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Double Fine Productions' puzzle adventure game The Cave is coming to the App Store today. The game, brainchild of Maniac Mansion designer Ron Gilbert, can be downloaded for $4.99 / £2.99/ €4.49 to you iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Like Maniac Mansion, The Cave allows you to assemble a team of three characters from a cast of seven. The cast of The Cave is a diverse one, ranging from a knight to a time traveler to a hillbilly. Each character possesses unique abilities. For example, the time traveler can phase shift through certain barriers.
Once you've selected your team, you must venture into the titular cave. There, each character will find what they most desire. Players will have to switch between the characters regularly in order to solve puzzles and traverse obstacles.
"Our goal was to retain as much of the graphics fidelity from the console version," Gilbert said in an interview on Sega's blog. "The current iOS devices are really powerful, so we were able to keep the same game with only a few minor optimizations to the art. It is amazing to see the game running on a mobile device with basically the same graphics as on the consoles."
Early previews revealed that the game doesn't use virtual buttons for movement. Instead, players move their characters by tapping the desired location on the screen. They can make the characters jump by swiping upward. This isn't Super Meat Boy so these controls should work just fine. There's no delicate timing or precision movement required on the part of the player.
I played the game last January and came away mostly impressed. The puzzles are a bit too easy and require too much back-tracking but it's a fun ride through the imagination of Gilbert and co-writer Chris Remo. It's a throwback to the old LucasArts adventure games, which had bland or confusing puzzles but still managed to succeed by through their wit and charm.
If you'd rather play The Cave with more precise controls, you can pick it up on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac or Linux. The game costs three times as much on those platforms, though, so you're better off going with the iOS version if you have an Apple device.