#592 – Spelunker


                                                                                                                Have at thee, bat!



                                                    Spelunker vs. a rope. It’s a much harder battle than one would think.



PUBLISHER: Broderbund


GENRE: Arcade

RELEASE DATE: September 1987


I will never give Spelunker another chance. And that’s a downright dirty shame because the game should be aces. Exploring caves and collecting loot with a mining hat-wearing Lode Runner creature? Sign me up. Unfortunately, Spelunker doesn’t want you to plummet its depths unless you have the patience of the Mount Athos monks. Remember in the Donkey Kong series when Jumpman/Mario/Donkey Kong Jr. couldn’t fall more than two inches without dying? Spelunker the character has the same falling disease. In Donkey Kong, though, there were only a couple areas where Mario had to be careful with his jumps. In Spelunker, the entire cave is like one giant jumping landmine. You descend into levels via elevator and scattered across the cave are pulleys, ropes, and stairs to bring you to high places. Jump too high off of any of these platforms, and Spelunker keels over dead. Other ways to kill Spelunker: falling into a hole, standing too close to a bomb, hitting the top of certain ceilings, being touched by a ghost. Some of these methods are understandable (methinks just about anyone would die if they stood too close to a bomb), but the rest? Spelunker should be a hearty cave explorer, not a 120-year-old with brittle bones. Also, three lives and you’re dead, no continues, no concessions. No thanks. A distinct gaming premise ruined by poor mechanics.


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