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What to know about Spelunky 2: Release date, new weapons, and more

The gaming industry owes a lot to Spelunky. The colorful cult hit not only helped popularize the roguelike genre, but it also opened the doors for the modern indie game revolution thanks to a high-profile Xbox Live Arcade launch. Over a decade later, the critical darling is getting a long-awaited sequel that looks to expand on the original’s charm. Here’s everything to know about Spelunky 2.

A platforming roguelike

Like its predecessor, Spelunky 2 pulls together elements from roguelikes and platformers. The simple goal is to reach the end of a cave by traveling through randomly generated floors filled with traps. Each level contains a hidden exit door that players must find through careful exploration. When the player dies, they lose everything they collected and start from the beginning with nothing.

Each floor contains different treasures for players to collect and secrets to discover. While levels don’t have a time limit, the original game features a powerful ghost that will hunt players down if they spend too long in a level. Each run is a tricky balance between finding the floor’s exit as fast as possible while discovering as many items and secrets as possible.

Like any classic platformer, players can jump on monsters to defeat them or get tools like whips. Shops randomly appear throughout levels and offer different weapons and upgrades each run.

Environments in Spelunky 2 are largely destructible, which means that players can use bombs to destroy platforms and create shortcuts through levels.

Spelunky 2 - State of Play Release Date Trailer | PS4

New faces

At first, players control Ana Spelunky, the daughter of the first game’s main hero. In the sequel, Ana heads to the moon to find her missing family members. Despite the lunar setting, environments largely resemble those of the original game with rocky caves, desert-like ruins, and more.

Throughout the game, players will unlock new characters like Margaret Tunnel and Roffy D. Sloth, a literal sloth man. The game features a central hub, which grows more as new characters are discovered and runs are completed. The space allows players to practice moves and access different shortcuts discovered along the way.

Spelunky 2 Mounts
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Differences from original

Mossmouth emphasized that Spelunky 2’s world is denser than the original, featuring more ways to interact with the environment. Branching routes have been added to the sequel, giving each level more exits. Levels also contain a second layer behind the normal 2D playfield, which contains hidden treasures and secrets.

Shops have been updated in the sequel to add more minigame components to shopping. One trailer shows the character rolling giant dice to win an item trapped behind an electric barrier.

Mounts are new to the game, letting players ride different animals through levels. Trailers show characters riding turkeys that can jump across long distances by flapping their wings.

Developer Derek Yu promises that the game will feature deeply hidden secrets, noting that even he isn’t sure he’s discovered all of them yet.

An upgraded arsenal

In addition to standard Spelunky weapons like shotguns and whips, the sequel adds a slew of new tools that can be discovered throughout runs. Among the new weapons are a flamethrower and a cloning gun, which players can use to make multiple copies of NPCs like pugs.

Players can grab different packs that give them passive bonuses. For example, a power pack improves weapon handling abilities, while a hover pack lets players hover indefinitely. Poison and curses are new to the game, which can be inflicted on enemies or the player themself.

Old favorite items like the web gun and freeze ray are returning to the game as well.

Spelunky 2 Multiplayer
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Online multiplayer

While the original Spelunky featured local multiplayer, the sequel adds online play. The game features both a co-op adventure mode as well as competitive options.

The original game’s versus play has been expanded out under an Arena banner. This contains both a traditional deathmatch option and a new mode called Hold The Idol. The game’s Sony State of Play trailer gives a brief glimpse of the latter, showing four players in an arena all fighting to grab a golden skull from the center.

When, where, and how much?

So far, Spelunky 2 has only been confirmed for a PlayStation 4 and Steam launch. The game will launch first on PlayStation 4 on September 15 and cost $20. No PlayStation 5 release has been announced yet. PC owners can grab the game a couple of weeks later on September 29.

Mossmouth hasn’t said anything about an Xbox release yet. Considering the game has been heavily featured in Sony’s State of Play streams, it’s likely to remain a PlayStation console exclusive during its initial launch window.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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