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Spelunky

PC version of Spelunky includes daily challenges so you can prove you’re slightly better at not dying than your friends

By Matt Gerardi • July 23, 2013

Spelunky, the randomly generated, tough-as-nails Indiana Jones simulator, is making its way back to the personal computer with a little something special in tow. The game, which was originally released as a free download for PCs, made its Xbox 360 debut last year as a remake with lots of added bells and whistles. That upgraded version will be released on PCs on August 8 and the game’s creator, Derek Yu, is packing in a new “Daily Challenge” mode to sweeten the deal.

Here’s how it works, according to Yu’s website: Each day, some mysterious Spelunky supercomputer will randomly create an adventure from all the bits and bobs that make up Spelunky levels. That adventure will get sent out to every Spelunky player in the world, and everyone only has one attempt to finish it. If you die in the Daily Challenge, you’re done until tomorrow. Each Challenge will have its own leaderboards that keep track of the best runthroughs of the randomly generated death traps.

What I like most about this idea is how it takes a game that’s very much a secluded experience and wrings something new and social out of it. Because everyone is taking a run at the same maps, there’s a new element of competition that pops up among friends. Before, all you could do was share your (often hilarious) stories of failure, like that time you scraped through a level only to find yourself quickly impaled as you emerged into a new, pitch black cavern. Now, you can brag about how much better you are at the game than your loser friends, while also mentioning that you died because you accidentally blew up a store and sent its owner into a “terrorist”-murdering fit.

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12 Responses to “PC version of Spelunky includes daily challenges so you can prove you’re slightly better at not dying than your friends”

  1. I spy a plentitude of crates, pots, and obstacles-that-look-like-crates in that screenshot.

    Worst game of the year?

    • caspiancomic says:

      Given the game’s randomly generated nature, it’s possible to have a run in which zero crates are spawned. Best game of the year? Wanna split the difference? Pretty good game?

      (Also, Mr. Gimmick Poster, my favourite “start to crate” moment in games is surely Dante’s Inferno, in which there are crates to smash in hell.)

  2. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    Goddamnit, now I need to actually get this version. I got to be pretty ok with the old free one. I’ll out spelunk all of you!

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      Thanks for that. I looked all over my usual sources, but somehow missed their Tumblr. 

  3. Kyle O'Reilly says:

    This is just my humble opinion guys so take it as you will but Spelunky is a god-tier game which brings unparalleled amounts of joy and happiness to all who master it.  Its mechanics are aged and beautiful like an oak barreled Zinfandel, its art style brings tears to the eyes of even the blind and its sound track is a cacophony of beauty and time that parts the sea of cynicism drowning so many of today’s youth. It renders all other games mere software blips in an ocean of guns, lens flare and rubber. You’d be a fool of the highest caliber not to purchase it.

    To reiterate, I really like Spelunky and if you enjoy Mario games and Roguelikes, you probably will to. I hope to see you on the leaderboards for this most enjoyable game.

    • aklab says:

      Sold!

    • SnugglyCrow says:

      Gameological did an awesome review of rogue-like games awhile ago highlighting this game and ‘Binding of Isaac.’  Since then I’ve spent a ton of time on ‘Binding of Isaac'(only missing 3 no-damage achievements) but really couldn’t get into ‘Spelunky’.  In ‘Binding of Isaac’ there are runs where everything comes together and your character becomes god-like but even if that doesn’t happen you can scrape by and it won’t be any one event that’ll cause you to fail.  With ‘Spelunky’ I can kill the first 3.5 levels, be stocked with guns and power-ups and have a full set of hearts and I’m one goddam step from losing everything because I trip onto some spikes.  I’ve seen people categorize the game as ‘tough-but-fair’ but I don’t really think it’s fair to have everything be for naught due to a single misstep.

      If I’m wrong, please correct me.  I put in probably 15hrs+ on this and with all the Gameological love I’ve seen I’m prone to think I’m playing it wrong.

      • Kyle O'Reilly says:

        It’s true that Spelunky is much more unforgiving than similar games like BoI, but I think it can get away with this rugged disregard for the items you’ve accumulated in a run by having the tightest controls this side of Super Mario World.

        BoI is a fun game but it feels a little floaty and it doesn’t feel as tight as Spelunky. This is all tough stuff to put into words but in my opinion the way you move in Spelunky feels fast, accurate and just the right weight, which adds to the thrill of the game. If it weren’t for the controls the game would be too hard to be fun honestly but controlling Spelunky is a blast.  Being able to speedily navigate a level with numerous hidden insta-kills is truly a rush.

        There’s rarely a place in Spelunky where you can relax and it’s that tension combined with the speedy and accurate controls that makes the game less like trudging up a mountain with boulders falling down (which is how BoI feels to me sometimes) and more like driving a sports car in the wrong lane of a highway.

        Both present ample obstacles that can end your trip immediately but one gives you a fast-pace, adrenaline rush once wherein hair trigger reflexes and a knowledge of how to react to what’s coming at you can make you feel like an invincible speed god…

        Until you get hit by an arrow trap and bounce into a lava pit.

        • SnugglyCrow says:

          I haven’t been entirely wowed by the controls but before these games I was coming from Super Meat Boy which kinda defines ‘tight controls.’

          I should probably check out some videos online of people playing because some of the xbox achievements sound so farfetched(‘complete the game in 8min. no shortcuts’, ‘kill 12 or more shopkeepers in one game’) that I have no conception as to how they could ever be completed. 

          I may give this game another spin, though– thanks very much for the reply!

  4. NakedSnake says:

    This man, Derek Yu, I’m starting to think he knows what he’s doing.