Spelunker (NES)

Game Profile

The underground pyramid awaits! Grab your oxygen tank, dynamite and flares and prepare to explore miles of uncharted caves in search of the legendary pyramid and its vast treasures.

Along the way you will swing from ropes and ladders and make use of mining carts and rafts, collecting jewels, sacks of gold coins and other valuable items as you navigate the hazardous terrain. You must keep your wits about you, however, as the caves hold many dangers. Scalding steam vents, poisonous bats and the avenging spirits of dead spelunkers lurk in every corner of this massive underground labyrinth!

Game Review

3DS eShop Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Go back to your cave and stay there

Ask a few western gamers about Spelunker and it's likely that barely any of them will have heard of the game, despite it being originally developed by an American company. Ask Japanese gamers, though, and it's a completely different story — the game is...

Game Review

Wii U eShop Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Deeper underground

Ask a few western gamers about Spelunker and it's likely that barely any of them will have heard of the game, despite it being originally developed by an American company. Ask Japanese gamers, though, and it's a completely different story — the game is...

Game Review

Virtual Console Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Going underground

Spelunker is a blast from the past. It started out life on home computers such as the Commodore 64 and was eventually ported to the NES. The game’s protagonist is tasked with working their way down a giant cave to find the great treasure that is...

Game Screenshots

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Game Trailers

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User Comments (29)



SKTTR said:

This game may look pretty fun but it's controls are very frustrating. It could have been so much better if they made the jumping controls easier. But if you get around this, it's a pretty decent game. As you see in the video above, it's also very short. He beats that game in about 6 minutes.



Drake said:

I think what you mean is actually him falling from a platform - This game's got a similar system to Donkey Kong which means you die if you fall even the slightest distance. Remember that it's also a speedrun abusing every possible exploit and glitch, so it might be a glitch you mean.



JNoodles said:

The controls of this game aren't exactly what you call 'fun'. Not only is it difficult to control, but it is about as short as Yoshi's Story cut in half.



MagFlare said:

The guy in the video is much better at Spelunker than I am.

Regardless, this game is crap. Frustrating controls, vindictive traps, and a tight time limit make for a maddening gaming experience. Broderbund should've stuck to their "educational" games and left platforming alone.



agent_lime said:

i actually liked this game as a kid... it can be considered short (the guy in the video) but its actually really challenging and can take a while to figure things out. The one suckish part though is that if you fall a teensy bit you will die.



Adamant said:

It's not a bad game, really, but the NES port does some ridiculously stupid things, like including that "die by falling an inch" crap. The video was a poor choice, given that it's a speedrun - the game will take much longer to beat than that guy showed. It's not THAT short, and it's rather tricky at times. Worth a download? Eh... maybe. It's not a good port, but it's still a decent little game.



Dazza said:

Just a note we changed the video from the old speed-run video we had originally



v404 said:

I remember this game from my adolescence as being one of the most difficult & simulatenously cheap/frustrating games ever. The kid that lived across the street from me had it & neither of us could ever finish it.

However, not having played it in 20 years, I'm a little curious to give it another shot. Though, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.



Jack said:

Look like an old arcade game called "Bagman". I will get this.



Masuyo said:

This game is not good as a VC download... but I have the NES cart and it's one of my favorite games to play. It can be frustrating but I never feel like it's the game's fault I'm dying. The controls are very nuanced and it's satisfying once you actually get past a level and move on to the next. You feel like you've actually accomplished something. The only thing I wish is that they would have added some sort of game save. Doing the first level over and over is very frustrating.



solosnake said:

OMG the character looks just like King Graham from the Kings Quest series. I would LOOOVE to see Kings Quest make it to the VC sometime.



Adamant said:

Parser games are generally completely unplayable without a keyboard, and the Wii pointer keyboard is honestly not very practical to use.
There's a King's Quest Collection for the PC that retails for 20$ or so, I'd recommend you pick up that one instead.



darthmix said:

wait in the car-

Now that we're getting C64 games on the Virtual Console, Montezuma's Revenge is at least a possibility.



deggs said:

yeah.................. i never realized that this was put out by Brøderbund back in the day...

i really really hope that this means that The Guardian Legend will see light of day on VC as it involved Brøderbund, compile and irem. i've always wanted to play that game. maybe now i will get my chance



jcasetnl said:

This game epitomizes the worst of old skool gaming design and execution. Yes, there are worse examples in bootleg titles, but how this game ever got the Nintendo Seal is a true mystery.

The control is pretty awful. However, it's the terrible control coupled with insanely unforgiving gameplay that make this one the winner of suck. This game has so many ways to kill you that you'll eventually be paranoid to move in any direction once you've achieved staying alive for more than 20 seconds. Yes, you literally get shell shock playing this frustrating pile of crap.

There is a big difference between playing a game like Megaman, which was extremely challenging, and playing a game like Spelunker. Megaman is a challenging game. With Spelunker, the game is quite simple and the challenge is in the awesomely lousy controls and stupid "fall three feet and you die" game design. Avoid this turd.



Ricardo91 said:

Do real people even get bruised falling at that height? And that bat sounds like a cricket. Hey Broderbund, how about giving us The Guardian Legend next time, Hmm?



StarDust4Ever said:

@jcasetnl: "but how this game ever got the Nintendo Seal is a true mystery."

No kidding. If you want a modern example of a equally horribly bad game, try "NinjaBread Man" for Wii.




Huh? What? Oh, sorry. I was remembering the time I actually bothered to play this, and then I remembered the theme song and instantly fell into a boredom coma.



famikoi said:

I don't actually own the game for VC, but I own the famicom cartridge, and I'm very fond of it. Might be a bit tough due to the difficult jumping-off-ropes moments and the sheer amazing amount of things that can lead to your death, but I don't think it deserves to be rated so low.
..Then again reviews and ratings are highly subjective, so they don't really matter whatsoever as they don't prevent me from enjoying this, so why am I complaining.



Corbs said:

I owned the Commodore 64 version of this game and in truth, it never really caught on with me. Just didn't have that addictive quality that many of the similar style games from the early 80's had.

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