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Spelunky gets spelunk-ier

Spelunky is arguably one of the most recognizable action roguelikes and the game that began the trend of introducing roguelike design to new genres. The original’s use of procedural generation combined with challenging platforming remains unique to this day. Eight years after the re-release, though, Spelunky 2 doesn’t quite fill the giant shoes left by its predecessor.

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Next Generation Spelunker

Our story finds the daughter of the first game’s hero in search of her parents after they have been mysteriously guided to a new temple on the moon. The story once again is just a framework to send the player into deathtrap-filled environments in search of treasure. …

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Achievement rates are a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing player engagement

I have recently been taking a closer look at the analytics that come with video games — more specifically, the achievement rates on games purchased via Steam. Looking at them has given me some insight into the hallmark of what truly makes a good game, and it has nothing to do with the number of reviews, accolades — or surprisingly — the number of sales. Today, I’m talking about player retention when it comes to single-player games, and what we can learn about how people continue to play (or quit) a game.

The Critical Contradiction

Before we begin, it’s important to mention that we’re not talking multiplayer or live service games in this article. Games that have further content added post-launch retain players differently than single-player experiences. …

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The most modern and approachable roguelike on the market

Supergiant Games has made a name for themselves over the last decade for combining great gameplay with imaginative stories and storytelling. Their breakout hit Bastion brought a level of craftsmanship and artistic care to the action genre. With Hades, the team tries their hand at making an action roguelike and gives us one of the most aesthetically and narratively pleasing examples on the market.

Escape from Hell

The story follows Zagreus (or Zag for short), the demigod son of Hades, as he attempts to escape from both his father and home of the same name. Aiding him on his escape is the full litany of Greek gods and mythological figures. Right off the bat, you can see Supergiant’s penchant for storytelling come through with Hades. You’re playing as a demigod, aka someone who is immortal. The writing of the world leans into the fact that everyone you come across can’t be killed, and they constantly reference previous battles and experiences each time you meet them. …


Josh Bycer

Josh Bycer is the owner of Game-Wisdom and specializes in examining the art and science of games. He has over seven years of experience discussing game design.

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