Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. Hyper Magazine
    Aug 8, 2012
    Robust mechanics give rise to endless experimentation. [Sept 2012, p.70]
  2. Jul 26, 2012
    Spelunky is a demanding platformer that manages to be both progressive and nostalgic at the same time. The enjoyment you'll get out of the title is limited only by your tolerance for frustration.
  3. Jul 10, 2012
    As a game, it is perfect; it does nothing wrong in itself and the only criticism that can be levelled at it is the lack of online capabilities – although the games which it hearkens back to so closely had no such thing.
  4. Jul 7, 2012
    Spelunky is designed to be played repeatedly, a randomly generated battle of human versus machine. Its goal is to challenge the player in a way that is seemingly impossible, but ultimately surmountable given the proper amount of training and skill. I can't recall another game that achieves that delicate balance as well as Spelunky. Its randomly generated nature and ecosystem of interactive elements challenges your decision-making abilities in a way that's nothing short of awe-inspiring.
  5. Jul 5, 2012
    Spelunky is for the West what Cave Story represents for Japan: the maximum expression of the indie philosophy. You shouldn't ask yourself if you want to play it. You absolutely have to, if you haven't yet.
  6. Jul 2, 2012
    We may be playing Spelunky forever...Spelunky is more than a platformer. It transcends the genre, creating an experience easy to pick up and difficult to master, each session unlike the last.
  7. Jul 2, 2012
    Spelunky's astonishing creativity and the spectacular depth that opens up as you make progress make it easy to forget that it's also an extremely competent platformer, with tight, poppy controls that work far better on an Xbox 360 pad than they ever did with a computer keyboard.
  8. Jul 13, 2012
    You'll curse Spelunky, you'll want to throw your controller through the TV out of anger, but there is something about it that will pull you back in, time and time again. The game challenges you to constantly make choices and set new priorities, the level design is fantastic and makes for a new experience every time, but most of all: skill and perseverance get rewarded. Spelunky might seem a little bit unfair at times, but with every death it teaches you a lesson. Lose yourself in the wondrous, underground world and emerge as a better player.
  9. Jul 13, 2012
    All in all, if you hate challenging games, stay away from Spelunky. If you hate charming retro graphics, or the idea of perma-death, don't get Spelunky.
  10. Jul 9, 2012
    Spelunky is like a great manual of game design, offering many familiar elements to the average player but making everything new. Already in the Hall of Fame of XBLA, the game is a shapeshifting adventure that can be enjoyed for several years.
  11. Jul 2, 2012
    All of the additions for Xbox Live Arcade -- most notably, new graphics and sound, competitive multiplayer, and cooperative play -- come together to flesh out what was already impressive in its earlier stages. To avoid Spelunky is to miss out on an incredibly satisfying, well-designed game.
  12. Sep 2, 2013
    A good and punishing rogue-like which is just as easy to hate as it is to love. As you explore the random levels this really challenging 2-D platformer will make you cry and laugh at the same time. You’ll need high concentration and a big chunk of patience to have fun with this one. Spelunky is just as fun on the PC as it was one year ago on the Xbox 360, and the gaming masochists’ very best friend.
  13. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 14, 2012
    A highly addictive and ruthless (in a good way) 2D-platformer with an endless supply of random roquelike-levels. You won't beat this one in a hurry. [Sept 2012]
  14. Games Master UK
    Aug 23, 2012
    Definitely worth digging out some spare points for. [Oct 2012, p.85]
  15. Aug 6, 2012
    This is a perfect 2D platformer that offers never-ending singleplayer and even multiplayer adventure. Don't get fooled by its retro style - Spelunky is truly modern essence, addicting, full of colours. It is an experience that should get your attention.
  16. Aug 3, 2012
    So, you want to play a 2D platformer and you think you have some skills? Spelunky will put you to the test. This game is pure gold with its excellent controllers, appealing graphics and fun gameplay. This game offers hours of fun thanks to its always changing levels.
  17. 90
    I could tell hour-long anecdotes about my adventures in this weird world. Find another Spelunky-Player and these spin out of control – into endless amusing conversations. It may not be for everybody, but once it's got you hooked, it won't let go of you for days.
  18. 90
    Spelunky manages to be even better than the sum of its parts: A charming retro style that encompasses both audio and graphics, razorsharp controls, a constantly challenging and changing platform world. Spelunky is the best excuse to stay inside this summer.
  19. Jul 13, 2012
    Spelunky is a game that you can finish, but one that you will never complete, and that's why I have played it for 15 hours: The finely tuned mechanics, addictive algorithmic based level design and provocatively challenging, magnificently creative difficulty represent tough videogame design at its finest. Spelunky isn't a game for the casual, or faint of heart, but if you can't stand the heat...
  20. Jul 11, 2012
    The perfect game for this summer: fun, fast and refreshing.
  21. 90
    Spelunky looks and sounds exponentially better than its PC sibling and has near-infinite replay value, a fantastically quirky personality, and tons of things to do.
  22. Jul 6, 2012
    If you need a challenge on the level of a Mega Man or a Metal Slug with the feel of Dig Dug and Mr. Driller, or if you just enjoy any of those, this should be on your radar. If you just want a quick few Achievement points, you're not going to find them here.
  23. 90
    Indie gaming sires another 2D classic, with a platformer that offers more freedom and intrigue than almost anything else on Xbox Live Arcade - or beyond.
  24. Jul 5, 2012
    The game is very difficult and will require you many playthroughs before you even reach the second world much less beat the entire game. Death takes you back to the beginning of the game and you'll lose all the treasure and items you've earned in your time with the game. Still, Spelunky has an undeniable charm that will have you laughing as you die the first time and the hundredth time.
  25. Jul 4, 2012
    Spelunky digs its way so deeply into your brain and often pops up when you're busy playing something else. You'll flashback when another game's arsenal reminds you of just how powerful Yu's simple toolset is, or when another level designer tries and fails to encourage a different approach and reward convoluted strategies.
  26. Even if you're confined to single player, Spelunky is yet another small but perfectly formed nugget of joy to be unearthed on the Games Marketplace. Like Fez, Joe Danger and Super Meat Boy before it, the charm simply oozes out of the screen and leaves a saccharine sticky patch at the base of your TV. That initial infuriation crystallises into solid determination and 1200MP buys you an endless supply of levels against which to test your wits and skills.
  27. Jul 2, 2012
    Spelunky is probably not for everyone. For all my attempts to romanticize the game's difficulty, it still demands patience from its players, and that might be too much for some. Those that stick it out though, or have an affinity for similar punishing trials like Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy, will find a game that rewards the time you spend with it with nearly infinite amounts of replayability. It all adds up to make Spelunky the best port of a mining related indie PC game to hit the Xbox.
  28. Jul 2, 2012
    Spelunky is a game that takes experts 10 minutes to complete, but it will take you hours before you're remotely ready for that challenge. This is a superb 2D platformer that's as easy to hate as it is to love, and your patience for punishment will be the determining factor.
  29. Jul 13, 2012
    The odds are never in your favour, but that's the whole point. In Spelunky, suffering is addictive.
  30. Jul 30, 2012
    The random generated levels of Spelunky can create quite a challenge and on top of that, will keep the game fresh and addictive for many hours.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Jul 4, 2012
    This is the type of game that will get bad reviews because people don't have the patience to really get what it's all about. Also, if youThis is the type of game that will get bad reviews because people don't have the patience to really get what it's all about. Also, if you don't enjoy hard games, you will hate this game. This game is so rewarding because it takes so much planning, concentration and even luck to get through to the end. The controls are great, the items useful and fun, and it has great variety based on the endless iterations of the various levels. If you're up for a challenge and understand that it's going to take you hours to master the gameplay, you're going to love Spelunky, which is undoubtedly the most well-designed and executed game of the year so far. Full Review »
  2. Jul 5, 2012
    You have to know what you're in for with this game to enjoy it. If you do, it's a masterpiece, one of the best examples of aYou have to know what you're in for with this game to enjoy it. If you do, it's a masterpiece, one of the best examples of a small-but-oh-so-fun arcadey experience which is infinitely replayable and deep. Other reviewers obviously don't know what they're in for. A couple of hints: i) after the tutorial, every level is randomly generated EVERY TIME you play it. You can't learn the levels like other games: you have to be actually good at PLAYING it, it requires skill and practice to get better and learn how to deal with issues. ii) It's goddamn unforgiving. Hand in hand with point i), this game will take you apart repeatedly until you learn to do things like: avoid running under spiders, drop things in front of arrow traps, save ropes and bombs more than money, GET THE CLIMBING GLOVES AS FAST AS YOU CAN, stay the damn hell out of a yeti's armreach... And so on. It's wonderfully deep and infinitely new and fresh. GET IT AND ENJOY IT, FOLKS. (The only issues I've noted are very, very rare bugs and... That's it. It's great stuff, and I haven't even tried 4-player splitscreen co-op, which sounds incredible). Full Review »
  3. Jul 7, 2012
    Spelunky is a XBLA game costing 1200MS Points, based on an Indie game that was released for PC in 2008, and consists of a 2D platform gameSpelunky is a XBLA game costing 1200MS Points, based on an Indie game that was released for PC in 2008, and consists of a 2D platform game with old-style gameplay, as we saw in 8 and 16 bit consoles. The basic game is the prerogative of an explorer, after an Aztec artifact, which has to go through various underground levels and stages, to the exit of them.

