The Cave won't challenge your brain to the point of exhaustion. Rather, it makes good use of your noggin while allowing you to take in the interesting visuals and offbeat narration. The challenge lies in its gameplay. There are seven characters, and you must play with all of them in order to eventually succeed -- but you only control three at a time.
The game plays out the same each time: start with three characters and guide them through the cave's expanse.
But The Cave runs into trouble because of this three-person control system. In order to solve all the puzzles to advance, your team must almost always be divided up, which means the camera spends a great deal of time shifting among the members. It gets nauseating watching this pan and focus nonstop, but there's no way around it. There are times when you must reunite your characters for group-based puzzle-solving, but the tedium of getting them all together slows the momentum considerably.
While the gameplay has its hiccups, the story and the narration (voiced by the cave itself) are fantastic. This cave has a wickedly fun sense of humor, and it both mocks you and helps guide you through your adventures. The devil is in the details that trip this game up occasionally, but gamers should still take an enjoyable journey into The Cave.
PLOT A puzzler that takes place in a cave
Xbox 360, $15
BOTTOM LINE An enjoyable journey