The Cave of Heroes
QuestTracers' lovely point-and-click adventure game The Cave of Heroes stars Alexia Crow, a young girl who accidentally tumbles into an ancient cave full of secrets. Before she can escape, she'll need to solve puzzles, uncover secrets... oh, and receive the sort of legendary training that heroes of myth and legend did before her, whether she wants to or not. No biggie. Just click around to interact and explore, and drag items from your inventory to where you want to use them onscreen.
The Cave of Heroes can feel like it's struggling at times to find a balance between the entertaining thinky puzzles and simple environmental item combinations, but for the most part the game's use of clues and objects works well with the contained puzzles. It's sort of like what you'd expect to find in a Tomb Raider game, minus all the clambering around and shooting things, and the ancient ruins are beautiful to explore. Whether the bowed visuals work is another matter entirely, since the overall design is gorgeous, but the movement combined with the subtly warping scenery can actually be a bit nauseating. The decision not to have a changing cursor to mark objects you can pick up is a bit odd, especially since the cursor shifts to show area transitions, but by and large items you can use tend to stand out against the scenery enough that you'll know them when you see them.
The story winds up taking a backseat to, well, nearly everything, which is sort of unfortunate since those static cutscenes are so beautifully drawn. It's the sort of game that will provide just enough of a challenge to make it a satisfying midday treat, without leaving you going in circles and wondering what to do next. Though it may feel a little rough around the edges, The Cave of Heroes is still a lovely, relaxing little gem of a game you'll want to see more of. Even though we Potterheads have essentially ruined any actual credibility the real Nicholas Flamel might have had. Worth it!