Review – Spelunky 2 (Switch)

The original Spelunky took the dungeon crawling experience to the most literal extreme. It was one of the progenitors of the modern roguelike genre, an experience that took dungeon delving to the max, willed with all sorts of creatures and creepy crawlies in randomly generated levels with each new playthrough. After the huge success of the original game, a sequel was all but expected. The only thing with sequels is that you need to make enough new content to warrant a whole new game, so the question is, is there enough of such in Spelunky 2?

Spelunky 2 Character Select

Choose your character, don’t fight about it now.

Outside of the obvious, such as new characters, new looking areas, as well as a new landscape, with Spelunky 2 taking place on the moon, there isn’t a huge amount of inclusions to the dungeons themselves. The biggest change being that if you have up to three more friends, online co-op is now available, allowing you to dungeon dive together. Whereas if you don’t have friends, or don’t have gamer friends, this will just be another reminder every time you turn the game on. The other changes are mostly minuscule, such as rideable ostriches, and a change in main character, with you playing as Ana Spelunky, the daughter of the original game’s protagonist.

Spelunky 2

Poor naked molerat, fell right into the web.

In terms of gameplay and tackling each run, it’s pretty safe to go into this the exact same way that you may have gone at the original. You explore each randomly generated dungeon, collecting as much treasure as possible in order to tally up your high score, all while micromanaging your small health pool and equipment by avoiding enemies and creating holes on walls.

The early stages are quite difficult, while you go about getting gear and getting situated, much like any other roguelike. The main difficulty in gameplay comes from understanding the reach of your whip (a problem inherited from the original game, mind you) and watching out for traps that can sucker punch you from out of nowhere. With so little hits that you can actually take while delving through each world, life is more precious than ever.

The biggest complaint going into Spelunky 2 is the lack of interesting music. One thing a game like, for instance, Hades, does really well, is keeping the hype up with an appropriate soundtrack. While Spelunky 2 does feature some very casual and laidback music, this is the kind of stuff you will be listening to even during the most perilous of moments, such as getting chased by a giant horned lizard or even a vampire. Granted, I guess I can’t exactly think of what kind of music fits into spelunking either, I just know this isn’t it.

Spelunky 2 Co-Op

Burn! Baby, Burn!

Long story short, if you liked Spelunky, welcome to Spelunky 2: “Spelunking With Friends”. The game feels the same, plays the same, and is basically the same. Save for a handful of quality of life changes that, for the avid Spelunky fan, may be great, especially if you’re interested in tackling these dungeons with friends. For the casual fan, you simply may not care. Either way, it’s simply more of it, and considering the original was far from terrible to begin with, it’s not exactly a cause for concern. Except for the underwhelming soundtrack.

Graphics: 7.5

While Spelunky 2 does look visually appealing, it also looks way too similar to its much older predecessor, and that’s a bit of a bummer.

Gameplay: 7.5

It’s really hard to say too much. While there have been some improvements, such as the inclusion of co-op, Spelunky 2‘s gameplay is mostly just the same as the first Spelunky.

Sound: 3.0

There certainly is music, but is it music you would spelunk to? I would say no, it’s also not music I would fight spiders, snakes, and vampires to.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Spelunky 2 is more of the same. As someone who enjoyed the original, it’s a good time. If you’re expecting a bunch of changes, or a whole new feel, this isn’t the way to go, just stick to the original as is.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Spelunky 2 is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Spelunky 2 was provided by the publisher.