    The Graphics of the game are simple, but the XBLA version won a updated look, being cleaner and more polished, still maintaining the old-style look, but being attractive, with a more "lively" and colorful. Everything else, like Menus keeps the air retro game. The CG animation of the game use to tell the story and have a simple air, but more refined.

    Audio: songs and voices are simple, but with a good audio, and effects, and voiceovers (in animation) are consistent with the actions and what you see, but still keeping the classic look we see in graphics.

    Gameplay: here is concentrated the greatest attraction of the game - the game has a series of 14 levels, which should be circulated with controls typical of the old platform games, and using some objects to help walk the galleries and avoid hazards such as spikes, sags and enemies, ranging from the simplest like snakes to advanced ones, like ghosts.

    You have objects like a rope (to climb up or down from a session), pumps (used to break the floor or walls) and a whip (to break objects or kill enemies), and other items that are being released with the progression in the game (such as jet packs).

    The Levels has the objective to reach the exit using its limited and scarce resources, and in the meantime, picking up treasures and rescuing characters if you want. You can make your way using the items, or try to cross using pre-established paths, but keeping the retro look, nothing is as easy as it sounds.

    If you die, you'll be returned to the initial stage of the game, and added to that, we have the fact that the levels are random generated, never a stage will be equal to each other and never the difficulty will be predetermined.

    Summary: the game is a very good classic platform game, with a retro air, but it presents a difficulty that may disappoint many people, but to please players who like games more hardcore platform games - the price is a little salty, 800ms points would be better.
    Full Review »