Posts Tagged ‘Spelunky’

Derek Yu says a tiny bit about Spelunky 2

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I have a terrible memory, which is sometimes an asset. It means that every now and then I get to experience a jolt of joy when I remember that Spelunky 2 is a thing – a thing that I’ve little doubt will take over my life in the same way that both the original freeware and the remaster did. If you somehow haven’t played Spelunky, you should know that it’s a 2D platformer that sits atop the throne of systems-driven roguelikes, capable of spinning story after story from parts that click together in masterful ways. You should also know that I envy you deeply, because I’d give up a lot to play Spelunky for the first time again.

Except I just remembered, I sort of can! Spelunky 2 was announced at last year’s Paris Games Week, with a trailer that gave away very little. So little, in fact, that any murmurings from lead developer Derek Yu on the subject count as news in my book. He recently murmured all over the Tone Control podcast with Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor, and said a little about how becoming a father has shaped development. Read the rest of this entry »

The 25 best co-op games ever made

Sometimes you need a hand to hold, so we’ve updated our list of the 25 best co-op games to play on PC with a headset-wearing friend or a muted stranger.

Everything’s better with a pal or two in tow, from collaborative puzzle solving to sublime double stealth takedowns. Equally sublime are when those takedowns go awry, your partner shrieks in panic and all hands are needed on deck to clear up the mess. Whether local or online, co-op games offer some of the best fun you can have in 2018.

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Persistence & Permadeath: progression in Spelunky, Into the Breach and roguelikes

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Progression is so often an illusion. Many games use the idea of permanent progression as a way of tickling our lizard brains with a growing pile of loot or numbers which constantly tick up, so that we feel like we’re achieving something while we sit in front of a computer and repeat the same set of tasks over and over again.

The beauty of permadeath is that it does away with all this. Characters grow and collect things, but then they become permadead, and it’s time for a new explorer to begin their adventure. The only thing that progresses is you, the player, slowly learning a set of systems with each failure. At least, that’s the theory. We spoke to the designers of Spelunky, Into the Breach, Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy to learn more about persistence within a permadeath mould.

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What Works And Why: Emergence

Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider

What Works And Why is a new monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game and analyses what makes it good.

I love Deus Ex, System Shock 2, and Dishonored 2, and the name for these games is dumb: they’re ‘immersive sims’. If you asked me what I liked about them, my answer would be a phrase almost as dumb: ’emergent gameplay!’

I always used to think of these as virtually the same thing, but of course they’re not. Immersive sims usually have a whole list of traits, things like: Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC games of all time

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There are more wonderful games being released on PC each month than ever before. In such a time of plenty, it’s important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Thankfully, we’re here to help. What follows are our picks for the best PC games ever made. Read the rest of this entry »

Spelunky 2 is happening

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Keep an eye on the Sony announcements during Paris Games Week, I said. Maybe From Software would pull off a remarkable double-whammy by revealing Bloodborne 2 and saying it’d be coming to PC and that a special edition of the first would be arriving on Steam tomorrow. Maybe Naughty Dog would stroll onto a stage and declare that they’d accidentally made The Last Of Us 2 in such a way that it’d only work on Linux. Anything seemed possible.

Except for an outta nowhere announcement that Spelunky 2 is in development. This is the best possible news because Spelunky is one of the greatest games ever made.

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When are you done with a game?

Spelunky Complete

Some games can be finished, completed, defeated or beaten. They have an end-point, even though they might be replayable. Others have the potential to go on forever. Whatever the case, there always comes a point when you’re done with a game, and it might be long before the credits roll, or it might be after that one update that breaks a habit that has lasted for years. Why do we stop playing?

Let’s get one potential answer out of the way: ‘when we stop having fun’. While there’s definitely something to that idea, it doesn’t take into account temporary frustration caused by difficulty spikes, or the satisfaction – a related cousin of ‘fun’ – from seeing a narrative through to its end. It’s a sentiment that might work for multiplayer games, but I’m not convinced it can be applied more broadly than that. With a look at Shadow of War, Spelunky and Caveblazers among others, here are some thoughts on the end of play.

