Day 124: Spelunky

Spelunky

It’s been a good seven or eight days since I’ve played anything worth cursing over, so here we are.

In a weird way, I’m lucky to have put myself in a situation like this; one that requires me to move from game to game with relative frequency, since Spelunky is absolutely the sort of game that I could get lost in for weeks, trying the grasp the hidden minutia that will lead me just a little bit further on each subsequent journey, eventually leading down a wiki hole of defeat until I know exactly what items I need to re-roll for.

As a roguelike (or rogue-like-like or diet roguelike or whatever), Spelunky has that frustration that comes with the lack of any real progression, but the draw is in that ability to instantly restart, hopefully with the knowledge of your previous failures. It’s very Binding of Isaac in that sense. No, there isn’t any gross-out humor, nor are there horrible abominations to fight, but one blind fall into an arrow trap or spikes are enough to make you think just a few more seconds before your next move, or in my case, rushing through even faster in the futile hope that you’ll avoid all of the horrible things that way. That method rarely works.

The one thing I will definitely give Spelunky over Isaac is that you don’t feel anywhere near as hopeless. Even though it’s arguably a harder game, you feel like less of a slave to the RTG; your success or failure depending more on your decision-making than a series of item draws. Though there were moments where it seemed like death was inevitable, I never felt as if I’d entered a situation that I couldn’t have overcome with different decision making. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to drop blindly into that pit, in retrospect. Perhaps throwing a bomb at that shopkeeper was ill-advised. These are valuable lessons that can even translate to the real world.

Not that I would know from experience or anything.

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