Spelunky is an open source indie platform video game created by Derek Yu and released as freeware for Microsoft Windows. It was remade for the Xbox 360 in 2012, with ports to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and then back to Microsoft Windows. The player controls a spelunker who explores a series of caves while collecting treasure, saving damsels, fighting enemies and dodging traps. The caves are procedurally generated, making each run through the game unique. Spelunky is one of the first examples of a roguelike-like, borrowing concepts from the roguelike genre, and was the influence for many later roguelike-like games.
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Spelunky is possibly the best and worst experience I've had in my life. It is psychological torture as I get close to the end--to get to the end or unlock Hell, only to die by something I couldn't see coming by "terrible decisions" my brain says. You will start to doubt yourself in this hellish game, questioning every move you make to ask 'is this worth it' when you start to make those plays such as angering the shopkeeper or making a dangerous trek through enemies when you could've just bombed to the exit. When I kept dying, I always bickered to myself that I should've done [X], kept [Y], went to [Z], and so forth. I said so many 'should've' and 'could've' in my thoughts I was starting to think this game drove me crazy. The game itself is probably the best platformer I've played no doubt. The design in this game is fantastic for constant repeatability, if the generated levels and enemies weren't placed to be grueling. I hate the bats, the snakes, the yetis, the anubises, the mummies, and every enemy I could try to remember. Oh, and fuck the dark levels--god the dark levels. You might as well reset the game because you will have a high chance to die or throw away that item you kept so preciously close to you. There will always be risks and rewards, but very high risks that you must conquer with skill. Am I saying this game this bad? Absolutely not, Spelunky is a blast and has great game design. Is this game easy to pick up? No. There will be a lot of trial and error when encountering new levels and your platforming as well with your quick decision making decides if you're going to be alive. Every death left me either laughing or pissed. Do I recommend anyone this game? No, oh no way. Unless you're looking for a way to have your self esteem destroyed, don't play this unless you know what you're getting yourself into.
I think the aim of the game is to get better so you can see more of the content, but given the game's borderline unfair difficulty sometimes, it's really hard to do that. Still, as an adventure lover, I really love going through these procedurally generated caves, and the gameplay is very solid.
Spelunky feels unique in that, whilst being a multiple floor dungeon run type of roguelike, it surpasses the average game of the genre by having a lot of variables in it (and i don't mean potion effects). There's different variants of levels, different types of levels you can access on each floor...SECRETS! The game is built on secrets! What seems at first to be maybe a simple but fun indiana jones simulator turns into a game that has a lot more depth than you first thought. The world of Spelunky is always interesting and dynamic and for that I have to give it a buttload of credit cus it's what makes this game timeless and replayable even 7 years after first playing it.