Remember when you first played a platformer game like Super Mario Bros or Commander Keen? You have beaten them so many times and realized you wish it were more challenging. Such a game like this can be brutal but easy to get into. This Spelunky Review is THAT new indie game I’ll be covering today.
What is Spelunky?
Spelunky is a platformer with Procedurally generated levels and permadeath that have been borrowed from the Roguelike genre. You play as a Spelunker who is going on an adventure down to the caves, jungle, icy caverns, and the temple level. Pretty much, the goal is to survive, collect gold, and finish the game without dying. This may sound easy from hearing about it when playing other platformers. Since Procedural Generation and Permadeath are involved dying makes you restart the game, and the levels aren’t going to be the same. Making it so that mesmerizing the level layout is not going to work out for you. Each play-through allows you to experiment with other gameplay styles as you discover more items, weapons, and different ways of completing the level. Just don’t take too long or a Ghost will come to chase you to your grave.
Even though there is permadeath involved, Spelunky has a life system and unlike having to collect a certain number of points to gain a life. You have to save a damsel in distress to gain a life. This however poses a challenge as you won’t be able to defend yourself when carrying a damsel. Even dropping the damsel will let the damsel run for help to be saved. This will cause an issue for you as there will be traps that the damsel may activate, or you accidentally killed the damsel when fighting a hostile creature like a Giant Spider.
There are a lot of hostile enemies you will encounter. Even some NPCs will be hostile when provoked like the Shopkeeper. Either steal items or try to kill the shopkeeper, if you try to kill or steal from the shopkeeper, he will head straight for you with his mighty shotgun. If lucky, you kill the shopkeeper, you gain a shotgun. However, more shopkeepers on the other levels will have a wanted poster of you, and buying things may not happen again unless you want to take the risk to fight a shopkeeper. The majority of those kinds of runs will lead you to find a hostile shopkeeper near the end of the level waiting for you.
Spelunky Classic is technically the first Spelunky game. Originally came out in 2009 as a freeware game, along with its source code so others can make mods for the game. The game is made by Derek Yu, an Indie game developer from California. He had made successful games previously and was the artist that made the graphical tile set for Chaosforge’s “Doom the Roguelike”, currently known as “DRL”. The game itself graphically looks like a classic arcade game from the NES era. While I am not really saying you should try this game based on its graphics. What is this version going to give you in return?
Well, you won’t have to pay for it. The game doesn’t require a decent computer to run the game. You will have endless amounts of playtime as the game is highly addictive. This particular version of Spelunky does come with a built-in level editor if you want to create your own levels. Share the levels with friends and see if they can face the challenge you brought onto them. There are a lot of things you can have fun with within this version of Spelunky. Whether that is playing the game, making levels, or modding the game. However, even downloading the source code will require you to own Gamemaker or unless you have Gamemaker Studio 1 which supports gmk files that the source code uses.
I have had loads of fun playing this version of Spelunky. Spending countless hours playing, learning new gameplay styles, and figuring out how I can beat the game. That’s right, I haven’t beaten the game, but I still have fun playing Spelunky. Even if I do finish the game, it will send me back as if I haven’t finished it at all. The game does have a scoring system and it will show you how many times you died and how many times you won. There are secret rooms you can unlock in the score room but even I can’t tell you what they are as that would be a spoiler. You will encounter friendly NPCs along the way to do simple tasks that won’t restart when you die.
Spelunky HD (Remake)
Not much has changed in this remake in terms of gameplay design. Visually, the game looks more like a comic book cartoon art style. While there are some differences compared to the classic game. You may not have a reason to switch but however, but you may want to read this more. The remake is made in a new game engine made specifically for Spelunky HD. The HD version comes with a Multiplayer in the form of a shared screen coop and shared screen deathmatch.
The HD remake does offer more content in the form of more playable explorers. Some of the explorers can be found in coffins or secret levels within a level. The HD remake does come with a journal so you can keep your progress on what you have discovered. This version does offer better parts of the game such as making the area dark which will allow you to use torches. In the Classic, you will be given a box full of torches but the levels themselves won’t be dark. The HD Remake doesn’t come with a level editor or official modding tools like the Classic version. However, the community has made some unofficial modding tools for the HD Remake.
Spelunky Review: Conclusion
Spelunky in itself is a very fun game. You will have many different playthroughs that will allow you to experiment with the mechanics of the game. Even if the game sounds hard to beat. but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. Games like Spelunky encourage replayability even if it means you didn’t complete the game on the first try. Whether you play the Classic or HD Remake. It is up to you to decide what is best for you.
This review was brought to you by one of our community members at Full Tech.