Spelunky News!

 Grind #7: All Shortcuts + Olmec and All Journal Entries Races

Posted by ix on July 20th, 2018 @12:49PM

Hi all --


I am excited to announce the next MossRanking community event!  This Sunday (July 22, 2018) at Noon Eastern, we'll host a series of one-on-one races in the All Shortcuts + Olmec (AS+O) and All Journal Entries (AJE) categories.  The races will be streamed on the MossRanking Twitch channel with live commentary.  Here's an approximate schedule:


 Noon: chocolatecake - vlad (AS+O)

 12:30: e5ten - samcv (AS+O)

 1:00: meow - kirby (All Journal Entries)

 2:00: curticus - grooomp (AS+O)


For those unfamiliar with the categories, both of these are real-time attack (RTA) runs that begin with a blank save file. The competitors will begin by completing the tutorial and then completing the following objectives:


All Shortcuts + Olmec: Unlock all the Tunnel Man shortcuts and complete the game by defeating Olmec.  This run has been featured at AGDQ 2018 by Kinnijup and AGDQ 2016 by BumCommando & Kinnijup.


All Journal Entries: Unlock all of the journal entries.  This means the Spelunkers will be visiting every area in the game, collecting every item, triggering every trap, and killing every enemy.  Since AJE hasn't been at a GDQ (yet), here's a randomly selected top-5 run to showcase: 37:58 by ix.


Hope to see lots of you there!



 Moss News - Written Edition - Choco gets eggplant :D

Posted by Kinnijup on June 6th, 2018 @02:20PM

Hey gang - Kinni here


I haven't done a written news in a while. ix is busy for a bit so we couldn't really pull together a podcast like we had been doing. I'm going to go over all the recent runs since last podcast . Hope you enjoy reading it . Let's jump right in...



First off, chocolatecake5000 nailed an eggplant run! He got a 25:32. He is the 46th person to complete this feat, way to go choco! He also hit a 4:03 Low% No Gold time and a 5:07 Max Low%. Both of these Low% runs are really getting impressive. Choco has reached the top 30 on Mossranking, with 645k Mosspoints! All that remains for him to complete in terms of Mosspoints categories is Low% Hell, which Choco has been to Yama on. So I think we may see him finish this in the near future. Good luck, Choco!


Another runner making great strides this week was TNF. He reached 40th place this week! The PBs he hit were a 69k Tutorial Score, a killer 2:57 No TP Any%/Any% (congrats on sub 3!), a 5:10 Haunted Max Any%, a 6:52 Hell run, and an impressive 53.9 Temple shortcut run! I like that he used some extra bombs on Olmec in the No TP Any%. The temple shortcut run is also 5th place, on a category that did end up getting some good competition. TNF has always had a ton of untapped potential. It's awesome to see him tapping into some of it here!


Suspense21 has several PBs to mention. He managed a 4:15 Low%, 9:00 Hell, 6:03 Max Any%, and a 4:59 Low% No Gold (this counted for several categories!). The Low% in particular caught my eye and was nearly a 25s PB. These PBs put him at rank #63 on the main list with 375k Mosspoints. Nice job, Sus.


GruntingCrunchy made a huge improvement to his Low% time, managing a 3:13. He also nailed a $1.6m daily. Nice! Crunchy will be at a summer camp for a bit and unable to play, but when he returns I think we may see something closer to, or perhaps under, the 3 minute Low% mark for him. One bad ice caves level cost quite a bit of time on his 3:13 run, and his platforming does look like a sub 3 may happen. Good luck if you try, Crunchers.


The All Achievements category got moved from meme to miscellaneous, which many people were excited about! The category saw a lot of action this week even before the move, too.

We had chocolatecake5000 get a Sub 5 hr run, Khold get a 7 hr run, Kirby703 hit a 4th place 4:18, meowmixmix nailing a 2nd place time of 3:22 (great to see ya back Meow!), and last but not least ix hitting a WR time of 3:07:00.450. ix will probably push for the Sub 3 run, as well. We now have a sweet autosplitter for the category designed and created by Sawr, too! The death grind for the Addicted achievement can be intimidating, but some people have tackled it. Currently 7 people have completed the category as a speedrun. Good luck if you try the category out!


