Finding simple games that are incredibly addicting are a rare find nowadays. Spelunky is exactly that, and is a co-op platformers dream. Boasting wonderful graphics, rage-filled addictive gameplay, and one hell of a multiplayer mode, Spelunky is sure to be the life of the party co-op or PVP, or the bane of your existence as you try to reach the very last stage.
Simple. A rather short, comprehensive tutorial (and one that's replayable for your newbie friends), that leaves most of the game elements up to you to discover to your excitement and chagrin. Completed levels leave you very satisfied, and you'll throw your hands up in determined anger when you see the next level.
The main "puzzle" aspect of this game is just one that all platforms feature. "How do I get to the end of this level with the most loot and the least damage sustained?" Doesn't take much brainpower, but your head will be tested at the thought of loot vs. safety vs. time. (That pesky ghost comes after you if you take too long on a level.)
So tempting to get all the money, but it's not without its punishment to the unskilled player. Even skilled players will have trouble completing a level with every bit of loot on a floor. Between the time-limit ghost, and the many monsters and traps guarding the gems, coins, and golden idols, you'll want to just lie down in your pile of gold between levels. If only life were that satisfying.
Such an easy game, but you're guaranteed to find yourself carelessly falling into a trap (or even more painful, the abyss) or into the gaping maw of a monster. You'll slip your trigger finger and attack the shop keeper, and be sentenced to his floor-by-floor punishment that could easily kill you if you're not careful. This game is so tempting with its simplicity and easy mechanics, but death is always right around the corner. Along with you, the player, shouting "One more round!!"
Nothing fancy about this platformer's controls. And if you're not happy with it, the game allows you to easily remap every button. It even changes the on-screen button cues if you ever forget what you assigned.
Trading cards aplenty. You want 'em? Spelunky's got 'em.
When you wanna make friends or enemies, Spelunky will easily triple the amount of play time you spend sinking lower and lower into the earth's surface. Fighting for treasure, kills, or who gets to save the damsel, finishing levels just became that much more satisfying.
Of course, when you're done playing nicely, you can settle your differences in the game's highly customizable deathmatch mode. With unlockable characters and maps, and all kinds of alternative rules, there's so many game options available. One heart, knives only? Or perhaps full health with ninety-nine bombs? The possibilities are about as endless as the deaths.
The "Co-op" mode doesn't exactly encourage teamwork. But you're going to have to if you expect to make it to the next level. Communication is key as you help each other disarm traps or kill enemies, but we all know you're really in it to take all the treasure for yourself.
Spelunky's Deathmatch might just be the ultimate party game. All kinds of customizable rules, including health, number of bombs and ropes, and what weapons/items are allowed, Spelunky will fit any player's personas, and is guaranteed to encourage all kinds of brawls both on and off screen.
It has all the replayability you can expect from a grade-A roguelike game. Whether you're up at 2:00 AM in the jungles trying to kill the tikis, or trying to reach the high score on the leaderboards by beating away your so-called friends, Spelunky will keep all kinds of gamers occupied for hours, days, or even weeks at a time.
Spelunky is rounded out with cute character graphics, creepy monsters, and beautiful backdrops and settings.
Spelunky's soundtrack is without a doubt, the best music to accompany any cave explorer. With genres ranging from funky and poppy, to gloomy and doomy, Spelunky's soundtrack will put you right in the moment as you're being impaled by an arrow.
Okay, so roguelike games set in a cave are kind of cliche. There's not much of a story behind the game either, but the game is so damned good anyway, you're likely to forget it anyhow.
Even when it's not on sale, Spelunky is very much worth every penny. You'll spend weeks trying to reach the final level, not to mention the countless good times to be had with multiplayer. If you purchase Spelunky, be prepared to be in it for the long haul!
Spelunky is an essential addition to any platform lover's library, and could very well be the staple at game night. So much to see and do underground, you'll wonder why you'd ever want to reach the surface again. Expect that at that moment you'll pick up a coin and get killed by a spider. Don't throw the controller.
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