Weak and Powerless –
Countless platformers have been created since videogames were born but Spelunker is in a category of its own. The graphics are terrible, the soundtrack quickly gets annoying, and is one of the most frustratingly difficult games of all time; you cannot even survive your own jumps! This recipe should spell complete disaster. However, Spelunker pretty much has that “it’s so bad it’s good” mentality behind it. Nostalgia can also be a factor in the amount of enjoyment that is generated as well.
For more details on Spelunker, check out my review of the PSN remake as it is basically this NES game but with optional updated 3D graphics, online support, and additional DLC.
Spelunker hates you. In fact, this game hates everything about you and does not want you to win. But herein is the charm. The brutal difficulty urges that “just one more try,” gameplay mentality for those gamers who are persistence with a high sense of tenacity. Because the difficulty rating is so tremendously high, most gamers will probably rage quit before the first stage is completed. However, dedicated gamers will find a sense of satisfaction that is only equaled by other difficult games like Battletoads and Demon’s Souls. In short, you will feel like a rockstar with each stage that is completed. The game is difficult but rarely feels cheap. If you fail it is because you didn’t platform exactly right. Top notch skill is required to complete what should be the most basic of tasks, like climbing a rope or jumping to the next platform. Luck plays no part in Spelunker. But at the same time, taking advantage of the Virtual Console’s save state feature is most welcomed in a difficult game like this.
Spelunker is not for everyone but those willing to stay with it will experience something few games can offer. You have been warned. Also available on Wii U Virtual Console. $4.99.
Better Than: finding an old copy on NES
Also Check Out: Spelunky (XBLA)
Wait For It: Spelunker 2: The Revenge
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief of myGamer.com