There's a great post over at Indiegames.com with a list of "games like Spelunky for people to play, in celebration of its XBLA release". Weirdly, the original version of Spelunky isn't on the list. Go play it though because it's brilliant and free. What jumped out at me was a link to a browser version of my most hated nemesis, Rick Dangerous. My parents bought me the original and its sci-fi sequel when I was but a boy, and because I couldn't afford any more games I had to watch Rick die over and over again, and pretend to enjoy it. Despicable. And yet I just spent twenty minutes playing. Some startling observations below.
As soon as I heard the music at the beginning I started to weep. I haven't stopped yet and perhaps I never will.
The screaming sound makes me want to hammer nails into my face. It's the same sound for everyone, whether valiant robber Rick or a native enjoying a stroll, they all die the same way. WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH and a kind of shit swandive off the screen. Sometimes one of Rick's giant bullets ends a native's existence and then the behatted little bastard falls onto some spikes seconds later. The screams overlay - WAAAAWWAAAAAAAHHHH. My hand reaches for the toolbox.
If this sadistic series of unpredictable and sudden demises were to reveal its musical self, following Julian Benson's transcription of Braid, it would be the sound of an angry baby hitting a Fisher Price keyboard with a mallet. BONG BONG BING BONG BLAM.
Rick's hat looks like a bum when he's climbing ladders.
I barely remember any of the rooms. It's a game that forces memorisation and yet it's totally forgettable. Except for how horrible it is. You'll remember that for the rest of your life.
Spelunky is great. You should play Spelunky.
Don't click this link. Don't play Rick Dangerous.