In addition to his AA run, ix nailed a really impressive AJE run. He got a 37:58! I think it's awesome when someone gets sub 40 here. ix is the 4th person to do so, and also reached 4th place here. A cool note about this is AJE is one of the runs we also have in speedrun.com's Spelunky section. You get a diamond, ruby, sapphire, or emarald next to your name and time based on if you got 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place, respectively. Well, this is ix's first emerald, so that's pretty cool . ix may push to move beyond Spef's impressive 36 min run for 3rd place - we'll see! Good luck if you go for it, ix.


The second WR of the week came from me (Kinnijup). I got a pretty big improvement in No% - 3:49.170. During the most recent Grind event we did, I got a 4:45.1 which appeared to be WR by 1 tenth of a second for a few hrs. It really wasn't though, because I got the 3:49 the night prior and The Grind team decided to show it at the end of the show. Not a big deal, but I wanted to clarify that somewhere, haha, and the run is worth watching as it was a pretty fun moment of The Grind. The 3:49 is going to be a hard mark to beat. There was a slow temple level in it, though, so it's still reachable...


Next up, tuabiht made an appearance with a 4:13 Any% run. Nice!


samcv completed a score run :D He also completed a Big Money run and Jumbo money run :) Nice job hitting $1.5m, Sam!


luigidude851 tried his hand at a Big Money speedrun, and got a 14:47. This is also his Hell pb now. Nice!


Stiljoz completed a basejump run. He did so in 8:37. Oh yeah, this is also his Hell PB. GG! He also nailed a $1.89m score run, which is arguably more impressive hehe.


Horseb managed a 3:15 No TP Any% run, which is also his Any% time. This was also done without a mattock. Looks like sub 3 is well within his grasps with a better shop. Nice job, Horse!


Resident Xbox runner Geordie nailed 2 impressive runs this week. He got a 54.379 Temple shortcut run and a 3:24 Low% No Gold run. This Low No Gold run is 12th place! Getting a high rank in a pretty competitive Mosspoint category is really impressive. If Geordie stays motivated, I think his potential is clearly top 20 and beyond. He often streams his runs to his Twitch channel. Good luck if you play some more, Geordie!


Pentathlon runner TicTacFoe finished a Max Low% run, and he did so at quite a nice pace. He got a 5:10! A clutch Olmec fight and 1HP finish did the trick. He also nailed a 21:58 ASO run. Congrats, TTF!


Another ASO run came from our friend Carlibraun. He reluctantly hit a 23:51. Glad one worked out for you, Carl! Carl also managed a sick Temple shortcut run - a 54.7. Without the 4s timeloss on Olmec, he would've had 2nd place! Regardless, still a sweet PB from Carl.


sense made an appearance with his 2nd $1m daily. Way to go, sense :)


We also saw a couple new guys get started on dailies: mvemjsunp8, nubsy, and Nick. Welcome to the site!


Last but not least, pojopoopoohead hit two nice runs - a 4:44 Max Any%, and a Jumbo Money run. The Jumbo run also counted for his score PB (of $1m) hehe. Way to go, Pojo!


That's all for me - congrats on all your runs!





 Derek Yu talks about Spelunky 2 and how his daughter inspired him creatively

Posted by hb on June 2nd, 2018 @03:09PM


Derek Yu has opened up about developing the anticipated sequel to Spelunky, suggesting that although a lot of procedurally generated games have come out since the first game, Spelunky 2 will feel like a fresh experience.


The developer stunned Spelunky fans across the world late last year, as an announcement trailer was unveiled at Sony's Paris Games Week. And, while details on the sequel continue to be sparse seven months on, he gave numerous teases on the Tone Control podcast in a conversation with Gone Home and Tacoma developer Steve Gaynor about what people can expect.


"I've always toyed with the idea to make a sequel," Yu said. "A lot of really cool games have come out since Spelunky 2 which are procedurally generated, but nothing has really felt like to me what my idea of Spelunky 2 would feel like.



"And then, there also aren't many indie sequels. I think indie developers spend a lot of time on their game and feel very burnt out. They have the freedom to try new ideas, and they do. There aren't a lot, so part of me thought of it as a bit of a challenge - this isn't something that isn't done very much, and doing something people aren't doing is a way to stand out a little bit from the crowd. Spelunky 1 had a lot of currency behind it as an idea and as a concept, and it seemed like to abandon that and do completely new stuff was sort of a waste of that work."


