Gaming Underground


Spelunky on the left.  Something I can’t pronounce on the right.

There’s a bit of a rush on cave-y explore-y adventures in Shinypixel World recently.  Only yesterday I stumbled upon an incomprehensibly-named Japanese game dubbed “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” on Jay Is Games*  Quite a sweet little thing it is too, though.  The use of crisp, conservative pixel graphics creates a massive gameworld in proportion to your tiny character, and the switch-pressing exploration gameplay is reminiscent of Switchblade on the 8-bits.  It’s not without its faults – jumping is quite sticky, and there are ropes and ladders you can’t actually use – but it’s a great way to kill a couple of hours finding the 40 hidden artefacts.

At the other end of the scale, there’s something that I am totally crap at.  Spelunky.  Derek Yu (of TIGSource fame) has released version 1.0 of his, procedurally generated cave adventure, which manages to be tremendous fun and inexplicably hard at the same time.   I’d have more to say about it if I didn’t keep dying so much, but the care and attention is obvious and keeps you coming back for more punishment – don’t play it if you’re easily addicted.

* Sorry, I was desperate.