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Derek Yu, Creator of indie hit Aquaria and owner of some of the finest hair in videogaming, has returned to freeware with panache. You may remember the procedurally generated games competition run by The Independent Gaming Source (tigsource.com) from a few months back; well, this is its natural elaboration, and it's yet another Game Maker classic. Spelunky is like Indiana Jones blended with Dig Dug, with a sprinkling of Mario and Roguelike.
Cooking analogies aside, Spelunky has you bouncing an adorable little man through an almost totally destructible environment. The goal is to get as much gold as possible without dying horribly. You pull this off by jumping large gaps, whipping enemies, and throwing bombs (which destroy any terrain that the explosion hits) to grab all of the treasure. You can also use ropes to navigate the caverns, which is useful considering the amount of times you're going to fall arse-over-tit into the depths.
One thing that everyone will notice is how difficult Spelunky is. Depending on how the level is generated, you will be pestered by any number of enemies. These range from adorable little snakes and casually aggressive bats to spiders that are three times the size of you. While my arachnophobia may have made this a far bigger deal than I admit, these things seem to home in on your every move, and jump at an unnatural speed.
Spelunky is brilliant It's got a memorable score and the random content generator leads to new adventures every time. This means you really can't predict what's around the corner, or how your bomb throwing will ruin everything on each game.
This makes each game a tense thrillride (not hyperbole, we promise) as you try to whip and jump your way to the biggest profit. There's even a selection of secret challenges for experts, and Mr Yu has promised more updates in the future. So experience some excellent 8-bit platforming - we recommend it.
Spelunky is one of the most addictive games you will ever play. It is a rouge like loot a thon and once the game has you, it will never let you go! If you are one of the three people who has still yet to experience the awesomeness of Spelunky, let me tell you why you need to play this game.
Gimmie The Gold!!!
The game of Spelunky sees you playing as a daring treasure hunter who will do whatever it takes to get as much treasure as they can. The game will place you in levels that are created at random so no two playthroughs are ever the same. This also means that there is no way to go online and cheat your way through a level.
Everything Wants You Dead!
There is lots of gold, idols, gems and so on to be found in each level, but good luck getting them. You see there are traps, pits and a lot of wildlife that all want you dead. Actually, apart from the people and animals that you can save, nothing is happy that you are in their world and they are not shy about letting you know it. Sometimes you will see a treasure and know that getting to it is super risky. Sure it looks all out in the open and safe, but you know there has to be a trap somewhere! Still, you push ahead and go for it….. and BAM you are dead. Spelunky is a game that has permadeath so if your adventurer dies you have lost everything. This forces you to think and learn as you play. You will learn to push a boulder onto spikes or drag a corpse onto a trap to set it off. Things like this make the game so much fun and also keep you on your toes the whole time you play the game. While most things will kill you, you can save animals and people. If you take them to the exit of the level you are on they will give you a reward. Of course, they are never close to the exit so there is always a risk that you could die trying to save them!
Swinging and Shooting
The core gameplay of Spelunky is like a classic platforming game. You can jump, shoot, climb and so on. You only have a limited number of resources though and the shopkeepers in this game can be pretty crazy with their prices. This makes you think before you use something. Sure I could use a rope here, but I might be better trying to platform my way down and save the rope for later. Spelunky is designed very well, so well that if you find yourself stuck it is because of something you did. There is always a way out and it is up to you to figure it out. This can sometimes be frustrating, but you feel like a mix of Indiana Jones and Batman when you do figure it out. The level design is random, but to keep things, even more, interesting you go from a cavern to a jungle to an ice cave and everything in between. The retro style graphics are awesome and just help add to the games overall charm.
Despite having a cute and charming design Spelunky is one very challenging game. It is challenging, but it is also fair and a heck of a lot of fun. It really is a very addictive game and one that certainly keeps you on your toes. While it can be very punishing, when you do get out of a level with a ton of loot it is awesome.
- The really cool retro art style
- The levels are randomly generated
- Controls are nice and tight
- It is a very challenging, but fair game
- The game is super addictive
- It is very punishing
- More ammo for weapons would be very welcome!