Cave - a simple, yet fun & addictive, PC game


Cave runs in a DOS window - the ideal size is 80 wide by 25 high; if necessary you can set these values by right-clicking in the upper left-hand corner of the window (where the application name, "Cave" appears). For a temporary change choose "properties", but unless you regularly use DOS windows that must be larger, I suggest you change the defaults to those values.

It has been many years since the first release of CAVE as a UNIX game; that took place around 1985. I developed it because our installation of Rogue was unstable (often crashing during play). Further, in my opinion, Rogue offered too little information making the game depend too much on luck.

I eventually ported Cave to proprietary hardware for an office system being developed in the 1980s. Those machines had flat panels and were perfect hosts for the game. I learned that some folks at our beta sites were staying after work to play. I know my company's employees spent many a fine hour playing.

As of this writing I have never heard of a failure of Cave in the field. I have played several times a day for more than 20 years and I recall only one crash. You can save a game almost instantly (shift-S), and restore it just as fast (just use the same name the next time you run the game). I have removed the ability to toggle between the "CAVE view" and a fake work screen (a UNIX prompt in the old days) should a manager enter your office during a game - just use shift-S to save instead.

Some of the source files had not been changed since 1986. Nonetheless, to get CAVE running as a PC console application was amazingly simple; it took only a couple of days. If you give it a chance I think you will find it is, even today, wonderfully enjoyable. You have much more information about how you are doing and what options you have available than in other games of this type that I am aware of.

There are many ways to defeat monsters and just as in life luck plays an important role but logic and patience can overcome bad luck to a large degree. Nonetheless, luck is needed to make it deep into the cave. I have added some new scrolls and potions to make the game a bit easier and more enjoyable compared to the versions I wrote in the 1980s.

You can edit cave.nam to rename the monsters. The first name should start with 'A', the next with 'B' and so on; use the same format as the original file - one name per line, spaces are OK. Although you can use names as long as 20 characters, I think shorter names work better during play. After playing your first game a new file will be created, "cave.rol", which is a list of the top 10 scores and that will be displayed when a game ends, or you can see it by starting the game and using the name "role" when prompted for your cave name.

Even after so many years I still fire up Cave several times a day as a break from whatever I am working on. The nearly instantaneous load and save make this completely practical.

Installation is trivial - download cave.zip by clicking on the link near the top of this page, move the downloaded zip file to any folder you like (I suggest a folder named "cave") then double click it to unpack the cave files: cave.doc (game documentation), cave.exe (the game itself) and cave.nam, a plain text file that contains the names for the monsters. After that double click on "cave" (or "cave.exe") to bring up the game!

I hope you enjoy the game, and if you do I'd be delighted to hear from you!
Michael A. Craft - 2012
macraft @earthlink.net

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