Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Sep 29, 2020
    The original Spelunky's only obvious shortcoming was that its level design was somewhat limited. Spelunky 2 takes what made the original so great, fixes that shortcoming, and leaves us with one of the best-made indie games you'll ever play. A truly sensational effort from Mossmouth.
  2. Sep 14, 2020
    Mossmouth took its time and managed to deliver a masterpiece that improves upon its predecessor in ways I never even would have imagined. Spelunky 2 takes everything that made the original great and expands upon each of those individual aspects without ever over complicating the elegant, retro simplicity of its 2D platforming. It doesn’t do much to win over people who already weren’t fans of the original’s unforgiving difficulty, but as someone who is more than 200 runs in and feels like he’s only scratched the surface, Spelunky 2 is a game that I see myself playing for a long, long time.
  3. Oct 8, 2020
    Spelunky 2 takes the ridiculously polished foundation from the first game and blows it out with new content, mystifying secrets, and big-time cave mole jerks.
  4. Sep 16, 2020
    In Spelunky 2 you never get the same game twice, not just because the layout changes but because all the systems interact with each other to kill you in new, imaginative, and hilarious ways. It's almost impossible to put down.
  5. 92
    Awesome. A game that basically does not add anything to the platform genre, and still manages to be original and innovative by mixing all the ingredients with mastery. Despite the extreme difficulty it is never frustrating, keeping you in front of the screen for another run, and then another one and one more, while you promise yourself the next run will be the last. Recommended for both hardcore gamers aiming for the best score, and a more casual audience looking to have fun, and who don’t mind if they will only see a small part of the game. After all, how many of us have ever finished Bubble Bobble?
  6. CD-Action
    Dec 18, 2020
    Blitworks took the best from 8-bit platformers (Rick Dangerous! Montezuma’s Revenge!), evolved it greatly, and wrapped it up in visuals worthy of 2020. The result is amazing but be aware that you’ll be dying over and over and over again, because part of the game’s retro heritage is its frustrating difficulty level. Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints and place Spelunky 2 among my top 10 games of the year. [12/2020, p.46]
  7. Sep 28, 2020
    A teasing blend of punishment and reward that will delight roguelike fans whether they played the first or not, Mossmouth's great achievement is in adding so much depth and scope without overcomplicating the formula.
  8. Sep 19, 2020
    The general difficulty, as repeated several times during this review, is undoubtedly higher than the average of contemporary products, but in the face of the goodness of the proposed experience we strongly advise you not to see it as an obstacle but as an opportunity to put yourself to the test and really understand what you're made of Good luck, you will need it!
  9. Sep 14, 2020
    Spelunky 2 is a treasure in every way, one you'll be glad you've discovered.
  10. Sep 14, 2020
    Spelunky 2 is an outstanding sequel. Derek Yu, BlitWorks, and the rest of the team behind it have assembled a game that adds to what made Spelunky great without trending toward bloat or changing too much of the essentials. In some minor ways, the level randomization and art style don't feel quite up-to-par, but the overall package is polished, compelling, and brimming with secrets. As ever, players will die over and over in pursuit of a successful run or even just an ounce of progress, which is the way it's meant to be. I'm excited to see what others uncover as they pick themselves up again and again to venture deeper into Spelunky 2's depths.
  11. Sep 14, 2020
    Spelunky 2 is as addictive an experience as I’ve played this year. Two-minute-long runs stack to turn into consecutive hours of gameplay, and “just one more try” easily turns into an afternoon of exploring, dying, and trying again. Spelunky 2 is at once captivating, stressful, and exciting, and even now, I can’t wait to once again test my mettle within the cave’s ever-shifting walls.
  12. Edge Magazine
    Sep 10, 2020
    If, as Roger Ebert said, movies are a machine that generates empathy, then Spelunky 2, even more so than the original, is a machine for generating surprise. And, inevitably, its close cousin: delight. [Issue#350, p.]
  13. Sep 19, 2020
    Spelunky 2 is an outstanding sequel. It doesn't reinvent the formula but its small innovations are more than enough to give this sequel its own life.
  14. Sep 28, 2020
    Spelunky 2 doesn't advance the original's formula, but there's more stuff to sink your teeth into.
  15. Oct 31, 2020
    If you loved the original, you’re going to love Spelunky 2, and find it equal to its predecessor in all ways except one- where the original was a trail blazer, the new game seems content to, much like it asks of its players, simply plumb into familiar depths.
  16. Sep 14, 2020
    It innovates ever so slightly in so many ways to help give this sequel its own life.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Sep 14, 2020
    A legendary game gets a legendary sequel. [Eurogamer Essential]
  2. Sep 14, 2020
    You know when you finish a movie or book or game you love, and you wish you could experience it again for the first time? That’s what it has felt like to play Spelunky 2. I get to play my favorite game for the first time all over again. This isn’t a sequel. It’s yet another chance to play Spelunky with fresh eyes; everything is just a little different, another stroke that proves perfection is imperfect. Even the best can get better. [Polygon Recommends]
  3. Spelunky 2 has fully replaced Spelunky 1 for me. In playing it, I have been tense, I have been excited, I have been elated. I have also rediscovered the joys of being lost, uncertain, and surprised. Spelunky 2 makes Spelunky new again: a fancier strap, more cogs, a cuckoo popping out from a hidden compartment on the hour. The correct time, as delightful as the first time I learned to tell it. [RPS Bestest Bests]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 156
  2. Negative: 40 out of 156
  1. Oct 11, 2020
    Inferior to the first game in every way. Unless you've played a thousand hours of the first title and have seen all that it has to offer andInferior to the first game in every way. Unless you've played a thousand hours of the first title and have seen all that it has to offer and somehow don't want to delve into modding, Spelunky 2 has nothing to offer that will please a new or old player. Its design overall is less fine-tuned, feels more amateurish and far less coherent. The game is much harder than the first yet forces you to retread areas of the first game, which combined with the difficulty means that 90% of your Spelunky 2 runs will feel like Spelunky 1, with very little else that's changed besides worse level generation. Full Review »
  2. Oct 2, 2020
    Heading into Spelunky 2 off the back of hundreds of hours of HD has been great fun and I love a lot of the new mechanics and features, the newHeading into Spelunky 2 off the back of hundreds of hours of HD has been great fun and I love a lot of the new mechanics and features, the new shops, optional quests, the back layer, fluid physics etc but I feel like your average person won't find enjoyment from Spelunky 2 for reasons I will detail below.
    Dwelling, the first stage. I'll split these issues into 3 categories

