the world as well. Like I said, instantly sold.
This game has so much playability, it's sick. You trick-or-treat through your neighborhood collecting candy (used as currency) from your average, every-day normal neighbors...you know, humans. However, if you are tricked at the door by a sweet-toothed green monster who's convinced you are there to steal his candy, a battle will commence. The battle sequences themselves bring your characters to a new level of greatness by transforming these handmade costumes into giant weapons of destruction. For instance, main character Wren starts off in a robot costume. When a battle is initiated, she grows about 20 feet suddenly turning into this uber cool, butt-kicking automaton. Once the battle is over, she reverts back to a little kid out trick-or-treating, or as we know, saving the world. As the game progresses, you and your friends find items in which to make more unique costumes each with a specific super power of strength or defense.
Costumes range anywhere from a knight to a unicorn, a spaceman to the Statue of Liberty. (Side note: Lady Liberty's super power literally made me spew my drink...enough said.) This is just an easy, super fun, pick up and play game where novice to expert gamers can enjoy. With a good amount of side quests and trophies, it is one you will happily keep coming back to.
A very different gaming experience.
On the heels of Stacking, another uniquely fun DF downloadable game (review pending completion), comes their newest creation, The Cave. This is an adventure-type platformer about seven flawed individuals who have committed some sort of regrettable sin in life, either to get ahead, take revenge or simply because they chose to and now enter the cave, as if entering Purgatory to be judged for their fateful transgressions.
Just by simply hearing the haunting background music, I knew I had to try it. When starting a new game, the narrator begins with a teaser about the premise and foreshadows the horrors yet to come. After a few mildly dark comedic one-liners (picture The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland) he then reveals he is the cave...yes, a talking cave. "It makes dating, hell"...his words, not mine.
The screen pans down highlighting the seven characters who are standing around a campfire in the woods, waiting for you to choose. By scrolling over each one's title (i.e. The Time Traveler, The Hillbilly, The Adventurer, etc.) the cave offers up a few more juicy details into each one's sordid past, intriguing you further. You also find out each person has a special ability and at this point can test them out to some degree, however, most wont make a whole lot of sense until the game actually begins.
Choose your three main players and enter this Alice in Wonderland experience. At first, the controls can be a little tricky - you are controlling three different people at times, but you pick it up fast and if one character strays too far, the others will automatically (in most cases) catch up. The story progresses when you solve the unique, character-driven puzzles, some of which involve all three of you while others are specific to a single person and their exclusive power.
Each play through of The Cave takes you through three standard stages as well as a character level based upon who you choose to have in your party, so each time you play will be somewhat different. At the end, you, as the gamer, get to decide if they will continue down their greedy path to what they desire most, or have them learn from their mistakes and ultimately choose redemption and a chance to leave the cave. Trophies are earned for each, so you get to experience both endings through multiple play-throughs..
This game is rated 'T' and not suitable for young, impressionable kids. My 7 year-old loved to watch me play, but after she saw a few of the darker humorous scenes, I felt uneasy and took to playing when she was asleep. However, this game is perfect for 13 and up.
One thing to note (which could very well be my older, dusty, overused PS3) a few times while jumping and switching characters and changing scenes all at once during an auto-save caused the game to freeze up on me requiring a full reboot. Annoying at first until I discovered an easy fix...sit still for the three seconds it takes to save and all is well. Like I said, could just be my very loved PS3 and bad housekeeping skills.
A game you won't forget.
This game is amazing and one you just have to experience for yourself. It is more creative and unlike any other I have played. I liken it to the first time I saw ...I was so mind-boggled, so completely captivated by its awesomeness, I could scarcely think of anything else for days. On a personal note, it has become a sort of prerequisite for potential new friends...in case you were interested. While this game is no InceptionChristopher Nolan (c'mon, nobody is), it did have a similar effect on me. Today I played through and finished it for a third time...in one week. Remember, I am a moderate gamer, a mom, a wife with responsibilities and day-to-day tasks that need attending. I don't have time to play through a game three times in one week. And yet, here we are.
Get this game...do it now. Try a new gaming experience and dive headfirst down that rabbit hole. It's a creepy, funny, sometimes disturbing ride I will gladly take until I get 100% of the trophies...and then maybe even a few times more, just for the fun of it.
Check out Double Fine's Action Shop!
- Double Fine Company Store: Welcome.
Cool game paraphernalia and other fun stuff.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2013 Lisa