Spelunky Review

can you rescue the damsels from the spikes?

Spelunky Review

History of Spelunky
Are you ready to dig through this review and fight some snakes? Spelunky is a game that has been around for a long time, the first version of Spelunky has been on the internet since 2008. I even remember playing it way back then but it took me a while before my mind made the connection. If you want to label Spelunky you could call it a roguelike with exploration elements. You could also call Spelunky the father of the roguelike genre and the inspiration for many of those games. Spelunky did not have that label back in 2008 but if you look at it now you can clearly see that it is a roguelike game. How did Spelunky get from a game on the internet to where it is now? There have been several remakes along the way for example the version of 2012 on the Xbox live arcade. This version was later enhanced and upgraded for the PC and Playstation4 in 2014 to create this wonderful game.
There is a spin-off that I would love to review that is called Spelunker party, in October 2017 it has been announced there is a sequel in the works called Spelunky 2.

In Spelunky you will need to dig through a cave system of walls that keep shifting. You will need to learn all the mechanics of Spelunky to reap its many rewards. Your goal is to reach as deep in the cave as possible. While you are spelunking you will find gold and many items scattered around. There will also be damsels in distress. (I’m sorry but your damsel is on another level.) There are four levels in Spelunky with a secret hidden one that almost no one will ever enter. This game is immensely difficult and even reaching the third level is very hard. If I had to rate how difficult this game is I would give this game an 11. I have died many times already. You will get killed by snakes, ghosts, spiders, man-eating plants, and even shopkeepers who are calling you a terrorist and more. Unlocking the shortcuts will also be really hard to do. If you are looking for a real spelunking challenge then this is a game I would recommend you play.

I will not be doing a story section for this game, there is not a real story in this game. You go spelunking in these ancient caves and find gold while traversing the depths! Get greedy Wario style!

What did I think of Spelunky before playing
I had no idea what to expect when starting Spelunky but it looked really good and funny. Somehow it looked very familiar to me.
Later I found out I played the old Spelunky when I was much younger and when the game looked way more old school! I did not remember the gameplay at all.
I thought I will go in blind for this new version of Spelunky, I installed the game and went spelunking for treasure. I encountered the tutorial and played it to learn the mechanics. I thought this game is easy, I started the real game and died in five seconds! Impaled by a spike! And thus I got hooked on this game and wanted to spelunk more!

The essence of Spelunky is in the gameplay. This is a true arcade game. You will start in the mines to learn the ropes of this game.
You will have a few tools at your disposal to make the game a bit easier but they can also be hard to find. And sometimes running out of your available tools will mean your demise. The tools you have available are bombs and ropes. You will start with four bombs and four ropes.
With the ropes, you can either climb up or down. To throw a rope downwards you will need to crouch and look over a hole and then throw the rope. You can also kill some enemies by throwing the rope on them. Your other tool is a bomb, bombs can be very useful but they can also be very dangerous. My wife recently played a game where the dodge button was the same as the bomb button, this caused some problems in playing together. Bombs will destroy the ground and reveal what is hidden in the ground, like gold or snakes. You can use bombs for many different reasons. To spelunk deeper and avoid dangerous enemies or use them to defeat the enemies.

Using the tools is easy but mastering them is really hard. Using a bomb to close or in a shop will mark you as a terrorist, this means all shopkeepers will shoot you with their shotguns. Shopkeepers will take your gold for their precious items, I am not going to mention all of the items in Spelunky since there are so many different items. A few important items are the shotgun and the jetpack. The shotgun is needed to create a shortcut with the tunnel man and is also a very powerful weapon. The jetpack will let you fly through the map with ease but beware if your fuel runs out!  The tunnel man will help you create shortcuts to other worlds the jungle, ice cave, and the temple. He won’t help you for free though!  You will need to complete a world multiple times before he will finish the shortcut. He will ask for bombs, ropes, or a special item! As of writing, I am trying to get a gold key from the world one the mines to the temple. This is really hard to do! There is also a secret level called hell, it is impossible for many people to reach this let alone complete it. I researched what I have to do for reaching hell and my reaction was nope, this is probably never going to happen any time soon.

