Around thirty years ago, Tim Martin and MicroGraphicImage released a ridiculously hard platforming game called Spelunker. It put you in the shoes of an unfortunate cave-dweller, seeking treasure and fortune while facing death at every turn. That might be at the hands of a fiendish goat, or simply from falling ten feet off a ledge. Ouch.
Though notoriously difficult, Spelunker soon attracted a cult following, particularly after its 1987 release on the NES platform. Now, Tozal Games has brought that old-school experience to mobile devices - but with a couple of modifications to keep players from going completely over the edge.
For the most part, Everyday Spelunker's controls are good, although you'll still die quite often as you work your way into the cave. The utilities you carry with you - such as bombs and ghost dispersion devices - are really useful, and the ability to post your high scores against fellow players is very cool.
To balance the game's frustrations just a little, Tozal has added two great options - "rope assist," which makes climbing easier, and "unlimited lives," which stop you having to go back through the whole level again. Trust us, you'll be thanking them for these additions.
Even with the new options turned on, Everyday Spelunker is incredibly hard. You'll find yourself stuck at sections quite often. On occasion, the controls flub a little too, adding to the frustration when you unintentionally fall off a ledge or fall into a pit.
The game's aesthetics are also decidedly old-school, and haven't undergone an HD transfer like the platform PC game Spelunky. That means experiencing the 8-bit sprites and music over and over again. A good or a bad thing, really, depending on your tastes.
Everyday Spelunker isn't for everyone, and some people will simply give up before even attempting the game's later levels. That said, old-school platforming fans - and nostalgic NES lovers - can very happily buy with confidence.
Download Everyday Spelunker - iPhone & iPad