Yu addressed some of the comments that the first Spelunky didn't need a sequel - and said that while he understood the sentiment, he compared the approach he is taking with the Spelunky sequel to how Nintendo approaches Mario games. "Spelunky 1 is totally done. It feels like a complete package," he said. "I think about that game like Super Mario Bros. 1.


"People say Spelunky feels like a perfect game, and I understand what they mean. I think a game like Super Mario Bros. 1 is perfect and you don't want Nintendo to just keep adding to it. You want them to make Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 and all the way to Odyssey. I think it's the same thing with Spelunky 1. I think it's perfect with all its imperfections, and with Spelunky 2, I want to extend upon the world and upon all the mechanics in ways I don't think I've seen before and that fit more uniquely with Spelunky."



He added: "With Spelunky on Xbox, we had the freeware version as our blueprint. I could be like, 'Is it going to be like the freeware aspect in this aspect? Let's do this, but change it up a little like this. And let's add this to the game - it's going to fit in with the rest of the game in this way, and then pointing at the freeware version for that, too'.


"And it's very similar to Spelunky 2 where we've got Spelunky 1, and where a lot of the times, I can be like, 'This part of Spelunky 1 is something I would like to extend, or this part is something I would like to replace with this'. It's a lot of figuring out what makes Spelunky 1 really Spelunky. What's the core we really want to pull out."


Yu also talked about how his life experiences have heavily influenced the sequel, suggesting that there may be more prominent story elements compared to the first game. Since the release of Spelunky 1, he has had a daughter - and the announcement trailer for the sequel hints that the protagonist will be the daughter of the first game's main character.



"It's strongly implied," he shared. "I think people know - I've talked about my family life a little bit, being a dad, and how inspirational it's been. That's been influential on me. My daughter has been a big inspiration creatively, and it makes so much sense in that Spelunky 2 is a sequel to 1 coming after I became a dad. It feels personal to me.


"With the freeware version, it was very mechanically focused in terms of the design. I didn't have a personal story or things that were happening to me in my personal life like that. I think the game came out of a personal situation in that, Aquaria was very intense and I wanted to move back to making a game solo - but the actual game itself was not trying to tell that story. It was more, these are kind of cool mechanical ideas and these are themes that work well with the mechanics.


"With the Xbox version, it got a little more personal in the sense that Yang was telling people to do their best and to not be afraid of failure."



Gaynor shared with Yu his theory that the decision to feature Yang as the tutorial character was influenced by being Yu being an Asian American game developer and as a way to include "personal representation", to which the Spelunky creator agreed. "For sure, there are things like that," he said, and followed it up by elaborating on other ways Spelunky has represented him as a person.


"I think the whole cyclical nature of the game - I'm not religious myself, but that kind of feeling of struggling through something and starting over, it has mirrored the way I feel with my life developing these games one after another and slowly building up my understanding and my knowledge and my mastery of my craft. I think Spelunky is a lot about that.


"But it's not as overt as putting Spelunky Guy's daughter in Spelunky 2. There are themes that are pretty obvious from the trailer - family and friendship and things like that - that mean a lot to everybody but have also meant a lot to me in terms of my career as well. I've met friends along the way, including other game developers and people I've worked with, and now I've started a family and am trying to be a game developer in that context. And I'm also thinking about my daughter who is part of a new generation and thinking what she's going to do with her life."



Elsewhere in the conversation, Yu said that he would have only collaborated on Spelunky 2 with Blitworks - who previously ported the first Spelunky game to the PlayStation platforms.


"They were the only people who had the skills and the manpower and also the experience with Spelunky and the familiarity in that I've worked with them before to tackle this," he explained. "I would be nervous about working with a new team, because I do know that team dynamics are so important and now I understand I work in a very specific and particular way where, for example, if I work with a company and they're a company that wants a Skype meeting every morning, I can't do that. That would be too taxing on me.


"I know from experience with Blitworks, we worked in a way that gelled, where we do have a lot of communication but it's through emails, it's through Google Docs, and then it's occasionally Skyping and meeting in person during GDC. We communicate in a way that feels more natural to me. So they were the perfect fit for Spelunky 2."


