Spelunker is a classic arcade game, released in 1985. I have to say, growing up in the era of 8-bit and 16-bit games, I’ve really appreciated this “bring back the classics” mentality when it comes to remasters. There are so many awesome retro games that just haven’t held up over time—gameplay wise—and Spelunker is one of them. This time around, players get to experience the “HD Deluxe” version. Fans of the original will appreciate how great the game looks, and new players will get to experience this cute, fun adventure in a whole new light.
I have only seen family members and friends play the original Spelunker; I’ve never actually played it myself. So, I was excited to try out my skills and see if I was any good. I lost my first life probably 10 seconds into the first level. I had forgotten how fragile the character and movements were in this game. I would say they even get a extremely frustrating at times, but patience is your best friend in Spelunker; and the key to success.
The main goal is to descend as far as you can into a seemingly endless mine and collect as much treasure as possible, without dying. You will find that task to be a lot more difficult than it looks, as the little miner you control will die at the drop of a hat. He’s more fragile than necessary, but it forces the player to slow down and plan out their route. Timing and strategy are a big part of this adventure. One wrong move and it’s lights out.
Even something as innocent as a shallow hole in the ground will take this guy out (not to mention all of the monsters and ghosts lurking around). Sometimes you’ll find even your own actions—like placing a bomb too close or jumping into a platform from too high up—will end your journey. It’s all about trial and error. I myself made it nowhere near level 100, but after I got the hang of what I was supposed to be doing, it was fun to try. That’s the fine line with Spelunker; you’re either going to be determined to see how far you can progress or get frustrated and throw your Nintendo Switch. It’s that simple.
Throughout your spelunking expedition you’ll come across all kinds of awesome collectibles like artwork, sculptures and plenty of jewels. The more you collect and the longer you stay alive, the higher your score will be. You’ll also need to collect keys to unlock new areas, and vials of time to keep your timer from running out. It’s all very overwhelming at first, but once you’ve done it a few times you will learn what you can and can’t do pretty quickly.
The game offers a lot of different modes and ways to play. For example, one cool feature is being able to go back and forth between the new HD graphics and the old 8-bit graphics with the click of a button. There are also numerous multiplayer modes to try out if you get bored adventuring alone, including Endless Cave mode, Championship mode, or Competition mode. Each of these can be played in online or local multiplayer. Join up to 6 friends online and 4 friends in local online to see how far your team can make it underground. It’s also cool that these modes can be played in single player as well, just in case your friends are busy or you get tired of the original game.
If I’ m being honest, I found it hard to continue playing after I died so many times. If it wasn’t for having to review this game, I would have never given Spelunker HD Deluxe a chance and discovered how fun and addictive it actually is. I still stand by what I said before, though; impatient players and those who aren’t willing to “go slow” probably won’t have much fun with Spelunker. But those of you looking for a challenging and fun single player game that’s packed with numerous multiplayer options should definitely check it out!
Review: Spelunker HD Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)
Fans of the original will love this updated classic and all of its new features. For those looking for a difficult but fun challenge that includes numerous single and multiplayer game modes, I highly recommend checking out Spelunker HD Deluxe.