Developer Double Fine has officially announced their next adventure game, The Cave (not to be confused with the crowd funded Kickstarter project). Ron Gilbert, who you might know from his work on Maniac Mansion and the first two Monkey Island games, is spearheading the title, which will be published by Sega. The Cave is expected to launch over the PSN, XBLA and PC in early 2013.
The Cave is a side-scrolling adventure game with heavy focus on puzzle solving. The game features seven playable characters – a monk, adventurer, hillbilly (yes!), scientist, twins, knight and time-traveler – that must work together to discover the mysteries of the cave they’re exploring. At any given time, three characters will be on screen. The player can choose to play the game solo, switching between the three characters on the fly to solve the game’s puzzles. Or, three people can play cooperatively in a local setting.
Each character has their motivations for venturing into the cave, whether it’s to find riches or overcome personal demons. However, contrary to the game's ominous title, The Cave is not a dark game. This is Double Fine we’re talking about. Humor and charm find their way into every crevice of the project – just watch the below trailer if you don’t believe me.
Another interesting facet of The Cave is that the cave itself has a distinct personality. It’s actually the narrator of the story (just go with it). As of right now, the cave is the only voice-acted character (?) in the game. However, Double Fine has mentioned that that could change. Even the voice actor currently playing the cave isn’t set in stone.
There’s still a lot of time between now and when we’ll actually get our hands on The Cave. The title definitely feels like a Double Fine project, and that has us thrilled. The gameplay might not push the boundaries of innovation, but if Double Fine can entertain us with a memorable group of characters and worthwhile yarn, then who are we to complain?
For now, enjoy the game’s debut trailer and a packet of screenshots (click each to enlarge).