Hi all, happy late Halloween! See any gamer costumes? We had three Slendermen. *Shudder*
For the last couple of days, I’ve been hooked on a game, which is something that doesn’t happen too often. In fact, the last time I was this obsessed with a video game was Fallout 3 (read the review here). This time I’ve fallen in love not with a beautiful RPG, but a charming, quirky and may I add – incredibly difficult – platformer. It’s name? Spelunky.
Blending beautiful Snes era graphics with randomized leveling and the thrill of gaining high scores just like arcade games of old, I couldn’t recommend this game more. And best of all, it’s free! Thank you, Derek Yu.
Really your opinion on the game’s graphics depends on you. Some, used to modern day lifelike games such as Uncharted and Battlefield may see Spelunky as too far a downgrade. However, Nes and Snes lovers (and indeed most gamers at heart) will be able to appreciate Spelunky’s style for what it is. It’s charming and retro; every model and object easily recognizable, with unique appearances.
Enemies are varied, with your opponents ranging from killer fish to deranged cavemen. Environments have completely different aesthetics, although good luck plunging deep enough to see them. My only complaint would be that weapon models, such as the bow and gun, feel of a lower quality than the rest of the game.
Oh man is this game addictive. Your goal is to delve as deep down as possible, gathering as much treasure as possible. Saving ladies will restore health, and shotgun toting shopkeepers will sell useful items and brutal weapons at exorbitant prices. Yes, there is an end to the game, but getting the high score is the true goal here.
Enemies all have different attack patterns, with floating bats and roof dropping spiders along with a myriad of others. Each can be taken down, and easily too, but each can just as easily take you down. Make no mistake, this game is brutally hard. You start with four life points, and most traps and foes remove more than one hit point with each attack.
Our adventurer isn’t entirely helpless, however. Armed with a whip, he can lash out at those hostile. His bombs allow him to blow up his way to treasure, or away from trouble. Deployable ropes allow him to scale up and down to unreachable heights and plummeting depths.
Tracking the amount of times you die, you’ll amaze yourself when this score numbers the hundreds. This game is truly a ‘just one more go’ type of game.
Story wise, you’re not getting much out of this game. The game opens with a cryptic message, then sends you spelunking into the depths. I haven’t finished the game as of yet, although if I ever manage it, I will be sure to report whether or not there is any sort of arc here.
For now, I make my own stories. Spelunky randomizes each level, and so every time I enter the first doorway I begin a new adventure. Who knows what I’ll find? I’ve been dropped into snake pits, and I’ve walked along ruby studded floors. You never know exactly what will be found down in the depths.
Spelunky is a game that any platformer and rougelike lover should play. It will provide hours of entertainment, with absolutely no lag, and no price tag. Here’s a link to the website where it can be downloaded. I highly recommend it to all gamers.
GAME PLAY: 10/10
Overall: 21 / 30 (Really good).