The nice thing is that, after 34 years, Spelunker Party keeps quite intact the link with its origins, starting from the frame used to get to some structural elements and also aesthetic, made the due proportions. The addition of “Party” in the name indicates the most relevant feature of this new chapter, that is its strong tendency towards the multiplayer approach, available both in offline and online form.
To be honest, this is not really a completely new chapter, since this Party takes fully part of the characteristics of the previous Spelunker World, released a couple of years ago on PlayStation 4 and PC as a free-to-play game with online features and micro-transactions. The action is practically the same, the game options are similar and the structure is basically identical, but the micro-transactions have obviously been removed and some other variation has been applied to refresh the whole, as well as justify the new price from
€ 29.99 slapped on the cover, which compared to the prices that turn on the eShop of Switch is a certain amount of thickness. Unfortunately, it tends to be also unjustifiable given the offer and especially considering just the few differences that separate this party from the previous World. On the contrary, curiously some regressions are noticed,
Spelunker Party takes place as a classic side-scrolling platformer with some rather elementary puzzle elements, which nevertheless manage to vary the action within the more than 100 levels present in the explorable world. Being a title focused on the exploration of caves,
the possible settings are all developed around the same main theme but there is a considerable diversity of situations that the developers have managed to put together to stimulate exploration even after many missions around for tunnels.
One of the main driving forces is the search for the loot: the caves are full of treasures and collectible objects that can be used to change the appearance of the character and skills, as well as precious materials and money to always spend to customize the most just adventurer.
The system is clearly derived from the old free-to-play setting with micro-transactions, but fortunately now it is based solely on the conquest of in-game treasures, without any trap-money trap (apart from the price of the game, of course). The numbers in this case are impressive too, with hundreds of objects and equipment able to modify the skills of the speleologist, which can in turn be increased in level.
Basically, the game is an old-fashioned platformer, in which it is essential to perfectly calculate the jumps and the timing of the movements to avoid traps, sticking to lianas and jumping obstacles, at the same time getting rid of enemies of various types using the supplied instrumentation. Just like in the old Spelunker, it takes very little to lose a life,
A GROUP GAME
It is clear that the experience improves significantly by tackling the game in multiplayer, even if the basic mechanics remain unchanged. Both offline and online, you can take part in sessions with up to three other players taking part in real group explorations that in addition to increasing t
he general fun also open the way to further areas of the maps, thanks to mechanisms and situations of game in which the collaboration between various players is required to access areas otherwise unattainable. With a rather particular solution, even when playing online multiplayer the action is displayed in split-screen with the possibility to return to the full screen at any time.