In Spelunky 2, players once again journey deep underground and explore amazing places filled with traps, treasure, and secrets - but this time as Ana Spelunky, the child of the main character of Spelunky HD, deep within the Moon.
Development for the sequel started around 2016, although it was first announced at Paris Games Week in October 2017. The first full gameplay trailer was finally released on on August 29, 2018.
Though initially scheduled for 2019, Spelunky 2 released on PlayStation 4 on September 15, 2020, and released on Steam for PC on September 29, 2020.
"Spelunky 2 is not just about "getting good and beating the game" - more than that, it's an endlessly replayable playground to experiment in and find your own way, creating stories against the backdrop of an expansive, deeply-interactive world filled with secrets. The more you play, the more the game becomes yours!"
- Spelunky 2 Steam Store Page Description
Spelunky 2 is a Roguelike.
Levels are procedurally generated with innumerable combinations, producing unique caves on every playthrough, with varied terrain, enemies and items spawning in each one. The player must navigate these in real time, using skill and reflexes, as well as resource management and strategy to gather treasure and fight monsters. Death is permanent, rapid and frequent - everything is lost upon death and the player must start over from the beginning with only the stock equipment of bombs, ropes and hitpoints.
The lead designer of the game, Derek Yu, is involved in indie game development culture, and draws from some of their traditions in his game design, such as metagaming elements like Speedrunning challenges. For Spelunky 2, many of his design principles were based off of two different stories that he loved to hear from people who played his game:
- Something genuinely unexpected happened in the game.
- Memories were had from playing with family, friends, and strangers alike.
Spelunky 2 was designed to be a true continuation of Spelunky HD, adding more to what was already established in the first game. Due to its massive scope, Mossmouth (Derek Yu's game development studio) co-developed the game with BlitWorks, a company known for working on ports of games like Spelunky HD, Super Meat Boy, Don't Starve, Sonic CD, and Jet Set Radio.
The team also wanted to create a much more living, breathing world compared to the original game. To achieve this, the game's story and lore was heavily expanded upon and the world was made much larger, with splitting paths, more secret areas, and numerous NPCs, each with their own quests or services. The Entrance Cave was also turned into a sizeable camp where the player can interact with different objects and other playable characters, each with their own special dialogue.
Spelunky 2 also planned to add online multiplayer in order to help players connect more easily together with the game. While online multiplayer released at launch for the PS4 edition, it did not release on PC until December 14th, 2020 in order to prevent heavy latency issues initially experienced by PS4 players.
Spelunky 2 was met with critical acclaim by multiple critics. It received an average score of 91 on Metacritic, and glowing reviews from sites like Polygon, IGN, Rock Paper Shotgun, and Eurogamer.
The game was praised as "reinventing perfection", for having added new content that felt organic and added to the original Spelunky HD formula.
Spelunky 2 was nominated for "Best Indie" in the 2020 Game Awards.