A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spelunky 2 is a platform adventure game available for download on PlayStation 4 and Windows-based PCs. Players run, jump, and shoot their way through a series of randomly generated caves, searching for treasure and rescuing other characters in the process. Players can go through the adventure alone or with up to three friends in co-op play, working together to overcome obstacles and bypass traps in their quest for more treasure. The game is fast-paced, with a lot of on-screen action happening at once. This, along with the randomized nature of each session, contributes to a relatively steep difficulty curve. There's also a fair amount of violence, including some on-screen depictions of blood when characters are damaged.
What's it about?
SPELUNKY 2, the sequel to the indie action platform hit, takes the exploration to new levels. What's a girl to do when her dad has already become the most famous cave explorer on the planet? For Ana Spelunky, the answer is simple: Leave the planet. Ana and her friends take off for the moon for a grand adventure. You'll help Ana and her friends establish a Base Camp, explore the lunar depths, rescue a few fellow spelunkers, and grab some undiscovered treasures while you're at it. Spelunky 2 breaks new ground over the original hit with multilayered, randomly generated levels, a robust cast of characters, new traps and enemies to avoid, and even wild animals that can be tamed as mounts. You can go solo or form a search party with up to three friends in local or online co-op play, or prove you're the best explorer around in competitive Arena matches. With near limitless replayability and branching story paths, Spelunky 2 is a fast, fun, and personal adventure that never ends.
Is it any good?
When the original was released back in 2008, it quickly became an indie favorite with its retro look and feel, randomly generated levels, and challenging play. Now, more than a decade later, Spelunky 2 has finally broken ground. It's no exaggeration to say that the game improves on the first game in almost every way. Although returning spelunkers are sure to enjoy the sequel's wealth of riches, is it possible to overindulge and have too much of a good thing?
Spelunky 2 includes more characters to rescue and play. There are brand-new wacky weapons and tools to use. There's even an assortment of cute creatures to ride as mounts while exploring. Meanwhile, the game has added multiple new layers to its randomly generated stages, giving literal depth to the 2D gameplay. Coupled with a new assortment of deadly traps and enemies to contend with, this cranks up the difficulty quite a bit. And that's where the game loses just a little bit of ground. The original Spelunky was already known as a challenging game for even the best player. But the sequel makes that look like child's play by comparison. The difficulty's only magnified by the random nature of each playthrough, as the new and more complex pieces used to create each stage occasionally fail to fit together nicely. This can lead to some playthroughs feeling almost impossible to beat. Usually, failing out of a stage and restarting, complete with a brand-new build of a stage, can fix the issue. But it's still one bit of shaky ground left on an otherwise solid gaming foundation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about replayability in gaming. What are some things that can keep players coming back to certain games? How can features like randomly generated levels help and hurt the gaming experience? Do you think it's important to grab every collectible available, or do you just play for a fresh experience every time?
How can video games help to teach kids to work together to overcome obstacles? What are some of the ways that players can learn to be good sports when working together?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Mossmouth
- Release date: September 15, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood, Crude Humor
- Last updated: October 2, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.