Oh, boy. I have been wanting to write this Nindie Spotlight for so long, and yet Spelunky has only just recently released on the Nintendo Switch. This special indie title is perfectly at home on the hybrid console, but it is one of the most challenging roguelites in gaming. The reason: there are SO many ways to clear the game, and this is one that can suck up literal days/weeks/months of your life. Despite that, it is hilarious, super-fun, and an amazing experience by yourself or with friends.
My name is Jason, and this is your Nindie Spotlight for today: Spelunky!
“Spelunky is a unique platformer with randomly-generated, fully-destructible levels that offer a challenging new experience each time you play. Journey deep underground and explore fantastic places filled with all manner of monsters, traps, and treasure. You’ll have complete freedom while you navigate the fully-destructible environments and master their many secrets. To stay or flee, to kill or rescue, to shop or steal… in Spelunky, the choice is yours and so are the consequences!”
I just had to copy the game’s description and put it in here, because there is no way I can better define and describe this experience. To put it plainly, this is one of the best indie games around, and it is all because of its unique approach to the roguelite genre.
In this hilariously brutal platformer by Derek Yu, you play as an unnamed adventurer simply labeled as “the spelunker”. Over time, you begin to learn the ropes, unlock new characters, and build the confidence to get past and defeat some of the toughest and most unpredictable enemies out there. This is a game unlike any other, and it is one you will be thinking about long after you put the controller down.
All of the Paths
One thing that Spelunky gets much praise for is just how deep the game is, especially because the title first went public in 2008, way ahead of its time in regards to the genre it is placed in and the insane amount of secrets, exits, and paths it contains. This is a game about diving deep in search for gold and treasures, so the deeper you go, the greater the treasures, right?
Well, yes and yes. You see, the further you go, the more things branch out. This means that not only is every game randomly-generated and feels fresh, but every run to every different direction is randomly-generated and will forever feel fresh. Sure, over hours and hours and hours of gamplay, you will start to pick up rhythms and such, but your time cave diving will never be the same. That’s a fact.
Whether it is finding the The Haunted Castle, making your way into the alien Mother Ship, or discovering The City of Gold, there are varying paths that ignite new excitement and require differing strategies and skills to tackle.
A fantastic addition to the game is its local multiplayer. I know that does not sound so exciting with the online options nowadays, but I am a huge fan of couch co-op and Spelunky offers the kind of addictive co-op that you want to play regularly. My children are absolutely in love with the characters and causing absolute chaos.
Yes. You read that correctly. CAUSING ABSOLUTE CHAOS. That’s because, just like in the single player, you must be careful while playing with friends, as it is too easy (All too easy) to accidentally hurt and/or kill your teammates. But we all know that the sinister nature inside of us all wants to pick up your teammate and throw them at an enemy or into a spike trap. It is sacrifices like this that help at least one person get to the goal, and that is what makes this multiplayer an absolute riot.
When teammates die, they become ghosts, and they can continue to either play nicely or be a problem, as the ghosts can blow to move enemies or items around or they can blow the active player(s) off ledges to their doom to get some payback. There are a ton of variables in the game already, but the multiplayer literally multiplies those variables to make an even more entertaining and unpredictable experience.
As I am working on my Spelunky 2 review for Switch, I went back and played the original and was blown away by how much fun it still is and why it inspired Derek Yu, the creator, to make a sequel and expand the universe of the series even more.
This is truly a game that everyone needs to experience. It is a one-of-a-kind (Well, two-of-a-king if you count the sequel) game that is now available on the Switch, and it is beyond affordable at $9.99 USD. You do not need to play the original the enjoy the sequel, but it definitely the version to test the water and see if this is the kind of game for you.
For many of us, though, we cannot wait to dive back in and see what the randomness throws at us next. Spelunking never felt so good!
There is your Nindie Spotlight on Spelunky. Check back again next time for a look into another great Nindie title. What are some of your favorite Indie games? Let us know in the comments below! Thank you for visiting Nintendo Link. Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.