Please sign in or sign up!
Login:
Pass:  
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
     
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    HOME GAMES LOGS MEMBERS     ABOUT HELP
     
    GameLog Entries

    JDcsc126's Spelunky (PC)

    [November 2, 2009 05:48:51 PM]
    Summary: Spelunky is on its surface a simple platformer, a "retro" throwback to old Nintendo games. The engine however generates a completely unique level every time the game is played, which helps to keep the experience interesting. The game takes several playthroughs to get the feel of the controls, some of which must be learned by trial and error despite the brief built-in tutorial. Overall, however, Spelunky enjoyably provides the "fast-paced platform game" that the designer intends.
    _______________________________________________________
    The first few playthroughs of Spelunky reveal a retro-style platform game that pays homage to the original 8-bit console games (e.g., Nintendo), but with a twist. The player is a cave explorer, collecting valuables and dodging creatures to make his fortune; the premise is no more complicated than that, or at least no more described. In a nutshell, Spelunky might be described as Indiana-Jones-meets-Mario-Brothers. This in itself is a throwback to the game's inspiration -- many popular titles from the archives had little more plot than this and were no less enjoyable to play. During the hero's explorations he encounters not only enemies but also Damsels to rescue and shopkeepers. The overall goal of the game seems just as straightforward as the premise: explore caves and accumulate treasure. There are game elements to suggest there may be more, but this is not laid out for the player at the beginning. Some may find that frustrating, others may see it as one more aspect within the game to explore.

    The truly engaging part of Spelunky is the "twist": levels are not pre-written -- each time the game is played the level is completely different. This definitely keeps the player on their toes as the game is much less predictable. In effect, this makes the game a bit harder than it otherwise might be, but also much more engaging -- one cannot rely on pattern recognition from one play to another.

    All in all during my first dozen or so playthroughs of Spelunky I found some of the features to be somewhat frustrating. Firstly, there is no way to save progress, or even checkpoints that a player can reach to signify progress made. Death comes quickly and easily in the world of Spelunky, and when it does the only thing the player can do is start over from the beginning. Secondly, the controls are simple to learn, but difficult to master; some actions require a very specific set of keystrokes that if executed incorrectly lead to death. There is a tutorial that explains the very basic elements, but there are many things the tutorial does not explain. For example, the "Damsels in Distress" are clearly there to be rescued. Is the player meant to take them back to the entry point, or to the exit? There is a large gold statue that the player picks up, which sets of a trap. This trap kills the hero instantly if he is in the way. What is one supposed to do with the statue? Is this the "MacGuffin" that the hero is looking for to finish the level, or is it just another treasure? Combined with the absolute unpredictability of the levels, it felt very difficult to make progress in the game at first and I felt the initial learning curve was perhaps a bit steep.

    Perhaps these features went intentionally unexplained, to spur the player forward to answer these questions. Another several plays later, these mysteries had been solved. The golden statue is indeed only a treasure, albeit one that is worth in value/points the risk to obtain. The Damsel is rescued by taking her to the exit from the level, rather than the entrance. Other mysteries remained to be explored, such as the stores -- in roughly two dozen playthroughs I was unable to reach these more than once. Touching the "action" key to speak with the proprietor, I was attacked and immediately died. I only discovered later when remapping the controls that there is another function not referred to anywhere, the "purchase" function.

    Solving these minor mysteries did ultimately provide a sense of accomplishment, enough to keep playing for some time in an effort to get further into the game. There was some gratification in realizing that experience did make the game a bit easier, and the game considerably more playable as time went on. With that in mind, I can see how this game might be moderately addicting to those 1) looking for a bit of nostalgia; and/or 2) intrigued by the infinitely-varied level maps. While the initial learning curve may have been a bit steep, a bit of perseverance seems to pay off.

