In most cases, you’d have to be crazy to try to remake or reimagine a game that was so seminal that it started a genre, especially if you’re not directly connected to the original. Unless, of course, the people in charge of said recreation are incredibly essential. Ken and Roberta Williams are two names anyone who played adventure games in the 1980s and 1990s will know. They founded Sierra On-line in the late 1970s and spent the next few decades revolutionizing adventure games. Now, they return after 17 years outside the industry to bring us their opinion on Colossal Cave Adventure in form of colossal cavea fully 3D adventure game.
colossal cave – History
Like the original text adventure on which it is based, colossal cave It’s not particularly heavy on the story. You are a random shlub (probably yourself) found near a legendary cave system. Rumors abound that it is full of treasures and adventures, so you have decided to go and see for yourself. You haven’t bought anything with you, but luckily a mysterious storyteller offers to help you and you find some useful items in a nearby wheelhouse before entering the cave. That’s pretty much in terms of narrative.
Other than some very optional text at the start of the game, there’s not much narrative to be found. The emphasis is more on exploration and discovering all the secrets, dangers and treasures that are buried deep within the cave. You will also have to use your wits, because along with treasures and terrible enemies to face, you will have to solve a fair number of puzzles and overcome numerous traps if you want to succeed. That is, assuming you don’t keep dying from falling off slightly high places, which is a surprisingly realistic hazard in the game.
colossal cave – Old school puzzles, but the right way
If anyone is familiar with the original game that inspired Colossal Cave, there are a few points you might want to know about. First of all, yes, concessions have been made for modern games. Right off the bat, you’re presented with an old-school ‘mouse only’ control scheme that’s entirely optional. You can still control the game with a normal controller or your standard WASD keyboard and mouse style. You also have the option of creating your own map or letting the game do it for you, which is the best of both worlds.
Similarly, there are plenty of puzzles that have the air of classic point-and-click titles, for better or worse. However, the puzzles are a bit more logical than some adventure game puzzles. There are no infamous goat puzzle moments in colossal cave, that he mostly sticks to things that make sense, like using an ax on an enemy or giving water to a plant that screams for water. There may be one prominent example of something that doesn’t really make sense when you use a tiny bird to defeat a giant magical snake, but that’s about as egregious as it’s ever been.
colossal cave – Exploration and more
So does this mean that colossal cave it’s good? After all, a game is made up of more than just some decently logical puzzles and a flimsy pretext for exploring a cave. In the end, what really defines colossal cave it’s the sense of exploration it evokes. One of the joys of the original title, which inspired so many people to go out and create their own interactive fictional adventure games, was the feeling that you were really exploring a giant cave system, and you had no idea what you could find around you. each. corner.
That same sense is perfectly captured in colossal cave. Descending into the cave for the first time, food, water, and lamp in hand, you have no way of knowing what to expect. In fact, the way you are, things seem pretty mundane. Like a true natural cave system, it’s easy to get lost and disoriented in the dark. The walls can blend and the crooked passages all look the same. However, as he spends time getting used to the design, he reaches deeper and deeper and finds things that are more and more weird and wonderful.
In a way, it feels weird to talk about the specific moments in the game that are engaging. Since the whole point of playing the game is to find out stuff, revealing it in a review feels wrong. So be careful and skip the rest of this paragraph if you want to jump blind into what you’ll discover. The different encounters you can have while exploring the caves can range from tricky puzzles to ancient ruins to encounters with angry dragons and dwarves. There are even some moments that are simply beautifully created landscapes to marvel at for a while.
colossal cave – Graphics, sound and environment.
Another important note on colossal cave it’s the fantastic use of sound to evoke atmosphere. Like every other aspect of the game, it’s minimalist. There are brief sound cues played when you enter a room or discover something new for the first time, but most of the time, the only sounds you’ll hear are the atmospheric noises in the cave and the narrator’s voice explaining what you’re coming from. at the other side of. It’s great for giving you the feeling of actually exploring a cave, albeit with a sort of British cave spirit whispering in your ear, with heavy use of spatial sound (headphones highly recommended).
Speaking of the narrator, they are another great point. As you explore and interact with the objects, a voiceover narrates everything that happens. The voiceover not only sounds fantastic, but it’s also a great mood-setting device. It gives the feeling that a random friendly Brit is reading you a story. You could almost play with your eyes closed, with the simple control scheme and rich narrative of the world you’re exploring. In many ways, it would have been great to see an option to enable a button that narrates the direction you’re facing on the compass because it could have made the game easier for people who are blind and low vision.
Graphically the game looks pretty decent, but don’t expect incredible fidelity. The style used here is much more like something from a picture book. There are lots of colorful locations, and the characters/monsters you encounter have a cartoonish vibe, both in design and animation. Needless to say, it works for the tone set by the narrative and the encounters you have while exploring. That said, one or two of the animations did look a little weird, but it’s unlikely to bother you unless you’re incredibly picky.
General, colossal cave It’s an amazing return for Ken and Roberta Williams. They and the Cygnus team really managed to capture the feeling of playing the original. Colossal Cave Adventure. Whether you make your own map or use the one from the game, you really can spend hours getting lost in this deep interconnected cave system, discovering new things around every corner. Combined with the fantastical atmosphere, immersive sound design, and optional VR support, don’t be surprised if you end up spending a lot of time on this one.
Tech Raptor revised colossal cave on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the developers.