Spelunky is a downloadable 2D platforming rogue-like that was developed for the PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, and even PC as well. Originally developed by Derek Yu, an individual that hadn’t created any high-profile games before the success of Spelunky.
You can download Spelunky from GOG.com or Steam. To start, click on the Download link at the end of the review. You should be happy to know that the long-awaited sequel, Spelunky 2 is scheduled for 2019 release.
The game was released originally on PC in 2008, but Spelunky HD was released on the 4th July 2012 for Xbox 360 and that’s when the most popular version of the game exists, Spelunky HD, a roguelike that’s going to require you to get better and better if you ever want to complete a run fully.
Despite Spelunky being a rogue-like game where everything tends to be completely randomized each and every single run. The story in Spelunky has you taking on the role of someone like Indiana Jones, who just so happens to find themselves in some very dangerous but lucrative excavations, where pretty much everything has it out for them. In these caves, it’s your goal to collect as much gold as you can get your hands on and eventually escape with the main artifact, the Golden Idol.
Gameplay is designed to be deceptively simple. You can run left, right, jump, use bombs, and use ropes, with the use of other items whenever you may have found them. The goal for each level is to get to the door on each level, allowing you to move deeper into the caverns and further towards the end goal – to escape with the treasure.
The secondary objective of the game is to collect as much gold as you can, as that’s what makes up your score at the end of the day. Every piece of gold you acquire and spend will either add or take away from your overall score and forces you to be wary of all of your actions to maximize your score because a lot of them can get you killed.
In Spelunky, it can be incredibly easy to die and while it is frustrating, you’ll quickly learn to be more cautious with your gameplay style and learn from any and all mistakes that you’ve previously made. The addition of bombs and ropes are twofold: bombs are used to destroy the immediate land around you and even to discover secrets in some cases.
With the ropes on the other hand, they’ll be thrown directly above you and are used to traverse back up to the top of the stage, the area where you usually start most stages. While Spelunky requires you to have some patience in the beginning, it doesn’t want you to get too used to taking things slow and steady, otherwise, the ghost will spawn.
The ghost is a slow-moving entity for the remainder of the stage and will appear after two whole minutes have passed. By any chance the ghost manages to touch you, you will instantly die. The ghost is easy to outmanoeuvre, but you need to keep in mind that as soon as they arrive, your patience will quickly be tested.
Spelunky isn’t quite like anything else out on the market. It uses the solid controls that come from most metroidvanias and platformers, such as Super Mario Bros. Even though it can be brutally challenging whilst you’re getting to grips with everything, Spelunky has more than enough reasons to keep you coming back for more.
For anyone that wants a roguelike title that's going to give you more than enough to sink your teeth into, then this is the game for you. Spelunky has so much to offer and requires you to get better with every single run you play, making playing it that much more satisfying once you learn how to become that much better at the game through constant practice and enjoyment.
- Fun, addictive gameplay that'll keep you coming back for more
- Daily runs are a great competition to have with your friends
- Great looking visuals that still look good 6 years on
- Loads of secrets and nuances to discover in the game
- Can be quite difficult to start to feel like you're getting good at it
- Can be incredibly frustrating to die from one hit, all due to one small mistake