Cavern of Dreams - Switch Review

"I could have shut my eyes and been transported back to the late 90s/early 2000s."

Cavern of Dreams - Switch Review
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Welcome to the Cavern of Dreams! Call them what you like; collectathons, Nintendo 64 platformers, 3D platformers… But if you look past the usual AAA fanbases, there’s a whole host of gamers (myself included) clamouring for games that hark back to the good old days. There’s something strangely therapeutic about collecting a finite amount of items, all the while jumping, swimming and flying around rich 3D environments. If that’s not the essence of video gaming, then I don’t know what is!

Cavern of Dreams, by solo-developer Bynine Studio, is the latest indie game to attempt to capture the essence of Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie and Donkey Kong 64; Rare’s timeless trilogy of games from the turn of the 21st century that popularised and immortalised the ‘collectathon’ genre. Will Cavern of Dreams be a hit or a miss when standing up against its illustrious predecessors?

The Good

I can happily say that Cavern of Dreams certainly gets a lot closer to hitting those heights compared to some other similar games I’ve reviewed. In Cavern of Dreams, you play as Fynn, a small dragon. As is par for the course, Fynn starts with pretty basic jumping skills, but as you collect more of his siblings (hidden in little eggs), you then start to unlock new abilities from the Sage, who is a friendly witch-like character chilling back in the hub world. The hub world serves as the home of Fynn, and from there, you slowly unlock new avenues to explore with the more abilities that you unlock from Sage. Each new avenue in the hub will lead to a separate world, each more colourful and expansive than the last. Cavern of Dreams certainly looks like a Nintendo 64 platformer, which isn’t a bad thing; the colours and textures really pop, and the environmental variety is impressive for such a small-budgeted game.

Speaking of ambition, another pleasant surprise in Cavern of Dreams was the level design of each world you explore. Some worlds have mechanics whereby you can completely alter the orientation; for example, one early world has buttons that, if you jump on them, the whole world pivots 45 degrees left and right on a horizontal axis. The gameplay is pretty similar to how the Divine Beasts work in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but, of course, on a much smaller scale. Having these elements takes exploration and puzzle solving to a whole new level (literally) and is great fun.

As the genre name suggests, if you like collecting, then Cavern of Dreams is the place for you! Each world (and the hub) has the aforementioned eggs to collect (think jiggies in Banjo Kazooie), lots of little mushrooms (think the music notes in Banjo Kazooie), plus a load of books that are the hardest to find collectable and unlock additional content (concept art, etc.). If that sounds like your sort of thing, then you’ll really enjoy tracking down that last egg or those last couple of mushrooms. Some of the collectables are hidden away in devious locations, which keeps the challenge high and the replayability plentiful.


  • Really nails the Nintendo 64 aesthetic
  • Ambitious level design
  • True to its collectathon routes

The Bad

There honestly isn’t a whole lot to moan about in Cavern of Dreams. Unusually for a game of this genre, I did find the soundtrack quite forgettable. It wasn’t bad per se; I just didn’t have any of the tunes stuck in my head like one normally would when playing a game like this.

Some of the platforming in Cavern of Dreams can also be quite tricky, and it takes a while to get used to the jumping. I found it a little unresponsive at first, but you learn to adapt. Fortunately, the camera is quite pragmatic and helps significantly with tricky platforming sections.

Lastly, there’s no in-game map in Cavern of Dreams, not even for the hub world. That doesn’t necessarily hamper things because it’s not exactly a labyrinth, but the inclusion of one would really have enhanced the experience and also would have assisted with tracking down some of those tricky-to-find collectibles.


  • Soundtrack is decent but forgettable
  • Jumping felt a bit unresponsive
  • No in-game map

Final Score: 8/10

While playing Cavern of Dreams, I could have shut my eyes and been transported back to the late 90s/early 2000s. It’s Friday night, I’ve got a stuffed crust pizza from the local supermarket, I’ve just finished watching Robot Wars and it’s time to go upstairs and play Banjo Kazooie… OK, maybe Cavern of Dreams doesn’t quite hit the same heights, but it’s arguably the best collectathon I’ve played on the Nintendo Switch in the six years since Yooka Laylee came out.

All-in-all if you love collectathons, play Cavern of Dreams!

Thank you for checking out our Cavern of Dreams Switch review, thank you to Super Rare Games for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: