Almost exactly two years after it first released, Spelunky 2 has been updated with crossplay between players on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch, so you can now die ingloriously in front of your console-bound friends in the game’s Arena and Adventure modes.
Spelunky creator Derek Yu says the update, which comes as part of the game’s 1.26 patch, represents the completion of all of the game’s “major goals for online multiplayer”. With the “basic features” of Spelunky’s multiplayer now in place, says Yu, future updates will mostly focus on making tweaks and improvements to Spelunky 2’s online features based on player feedback.
That doesn’t mean the singleplayer experience will be neglected. The team will still put out updates to fix bugs and “game-breaking problems” in Spelunky’s solo modes, but Yu says his personal preference is to try to “preserve the singleplayer experience as much as possible after release”. In other words: significant singleplayer updates like the one that made Spelunky 2’s first area a bit easier are a thing of the past.
Yu goes into some detail as to why it’s taken so long for Spelunky 2 to get crossplay. “Spelunky 2 is pretty complex for online multiplayer, despite ‘just’ being a 2d platformer,” he writes, pointing out that “there are four players running around a double-layered level with destructible terrain, liquid simulation, and high interactivity, where nothing in the level can be disabled temporarily”. It sounds like a technical nightmare, and that’s on top of the struggles of coordinating with platform-holders spread across countries, languages, and timezones.
We were pretty keen on Spelunky 2, giving it 87% and praising its “fathomless secrets, magical gif moments and killable sleeping cavemen”. I’d love to tell you what I think of it, but I’ve definitely never played it. I’ve super definitely not poured 80 hours of my life into it and not even gotten past the Tide Pool yet. That would just be ridiculous.