Remember fun games? Enjoyable ones?

Spelunky isn't one of those games.

Borderlands writer Anthony Burch called it "one of the most unassumingly mindblowing games of the past 10 years."

Spelunky is one of the most infuriating things I've ever experienced. This game stomps on my efforts to survive at every turn. It does a great job, too. Over 24 hours of game time, I have died 759 times. Thanks for tracking that, game. 

The worst part is I can't stop. I keep coming back. I have to beat Spelunky. 

The Best Freeware Game Ever Made

One game topped PC Gamer magazine's list of the best free PC games. Spelunky. 

"It never stops being interesting," Tom Senior wrote. "You're always improvising, making plans, and getting killed trying to outwit a godd*mn bat."

Indie developer Derek Yu built the original Spelunky Classic in Game Maker. He released it in 2009 for free. The game quickly earned a strong cult following.

There's a more complex HD remake for Vita, Xbox Live Arcade and PC, but I prefer the PC-only original. It's simpler, and free. And it's d*mn near perfect.

Almost Perfect

Here's how Spelunky works. Every run dumps you into a randomly generated cave with a whip, 4 HP, and bombs and ropes. When you run out of hit points, the game ends. No saving because it's a roguelike. 

This gets infuriating. There are so, so many ways to die in Spelunky. An obstacle you bypass a dozen times might kill you on the next run. Stay alert or die.

People who stick around, though, will find an amazing game with an incredible amount of depth. Rock-solid platforming mechanics keep things fair, and the random dungeons ensure no two playthroughs are alike. 

When you dig into it, Spelunky is a complex puzzle. It demands careful planning, perfect reflexes and incredible nerve. It's incredibly fun. 

Completing all 15 levels is mind-numbingly difficult. The level of concentration and practice is beyond comprehension. 

As someone who loves hard games, Spelunky is immediately compelling. No hand-holding. No coddling. No extra lives. Spelunky is unapologetic in its brutality. Ha, I'm probably scaring everybody off from this game.

Go Play This

I would highly recommend Spelunky to anybody interested. The classic version is free on PC and Mac. Alternatively, you can pick up the HD remake for Windows, PS3, Vita, and XBLA. The remake won PC Gamer's 2013 Game of the Year. 

Spelunky is absolutely worth playing. I've put almost 24 hours into it because it's just that fun. 

(image credits)