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Everyday Spelunker Review

By , on November 7, 2013
Last modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago


Everyday Spelunker
Download on the AppStore
2 out of 5

PROS

  • Novel for anyone who remembers Spelunky.

CONS

  • Controls are awful.
  • Constant deaths are off-putting.
  • Features high up-front price and IAPs. 

VERDICT

Though Everyday Spelunker does bring Spelunky to your iPhone, the atrocious controls and never-ending deaths make you wonder why they bothered.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Spelunker is a platformer created in 1983, remembered fondly by owners of PCs and Commodore 64s. The game was notoriously difficult, and falling to an untimely death was a frequent occurance. Factor in traps, hazards, and a ghost that just won't leave you alone, and you have an experience that could only be remembered fondly by masochists.

Now, Spelunker has been faithfully ported to the iOS under the title Everyday Spelunker. So, 30 years on, how does the game stand up?

Now, we could just say 'badly' and leave it at that, but we should probably elaborate a little more.

There are on screen buttons which let you move, jump, and perform the spelunker's actions. If you just press the action button, a jet of air will be sprayed in the direction you are facing. This is a good deterrent for any ghosts who are floating by, but it does leave you vulnerable to attack for a few seconds. You can also plant bombs and fire arrows, the latter of which are needed to take care of bats that fly around above you, spraying more guano than seems healthy for a creature that size.

The buttons are very small and oddly unresponsive, making it easy to miss a jump or movement cue by accidentally pressing the wrong area of the screen. These error cause you to die. In fact, almost everything in Everyday Spelunker causes you to die. You miss a jump, you die. You hit a foe, you die. The ghost appears... you get the picture.

In game which revolves around death, we wonder why the developers gave us unlimited continues and generous check pointing, but chose to keep the lives system in place. This results in an experience far more frustrating than challenging, and a stark reminder of how game design has changed in the last thirty years.

There will no doubt be some players who will seek to rise to the challenge Everyday Spelunker offers. There will be those who remember the game fondly and wish to give it another try. But, considering the game's high price point, unreliable controls and maddening gameplay, we'd suggest you give this nostalgia trip a miss.

Screenshots

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Comments

Avatar
andrew 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Credit to the publisher for jumping on this while Spelunky is still a going concern, but I do wonder what they were trying to accomplish with re-releasing the original... it was innovative in its time, but it's just plain ugly and unsatisfying without the much-needed revisions provided by Spelunky.