Spelunker HD Deluxe – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: Tozai Games
Publisher: ININ Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Spelunker HD Deluxe – Review

Site Score
Good: Classic gameplay, updated 3D graphics
Bad: dying a lot can be quite frustrating, gameplay feels outdated compared to modern platformers
User Score
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

The original Spelunker game developed by Timothy G. Martin of MicroGraphic Image already dates from 1983, and it has made its way too many flatforms since then. In 2009, Spelunker HD was created with updated 3D graphics and now, this game has made its way to the Nintendo Switch and PS4 with Spelunker HD Deluxe. With great design, classic gameplay, and even newly-added online functionalities, this is a great game for young and old, but not for the weak-willed.


Like in many simple platformer games from a long time ago, Spelunker HD doesn’t offer any story content during your playthrough. In this game, your mission is clear: you start at the entrance of a huge cave, and you need to get as low as you can. On your path, you will encounter a lot of traps, critters, and obstacles to prevent you from reaching your goal.


Spelunker HD can be played in two ways in terms of graphics. You can play it with the improved HD visuals, that come with this version of the game, but you can also play the game with the classic old-school graphics which were present in the 1983 version of the game. The 3D graphics surely look refreshing when comparing them to the original game, but for the nostalgic feeling, it’s best to play this game with the old visuals. Playing with the classic graphics makes the game a tad easier as well, as some traps are easier to spot this way.


All the sounds and background music you hear in this game instantly make you feel nostalgic. The quality of these sounds has been improved to make them sound even better, but everything still retains a certain nostalgic feeling. The background music will constantly be the same throughout the whole game, but each time when you manage to reach the end of a stage, the music will change to instantly give you a feeling of accomplishment. After this very short intermezzo, the music will change back and continue the track you were hearing before. While music is repetitive as hell, this just contributes to the nostalgic feeling of the game.


Spelunker HD Deluxe is a platformer game that basically is a remake of the original Spelunker game with updated graphics, more game modes, and even online functionalities. Nonetheless, the game can also be played in its original state with classic graphics.

The gameplay of Spelunker HD keeps true to the original game by retaining all the original gameplay aspects. The gameplay itself is quite easy to master with simple platforming controls and a few defensive skills to keep you alive in the dark caves, but this hardly makes it an easy game. Spelunked HD has a very high difficulty level and can be very unforgiving at the least.

In Spelunker, one single mistake will mean a very quick death. There are a lot of ways to get yourself killed and you’ll definitely experience them all while playing. Jumping a fraction too far, bats pooping on you, touching steam, or staying just a little bit too close to your own bomb’s explosion are a few examples of how you can get yourself killed; and there are many more to experience. The thing is, death lurks around every corner and you can’t take your time as well as you need to keep collecting certain items to extend your lifespan in the cave. This game is all about guiding your character through a cave full of deadly obstacles and it is quite good at killing you. What’s funny is that when you’ve lost your last life, you’ll get a text explaining your accomplishments and how you died.

The Spelunker HD version comes with a variety of game modes. All these modes both support offline and online play, but mostly, the online modes in the game are as good as dead at the point of writing. We hope this will change, as these online multiplayer modes can be a lot of fun to play. You can always try to get as high as possible on the leaderboards to prove your worth, as this doesn’t require other players to be playing at the exact same time. Offline multiplayer records won’t be recorded on the online leaderboards, as the game only records single-player runs.

The game modes you can play are Adventure, Competition, Championship, and Endless Cave NEO. Adventure is the classic mode you know from the original game. The Competition mode is the only mode that requires multiple players, whether it’s online or offline. In this mode, you fight with your opponents to reach the goal first. Sadly, with the small online player base, it’s best to play this in local multiplayer to ensure you have other players to play with. In the Championship mode, you get a bunch of lives and are thrown in a very hard cave where you need to get as far as you can. The Endless Cave NEO mode throws you in a randomly generated auto-scroll stage where the screen will slowly scroll down, giving you a limited amount of time to reach lower grounds. This one runs endlessly, as the name implies, until you finally lose your last life. All the game modes revolve around setting the highest score for yourself; while trying to compete in the online leaderboards.


Spelunker HD Deluxe is a great addition to the Switch library. With the classic gameplay we know from Spelunker, newly-added game modes, updated graphics, multiplayer, and online leaderboards, this is a great game for both young and old. Be cautious, you do need a lot of patience for this game, as the difficulty hasn’t changed at all. You can still die in the blink of an eye, but this is a part of the challenge this game offers. If the online player base increases in the near future, the online modes will also start to shine in this game, which will make it an even better game. If you’re into challenging platformers or just want to relive the old days, then this game is a perfect match for you.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.