Summary: Ever played a game you can't decide if you hate or love but keep playing it anyway to try and make up your mind only to find you've been playing for hours and still don't know if you like it or not? That is pretty much Spelunky in a nutshell.
Excerpt: You drop off a ledge, your hands nervously gripping a flickering torch, which is your only source of light in these deadly, trap-filled corridors. For a split second, your mind wanders back to the encounter with a gargantuan reptilian creature that left you severely wounded.
Pros: Everything about it, The constant sense of discovery, Learning how to challenge your limits
Cons: Everything about it if you’re short-tempered, No online co-op, You will have to go to bed and stop playing at some point
Excerpt: Most platformers are won or lost by memorisation. Learn the controls and study your terrain and you'll eventually end up on top of the flagpole or through the spinning golden ring. In Spelunky's procedurally generated world, however, the comforting familiarity of muscle memory is nowhere to be found...
Summary: Parents need to know that Spelunky is an extremely challenging platform adventure game available through Xbox Live Arcade that includes a bit of cartoonish violence and a small amount of blood.
Conclusion: If you have a group of friends that you can chase on the leaderboards, then I can see Spelunky justifying its $15 price tag. That is the extent of the online multiplayer, as the game’s co-op mode is local only. I really do hate Spelunky. It is frustrating in a way that few console games ever are.
Pros: Topping all of your friend’s scores in something this arduous is an accomplishment that all can instantly recognize. I hate the endless caves, the merciless traps, and the deadly monsters, but I feel like I’m supposed to hate them. The fun is in the posturing to friends: “Oh, you don’t know how t...
Cons: The controls are touchy This is already a difficult game, but it isn’t made any easier by its touchy controls. Walking without holding the right trigger to sprint is too slow, but sprinting makes the hero fly wildly across the screen. The standard whip attack feels like it should just reach a few...
Conclusion: It's worth noting that Spelunky XBLA is a remake of the original Spelunky on PC which can be downloaded and played for no charge at all, so if the 1200msp price tag is a bit off putting try out the free PC version, as the games are very very similar in general. http://spelunkyworld.com/original.html
Summary: Spelunky is a brilliant 2D cavern explorer that reminds us of the old days of gaming, where one foul move spelled the end of that run and the complete restart of the game that you had worked so hard on.
Pros: Beautiful 2D graphics, Difficulty will be welcomed by fans of hardcore gaming experiences, Multiplayer deathmatch is very fun
Cons: I WANT TO KILL THIS GAME SOMETIMES, Spelunky can be extremely frustrating, Multiplayer is local only, there's no online
Conclusion: Spelunky is a strong candidate for the game of 2012. It is arguably a perfect example of the potential of video games as entertainment – an easily understood, rapidly-learned set of rules which govern a game which can only be improved at by practice and mastery of those rules.