A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cave Story+ is a platform adventure game that's a remake of a title originally released in 2004. The game has an intriguing mix of cutesy graphics offset with dark, even eerie subject matter. But even though there's a lot of running and jumping over obstacles as well as shooting giant mushrooms and other random enemies, violence is cartoonish. There's no objectionable content, apart from some aggressive dialogue on the part of the main character. Parents should also know that the difficulty of this game is very high, which could frustrate some players.
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What's it about?
In CAVE STORY+, you play as an unnamed amnesiac hero who awakens in a cave in a floating island and must escape a vast and seemingly unending series of tunnels and passages. As you progress, the story unfolds and you're tasked with the underlying goal of finding and rescuing several bunnies, who are being hunted by a maniacal doctor who wants to take over the world. There are several endings to the game, all of which can only be accessed via specific choices you make at specific times, and also some that are only possible on the hardest difficulty.
Is it any good?
Novices to this adventure will be blown away by this atmospheric adventure, but vets may be disappointed by its limited enhancements. Undoubtedly this will be someone's first time playing Cave Story in any form, and arguably they are in for the best time with freshest eyes on everything that Cave Story+. Releases like these are a bit like a horse midstream, because while the developer promises there will be future updates coming this summer and later this year (including a two-player mode), the new additions on hand for the Switch-specific release are fairly anemic. There's a new music track, a new challenge mode level, and that's it. All in all, the game now boasts seven play modes (including boss rush), spans 20 boss fights, four unique endings, and 15 levels to explore in a vast and at times disorienting world. It'd be silly to be disappointed in the lack of "new" stuff here, because there's a lot here -- and that's not even including the "secret" mode that allows for a slightly different play through experience as another character.
Newcomers will find a lot to love. Cave Story+ does a great job of conveying desolation and making you feel like you're really small in a large world. The game's simple controls make exploring a snap, and that you are continually given new weapons and can power them up (and have to fight to keep doing so, since any hits you take powers you down) makes you want to keep pressing on and seeing what you can find. The sheer amount of secrets you can find if you poke around help reward you there, too. The only real dings against the game are fairly minor, like how tiny the map is (which you'll need to consult frequently) on your screen, which demonstrates a lack of thought about the Switch-specific experience. But these are small complaints compared to how much is here to discover and to be discovered.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violent content in this game. Why do you think the creator of the game made a game like this in 2004? What did it say about the time then, and what does it say about 2017 that it's still commercially viable?
When have you put the needs of others above your own? Why did you do this?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, Windows
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nicalis, Inc.
- Release date: June 20, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.