The gaming industry owes a lot Cave explorers. The colorful cult hit not only helped popularize the roguelike genre, it also opened the doors to the modern indie game revolution thanks to a high-profile Xbox Live Arcade launch. Over a decade later, the critical darling gets a long-awaited sequel designed to add to the charm of the original. Everything you need to know is here Speleology 2.
A platform roguelike
Like its predecessor, Speleology 2 pulls together elements of roguelikes and platformers. The simple goal is to reach the end of a cave by driving through randomly generated floors with traps. Each level contains a hidden exit door that players must find through careful exploration. If the player dies, they will lose everything they have collected and start over with nothing.
Each floor contains different treasures that players can collect and discover secrets. While levels don’t have a time limit, the original game features a powerful ghost that hunts down players if they spend too long in a level. Every run is a difficult balance between finding the floor exit as quickly as possible and discovering as many objects and secrets as possible.
As with any classic platformer, players can jump on monsters to defeat them or be given tools like whips. Shops appear randomly in all levels and offer different weapons and upgrades with each run.
Environments in Speleology 2 are largely destructible which means players can use bombs to destroy platforms and create links through levels.
First, players control Ana Spelunky, the daughter of the main hero of the first game. In the sequel, Ana goes to the moon to find her missing family members. Despite the lunar backdrop, the environments are largely similar to the original game, with rocky caves, desert-like ruins, and more.
As the game progresses, players will unlock new characters such as Margaret Tunnel and Roffy D. Sloth, a literal sloth man. The game has a central hub that grows more as new characters are discovered and runs are completed. The room allows players to practice movement and access various shortcuts discovered along the way.
Differences to the original
Mossmouth emphasized that Spelunky 2’s The world is denser than the original and offers more opportunities to interact with the environment. Branch routes have been added to the sequel, giving each level more exits. Levels also contain a second level behind the normal 2D playing field that contains hidden treasures and secrets.
The stores were subsequently updated to add more mini-game components to shopping. A trailer shows the character rolling giant dice to win an item trapped behind an electrical barrier.
Mounts are new to the game and allow players to ride different animals through levels. Trailers show characters riding turkeys that can leap great distances by flapping their wings.
Developer Derek Yu promises that the game will contain deeply hidden secrets, noting that even he is not sure if he discovered them all.
An upgraded arsenal
In addition to standard Cave explorers Weapons like shotguns and whips, the sequel adds a number of new tools that can be discovered during the barrel. New weapons include a flamethrower and a clone weapon that players can use to make multiple copies of NPCs such as pugs.
Players can pack various packages that give them passive bonuses. For example, a powerhouse improves weapon handling skills, while a hover package lets players hover indefinitely. Poison and curses are new to the game, which can be inflicted on enemies or the player himself.
Old favorite items like the Web Gun and Freeze Ray also return to the game.
While the original Cave explorers The sequel features local multiplayer and adds online games. The game offers both a co-op adventure mode and competitive options.
The Versus game of the original game has been expanded under an arena banner. This includes both a traditional deathmatch option and a new mode called Hold The Idol. The game’s Sony State of Play trailer gives a sneak peek into the latter, showing four players in an arena, all battling to get a golden skull out of the middle.
When and where?
So far, Speleology 2 has only been confirmed for a PlayStation 4 and Steam launch. The game will debut on PlayStation 4 on September 15th. No PlayStation 5 release has been announced yet. PC owners will be able to download the game a few weeks later on September 29th.
Mossmouth hasn’t said anything about an Xbox release yet. Given that the game is heavily featured on Sony’s State of Play streams, it is likely to remain a PlayStation exclusive during the first launch window.