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 Maid_san's Caving Adventure (PC) artwork

Maid_san's Caving Adventure (PC) review


"A flimsy, fetishy puzzle-platformer, maid in Japan."


The Maid_san’s Caving Adventure. As the kids say these days, I can’t even. But that’s the name of this game, starring Ai, who is a maid, oddly enough, decked out in an old fashioned maid get-up, all set for adventuring in… caves. Some underground areas will be ice-themed, some pyramid-y-themed, some industrial-themed. Ai will even see daylight, eventually. But caves are where the heart is. Who knows why she’s there, or why she thought her attire would make for practical spelunking gear? Ai don’t. But she’s got twenty-four levels of rudimentary platforming with light puzzle elements ahead of her, so dust off your controller (see what I did there?) and help her out already.

Since there’s no story that I can discern, we’ll get right down to the nitty-gritty. Your goal is simple; in each level, move rightward and scour the tunnels (I promise that won’t be the last one) to find the exit. You’ll want to do so quickly, while limiting steps, squats, jumps, sneezes and trembling (yes, sneezes and trembling – more on these later); and while collecting as many stars for points/time bonuses and alerting as few enemies as you can. All these criteria factor into your grade at the end of the level, so unless you like the letter grade “D,” you’ll work hard to achieve a clean run.

 Maid_san's Caving Adventure (PC) image

While there are maid-tasering motion sensor plants and maid-impaling spear traps to impede your progress, the main antagonists in this story are the cave-dwelling trolls called Benar. Benar have atrocious posture (I know posterior pelvic tilt when I see it), and they brandish clubs while patrolling platforms just looking to bop our heroine on the head. And her only defense?

Trembling.

Because the best offense is cowardice, said someone once. If Ai cowers on her knees in the fetal position long enough, any Benar alerted to her presence due to your carelessness will have forgotten about her and continued about their busy days of hard trolling. But every moment you continue cowering your field of view shrinks and the rest of the screen goes black; it’s not a sustainable response to danger. Once a Benar’s back is turned and he’s resumed pacing his small strip of terrain, you’d be wise to make your clean getaway.

 Maid_san's Caving Adventure (PC) image

Underground swamps complicate matters somewhat – some are shallow and some deep. Obviously trembling underwater will lead to death by drowning. Actually, any significant time spent underwater in any position will lead to drowning. But what you didn’t know was that the time spent submerged would also lead to sneezing. Sneezing is bad because you’re temporarily immobilized when you’re doing it, and the noise it makes alerts nearby Benar. Some Benar are crafty enough to smoke cigarettes while out on patrol, serving the dual purpose of getting their fix, and sussing you out. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Clearly, the game’s name is a quirky translation issue, but sadly, that wasn't the only thing lost in translation. Someone thought Maid_san would make a solid Steam entry, and that someone was wrong. Maid_san would work well enough as a mildly enjoyable distraction on a mobile platform; I know I could see myself putting an apron on before heading to the toilet – but cell phone time wasters inherently have a much lower bar for holding our attention. If I actually sit down to my PC with the intention of playing a videogame, I expect more. And at first blush, it looks like the ‘more’ on offer might be provided cheaply with fan service, but perhaps unfortunately, there’s nothing dirty about Maid_san. And there’s nothing worthwhile about it either.

2/5

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (October 12, 2017)

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espiga posted October 12, 2017:

To be fair, Maid_san probably does like the letter D.

If you know what I mean.

I'll see myself out.
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honestgamer posted October 13, 2017:

This game is also available on Xbox Live as an indie title. Or at least, it was available for Xbox 360 as part of that program. I think that stopped being the case a few days ago. I suspect that when Microsoft announced it would stop selling the hundreds upon hundreds of indie games, this game was localized by its developer so it could remain available for historical purposes. Or something. Anyway, I bought my digital copy on Xbox 360 before that happened, so I don't need the Steam version. That's doubly true, since this review makes it clear the game isn't all that good in the first place.
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Masters posted October 24, 2017:

Espiga -- I didn't know you were still around!

Jason -- did you ever play your 360 version?

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