Jump, die, fall, die, swing, die, grab, die, walk, die, whip, die, die, die. In Mossmouth’s indie platformer Spelunky players will be greeted by a bucket load of death and dying in one of the most difficult games to come to the PS4.
As part of October’s PS Plus line-up, Spelunky was one of the most fun and dangerous of the three games that came to the PS4. Players find themselves as a set of different explorers, with a selection of characters, the most common being an Indian Jones inspired Mario. The aim of the these brave explorers is to brave the randomly generated forests and mines to come out very, very rich; but unbeknownst to the explorers a curse lies on the mines, meaning that no mine will ever be the same.
There is some hope however, each stage has four levels, the first being the mines. At the end of each stage you come across The Tunnel Man, a helpful friend who can build shortcuts to later stages of the game. However this can become frustrating. You have to give him items three times to unlock the shortcut to the next stage, and let me tell you that it’s incredibly difficult to even get past the first couple of levels. Anything that you can interact with in this game can kill you. You have a pitiful four hearts to take with you throughout the stages, however you can gain an extra heart from manhandling a blonde damsel in distress and taking her to the next part of the level. How she got in the mines I’ll never know, but that’s blondes for you. (I am in fact blonde before you jump on the judgemental band wagon).
So what mechanics can you expect in the game? Well it’s all randomly generated, from skeleton bots that are locked onto destroying you and your hearts to a shrine to Gods that you best not destroy because if you do, well see the opening sentence to this review. Not to mention there’s a shop were players can buy and look at items that can modify their gameplay, from a parachute to climbing gloves that can you let you grab onto literally anything. But don’t destroy the shop or you’ll feel the wrath of the angry shotgun wielding shopkeeper who is an absolute bast***. He may as well be called a shotkeeper, *cough sorry.
The multiplayer is were the game truly shines, by having more explorers with you, you can work together to save all your hearts and gain access to the later stages easier. However if one of your fellow explorers dies, then they come back as a ghost that can interact with the environment but at the same time is incredibly boring for those who die. As well as this your screen isn’t split into four segments as one might think but is locked on the first player, so it’s too easy to loose track of your fellow explorers whilst they jump and die off screen.
Overall, the game makes a good stab at improving the randomly generated dungeon system but at the same time has several flaws that need addressing in any updates to come.
Already have the game? Let us know what you think!