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Spelunky is an incredible procedurally generated platformer that sees you travelling further and further underground in an attempt to find valuable treasures.
The gameplay feels like a modern day Mario-esque platformer in levels lifted from Indiana Jones. You control an explorer who is trying to find the secrets of a tomb. Every time you play the game the levels are created uniquely for you and that play through can never be repeated again. That means that when you make a mistake you don’t get to go back in time to a previous save to try it again.
Despite the levels being procedurally generated they are structured. The levels are all themed and that theme is attached to 4 levels in a group, once those 4 levels are completed you move onto the next theme. Those themes in order are Mines, Jungle, Ice, Temple and Hell. Within these themes there are also hidden extras and some clever level design ideas.
As an explorer you have a whip to protect yourself from creatures in the tomb, bombs to create paths and ropes to allow you to climb out of sticky situations. As you explore the depths of the caverns you will come across extra items and at times may find shops to buy them. These items range from spectacles that let you find hidden treasures to freeze guns.
The platforming controls are incredibly tight and despite death always feeling incredibly close at all times I have rarely felt cheated by a death. Whenever I have passed away (a very, very frequent event when I’m playing) it has felt fair and I have seen where I have been at fault.
The graphics are cartoony and cute, displaying all of the information that you need to know to play in an easy to read fashion. The characters, levels and menus are all incredibly well presented and are a joy to watch as you play.
As well as the traditional style of play there is also a hilarious multiplayer deathmatch mode and a stunning Daily Challenge that allows for players around the world to compete on the exact same levels to see who can get the furthest and find the most treasure.
The real star of Spelunky, as with most successful indie titles is it’s superb single player, addictive gameplay. Spelunky begs to be played again and again as every death makes you feel like you’ve learnt a little something new. You can’t help but convince yourself that on your next run you’ll get further than your last.
The procedurally generated levels allow for infinite replayability.
The gameplay is easy to pick up but incredibly difficult to master.
The Daily Challenge Mode.
It is quick to get into and get playing.
Erm… Can’t think of any!
This is an absolutely outstanding platform game that everyone should try.