You can probably close your eyes and imagine it: what if you mapped the gameplay of Bomberman onto the dungeons of Legend of Zelda, while also handing the main character a pickaxe for close combat shenanigans? What you’re picturing there, if you’ve done it right, will be astonishingly similar to what you get in Cave Bad, the latest from indie publishing giants eastasiasoft. Cave Bad is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch.
The question is, is that a bad thing? For many, we suspect it might be a touch too anachronistic, but for others it might be a marriage made in Hyrule. The two are a good fit together, and Cave Bad looks to have nailed the aesthetics, and it genuinely could be a game launched at the peak of the NES’s powers.
You play Oratio, a dwarf on an extermination mission, as his favourite caves have been overrun by demons. If you remember Pity Pit, this is set in the same universe, and there may well be some crossover happenings going on.
What makes us most hopeful for Cave Bad is that it’s on a mission to bring the rogue genre to a Legend of Zelda game. The levels are procedurally generated, and your aim is to get further than your own personal best, rather than defeat a princess or save a Ganon. Levels play out like a traditional Zelda dungeon, punctuated by big, screen-filling bosses that will require you to have mastered the pickaxe and bombs.
There’s some nice variety in the weapons, too. We’ve spotted a Mario mushroom in the trailer, while there are bombs, digging bullets, gold bombs and more to find or buy. At times, it almost turns into a twin-stick shooter, with enemies swarming and the digging bullets spraying back at them.
We’re undecided whether this is an homage too far, or a game that blends everything perfectly to create something anarchic and fun. Find out soon, when we give Cave Bad the courtesy of a review.
Embark on a new roguelike adventure starring Oratio the Dwarf! Pick up your pickaxe and plenty of bombs as you set forth into treacherous dungeons in pixelated 8-bit style! Set in the same universe as Pity Pit, Cave Bad sees Oratio the Dwarf return for more action-packed exploration, this time dealing with demons from a top-down perspective and using every tool at his disposal against the demons of the underground. This roguelike adventure combines inspirations from genre classics with procedural generation to keep every run fresh and unpredictable. Take down baddies with melee attacks or lay bombs strategically. Solve puzzles, collect items, purchase new gear and push your limits to reach even higher scores!