In the world of Spelunky, you will encounter many dangerous enemies that are willing to eat, kill, or just throw you into the abyss. You will need to use your tools and your trusty whip to make sure that does not happen. You can also use items to get rid of the animals! You can use a freeze ray or a shotgun! You will have to learn the patterns of enemies and how much damage they will do to you. You can also jump on the enemies to kill them but beware some enemies won’t get hurt or will even eat you alive if you try this! You can play Spelunky in co-op to try and face the dangers together but beware you can also kill each other. If one of your party members dies, they will become a ghost that can help by blowing things around. If you find a coffin and open it you will revive the party member. The screen only follows the leader so you will need to stay close to each other. Co-op is really fun but it is very hard not to kill each other!

In Spelunky you will have only four hearts while a lot of traps and enemies will hurt a lot more than one heart per hit. There are many ways to instantly die, one of those ways is by staying too long in one level. A ghost will appear that will always kill you one hit but any gems it touches will turn into diamonds that are worth a lot of gold. Can you get the diamonds before the ghost gets you? It is possible to get more hearts in some different ways. You can save a damsel and bring her to the end of the level but if there is a bloody altar you can sacrifice her to gain more hearts. You will need to sacrifice more people to get more hearts. If you find a shop that sells a helper you can also sacrifice him! You can also get lucky to find a shop that sells kisses from damsels, these will restore one heart. The look of the damsels can be changed in the options menu, I have them looking like a cute dog! You can also find a beehive and try to defeat the queen for delicious nectar that gives you four hearts. If you are in need of extra gold for the kisses you can always try to snag the golden idol but beware if you pick up the golden idol a trap will be activated depending on the world that you are in. In the mines, a giant boulder will appear crushing everything in its path even a damsel in distress, and kill her in the process. When a damsel takes enough damage she will die but you could still sacrifice her. There is a lot more to discover like the hidden black market or an easter egg, mother brain, there is also a spinning wheel with prizes and much more! If you spin for prizes don’t take too long or you will need to call the Ghostbusters!

Sound and graphics
The graphics are cartoon based and they look really good, I can say it looks really bloody, I mean good. It looks really painful with all the blood on the spikes! I really enjoyed how the enemies don’t look threatening but when they hit you they will inflict major pain. The sound effects are perfectly placed and considered.
The sound is great, not too distracting since you will need to focus a lot on what is happening on your screen.

What did I think of Spelunky after playing?
I really enjoyed playing Spelunky with my wife and solo. There are many things to discover and lots of hidden references to other videos and games. One of them is even needed to help the tunnel man! Look for a grave with the name Ash on it.
Spelunky will kill you many times and it will either be your fault or just because the caves have chosen to eliminate you.
The game is unique in that it is one of the first roguelike games ever and that it is really spruced up and enhanced graphics and gameplay throughout the years. I am looking forward to playing more of Spelunky even after this week of reviewing the game.
Maybe one day I will complete the temple or even reach hell who knows! I just have to keep spelunking!

my personal rating is 8.2

It seems we meet again spikes, why are you going bloody on me again spikes?

The pros and cons

– There is a lot to discover in Spelunky.
– the difficulty is really hard but the game is fair.
– The mechanics are easy to learn but hard to master.
– You can play this game in co-op.
– There are many items in the game that can help you survive(or kill you).
– Time to get greedy!

– The game can be too difficult for some people.
– You will need perseverance for Spelunky.

I really liked playing this game and spelunking into the depths of the cave system. I did get killed a lot by spikes and for some reason, the damsel also kept getting killed by spikes. I recommend this game to anyone who is looking for a challenging but fun and fair game!

I give this game a …Drumroll…


I really enjoyed writing this review and playing the game.
You can buy the game here:
Leave your thoughts in the comments or rate the game for yourself.
I hope you liked reading this review, I hope to see you in the next review!


  1. Nice review. DIdn’t know it had coop, sounds fun to play that way. Spelunky 2 also looks good from what i saw.

    • Thanks!
      I am hoping to review spelunky 2 and spelunker party once!
      Co-op is a really good way to kill your team members 😀

  2. This is a game that is a “must play before you die” types, especially if you like rouguelikes. It is on my list.

    • I think you would enjoy this game!
      Get ready to be impaled by spikes!

  3. very good review. lots of info and detail. definitely makes me want the game, no matter how hard it seems. thank you for the review,

    • I think you would love it!
      The game is supposed to be almost impossible, still working on getting through the temple lol.

  4. I think the graphics and mechanics look great! Very well done my friend 🙂 I really like the coop ability, though I am curious of the game’s goal.

    • The goal is to reach the temple!


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