Coming in Time for Essen Spiel 2012 is The Cave from Rebel Games.
The Cave is a board game in which players take on the roles of speleologist teams, who are going to explore a newly discovered cave. Players start from a base and explore a cave tunnel after a tunnel, effectively building the cave (the board). They have to overcome steep descents, underworld lakes and very narrow passages. They will be given a chance to admire wonders of the underground like halls full of stalactites. To make it all possible they must take right supplies with them, like ropes, oxygen and battteries. Many times they will have to go back to the base to plan a next move and replenish resources. When the cave is fully explored, the player, who made the biggest effort in the most spectacular way, wins the game.
The game is designed by Adam Kaluza, who also designed K2 and is an experienced caver himself. He is quoted as saying “It all began when I was in high school, and one of my friends proposed a trip to explore caves. Before that trip we practiced climbing on an old tower, and descends from a viaduct. Finally I went to visit my first hole in the ground and I was hooked. It was I who organized the next trip, and I was enchanted by the underground world. I admired all the underground miracles that never cease to amaze, and I was thrilled that caves gave me a way to challenge myself, to fight fears , overcome weaknesses and experience a great adventure”.
Concerning the game, Adam says: “The idea for a Cave game is quite old, although not as old as K2. Actually I think it first came to me a couple years ago, when I already entered the world of board games. I wanted to make a game about something I experienced. I wanted to tell about squeezes and underground climbing. The first version of the game was designed quickly. I based it on tiles, resembling those in Carcassonne, because I knew and liked them. The game worked and I was proud (especially proud of the mechanics of points for exploring the cave). What was important – I liked it, it felt good and I encompassed some of my experience in it. I wanted the game to be not only playable, but also well-made and graphically pleasing”.