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Cally's Caves 4 Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . You don't need to have played the first three games to enjoy Cally's Caves 4. This delightful new run 'n gun shoot 'em up has a great look, responsive gameplay, nearly a dozen fun boss fights and all kinds of hidden rooms to unearth. And while you've seen a lot of these ideas before, there's enough depth, charm and content to make this sequel worth playing. I'm suddenly excited to see what happens in Cally's Caves 5. Rating: 71%
Cally's Caves 4
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  • Review Score:

  • B
I have a confession to make: I haven't played Cally's Caves 3. In fact, I hadn't played any of Cally's side-scrolling adventures before diving into this brand new fourth installment. I figured this wouldn't matter much, but part of me worried that maybe it would be like that time I started watching The Sopranos halfway through and had no idea what was going on. The good news is that I had no problem figuring out what was going on in this delightful new platformer, but the bad news is that now the only thing I want to do is binge watch The Sopranos. Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.

In her newest adventure, Cally is on a mission to cure her friend Rupert of a terrible curse. This turns into a globe-trotting quest in order to find a special amulet that supposedly holds the key to Rupert's survival. This turns into a fairly straight-forward action/platformer that sees us killing bosses, teaming up with new friends and discovering a brand new arch-nemesis. VDO calls it "Cally's biggest adventure ever," and I'm just going to have to take their word for that.


Cally's Caves 4 feels like a cross between Mega Man and Turrican. Her goal is to search through a series of bite-sized levels in order to find treasure chests, power-ups and, eventually, the exit to the next room. These levels are full of platforming challenges and hidden areas, all of which is made easier to traverse thanks to a triple jump upgrade Cally earns early in the game. Once she's fully explored the stage, we'll come face-to-face with one of eleven nasty bosses that will test your memorization skills.

If we're being honest, this description could apply to a whole bunch of retro-themed platformers. But what keeps Cally's Caves 4 from being just another action game is that it's always a little deeper than it lets on. Perhaps it's because this is now Cally's fourth outing, but there's a confidence in the execution you don't see in a lot of indie platformers.

One thing I like is that there are a lot of weapons to use, including a shotgun, sniper rifle and even a deadly boomerang. Even better, all of these weapons can be leveled up with use, not unlike what you see in a role-playing game like Skyrim. There are also all kinds of upgrades and powers you can buy in the store, as well as a crafting system that lets you customize the weapons even more.

It's also refreshing to see stages that are not only diverse, but also have a sense of humor. This is the kind of game where we'll go from shooting down evil chefs in the middle of the ocean to taking down soccer players in the jungle. I was also impressed by the size of these stages. Sure, you can find the fastest way to the exit, but if you look around, you'll find a whole bunch of completely optional rooms worth exploring.

Cally's Caves 4 (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The problem is that none of this is especially difficult. The game starts off easy and never ramps up the challenge. In fact, there's a case to be made that it only gets easier as you level up Cally and her many weapons. There came a point where I wasn't that worried about taking damage, since there are health pick-ups everywhere and I had already purchased a power that replenishes the health gauge every few seconds. With little worry of dying, I found the last few stages to be a bit of a snooze.

I also wish that there was something unique and defining about Cally's Caves 4. Yes, this is a great playing action/platformer that gets all the fundamentals right, but it doesn't really strive to do anything new or groundbreaking. It's hard to be too disappointed with a game executed this well, but it's straight-forward to a fault. It's just a fun action game; nothing more, nothing less.

You don't need to have played the first three games to enjoy Cally's Caves 4. This delightful new run 'n gun shoot 'em up has a great look, responsive gameplay, nearly a dozen fun boss fights and all kinds of hidden rooms to unearth. And while you've seen a lot of these ideas before, there's enough depth, charm and content to make this sequel worth playing. I'm suddenly excited to see what happens in Cally's Caves 5.
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