Spelunky: Review

I am not a fan of rogue like games. I find them far too frustrating. And while the classification of Spelunky as a rogue like title may be a little tenuous, its punishing dynamics fit the bill perfectly. So why is it, then, that I cannot put it down ?

The premise behind Spelunky is that an Arabian guide brings an explorer to a bunch of Mayan ruins hidden in the desert. OK, so the setting Is pretty messed, but it stops being important after around 30 seconds. The explorer gets trapped within the ever shifting walls of these ruins, and simply has to survive the journey through them. It sounds simple enough, and if all you did was just that, it would be fine.

But the developers behind this torturous little gem know what makes gamers tick, and by adding damsels to rescue, treasure to gather, enemies to fight and random underground shops to visit, the temptation to spend more time in a level than necessary is never far off.

And if you die, you go back to the start.

And you will die. A lot. Sometimes so cheaply it feels like you’re in the bargain basement of death. See, the randomised nature of the game means that traps and pitfalls are often so directly and brutally arrayed in your path that death, quite frankly, is inevitable. At least rescuing damsels restored some life after each level, but even that can be a daunting task.

Spelunky is frustratingly fantastic. It’s a simple, extremely addictive title that is well worth the effort if you’re going to be able to keep calm playing it. Online leader boards adds a little competition to the deal, too.

8/10

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