Spelunker HD Deluxe | PS4 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Spelunker HD Deluxe is developed by Tozai Games and published by ININ Games and it is a remaster of Spelunker HD, originally released on the PlayStation 3. However its remastered state is currently available on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of my review I was playing on PlayStation 4.
In Spelunker HD Deluxe your aim is to navigate the levels and the obstacles they hold. Seems simple? Spelunker is anything but simple because if you try to make a jump that's ever so slightly too high - you're dead. Unwittingly stand near a geyser? You're dead. Set off a bomb and don't move fast enough? Surprise surprise, you're dead! Essentially, everything is out to kill you as you clamber your way through the cave systems. I generally found Spelunker to be quite frustrating particularly when trying to jump from a ladder to a platform which was a common thing you had to do. I found the jumping totally inconsistent and sometimes it just wouldn't work. I don't know how many attempts the initial level took me, but let's just say it took me more attempts than I'd have liked considering the simplicity in it.
In Spelunker HD Deluxe you have a new remastered take on the graphics but you can also change it to retro style 8 bit graphics as well. I actually preferred playing with the arcade style graphics because I found it easier that way and it was clearer to me what jumps and gaps I'd be able to clear. The HD Deluxe edition includes all the content from the original release and also features some new levels. Alongside the adventure/story mode there is also an online multiplayer mode that offers more of a challenge for seasoned players to pit their skills against others to grab the top spot on the leaderboard. Considering I struggled with the normal story mode, I struggled even more with the championship mode however it intrigued me more than the predetermined levels because the championship mode is actually procedurally generated. As well as the online multiplayer there is also local co-op to enjoy with a friend at home.
I certainly find Spelunker HD Deluxe to be a bit of an uphill battle despite its apparent simplicity. I consider myself to be relatively patient when it comes to video games but I found myself getting totally enraged by Spelunker but equally as obsessed with trying to progress. This is a good formula for a game though because it totally boosts the rewarding feelings when you finally beat that level you've been stuck on.
If you're a fan of retro style games or are looking for a classic experience to mirror childhood memories and don't mind being highly frustrated at times, Spelunker HD Deluxe is for you. The challenge is essentially infinite and goes far beyond its basic story mode and you can take your gameplay to whatever extent you like. If you fall in love with the main campaign you can then choose to sweat it out and reach for the top of the leaderboard and I'm sure there will always be someone out there that's better than you so you'll always find yourself striving to do better and reclaim your spot on the leaderboard.
Lj's Rating: 3.5 unnecessary deaths out of 5.
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Many thanks to PR Hound for the Review Key.