Spelunky 2 has been confirmed for PC and PlayStation 4, with a release date and additional platforms not yet announced.



 Grind #6: No% This Sunday (June 3) @ Noon Eastern

Posted by ix on May 30th, 2018 @10:15PM

Hi all --


Sorry for the short notice, but I am happy to announce another edition of The Grind.  This weekend, we'll get to see Kinnijup, saturnin, Carlibraun, and Abob attempting to complete a No% run. Hop on over to the MossRanking Twitch Channel this Sunday at Noon Eastern to see these living legends of Spelunky attempt a truly remarkable challenge.


The commentary team has not yet been finalized, but will include at least one of the six truly elite runners who has finished this category.  Hope to see a bunch of you there!




 Spelunky Video News: All Achievements WR and Tracker!

Posted by ix on May 30th, 2018 @01:42AM

Hi all --


Here's another vlog edition of Moss News featuring ix and chococlatecake50000.  Hope you enjoy it!



The All Achievements tracker, by Sawr, is available on Github.  Also, for a bit of houskeeping, here are the last two versions, featuring ix and Kinnijup!





That's all folks.  Enjoy!




 The Grind #5: Low Hell Variants [UPDATED]

Posted by ix on May 9th, 2018 @02:51PM

Hi all!


Just a quick announcement... The Grind #5 is scheduled for May 20 at 1 pm Eastern Time.  The event will be streamed live on the MossRanking Twitch channel.  BONUS: Another edition of the Moss News Vodcast will broadcast at noon, one hour before the event!


We'll get to see Kinnijup, curticus, falafel_raptor, and twiggle attempt a variety of low% hell variants.  The commentary team will include yours truly, ix, Polo, Pojo, and Khold!


Hope to see a ton of people for this one!




 Moss News Special Announcement: VODCAST Tomorrow!

Posted by ix on May 4th, 2018 @07:59PM

Hi all --


The MossNews team continues to experiment with our format.  This week, Kinnijup and ix recorded a Vodcast featuring replays and commentary on all of the community's PBs and WRs.  We will premiere this LIVE on MossRanking's Twitch Channel tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 pm Eastern Time.  VOD will be available here and on the MossRanking YouTube page afterwards!


Cya all soon!



 Moss News: Some WRs and the return of GruntingCrunchy

Posted by ix on April 27th, 2018 @07:13PM

 Hi all --


Derek Yu's My Favorite Games has held the spotlight on here for long enough. It's time to get back to some SPELUNKY PBs!


The biggest point-gainer since the last news was our own GruntingCrunchy.  After a brief vacation from the game, he's back with an astonishing 583,823 Moss Points, good enough for #37 overall on the main rankings.  Definitely someone to keep an eye on as he moves further up the leaderboard. I don't know where to start given that he submitted runs in 27 categories, and multiple submissions for a few of these.  Instead, I'll let everyone bask in the fun and insanity that was his 5 hour, 38 minute All Achievements run (#3 all time).  Welcome back, old friend!


Another feel-good story was the sudden burst of PBs by a relatively obscure American speedrunner, Kinnijup.  For starters, he cut 16 seconds off of his own Max Any% No Gold world record, setting a new best time of 2:36.255.  The old WR had stood for nearly two years, and this one is likely to belong to Kinni for the forseeable future.  Only six runners have Max Any% times faster than 2:36, and among these, only d_tea, SG, and Pibonacci also have No Gold times below that mark.  Truly remarkable stuff, although this is probably the fourth most impressive of Kinni's world records this news cycle.  He also set a new mark of 5:12.423 in the Low% Hell category.  This is an astonishing improvement largely due to a new Olmec+Anubis 2 strategy (YOLO).  His 41-second Olmec fight plus a 1:04 Hell split combined for and endgame that was more than 30 seconds faster than his previous PB.  Is Sub-5 on the horizon?


