Video Games

Colossal Cave Adventure Preview: Digging Into the Wreck

I wasn’t born when Colossal Cave Adventure first hit computer enthusiasts in the 1970s. I haven’t experienced the original exploration adventure, but I certainly enjoy the fruits of its success. Colossal Cave’s legacy has not only spawned the kind of text-based adventures that legendary genre pioneer Roberta Williams was inspired to create as part of Sierra Online, but also adventures that are remotely relevant to her genre. She is also one of the forerunners of all touch plays today. The Elden Ring might not exist without the giant caverns.

So what does it mean to remake Colossal Cave in 2022? With text-based adventures largely sidetracked, Roberta Williams and her husband Ken Williams tackle the adventure by visualizing it for the first time. I’m in. We got the chance to play some of the earliest snippets of Colossal Cave Adventure on both her GDC and Gamescom, and we’ve got two hands-on previews of her in VR for Meta Quest 2 and one hands-off preview of her on Nintendo Switch. had. Just announced.

The Switch version seems to work well and offers a very attractive portable option, but the VR version is the better of the two, in that VR can portray the intimidating nature of Colossal Cave itself. It’s understandably more visually impressive.Gliding along a narrow rock wall, a deep chasm stretches endlessly under your feet. Bats flap anxiously overhead. A lone blue bird perched gracefully on a branch, with the sun shining through the ceiling of the cave. I rarely drag out my Valve his index anymore, so moments like this are a reminder of what I love about technology.

At first, I was a little apprehensive about the controls. Hand tracking seemed like a natural fit for Colossal Cave Adventure, but it was all about perfectly aiming and pressing buttons. But after spending just a few seconds inside the cave, I fell in love with the icons of more traditional adventure game systems. Eyes to see and hear narration of something, hands to interact, inventory of all the crap. Colossal Cave is extremely packed as item interaction is at the core of the puzzle. There is no sensible way to carry everything otherwise. It’s a pleasant nod to an era born directly from games like Colossal Cave. Be careful not to actually throw the item off a cliff as it will be lost forever.

Moments like this remind me of what I love about technology, as I rarely drag out my Valve Index anymore.


Despite the new format, this is the Colossal Cave Adventure that fans of the original will remember, and all the text so far remains intact. What you see and see and often adds contextual clues. A lovely way to honor the original Colossal Cave and the spirit of exploration it evoked, but with the narration translated into visual form.

And from what I’ve heard, if you remember how to get all the treasures, you should have little trouble getting them here too. There are some small creative touches such as the previous adventurer’s trash littered at the entrance, a new imagination with the dwarves doing a bit of new activity, and the dragon’s cat-like movements, but I would say Everything that has been said makes me believe this will be the 100% faithful reproduction possible. This can even come down to how accessibility works. His first playthrough at GDC in VR had Snap Turn, but it was removed at Gamescom. I’ve been told that this may be added later, and I experienced quite a bit of dizziness on my second go-around, so this is very welcome.

Giant Cave – Nintendo Switch Gallery

So my main criticism of this rendition of Colossal Cave Adventure is that it can be almost too faithful to its own original idea. Nearly 40 years of video game history have resulted in much more design and technological advancement than the mere introduction of real tree models and voice actors. Even just translating the original Colossal Cave text into spaces you can move around leaves a bit of a void. Our brains, which once filled the spaces between cavernous halls, are now intimately tied to her one particular vision of those halls. , but without any creative licenses or additions. Just wandering from one room to the next, trying to come up with vague answers as to why the bluebird near the entrance is leaving us.

From what I’ve seen so far, I think Colossal Cave Adventure will be a nostalgia trip that many people want to go on. So far it’s been great, especially in VR, and while caverns on the Switch aren’t quite as awe-inspiring, they’re certainly a much more convenient option. The point is that Colossal Cave Adventure might need a little more to entice a generation of adventurers accustomed to sidequests to explore the dark and ruthless halls of modern times again. But there’s something commendable about Colossal Cave’s obscure simplicity and effort to bring such a remarkable piece of gaming history into a space where a kid like me gets lost for the first time. There may be.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.

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