• Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
  • £
  • Login
    X


    Register | Password reset

Spelunky Review


I have battled King Allant in Demons Souls and ventured beyond the Mario’s Lost Levels but nothing has prepared me for Spelunky, one of the simplest and most punishing platform games I have ever played.

However, like the previously mentioned games, though punishing, it is also extremely satisfying when it all comes together. In Spelunky you play as an unnamed explorer, following many other great explorers into a strange and mysterious cavern with the hopes of ransacking all of its gold and jewels and maybe find the mysterious treasure that lies deep within its dark recesses.

Though the journey is perilous our spelunking adventurer starts off with some lifesaving essential tools with a handful of bombs, a few ropes and a whip, each of which will help in navigating these caves with bombs able to blow up anything, including the scenery, ropes that can be thrown up to access otherwise inaccessible ledges and the trusty whip to ward off the many evils that lurk. Presented as a classic 2D platformer, Spelunky heavily relies on crucially timed jumps and runs to get around, with even ledge grabs saving your skin on many occasions.

The aim of each cave is quite simple, just make it to the bottom and find the next exit, sadly each cave is just riddled with traps and monsters. Bats and spiders drop from the ceilings, snakes slide and spit at you, abominable snowmen send you flying and even aliens will appear and try to blow you up. The caves themselves are just as dangerous, with long drops, arrow traps, lava and spikes to name just a few of the hazards that will take your life.

It is safe to say that you will die an awful lot in this game, which thankfully down to the great game design does not grate, even though each death is often jarring and wipes you not only of all of your wealth but also your progress, it becomes a rather extreme learning experience. Spelunky does not necessarily break the rules of platforming games, but it certainly rewrites them with the randomly generating level design. The days where you always knew the route or can name the exact spot a monster bursts out from are long gone, now every step is a new one, the many deaths that occurred before are just painful reminders at just how accustomed to the old ways you were. But somehow, jump by jump, death after death, you gradually make it. I’m not talking about completing the game in one play, far from it, but gradually you start to unlock the games many well implemented and helpful boosts. You may come across a damsel (or dog) in distress, whereby carrying them to the exit will grant you with extra health, or how about sacrificing them to Kali? As well as jewels there are also chests scattered around the caves, some offering more wealth, others vital top ups of you equipment, or if you are feeling flash with the cash, track down a shopkeeper to purchase some of the many items on offer like jetpacks, a compass, a camera with a very strong flash and even some more classic weapons like a shotgun or machete. Getting from start to finish in each cave can be relatively quick, I am talking seconds if you are headstrong and do not mind a few hits from enemies or long falls, however taking your time (not too long mind) will bear many more fruits.

Though more accomplished players may be able to traverse the caves with ease, many of us will need a little help, which comes in the way of the very handy Mr Tunnel; that is as long as you are able to supply him with his item requests, be they bombs or rope which are easily achievable, but when he asked for a shotgun, it’s the moment with one hand you flick a middle finger at the screen and with the other you just hit the X button to start all over again, not only completing another four levels to get to him, but somehow finding a shotgun in the process, but it is enough to keep me coming back, death after death, I know I can do it, it is just a matter of time and the luck of the random level generator.

Also on the PlayStation version, thanks to the gift of cross purchase you can play as co-op and even battle against your friends, either all on the same TV screen or using separate Vita screens.

Spelunky is yet another great indie developed game that has managed to add loads of new life into the aged platform genre. A worthy addition to your collection.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS Vita)

Pros

+ Lots of in-game secrets to work out
+ Tight controls
+ Plays great on the Vita
+ Cross play and purchase
+ No level will be the same

Cons

- Can be a little too hard

Edited On 02 Sep, 2013

Comments
( 6 )
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
King Allant was easy Ash. I can't wait till I get around to playing this
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 3 years ago
Dark Souls really isn't that difficult if you know what you are doing. This reminds me of a new version of that Spelunker for the NES. Sequel or Spirital Sucessor?
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
Allant is Demon's Souls
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 3 years ago
To be honest they both kinda blurred into one title now. Neither were particularly difficult. They just are when compared to the current games on the market that hold your hand
Shoozle's avatar
Shoozle 3 years ago
Would love to pick this up but still going through my backlog trying to save some money.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
Dark Souls is easier because of the introduction of poise

Please describe the nature of the abuse: