[PlayStation 5] Colossal Cave Review

by Tracey

Colossal Cave brings to PS5 a 3D reinterpretation of the classic text-based adventure. Does it hold up? Find out in our Colossal Cave review!

Colossal Cave is an original title from the 1970s and among one of the earliest games released when the dawn of the gaming industry began. It was one of the most popular games released during its time, and thanks to Roberta Williams and Cygnus Entertainment, we’re getting a reimagined version with a 3D presentation on PlayStation 5 for old fans and new ones to enjoy. It’s a game that was a little bit before my time, so I was definitely up for checking it out on Sony’s console.

Colossal Cave, back in the day, was a text-based adventure game, and it remains very much the case, but with the added feature of a storybook art style that is, in my opinion, very beautiful. I can imagine it must have been very difficult to get the old source code working on the newer engine, but it’s certainly an effort that I appreciate.

The game takes you on a journey below the ground of a deserted island that has an endless maze of caves, hence the title Colossal Cave. You are accompanied by your trusty lantern, and you are tasked with achieving the highest score possible, which is 350 points. While the number may seem small, it actually isn’t and is a lot more difficult to achieve than you think! Collecting treasures, entering new areas, and solving puzzles will net you some much-needed points, but asking for hints and dying, just to name some events, will lose you points. Along with that, your decisions at the start of the game will affect the points you receive at the end of the game, so be sure to choose wisely!

Colossal Cave Review - 2

Colossal Cave has a decent map that you can look back on as frequently as you like, but even with that, you are going to get lost many, many times. You will be climbing ladders, opening doors, looting chests, and scaring off unchatty NPCs. Oh, and there are plenty of enemies to take on, including a dragon. Yes, you read that right. A dragon. Getting past these enemies is a puzzle you need to figure out, and it is quite possible you might have to wait until later when you have the right tools for the job. Completing puzzles is very satisfying and rewarding. As mentioned before, you can certainly ask for a hint, but that will cost you some points. Other than that option, there’s no handholding in this one.

There’s one puzzle, in particular, I’d like to mention. There was an enemy guarding an entrance that I needed to use, but you can’t get past it without the fear of being attacked. There are no clues and nothing around you that could be used to get rid of the guard. It then hit me that I might need to do something crazy: what if I dropped my weapon so that I wouldn’t be a threat to this character? And just like that, I was able to move through the entrance and carry on with my adventure! There were no clues about this, and that means that thinking a bit outside the box could prove to be useful.

Colossal Cave Review - 3

The game has a long list of trophies for you to work on, but it does not have a Platinum trophy, which is odd for a game launching in 2023. The list includes 10 Bronze trophies, 10 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. Talking about most of the trophies could probably spoil your experience, so I’ll only mention that there’s a trophy for finding 5 treasures, discovering 10 treasures, finding 15 treasures, punching and defeating the aforementioned dragon, completing the game, and getting that perfect 350 points run.

Colossal Cave isn’t going to appeal to everyone. For one thing, it is a slow-burn game, a text-based experience with 3D graphics. But personally, I found it to be a very chill experience, exploring caverns, looting chests, and finding a new weapon or a note or something after walking for ages in empty spaces, but solving puzzles is where the main rewards are. Colossal Cave is out on PlayStation 5 with a $39.99 asking price.

Colossal Cave Review - 4

This Colossal Cave review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Cygnus Entertainment.

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