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There's no doubting that Spelunker has some avoidable control issues that should have been fixed, but once you've figured out the trick to overcome them there's an exquisitely designed game here that surprises you at every turn. It's chock full of ideas and the gameplay has an impressive level of depth that's way ahead of its time.
The Spelunker is animated and
moves quickly and smoothly, and there many secrets to uncover on
your journey to the bottom. However, whether you hate or love it may
depend on your appetite for punishment and your nostalgic love of
what is considered a classic of the genre.
In Spelunker, you control a little miner in an underground area loaded with tunnels, elevators, and ropes. You can jump over obstacles, climb ropes, collect items, and even blow up boulders. Colorful and detailed, Spelunker's graphics are pleasing to the eye, and the stages are so well-designed that you'll want to explore every passage. Unfortunately, the awful controls will have you throwing down your controller in frustration. The main problem is the tricky, unforgiving jumping controls. Even fallling one inch is deadly! That's a shame, because Spelunker should have been a lot of fun.
Spelunker should be a hearty cave explorer, not a 120-year-old with brittle bones. Also, three lives and you’re dead, no continues, no concessions. No thanks. A distinct gaming premise ruined by poor mechanics.