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Caveblazers is an interesting contrast to Spelunky

I keep playing Caveblazers [official site], stopping between lives only to message people to complain about Caveblazers. The roguelike-platformer has so many systems I find frustrating or unsatisfactory, but one big thing that keeps drawing me back.

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Dunk Lords is biffy basketball from Spelunky coder

Sometimes, a developer’s last game hints at their next one. Other times, the programmer of Spelunky HD announces a basketball beat ’em up. Say hallo to Dunk Lords [official site], jamming our way in 2018. This is a delightful surprise, and not just because of that name. The slam-jamming shakalaka ’em up boasts 2v2 b-balling action with fisticuffs, special moves, and environmental hazards, which sounds a lark. Read the rest of this entry »

The 50 Best Free Games On PC

The best free games are on PC, and if you want to know what the best 50 are then you’ve come to the right place.

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When Is It Acceptable To Look Up A Wiki?

We’ve all been there. When a puzzle is so obtuse you can’t even begin to work out how to solve it. When you’ve been searching for the next bonfire in a Dark Souls game for hours on end. When you’ve committed to finding a game’s scattered collectibles and one proves a bit too well hidden. Wikis and guides can replace hours of frustration with a few seconds of Googling, making up for an oversight on the part of a game dev or the occasional brain fart on the part of the player.

They can also leach the fun out of games. Looking up solutions can quickly devolve into a paint-by-numbers experience, with almost as much time spent alt-tabbed as playing a game. The moment that door is opened, there’s a danger that any sense of challenge or discovery will be lost. So, how do you decide when turning to external sources such as guides, FAQs, Wikis and search engines is worth the risk?

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New Humble Bundle: Rocket League, Spelunky, Nidhogg

The latest Humble Bundle is a good’un, with games including Spelunky, Rocket League, Nidhogg, and Skullgirls going cheap. The first three of those are modern PC classics, I’d say, and Skullgirls isn’t half-bad either. The Humble Revelmode Bundle has more games too, obvs.

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The Games I Won’t Uninstall

As much as PC gaming hardware has changed and improved over the years, there’s always been one constant: the limitations of disk space. Granted, it’s far cheaper and easier (no more absurdly tiny Master/Slave toggles) than it used to be to grab a new hard drive, but the rise of ever-faster but more expensive SSDs set things back a bit in that regard. With new mainstream games regularly asking for as much as 30 Gigabytes I remain, as I always have, in a battle for space. Which means I’m constantly uninstalling half-finished stuff in order to make space for the next big thing. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking. But there’s a line. There are a few games I can never uninstall, because it would hurt too much. Granted, they change a little over the years – new ones come in, old ones finally, finally lose their lustre (or I give up entirely on the belief that I will ever go back), but here’s how that list of inviolable treasures looks right now.

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How Spelunky Creates Amazing Unexpected Situations

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works.

The arrow trap that shoots the croc man that causes him to telefrag you. Being caught mid-jump by a boomerang that juggles you towards a spike trap, leaving you stunned in front of it until it springs. Shopstorm.

These are not necessarily the noblest events in Spelunky, but they’re surprising, funny, fascinating, and entirely consistent and logical and correct. They might not be exactly your fault, but neither are they, really, the game’s fault. They’re the result of a big reason – the big reason? – why Spelunky is amazing:

THE MECHANIC: How every object in Spelunky has shared fundamental traits

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This Is The Most Incredible Spelunky Speedrun Yet

I’m used to Spelunky [official site] speedruns being filled with incredible feats, but the “No Gold True Pacifist Hell Run” below is a thing of wonder. To clarify: entering into the game’s Hell world requires obtaining the Ankh from the Black Market, killing Anubis for his staff, killing Olmec, and completing the game requires killing Yama in hell. How do you kill things without violence? Well, you’ll see.