    Having said that, however, I did not see any particular progression in difficulty of the game from one level to another. Level two was essentially the same as level one, but with a feature that appeared to be a store where one might presumably purchase items with the valuables one had accumulated. In this the reward system progressed somewhat in that the store gave an additional point of interest, though I was unable to fully explore this feature in the time I played this game. Perhaps with enough time and further level advancement other features would have been apparent, so I feel I must withhold judgement on this to some degree.

    In conclusion, I would say that Spelunky was generally enjoyable once the initial frustrations were overcome. It is a fast-paced, arcade-type game, one that expects the player to fail several times in trial-and-error before seeing any indication of advancement. Each level map is unique and randomly generated, which while an intriguing and to some degree enjoyable feature does add to the difficulty of the game. The retro console style is nostalgic and though the graphics are hardly the pinnacle of modern 2D platforming games this does not detract from the experience.
    add a comment Add comment
    [November 2, 2009 03:08:39 PM]
    Summary: Spelunky is on its surface a simple platformer, a "retro" throwback to old Nintendo games. The engine however generates a completely unique level every time the game is played, which helps to keep the experience interesting. The game takes several playthroughs to get the feel of the controls, some of which must be learned by trial and error despite the brief built-in tutorial. Overall, however, Spelunky enjoyably provides the "fast-paced platform game" that the designer intends.
    _______________________________________________________
    The first few playthroughs of Spelunky reveal a retro-style platform game that pays homage to the original 8-bit console games (e.g., Nintendo), but with a twist. The player is a cave explorer, collecting valuables and dodging creatures to make his fortune; the premise is no more complicated than that, or at least no more described. In a nutshell, Spelunky might be described as Indiana-Jones-meets-Mario-Brothers. This in itself is a throwback to the game's inspiration -- many popular titles from the archives had little more plot than this and were no less enjoyable to play. During the hero's explorations he encounters not only enemies but also Damsels to rescue and shopkeepers. The overall goal of the game seems just as straightforward as the premise: explore caves and accumulate treasure. There are game elements to suggest there may be more, but this is not laid out for the player at the beginning. Some may find that frustrating, others may see it as one more aspect within the game to explore.

    The truly engaging part of Spelunky is the "twist": levels are not pre-written -- each time the game is played the level is completely different. This definitely keeps the player on their toes as the game is much less predictable. In effect, this makes the game a bit harder than it otherwise might be, but also much more engaging -- one cannot rely on pattern recognition from one play to another.

    All in all during my first dozen or so playthroughs of Spelunky I found some of the features to be somewhat frustrating. The controls are simple to learn, but difficult to master; some actions require a very specific set of keystrokes that if executed incorrectly lead to death. There is a tutorial that explains the very basic elements, but there are many things the tutorial does not explain. For example, the "Damsels in Distress" are clearly there to be rescued. Is the player meant to take them back to the entry point, or to the exit? There is a large gold statue that the player picks up, which sets of a trap. This trap kills the hero instantly if he is in the way. What is one supposed to do with the statue? Is this the "MacGuffin" that the hero is looking for to finish the level, or is it just another treasure? Combined with the absolute unpredictability of the levels, it felt very difficult to make progress in the game at first and I felt the initial learning curve was perhaps a bit steep.

    add a comment Add comment
     
    Status

    JDcsc126's Spelunky (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Monday 2 November, 2009

    GameLog closed on: Monday 9 November, 2009

    Opinion
    JDcsc126's opinion and rating for this game

    Overall fun, with an innovative engine that makes each level and playthrough very different. Graphics and sounds are reminiscient of old Nintendo games.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See JDcsc126's page

    See info on Spelunky

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Spelunky (PC) by Absolute2 (rating: 3)
    2 : Spelunky (PC) by dbGamer (rating: 5)
    3 : Spelunky (PC) by dkirschner (rating: 5)
    4 : Spelunky (PC) by sbking42 (rating: 5)
    5 : Spelunky (PC) by thattoddguy (rating: 5)

     home

    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014