- Spelunky (2009 on Windows, 2011 on Macintosh)
Description official description
This is a remake of the original Spelunky. Besides the updated graphics (which grant the often used title Spelunky HD), this release includes new enemies, music, areas, terrain, items and 11 new playable characters. It also includes a local 4-players co-op mode and a deathmatch mode. The controls were redesigned specifically to be played with a gamepad.
Besides the new content mentioned there are some small differences between releases. The Steam and PSN releases feature a Daily Challenge Mode in which players compete all in the same daily generated cave. The PSN version also has movement freedom in co-op mode as players don't share the same screen.
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 85% (based on 22 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)
+ Run button is RT. Jump button is A. This is amazing because it's exactly the same as the 2010 indie platformer classic Super Meat Boy. I think Meat Boy actually defined a standard here, and other X360 platformers are proud to follow this standard.
The B button is for Bombs. Intuitive.
The Y button is for Ropes. Also intuitive because this is the triangle button on PS3, and you generally use the Rope to go up.
The name "Spelunky" has the letter "SP", which is close to "SU", which makes it sit right next to Super Meat Boy in my XBLA menu.
As a matter of fact, I regularly play Super Meat Boy and Spelunky one after the other. They are the most played XBLA games in my collection right now.
Game programming, design and arts are done by just two men (mostly just Derek Yu). It's one of those "one-man indie games", Braid, Cave Story, and you can feel that Spelunky has a very unified design and all the pieces fit together very well.
Spelunky was one of the inspirations behind the hit sandbox game and one of the best games ever made, Terraria. No, seriously, Terraria is so awesome, anything that contributed to its success also gets bragging rights.
(The list doesn't end) Spelunky was also one of the Souls-like games that came out just a year before the original Demon's Souls. Now Spelunky is often regarded as the Dark Souls of platformers. It is certainly the biggest reason why I started playing, and keep playing Dark Souls, and that's a huge achievement right there.
The HD version (much better graphics than the 2008 original) came out on the Xbox 360 one year earlier than other platforms. If you look up Spelunky on YouTube, the Xbox 360 version is the one most people play. I have never seen any YouTube video that plays this on the PlayStation 3. (Xbox rules.)
Speaking of graphics, Spelunky XBLA version is amazing! To be honest, if I have a friend coming over and I wanna show them good graphics, I don't pick BioShock Infinite or Forza Horizon 2 (although they look great too). My pick would be Spelunky. Not only are the graphics awesome, colorful, and have a LOT of variety, but more importantly, they allow you to see what's going on in the level effortlessly. In most levels, enemies and traps will never "blend in" and look like something else. In the Temple and certain secret levels though, traps can look like walls, making them hard to avoid, but by the time you get to the Temple, your skill is good enough so it's less of a problem.
Even in dark levels, the graphics are clear enough so that a skilled player can generally see the level layout. (Adjust the brightness in the game menu.)
I always rob the shop with the Freeze Ray in that shop, and grab the Shotgun and loads of bombs. Nothing feels better than having 30+ bombs in a Spelunky run and just bomb everything you don't like. This is good gameplay.
The Spelunky spirit is a lot like "We only live once, get the most out of it". Everything you collected and progress you made in one Spelunky run will only exist in that run. When you die, everything is gone. You never know when you're gonna die, so you use them whenever you can. If I have 30 bombs, I will throw 10 bombs just to kill one enemy. If he is still not dead, I throw some more. I feel alive.
The best item in Spelunky? Most people on YouTube say the Jetpack. I disagree. The Jetpack is good, but it still gets me killed in certain situations. The Compass is the biggest life saver (always points to the level exit) and helped me on COUNTLESS runs, truly the best friend a Spelunker can have.
You can start a co-op game (you just need two controllers, no need for a second person), carry the second player to the Kali Altar and sacrifice them. Find a princess in the same level and sacrifice her too. You get an achievement. It's a sweet little trick that brings a smile to my face.
If you look up the article List of video games notable for speedrunning on Wikipedia, you get a total of seven mentions. Doom, Quake, Super Metroid, yeah those are familiar classics, no doubt about that. However, one of these seven games is Spelunky. I just found this amazing. A game that came out just a few years ago is already in the Speedrunning Hall of Fame along with Super Metroid. (I know it's probably just one fan really eager to put it in the article, but still...)
Lots of people say Spelunky is perfectly designed and executed. It's hard to find any flaws. For once I actually agree. I've spent many many hours Spelunking and have enjoyed myself every time I play it. But if I could change just one thing, this would be it.
- The X button. Remember the Gears of War games? In those games, running and taking cover (note that they are two completely different, unrelated moves) share the same button - the A button. Many players found this to be a strange design, hard to get used to, and there is almost no other action game that does this.
Until you play Spelunky.
The X button in Spelunky (not the PC version, the X button on the Xbox 360) has at least four different moves mapped to it. You swing your whip - X button. Throw things around - X button. Pick up something on the ground - Down+X button. Shoot your weapon - X button. Use the teleporter device - X button. (There are more, but these are pretty much the most common uses.)
One major problem is that, when you're carrying something that you press the X button to use (such as the Shotgun), you can't throw it. This breaks the unified design, because you can throw pretty much everything else. There are practical situations where you want to throw the Shotgun. So I think, why not split some of the functions to another button?
When you're carrying anything, ANYTHING, you cannot attack with your whip. What? The character has two hands I suppose? I mean, in almost any other action game, you can melee attack when you're carrying a weapon. Just saying.
Aiming your throw is another problem. After hours and hours of practice, I can generally throw things so that they hit exactly what I'm trying to hit. But new players have a long way to go before they come close to this skill level. I think some kind of aiming system (another button to aim, show you the trajectory, X to throw) would be very much appreciated in Spelunky.
- The Down+B button (aka the Sticky Bombs).
Much like the X button, the Down+B button is another nuisance in the control scheme.
People on YouTube say Sticky Bombs are essential for a good run. But I still don't know how to throw these bombs. It's very hard to throw them so that they stick to the appropriate surface or enemy. The "Down+B" button in Spelunky will throw the bomb diagonally down, but in the case of Sticky Bombs, it just sticks to the block you're standing next to (and kills you when it explodes). This is not good control. Like I said, a good aiming system is important. There's a lot of potential in the Sticky Bombs and other items in Spelunky, but their full potential is only realized when you can aim reliably.
The Bottom Line
Just wanna stress that the randomized dungeons and colorful graphics inspired Terraria, and the learning curve and great sense of challenge inspired ME to play Dark Souls. Highly influential and one of the most beloved game of the seventh generation.
Xbox 360 · by Pagen HD (145) · 2016
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Game added by chirinea.
Game added January 8th, 2014. Last modified August 25th, 2023.