Oh hai Anubis


Kinni also had a breakthrough in the popular Low% category.  On April 17, he got a 2:34.158, cutting 0.2 seconds off his old WR thanks to a fairly precise Olmec finish.  Still, his time was only 0.3 seconds ahead of curt's WR from August, 2016, which is equivalent to an accidental flip hang somewhere in a run, or the extra animation from exiting a door slightly off center.  On April 26, he blew up the category completely with a 2:32.144.  The entire run is the highlight, so watch it all.  The slowest level was 10 seconds flat on 2-4, and a clutch 5.3-second final level set up the opportunity for the WR, which Kinni snatched. GGs!


chocolatecake5000 was another prolific runner this new cycle.  Most notably, he got a $2,664,650 Score Run (also a Jumbo Money completion), a more than $1 million improvement from his last PB, and worth a fat stack of Moss Points. He also... went fast.  He got a 3:34 Low%, a 6:45 Hell%, and a 3:05 No TP Any%!  In the more challenging categories, he got a 4:16 Low% No Gold, and a 8:59 No Gold Hell%.  I was surprised to see that the excellent NGH run earned choco a whopping Z E R O M O S S P O I N T S.  This run is the 17th fastest in the category, which is choco's highest placement among official MossPoint categories; however, he is also #1 in the world in some of Meme Wikia's most dubious categories, including No% True Pacifist Mines, Low% True Pacifist Mines (the same run), Top to Bottom%, Ice Caves Jetpack%, Mine Rope Trick%, Wormbreak%, and the new Reddit sensation, Tiki Man%.


The one remaining member of team ix after Meowmixmix and hbix converted to meow and hb, ix (me), also saw a string of PBs.  The one I'm most proud of is the 5:22 Max Hell%, which is just 14 seconds longer than my Hell% PB (and means I probably squandered a lot Moss Points).  I also got a 2:37 No Gold, which is just 3 seconds longer than my Any% PB (and means I probably squandered a lot of Moss Points).  On the other hand, I made back a few of the points taken from me after Kinni's WR with my own Low% PB of 3:05.  In challenge categories, I reclaimed my second place with a 11:23 Shield Run, which features a pretty smooth Yama fight, and improved my Max Any% No Gold to 4:20.  Finally, I got a 6:49.138 Haunted Max Hell%, shaving 0.2 seconds off a PB dating to last July.


Like fellow Grind #4 competitor, GC, lil_ethie put out a flurry of PBs.  He got a 5:25 Low%, a 5:42 Max Any%, a 6:08 No Gold, a 9:02 Hell%, a 12:45 Max Hell%, and a 14:35 Big Money Run.  Although I didn't watch any of these runs, it's clear to me that this is E5ten's world and we are all just living in it.  Fellow future grinder, Carlibraun, spent some time practicing his late game with a 0:59.3 Temple Shortcut%, and this seems to have paid off!  He also pulled off a 4:17 Haunted Max Any% and a very fast No-TP Any% of 3:06.  Meanwhile, Abob71, who will be commentating ethie and Carli's runs, put up a 4:46 Max Low% and a 3:50 Low% No Gold.


Grind #3 veteran, ShinGraywords also had his moments in the sun this news cycle.  He got a 3:02 No-TP Any%, a 3:17 Max Any%, and a significantly improved 10:54 Low% Hell time.  All three runs are a ton of fun to watch, especially some of the hijinx in the Max Any% run.  Nice work on these!


A couple of top-25 runners had a single run that stands out for them.  DaftLunk finally submitted a Big Money run, and what a doozy this one was.  He got a 7:13, 7th on the leaderboard, and rocketed up the rankings to #19 overall. falafel_raptor got a 5:06 No-TP Max Hell%, which is the third fastest ever.  saturnin55 got a 16:40 Solo Eggplant Run, which is apparently his 11th overall.  Vlad actually had two runs, so he doesn't belong in this section at all, but let's give him a hand for his 2:41 Max Any% and a 4:46 Hell% nonetheless.  NightHarvester pulled off a 4:39 Max Low%.  Once NH figures out Daily Challenges give Moss Points, too, he's going to shoot past a couple more Spelunkers!


Just a few more runs to get to: slink had a 3:48 Low% and a slightly faster 3:46 Any%.  A couple of people had Hell% PBS: Sawr (7:21), Suspense (9:36), tuabiht (11:28), and The Mad Murf (12:32).  For Max Any%, Sawr also got a 7:22, while TicTacFoe got a  3:37Pajecka7891 got a 3:39 Low%, and MNC Mascot got a 6:04 Any%.  Finally, Beens got a $907,850 Score Run.


Congrats to all!




