The Cave

The Cave

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Magma Tung Jul 23, 2013 @ 9:48am
disapointed about a few things
THis message is more to the developers....... FYI

Its so sad that someone has to give hints to complete the game. - Instead of the game giving hints on its own in some form, but not to obvious. - The game is great but the execution is broken in my honest opinion. - I cant believe that it took me 1 hour just to get the hotdog Achievement, and now I have to depend on a guide that someone did because I dont understand how would I pass through the rest of the game without it.

Also the game never tells people that you WILL use all charactors throughout the game.
I thought it was only 3 as a final choice and I had to chose which toons I wanted to play thorughout the game (see the confusion).?

Also, the game never tells you if you need a specific charactor for a specific area of the game.
It just never tells you and I stay there stuck figuring out things are not going correctly.
Again bad execution from the developers.

Dont Get Me Wrong..!! - The game is really nice, its like Trine, which is awesome.
But geez, I cant believe that I have to use a guide that someone else did , just to progress through the game because the game itself is confusing.

Im suppose to enjoy the game and play thorugh it, not get frustrated because the game failed to explain
a few things that is a must to know.
now I have to turn off the game, because im exausted just from the Hot Dog Achievement stage.
And yes I do know its a strategy puzzle adventure game, but it should not exaust me when i play it, specially 1 hour into the game.

Til today I still dont know what the hell is a trinket.
Now i have to go to google and find out.

Thats just my opinion,
sorry but im intitled to my opinion if it offends anyone.
Last edited by Magma Tung; Jul 23, 2013 @ 9:52am
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Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
Crypt Warden Jul 23, 2013 @ 10:25am 
yeah, they should have an option to turn on hints.....a lot of games have that
Teslithia Jul 24, 2013 @ 2:40pm 
There were a few parts that were confusing, so I also had to check a guide. But on my second playthrough, I noticed a few things that kinda were like hints. The parrot talks saying he wants a cracker & how important the dog is. Also, on the scientist level, the announcements in the background are kinda like hints. A true hint system would have been nice, but I didn't mind checking a guide.
ReverendTed Jul 24, 2013 @ 7:38pm 
My experience was different than yours. I felt it was very clear when a given character was required for a given area of the game. The narrator tells you which character is "up" when their section starts, and those areas are thematically linked to the character designs as well.
The only time I got "stuck" was on the Twins level, when I didn't realize I needed to KEEP pushing a certain box, and it just took me a little wandering around aimlessly before realizing what I was missing.

My primary disappointment was that the Achievement descriptions for finishing with each character were not hidden. Bit of a spoiler if you weren't expecting it.

That, and the game IS repetitive once you're going through trying to get "all the endings", though there were a few ways to shortcut the character-agnostic sections.
Disagree with OP. Game was quite clear to me on what was needed, and when. All that I had to do was apply a little observational skills to each situation, like any other adventure game. I don't think Ron Gilbert likes hint systems-- in-game or otherwise. He believes that the game itself should urge you in the right direction seamlessly with the story.
Cairn.L Jul 26, 2013 @ 12:41am 
To OP, try to avoid playing any "Puzzle" games in the future, you're not good at it.
No offence :x
The Other David Jul 30, 2013 @ 6:54pm 
I never really had this problem. It was pretty obvious when I came to a level that I couldn't get to with my characters. Some of the puzzles themselves were tough, but I never had to consult a guide.
Samzo Oct 20, 2013 @ 1:44am 
I really don't want to show off or something, this is just to make a further point : I finished the game twice in an evening time and I think it's great but too easy.
When we played Monkey Island, there was no hint, no guide, no Internet. Sometimes I was stuck for days, weeks, months!
New generation players can't stand getting stuck for 5 minutes. But maybe they don't feel the all-mighty rewarding feeling of unpuzzling something very hard by themselves neither ;)
I think you cannot say words like "confusing" or "bad execution" for this game. The bad execution is from the player, but be optimistic, you'll get used to be smart eventually
Bigmike Dec 1, 2013 @ 12:30pm 
I think OP has a point here. Because the post above brought up Monkey Island ... I think in comparison The Cave doesn't give enough "motivation" for the puzzles. Where in MI and other Lucas adventures I always knew pretty much *what* I needed to do and the game wanted me to find out *how* to do it, in The Cave I always find myself wondering *what* the game wants me to do and once I found out, the *how* is too easy.

Tim Schafer just recently talked at GDC Next about good puzzle design and listed 6 points, of which in my oppinion The Cave is missing quite a few:

A clear obstacle
A clear motivation
Responses for failed solutions (with hints)
Rewards for getting close
An “a-ha” feeling and not a “WTF” feeling after you solve the puzzle
Appreciation of the puzzle in retrospect that makes you want to tell people about it

The one-item-inventory combined with the not-so-good puzzle design, long ways and the pesky controls, with keyboard as well as 360 controller, make this game a disappointment for me, too.

I like the art style and voice acting very much, though.
Samzo Dec 1, 2013 @ 3:37pm 
Hi Bigmike. Nice profile Picture :)
What you are saying is a good analysis. Very interesting.
Now that you mention it, I have to say you might be right about the "what" and the "how" theory.
I think puzzles in The Cave can be divided in 2 categories :
1- "The hermit has hopped into my boat"
2- "You are playing as the twins in their parent's house, figure out what happens next"

And you're right, #1 is better.

For exemple, according to your theory :
(1 --> ) The Time Traveller's adventure and The Scientist's rocket are quite good quests, while (2 -->) The Adventurer's pyramid is not that good.
And I won't speak for yourself, but if that's what you think, I quite agree :)

Now, when I look at the interesting Schafer's list, I personally think the most "WTF" feeling after solving a puzzle award of all time goes to the firsts Monkey Islands games.
But maybe I was too young, and english isn't my mother language.
When I was 10 years old, using a monkey tail as a wrench made no sense at all. I solved that after months of despair, trying everything, because I had no other game to play.
When I finally found that solution, I was happy and disgusted at the same time.

