Roguelike platformer Spelunky 2 is out now on PC Game Pass. I'm less excited and more angry, actually. This is because it's my nemesis, a game I know is good but I'm absolutely shocking at. Alongside it, the new Left 4 Dead-like co-op shooter The Anacrusis enters early access later today and will be on Game Pass from the start. Can't wait to fall into a pit of spikes with one, then blub about my misfortunes in the other as I pew pew aliens.
Spelunky 2 is a tough-as-nails platformer where you descend into a world of procedurally generated biomes. Snakes and moles and pits filled with spikes are out to get you. We have history. It's not a lot, to be fair. Mainly that I've struggled to gain a foothold in the game, in fact, I still don't think I've beaten the first stage. That's after sending out a call to help, with kind RPS folk sending me pointers and advice, like cook turkeys with bombs and always carry something to set off traps. None of it went in, I'm sorry.
In his Spelunky 2 review, Graham said he'd "rediscovered the joys of being lost, uncertain, and surprised." You can see his elation through some of his Daily Death posts, where he took on the game's daily challenges. At one stage, his whole life revolved around a jetpack.
And now that Spelunky 2 is on Game Pass, perhaps I'll give it another shot, having since uninstalled it from my Steam account in stony silence. I know it's rad and I can't reach the radness, which is largely why I'm venting through this post.
Strangely enough, the first Spelunky isn't out on Xbox Game Pass. You can find it over on Steam for £11, though. While Spelunky 2 builds on it in a number of ways, the original is still worth visiting. Alex Wiltshire's interview with creator Derek Yu is a good read on how the game creates chaos from unexpected situations.
The Anacrusis also arrives on Game Pass at 6pm GMT, made by a team including Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek. I played it together with Katharine and Imogen (RPS in peace) before the New Year, and we thought it was more than a sci-fi L4D-like. It has a fun 70s aesthetic, an interesting perk system, and lots of yelling as aliens swarm your screen. Definitely worth giving a shot if you're after some daft shootbang to help you unwind with pals.
It's worth noting that on 15th January, Desperados 3, Kingdom Hearts 3, Mount And Blade: Warband, and Pandemic are all leaving Xbox Game Pass. So best get on those sharpish if you've wanted to give them a whirl.