Even now Spelunky is a polarizing game. Some claim it's one of the best in the genre, others think it doesn't do anything special and has been over-hyped since launch. But as someone who wiled away many hours with my wife in its dark perilous caverns, I fall squarely in the former camp.
Outside of a brief tutorial, Spelunky is very much a hard knocks type of game. Everything from fall distance to enemy patterns to item arcs are learned intuitively, and discovering some of the game's more esoteric Easter eggs without the use of a guide or stream is a special kind of reward. It has its issues, but it's something that I'm going to play for years on end, and eventually show my future kids.
Naturally I was keen on giving this Noclip documentary an hour of my life, as it chronicles the journey of creator Derek Yu from an intrepid freeware developer to a worldwide phenomenon. It's odd how closely my career has been entwined with his, as Aquaria (his first big award winning project) was one of the first games I covered when I started in this industry.... read more