Madness in Simplicity:
This one might be a bit controversial. Spelunky ranks high on many gamers lists, and yet here we are at number 127 and we’ve already hit it. I feel a bit guilty, but for me, this is where it is.
I am not very good at games on the farther end of the spectrum of rogues. Spelunky leans fairly heavily into roguelikes rather than roguelites. Roguelikes tend to require an increase in skill, and that’s hard for me. Ha! You don’t really add too much to your next run, if at all, so your survival depends on skill and your previous knowledge. So, if I’m getting so stressed out about a game, how did it get on my top twelve games? It’s here because I love the chaos.
I started Spelunky with the free indie version, so I admit that most of my Spelunky experience was with that one. Spelunky is a 2D platformer roguelike that has you spelunking in caves and looking for loot. Do not let its cute appearance fool you. This game is mean.
You can jump around, crack your whip, throw ropes, and plant bombs, all in a futile effort to survive and rob the cave of its delicious golds. The enemies are fairly standard. Spiders that drop on you from above. Bats. Frogs that jump around. There are shops where you can buy items to help you further in your quest. It all seems simple, but you can only take a few hits before you die. Oh, and getting more life is very difficult and involves saving lost people, which is difficult in itself.
The chaos ensues when you realize that this game is randomly generated and all these things smash together. They kind of mesh, but they definitely get smashed together. Each enemy has fairly simple, but interactive functions. Man-eating plants, which eat you and kill you with one touch, can also eat other enemies if you throw their unconscious bodies at it. The function of the plant is very simple: one-shot anything that comes in contact with it. This would be too simple if it wasn’t for the fact that the function works with almost all the other enemies as well.
There are venomous snakes that spit which can kill other enemies that get in their way. Traps meant for you are just as deadly to the enemies that run into them. It’s this wonderful salad of things that are thrown together in each of the different environments that really makes this game shine. The chaos of it is just beautiful.
The game is exciting because you master each of the different obstacles and frequently run into mixes of them and they put your skills to the test. I keep pushing myself to get better and to delve further.
If you really want to see what I’m talking about, you can check out the classic for free here!
I encourage you to try the HD version when you can. It works with Steam’s remote play thing too.
Every piece of Spelunky fits in chaotic perfection and is a huge contributor to the execution of roguelike. Spelunky is currently ranked at number 127 on the ULTRA.
Lastly, I love the original song for the first cave area in the classic one. That’s what I hear every time I think of Spelunky. Ah…
Update: The link wasn’t correctly placed on the word “here.” It is now fixed. Sorry about that!