Crystal Caves Review

Crystal Caves Featured

Crystal Caves Boxart

Developer: Apogee Software
Publisher: Apogee Software
Platform: PC – DOS, GOG*

As shameful as it may be to admit, Apogee Software titles were not a part of my youth. Crystal Caves was one of the many game releases by them over the years available in shareware form. The first episode, “The Trouble with Twibbles”, was available for free but episodes 2 and 3 required a purchase. If you buy the game on GOG it comes with all three episodes. How does this collectathon platformer hold up?

Surprisingly well, in fact! At least the first episode does. Crystal Caves’ hero is Mylo, a dude with bright pink clothes and a silly strut. Players navigate him through multiple stages to collect multicolored crystals. Enemies and traps are found in each cave, as well as tricks due to the level layouts themselves. The first chapter isn’t difficult to complete and really amps one up for more adventures.

Crystal Caves Featured

Episode 2 is harder than the first and at times even gets a little annoying. However, with dedication you can blast past it into Episode 3. That’s where it really becomes too much for all but the biggest Crystal Caves fans. At that point the difficulty is cranked up even more. Here things like your limited shots and three hearts get unfairly strained. Luckily, there’s no penalty for death because you’ll die a lot. Somewhere in between these levels it also becomes hard to ignore the precise nature of some jumps.

Crystal Caves is not the prettiest platformer on the block with its garish colors and slapdash monster designs. It’s also disappointing to realize that many of the 47 stages are too difficult for many to complete. Yet, there is an enduring quality about Crystal Caves that makes it enjoyable in small doses. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for a lengthy DOS era platformer.

Score: 2.5

2 1/2 out of 5 alpacas

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