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 adventurers of Spelunky, deep within the Moon.
The sequel was first announced at Paris Games Week in October 2017. On August 29, 2018, a full gameplay trailer was released.
Though initially scheduled for 2019, Spelunky 2 released on PlayStation 4 on September 15, 2020, and released on Steam September 29.
"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 'Rogue-lite', a sub-genre of Roguelikes.
The 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 the independent game development culture, and draws from some of their traditions in his game design, such as metagaming elements like Speedrunning challenges. For Spelunky 2, he guided his design principles on two things that he loved to hear about 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 continuation of Spelunky HD - more of the same. Due to it's massive scope, BlitWorks was called and partnered with Mossmouth (Derek Yu's development studio) to help create the game.
Furthermore, the team 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.
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 latency issues from occurring.
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.