    1/3 Formulaic progression from 1:1 to 1:4
    This area is absolutely far too busy and more often than not is extremely unfun and unrewarding. 1:1-1:4 is practically the same everytime save you may find an alter or dark level, and the Key/Yang optional quest may alternate between 1:2 and 1:3. For a game like spelunky this repeating formulae doesn't work and results in very boring, time consuming gameplay which honestly just feels like a chore. I realise the turkeys are optional but the health they give for blowing them up is pretty important considering the difficulty of Dwelling. The further levels do not have this issue really at all. The Quillback fight is incredibly repetitive once you've done it a few times and doesn't need to be a guaranteed event.

    2/3 Resource rarity and too resource consuming:
    The terrain generation on dwelling is extremely punishing in that you practically have to use all your resources to get around, there's many areas where it's completely impossible to scale back up the level without sacrificing ropes. it's not uncommon to have to use 2 ropes and a bomb or two to get Udjat eye. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if crates weren't so rare. It feels like there's maybe a quarter of the crates you got in this level's equivalent in Spelunky HD and even then crates weren't incredibly common. This wouldn't be a problem (and isn't) if this type of resource consuming level generation was saved for later in the game when you have established a run with resources to spare.

    3/3 The sheer amount of mobs, arrow traps + moles and lizards
    Dwelling practically plays out like a Spelunky HD Frozlunky Sashavole generation mod, you'll know what I mean if you've played it. The amount of mobs you can see at any one point in the area is far too high, especially considering the moles which have 3 health and can move through blocks + the lizards which also have 3 health and whilst aren't terribly hard to avoid are still very time consuming and frustrating to deal with. I don't know why Derek/The development team decided to add 2 new mobs which both have 3 health as it breaks down the pacing of this first stage quite a bit. On top of this, moles seem to have iframes when moving in and out of blocks (I've not tried with explosives as bombs are precious on the first area). On top of this there's also an insane amount of arrow traps, it's not uncommon to see 2 arrow traps pointing directly in the area of your spawn from the getgo, and there's plenty of traps which cannot be dealt with via arrow whipping due to their placement which further breaks the pacing as you have to go find an item to set them off.

    Also, the music for Dwelling is incredibly grating and disappointing when compared to Spelunly HD's first area's 3 great songs

    The culmination of all these things makes the first area game a complete slog and will definitely put off would-be new players.


    Once you're past the first area the game is actually incredibly fun, Jungle and Volcana are both equally interesting areas. They both have lots of variation and extra flair added to them. Volcana having dead are restless, dark and the factory variations which are rare and exciting to come across + Vlad's castle and the Jungle having dead are restless, dark + the black market and any other variations I've not yet seen. and fun challenging mobs without being overbearing (moles, lizards)

    The Olmec fight is okay, it's kind of silly that on the second stage you practically just AFK whilst he destroys the level so you can decide if you want to go to temple or tide pool, but it's okay and i appreciate olmec is kind of a nice homage to the first game if anything even if the fight isn't great.

    From my experience Tide Pool, Ice Caves and Babylon are all good zones although I think Babylon's mobs are a little bit boring mechanically even if their artwork is awesome, I've not played enough of temple to comment. Although except for maybe temple all of the zones are far more laid back than the that is dwelling and it causes the games' overall progression to feel disjointed and weird as the game is seemingly getting easier from the first area.

    The problem with all these great zones and pieces of content is that when you die (and you will die a lot) you are sent back to the insanely grating and unfun first zone which really kills motivation to play in general for me. I generally am more upset over having to play on dwelling again than I am about losing all my gear and progress. However I do appreciate the game has only been out for a few days and there is a ce
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 21, 2020
    I have to start off by saying that I loved the first Spelunky; it's probably in my list of top 5 favorite games. I've put in a couple hours atI have to start off by saying that I loved the first Spelunky; it's probably in my list of top 5 favorite games. I've put in a couple hours at this point and I've gotten to 2-1, and it's just so very "meh" when you compare it to the first game.


    Quality of life improvements, as the game supports much higher resolution and frames per second than the first, graphics are detailed and interesting. You can also grab onto ledges.


    The ghost now moves MUCH faster and can split into multiple ghosts. In the first game, the ghost felt like a super-powerful but super-stupid force of nature. You had to be careful, but you could control it for vast profit once you got good enough. The areas I've been in feel more cramped than the first, so unless you have a jetpack I really don't see how you can kite the ghost around.

    More items are now flammable, including bomb packs, which makes fighting the merchants much harder (though it does make sense)

    Feels like there are more enemies and traps, and another layer to get down in each level, but the same amount of time as the first game.

    I know a lot of people are really enjoying this game, but it feels like a real let down. I'm still trying to like it because of how much I liked the first game, but it's an effort when it really shouldn't be.
    Full Review »