Who remembers Dig Dug? You know, that classic 2D arcade game in which you dig through blocks of dirt, avoid obstacles and hunt underground monsters? (Maybe Mr. Driller rings a bell?) Play Little Cave Hero for about five minutes and the similarities become unmistakable, but trust us, this is a good thing. Developed and published by Chile-based Atakama Labs, Little Cave Hero embodies exactly what made those classic arcade games so nostalgic, while introducing interesting social features.
Upon logging into the game, its adorable pixelated graphics hearken back to a time when games delivered a sense of awe to your 6-year-old self. You are a miner, one of many who the mayor of a miscellaneous town has enlisted to help rebuild his city in ruins. To make it happen, you must venture into a series of small mines to dredge up resources and treasure. And like most social games these days, your day-to-day activities are guided through quests.
But Atakama Labs decided to alleviate the monotony with a dash of humor. In fact, your interactions with the mayor will probably make for the funniest quest dialog you've ever read in a social game. The mayor essentially breaks the fourth wall with every chance he gets, making quips at the more obscure aspects of not just social games, but video game culture in general. All in all, it makes completing a seemingly endless amount of fetch quests a chuckle-worthy experience.
Atakama Labs isn't above borrowing the concepts that work in social games. Free gifts are aplenty, as are buildings, crafting materials and paid currency (known as Crowns). Little Cave Hero achieves that ultimate social game balance: Players gather resources to create new buildings; players use these buildings to create new tools to find better items and resources; finally, players use those resources and treasures to build even more grandiose buildings. And the cycle continues.
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