From time to time comes a small and modest game that you just can’t stop playing. Usually, these games don’t have to look great but just give you the entertainment you are looking for. In my opinion, these are the games you can play anywhere, and especially when you want to clear your head at work, after long hours of studying or while waiting for the dryer to finish at the laundromat.
Caves by Valeriy Ponomarev is an indie roguelike game from 2016 developed for Android. The game is continuously upgraded to this day and it has over 100,000 installs from the Google Play Store alone.
If you like dungeon crawlers and fantasy, then you will find Caves intriguing. You play a character that wanders around dungeons, defends from various monsters that are constantly attacking and all this without a possibility to save your game. Meaning, if you die, you lose it all. Well, the developer is not that cruel and will let you keep the money and gems, but you will lose the collected items and level.
You can use spells and weapons to attack your enemies but make sure to run if you are not so certain you’ll be able to defeat them. And when it comes to weapons, you have swords, axes, all sorts of guns and shotguns and, of course, bows. After all, these are the charms of roguelike genre, a role-playing concept highly influenced by the mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game.
An interesting thing about the gameplay is that you can mine and destroy blocks, thus getting money and gems. This is important because if you want to boost your character, you will need to buy the upgrades. This will help you level up so don’t forget to do it because you got distracted by the game since if you die, you are back to square one.
Every level has three places to pay attention to the portal, vending machine, and ruins. Portal will help you get to the next level, the vending machine is where you do your shopping and ruins will have a lot of useful items for you.
A unique appearance of Caves with pixel art graphics is supposed to give the game a fresh take on the dungeon crawling, but it’s actually somewhat bothersome. You see, I like retro games, especially those that are arcade-like, such as Caves, but when the art graphics is more of a nuisance than a benefit, I get bored and even annoyed. The developers should have done more to create a better visual for the game since this really ruins the overall feel of the game.
Other than that, you will have fun playing this game and you might even be able to accept the pixelated appearance better than I did. The game is, however, really a nice entertainment even with this flaw.