Cave Story

LQ: 9.4


Brain grade: 9.1
Fun score: 9.7

Cave Story - Educational Game Review image 1
Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 9+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

In Cave Story, players explore vast 2D environments in a quest to save a village of rabbit-like creature called Mimigas from the evil plans of “The Doctor.” Players control Qoute, a robot boy who can collect various weapons and gain abilities that grant him new powers. Finding items is key to progressing the game, as certain items open up new areas to explore. The game also has three possible endings, each depending on the amount of items the player finds. Since the game contains mild cartoon violence, comic mischief, and a moderate amount of reading, it is recommended for players ages 9 and up.


Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information while working.

Cave Story's bizarre and fantastic landscape is littered with unique characters and important items that must be used throughout the game to progress the story. The player must be mindful of any characters, items, or unique locations they encounter while exploring, because each of them will certainly play a role later in game.

Because Cave Story has no auditory narration, all objectives and tasks are presented to the player via text dialogue with other characters. The player must remember the details of numerous conversations throughout the game, as they relay important information crucial for progressing the story.

The open-world nature of the environment means the player frequently revisits past areas, with certain items able to unlock previously inaccessible areas from earlier parts of the game. By recalling previous conversations and locations, the player discerns where to go to next, often backtracking across the large 2D world. If the player gets lost or enters a dangerous area, he may end up stuck in battle. If defeated, he will have to restart from an earlier save point. If this happens, he'll again have to retrace his steps carefully to repeat the entire process  and avoid making the same mistakes twice.


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Each level of Cave Story presents new and more dangerous obstacles for Qoute. If the player is struck by an enemy's attack, Qoute will lose health and the power level of his current weapon will drop. Weapons with higher power levels inflict more damage and produce special effects when used, so it is very important to build up a weapon's power level. In order to avoid taking damage, the player must pay close attention to his enemies' patterns, learning their movements and different types of attacks.

The tough boss enemies of Cave Story are as unusual as they are dangerous, so it is very important for the player to reach them with a lot of health and the strongest weapons possible. Maintaining a level of alertness while on route to these battles will ensure that the player keeps his weapons powered up and avoids taking too much damage. Inattentive players are more apt to slip up and will have a hard time keeping their weapons powerful enough to take on the game's harder boss enemies.

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