(Disclaimer: Our GWG Reviews are not a representation of a full price game from release. These opinions here are based on the game while it’s available free and levels of satisfaction are more easily granted. Our GWG series is simply a way for you to tell whether it’s worth taking up that space on your HD)
Spelunky (or How I Learned That It’s Okay To Throw Women Around But Only If There’s A Spider), once you get past the cutesy 2D graphics and simple controls and premise, is Dark Souls. I don’t doubt it’s a comparison that has been made before but I’ll be damned if it’s not accurate. It’s like Dark Souls and Trials HD had a weekend away and stayed in a cave and then after the weekend Trials HD never called Dark Souls and Dark Souls got pregnant but never quite got over the heartbreak that Trials HD caused and Dark Souls took all this out on the baby which was named Spelunky.
It’s an incredibly simple premise. You start at the entrance and you have to get to treasure at the end. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! In my first hour of playing Spelunky I didn’t get last the second stage. I have the feeling this might have been game mechanics at work though because every time I did a little bit better, or got a little closer to the fabled third stage Spelunky would throw something new at me with little to no warning. You’re pretty much inatantly thrown back to the start with a loving “You’re not gonna do that again, are ya?”, dusted off and sent back in for another try. It’s incredibly frustrating, but you’ll keep throwing yourself at it mercilessly
Spelunky isn’t a game that you’ll play every day for a month for 6 hours a fay. But you will keep coming back to it. And then one day you might even find the treasure. And when that day comes you’ll dive straight back in again to see if you can find the treasure faster this time.
The Run Down
Graphics: 8/10: The simplistic and fun look of Spelunky is perfect for the game. It makes it easily accessible for the whole family so you might find yourself utilising the 4 player local co-op so that the wife and kids can join in. It’s all so simple that they’ll dive in and just as they start getting hooked the game will start throwing real challenges at you.
Story: 3/10: To be honest there isn’t much of a story to be had here, but the game just doesn’t care. It knows you’re not here to be told a story. There is a nice little opening sequence that acts as a tutorial while outlying some atmosphere and style for the game but that’s about all you’ll get.
Sound: 6/10: The music fit in well with the game, though it was pure background noise for the most part. Occasionally you’ll accidentally anger some shopkeeper who decided to hell with the hustle and bustle of the big city and set up shop in a dangerous and deserted cave and the tempo will pick up but that’s pretty much the most variation you’ll get.
Replayability: 9/10: I had a hard time saying no to just one more go even after failing miserably for the umpteenth time. I don’t doubt that if I ever do manage to complete Spelunky I’ll keep going back for more in an attempt to do it faster or maybe even just for the sheer fun of it.
Satisfaction: 8/10: There’s a lot of something here. I’m not sure if it’s satisfaction or frustration mixed in with how easy it is to get back into a game after dying or something else entirely but I definitely had a lot of fun playing Spelunky and can only imagine it would be even more fun with some friends over.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’d say it’s definitely worth starting and just seeing how deep into it you can get. If anything it’s nice to pretend you’re Indiana Jones Jr off on his first solo run.