Review: Cavern of Dreams (Switch)

A retro-inspired platformer that Nintendo 64 fans will feel right at home playing!

By Olivia Montalvo. Posted 03/01/2024 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
Editor's Choice
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Controls are easy to adhere to; Good adventure; Good story line
Poison Mushroom for...
Lack of combat; Camera system

Cavern of Dreams by Bynine Studio is a 3D platformer that immerses players in a nostalgic journey reminiscent of classic Nintendo 64 games. In this adventure, players assume the role of Finn, a dragon tasked with rescuing his unhatched siblings from the clutches of an evil bat. The game’s narrative unfolds through exploration, puzzle-solving, and egg collection, all while being guided by a fairy companion.

The visual presentation of Cavern of Dreams is a standout feature, successfully capturing the essence of N64 games with its blur filter, low-poly models, and charming music. The game’s visuals evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting players back to the era of classic platformers with an engaging retro aesthetic.

One of the core gameplay mechanics in Cavern of Dreams revolves around puzzle-solving, where players must utilize their limited abilities to overcome challenges and progress through levels. The puzzles often require players to connect elements across different areas of the level, adding depth to the exploration experience and testing players’ problem-solving skills.

Since the game lacks combat elements, focusing solely on platforming challenges and puzzle-solving, some players might find this absence detracts from the overall gameplay experience. The game lacks combat in many scenarios. Although there are places you can fight, if there were more I feel it would be a better experience. The game counteracts the lack of combat by giving side quests. The platforming mechanics, although simple and precise, can feel overly punishing due to instant death upon falling into pits and unpredictable hazards that hinder progress.

The controls in Cavern of Dreams are responsive but basic. However, certain aspects of the platforming can be overly punitive or poorly explained at times, impacting player immersion and enjoyment. Additionally, the camera system could benefit from further refinement to enhance gameplay fluidity. The camera system tends to glitch or stagger around when you are playing in third person. The game offers a first person option, however, I feel it is very difficult to do the quests and talk to characters in first person.

In terms of level design and progression, Cavern of Dreams offers a variety of tasks and collectibles that keep players engaged throughout the game. From deciphering riddles to navigating intricate environments and unlocking new abilities as more eggs are collected, the game provides a diverse range of challenges that cater to different playstyles. The variety of ways that the player has to collect the eggs allows you to explore different playstyles and also allows you to find your personal favorite.

Cavern of Dreams successfully captures the essence of retro platformers with its visual style and engaging gameplay mechanics. While it may have its shortcomings in terms of control issues and lack of combat elements, it remains a delightful adventure for players looking for a throwback to classic N64 games filled with exploration and puzzle challenges.

Despite its flaws in control complexity and punishing platforming elements, Cavern of Dreams manages to deliver an enjoyable experience for fans of classic N64 platformers seeking a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The game’s emphasis on exploration, puzzle-solving, and charming visuals contributes to its appeal as a retro-inspired 3D platformer worth considering for those fond of classic gaming experiences.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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