Steambot Chronicles 2 was nowhere to be found in Tokyo Game Show this year. Irem presented Minna de Spelunker (Everyone’s Spelunker) in its place. While Irem insists this version of Spelunker is for “everyone” from my hands-on impressions it isn’t. Spelunker has a history of being devilishly difficult since the cave explorer is a fragile fellow. If he falls even an inch all of his bones fracture* and he dies. Since Minna de Spelunker is essentially a Spelunker remake it sticks to the same formula which means if you try to walk off an elevator that isn’t perfectly aligned to a platform the clumsy spelunker trips, falls unconscious, and bats throw him off a cliff*. I understand Spelunker is a game of precision. You need to make careful jumps and pixel match platforms. But, Minna de Spelunker is also a ten on the hair ripping frustration meter since every mistake leads to death.
All Irem added to Spelunker was a fresh coat of paint and a four player mode. Minna de Spelunker is really developed for fans of the original title. The coolest feature is you can switch the graphics back to play the game with large blocky sprites for a dose nostalgia. Irem hasn’t set a price for the game, but we should find out how much this costs soon since Minna de Spelunker comes out in Japan as a downloadable PlayStation Network title in winter 2008.
* These are my interpretations for the ridiculous reasons why you unnecessarily die.
Images courtesy of Irem.