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Steam Winter Sale Recommendations For You

There are thousands and thousands and thousands and oh God help thousands of games discounted in the current Steam Winter sale. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. Where do you start? Where do you end? How many will you ever really play? How many do you have to buy in order to discover the secret Half-Life 3 release date? Well, we can’t help with the more existential aspects of that, but if you’re entirely stuck on what to get, what we can do is tell you which single game each member of the RPS staff would pick from the vast and endless digital discount shelves.

These, as far as we’re concerned, are the games you must must must pick up in the sale if you don’t have ’em already.

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Express Train To Hell: Spelunky Speedrun World Record

I inch my way through Spelunky [official site], trying to get a read on the layout of each randomised cavern. Caution doesn’t always breed success and I rarely reach the ice levels, let alone the hellscape beneath. It’s both chastening and invigorating to begin a weary Friday morning by watching a speedrun that sets a new world record – from start to finish in 3:44. The runner is D Tea and he shatters the previous 3:52 record for a true ending. As well as being an impressive feat, like most things Spelunky, it exposes the workings of the various systems – from the fury of shopkeepers to the arrangement of tiles – in fascinating new ways.

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In Sickness: Gaming While Ill

Provided you’re not hoofing around on a dancemat, wiggling your Wii-stick, or re-enacting all of your favourite John Woo films with a lightgun in hand, playing games shouldn’t be particularly arduous. When I was a kid, a day off school with some vague illness was a perfect excuse to spend a couple of hours at the altar of Doom. Playing games while wrapped in a duvet was pretty much the entire point of being ill.

Now that I’m An Old Man, I find that I struggle to play games when I’m ill. Maybe that’s because Old Man illnesses are actually real, unlike the sniffles and pangs of youth, or perhaps it’s because even a sniffle can fell a fragile frame, laid low by booze and time. I’ve been trying to find games that can provide respite in times of sickness.

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Premature Evaluation: Vagante

Vagante is Italian, if you’re wondering. Or rather, if you’re wandering. It means “wandering”, is what I’m saying. So, that’d be a hard “g” with an audible trailing “e”.

Each week Marsh Davies shuffles apprehensively into the dank catacombs of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or a faceful of cycloptic bat guano. This week he quaffs an unidentified cyan potion and throws himself onto a bed of spikes, repeatedly, in procedural permadeath platformer Vagante, a particularly Roguish Spelunkalike.

Did you play Spelunky and think, “What this really needs is to be a lot darker, with several additional layers of complication and a much less parseable tileset”? Somebody out there did, and judging by the wholly positive Steam reviews, at least 68 other folk did as well.

I can’t claim to be one of these strange, troglodytic creatures, but then I also must confess that it took me many concerted attempts before I finally fell beneath Spelunky’s subterranean charm. Maybe it’ll happen with Vagante. It hasn’t quite yet – although some several dozen misadventures later, I am warming to it. It manages that rare trick, as Spelunky did, of making failure the most entertaining part. It’s certainly the most plentiful. My sorties into the underworld have ended in the digestive cavities of man-eating plants, as demon-dog dinners, beneath boulders, in spike-pits and in pieces, thanks to the Bandit King’s axe. But throughout, my most dangerous enemy has been myself – my incaution, my stupidity, my insatiable desire to immediately glug every pungent, bubbling concoction I find in the bottom of a barrel. If I discover a helmet made out of jelly, I’m wearing it. And then, when I realise it’s cursed, I’m going to drink my unidentified inventory dry, set myself on fire, and teleport into a pool of piranhas.

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Have You Played… Spelunky?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I know the cause of every single one of my thousands of deaths in Spelunky. I died down that snake pit because I frittered away my bombs and ropes, leaving me with no way to escape. I died to that inanimate rock because I drifted down towards it with the jetpack when it was being propelled into the air by a jump pad. I died to that blue frog because I overestimated the extent of its jump.

I died because I am not good enough at negotiating the roguelike platformer’s strict rules. Not yet.

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