I think games can't afford to be like that nowadays. Players just don't have that kind of patience anymore.

I guess what you, Bigmike, find too easy, is what the OP finds too hard. He said something like "the game doesn't tell me that I CAN'T do anything in this room because I don't have the appropriate character, so the gamedesign is broken".
The OP has to be under 20 years old. Am I right, OP ?
Because we, old people, were raised by games which would just throw you there and let you suffer until you learn.
Games like Operation Stealth (James Bond: The Stealth Affair) would even let you proceed to the near end of the game, even if you forgot to pick up an important object at an earlier stage, resulting in an unfinishable game, because of course, you saved your progress for weeks after committing the mistake.
But you would keep trying because you had no way to know there was no way to succeed.
"use Inked Stamp on Computer"... not working. "use Compact Disc on Otto"... not working... you would try stupid random stuff like that for hours, out of despair. You just don't have the good item and have to start the game from the beginning (because you didn't have enough room on your 1MB disc to keep all your saves).
But I digress.

I'm not waving the "veteran" flag, I think what I just mentioned above was awful. I'm glad it's now "unacceptable" in a video game.
I'm not saying the OP is "wrong" either, I just feel like game makers (including Tim Schafer) have made enough compromises already.
Now video game went the opposite way : everything must be easy, clear to understand, there are HUDs everywhere, objective markers flashing on the screen, you are healing while in cover for 5 seconds, etc.

I just wanted to say that what described the OP wasn't, for me, a "bad execution from the developers", but a constantly growing laziness of the player, resulting in easier games, resulting themselves in a feeling of reward getting weaker. Because you were assisted all the way to the end.

When I finished Operation Stealth as a kid, I was a demi-god, I FINALLY beat the game, I was sure I was the only one on earth who did.
"Appreciation of the puzzle in retrospect that makes you want to tell people about it". Didn't felt this in years, maybe decades.

In general, I'd like games to be a little more demanding to my intellect, so I can feel more pride for my success.

Video game is more than ever a commercial industry, game developers and game producers are not the same people anymore, and the games you play (indies left aside) are a sum of the compromises they negotiate.
If a lot of people are saying "this game is too hard", "that game is too hard", it just means "next time, I'll pay for a more accessible, easy game".
And you will be heard.

I fear that before we know it, there will only be candies to crush and duty calls to answer.
So it's a big deal.

Look at the movies : what will you see in 5 years ? Iron Man 6. Ice age 8.

And what will you play ?
I want to say : We are clever, make hardest games, original games. Surprise us, bully our comfort, our habits !

But this is just my opinion.
Bigmike Dec 2, 2013 @ 2:01am 
The "monkey wrench" was mainly a localization problem. It's a word play that doesn't exist in many languages. The English-speaking makers of the game probably didn't anticipate the international success, the game would have. When I played it the first time when I was little that was not the only joke or puzzle I didn't quite get. However, when I got to play the English version of the game (much later), I liked the joke. But as you wrote, the game developers got better than this over time.

As for The Cave I think the most "broken" thing is probably the one-item-inventory. You never know, which item you'll need next. For example in the mansion of the twins: If you go to the kitchen first you'll find the hammer, but you do not yet know where you'll need it. But unlike in MI or Maniac Mansion etc. you can not just pick it up, because it might well be that you'll need your current item first. So once you get into the attic you probably immediately know how to solve the puzzle, but you have to go all the way down and up again first. I often think that the developers wanted to stretch the game's length with this "stunt".

I re-read OP's post and see that one of his main arguments was that the game doesn't let you know which character some part of the cave "belongs" to, though. I must have missed that yesterday. I have to disagree, because that's simply not true. Whenever you reach one of the special areas, the narrator immediately tells you the exact character in some cases (the mansion) or it is crystal clear from the special abilities (the carnival, the museum).

I backed the DoubleFine Adventure (now Broken Age) on Kickstarter (which I wouldn't do again, but that's another story). In the development updates they talked a lot about puzzle design amongst other things. From what I've seen so far I think --actually I *hope*-- the game will be an awesome point & click adventure with classic long-chained puzzles and witty dialogs. :)
lucmobz Dec 2, 2013 @ 7:12am 
There were some badly executed puzzles, that made you waste a lot of time for nothing:

Such as the time traveler quest, when you have to move the rock in the past and present to unlock the bucket in the future, it was kinda obvious what you had to do but the game didn't tell you or teach in any way that you had to keep holding the interact button to achieve the result. I just made my characters stood in front of the rounded rock achieving virtually the same concept but nothing happened and it was very frustrating, because the solution was correct but the execution wasn't thanks to bad mechanics.
The dog and parrot one was also very bad one. Ok you get the bone, should give it to the dog so he starts barking, but it will only work if the parrot is nearby. Why?

Overall the game wasn't bad, but has no replay value and no choice consequence. Felt a bit lazy. I'd give it 6.5/10.

Samzo Dec 2, 2013 @ 5:22pm 
Hi lucmobz, for me, it has a replay value because the game features 7 unique "quests" (for the 7 unique characters) and of course you can only play 3 of them in your first play-through.
But I have to admit the 2nd play-through was a bit of a chore, except for the new content.
The 3rd play-trough, in order to play the 7th unseen quest, was out of the question for me.

And Bigmike, I think you're right about everything you said.
I was wondering, did you play Resonance ? I would like to hear what you think about it.
Bigmike Dec 5, 2013 @ 1:11am 
I didn't play Resonance yet, but I bought it on GOG a while ago and it's on my list. :)
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