RPS Advent Calendar 2020, December 6th

It’s the sixth day of the 2020 best game countdown. If you don’t open this door, what’s behind it can change. It is recommended that you understand it correctly for the first time.

This is Roguelike Platformer Spellunky2!

Graham: At the time of writing this article, I played Spelunky 2 for 150 hours and completed it 6 times. Today I’ll play it for at least an hour, maybe more, after or while writing this. This is one of the best games of 2020 and one of my favorite games. I’m thinking of uninstalling it most days.

Spelunky 2 explores different randomly generated levels each time you die, jumps over traps, jumps on enemy heads, and uses the platform game Move Set. Absent die. There is no mechanism for progress, and there is no unlocking power curve to make the 100th attempt stronger than the first. Instead, improve by learning how to navigate Spelunky’s complex matrix of interactions between objects, items, and enemies.

At first, this means learning how to deal with simple things like the steep angle of an attacking bat (turning backwards and whipping behind). Later it means experimenting with an opaque system that sacrifices the unexplained altar corpse to gain divine support. Finally, if you play long enough, it can mean putting together all the information you’ve learned to complete a set of secrets and reach a hidden world with all-new rules.

The fact that Spelunky 2 has room for learning and proficiency means that under normal circumstances, it will complete successfully once and be put down. Fortunately – unfortunately? – It’s also the game’s relentless git. Even after 150 hours and 6 completions (5 of which last week), every new life feels like a test. I’m better than when I started the game, I’m better at Spellunky 2 than Spellunky 1, but I’m still dying regularly in World 1 or 2.

Some kind. The problem I have is that the rewards are declining over time. After 150 hours, the failure feels more frustrating and the win feels like establishing a satisfying baseline rather than offering a thrilling high. Still I keep playing it every day.

Spelunky 2 is definitely one of my favorite games in 2020 and I think it will be one of my favorite games in 2021. After all, I’ve enjoyed it for over 100 hours, but it’s possible. It then took everything it had to give me, it’s almost no surprise after playing it a lot. After 10 years of recording my daily relationship with Spelunky and its sequels, I’m here today. I love this game, but God, I need to rest for a while.

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The RPS Advent Calendar 2020, December 6th

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