A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.