Cave Story 3D

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Cave Story 3D Game Poster Image
Remake of indie puzzler has eerie vibe with talk of killing.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Although this game's primary means of gameplay is running through environments and shooting down creatures along the way, there is an underlying altruistic story about saving a race of bunny creatures from an evil doctor. Violence is always against the "bad guys" and the message is ultimately positive in nature.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The protagonist character is on a mission to save an entire race of helpless animals and take down an evil villain. He is equipped with weapons and is constantly destroying creatures, but this is presented as a necessary means to perform a greater good.

Ease of Play

This is a side-scrolling adventure game, and like any good entry in that genre this one has lots of twists, turns, and mind-bending puzzles to solve. This title is designed for a slightly older audience than most colorful and unintimidating side-scrolling games, so the challenge is also kicked up a notch. Players will need to have patience and a willingness to trek back and forth through winding paths until they find the correct way forward.


Players shoot lasers to take out enemies (all sorts of animals and creatures from insects and bats to oversized mushrooms) but they simply disappear in a puff of smoke when defeated. Dialogue also contains multiple references to killing or being killed. There is an edge to this game, with a dark and sometimes creepy atmosphere adding a sense of intensity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cave Story 3D is a graphically remastered version of the game Cave Story, which was created by an individual programmer in his spare time and grew to wide-reaching popularity because of its simple yet addicting gameplay style. This 3D remake brings the experience to a whole new level with advanced visuals and new content, but the core of the game remains intact. The enhanced graphics also makes the violence a bit starker; and there is an eerie tone throughout the storyline, including multiple lines of dialogue about being killed. However, the focus of the game is the beautifully designed levels and masterful mix of side-scrolling action and puzzle solving.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynickk1 July 29, 2015


Cave Story is an amazing game and one of the best on 3DS. The music, graphics and gameplay is some of the best ever made, and considering it was made by one guy... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJoer'ct D. June 29, 2018

A reasonable 8 year old can play this

Ok first off, Ive played this game several times over before the special remake xame out for the 3DS because I got the download through the eShop. With that out... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 6, 2015

Best game ever? Maybe!

This... This game is art.
Though the final level will kill your hands.

What's it about?

In CAVE STORY 3D, players must escape a vast and seemingly unending series of cave tunnels and passages. The story is unraveled as players progress through the game, though the underlying goal is to find and rescue several bunnies that are trapped throughout the cave. There is an overall dark tone with several references to killing; and players spend much of the game wondering exactly how all the pieces of the story fit together.

Is it any good?

Cave Story 3D is a remake of an independent computer game, Cave Story, which was created by one independent developer. In today's environment of games that cost tens of millions of dollars to create, a game like this seems almost inconceivable, so the fact that Cave Story managed to grab so much attention is a testament to the magic, wonder, and mystery that is contained in this small adventure.

Granted, this 3D re-envisioning of the game packs in new features and graphical enhancements, but the raw intrigue and "old-school" style that made the original such a hit is here in full force. This game was built not because a group of executives sat in a conference room and discussed the most profitable game ideas, but because one guy wanted to create something fun and unique, and that passion comes across in droves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violent dialogue and dark tone to the game. Why do you think the game designer chose to make the game like this?

  • When have you put the needs of others ahead of your own?

  • Have you ever been faced with dangerous situations in real life? How did you react?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: NIS America
  • Release date: November 8, 2011
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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