 Announcing The Grind #4: Moss Point Challenge

Posted by ix on April 21st, 2018 @11:34AM

Hi all --


Just a quick announcement:  The Grind #4 will take place on Sunday, April 29 @ Noon Eastern.  We'll watch Carlibraun, E5ten, GruntingCrunchy, and Kirby703 compete in a MossPoint Challenge, with live commentary by me (ix), Meow, Abob, and a special guest!


This event will be a little different from most: the runners will try to compete as many runs as they can to collect MossPoints as if they were starting with a new account.  Every category except for Daily Challenge is fair game.  We'll cheer them on while tracking their progress.


Tune in for the fun on the MossRanking Twitch page!




 My Favourite Games: Derek Yu

Posted by hb on April 17th, 2018 @06:36PM


Welcome to My Favourite Games, a MossRanking feature in which we get to know our fellow Spelunkers better through the medium of video games. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want… except Spelunky.


This special entry goes to the one and only Derek Yu, the mind behind Spelunky - the very game which unites this community.


The vast majority of us have spent hundreds, even thousands, of hours enjoying every nook and cranny Spelunky has to offer, and it is an honour that Derek (whose other game credits include Aquaria and Eternal Daughter) was happy to spare some time to share three of his favourite games.


Let's get started.




Dark Souls


"It's probably not a surprise to anyone at this point, but this is my favourite game ever."


Dark Souls was undoubtedly a landmark game when it first came out in 2011. Developer From Software made some bold design choices - but they had a specific vision in mind and nailed it, resulting in a release which brought back a sense of nostalgia for those who yearned for classic game experiences.


"Dark Souls brought back and modernised the kind of hardcore action and exploration I hadn't really felt from a AAA game since I was a kid," Derek explains. "Mini-maps, quest markers, endless hints, forced tutorials, and quick-time events had become the norm rather than the exception. From Software eschewed all of that and delivered a one-of-a-kind experience that felt truly earned, set in a world inspired more by the early, weird days of Western fantasy, before everything became a slightly different take on orcs and elves."




"Lordran is a place that feels like it existed before you started playing."


And what a world the game delivered. While Dark Souls excelled in its execution of the mechanics, the marriage between how the game played and the setting of Lordran was key to its ultimate enjoyment.


"The care that went into each corner of Lordran made it worth dying again and again to see what horrible dungeon, gorgeous vista, or jaw-dropping boss was next," Derek says. "It's the connectivity that makes Lordran so special - not just the way the map is physically interconnected in all kinds of surprising ways, but also the way everything is connected in terms of the lore. It's a place that feels like it existed before you started playing.


"Dark Souls keeps you playing in the best ways possible, by offering a unique and compelling world to explore and by respecting your time and curiosity."




Super Punch-Out!!


Back in the 1990s, out came Super Punch-Out!!, a boxing game which challenged players to fight their way to the top and become the champion by earning knockouts in a series of individual matches. While Super Punch-Out!! has the appearance of a sports or fighting title, Derek says that its puzzle-like qualities are what make the game so compelling.


"To me, this is Nintendo design at its best: a distillation of a theme to simple but deeply enjoyable mechanics," he comments. "Each opponent has a limited set of attacks that can be countered with a limited set of player moves, and winning involves opponent knowledge moreso than fast reflexes."




"Over the years, my appreciation of the game has only grown."


But it goes deeper than that. The wonderful thing about Super Punch-Out!!, as Derek explains, is that although it may appear very simple and straightforward to play on the surface, matches go beyond simple memorisation.


"You can take a serious beating before coming back and winning," he says. "The game is very generous regarding failure and gives you lots of opportunities to make mistakes and still come back and win the match. Basically, the game wants you to throw lots of punches to try and figure out what works and what doesn't, and there isn't just one way to win. The fastest knockouts require good knowledge and execution, but you can also get away with having either one or the other."


"The funny thing is, despite its simplicity and cartoony quality, Super Punch-Out!! captures the spirit of boxing far better than other 16-bit boxing games that took a more realistic approach to fighting... After all these years of playing and making games, I've come to appreciate how difficult it is to create such a simple and elegant design, especially one that makes such good use of its theme."






Derek's third game is Liero, a freeware game which has been described as a 'real-time Worms shoot-'em-up' and can be downloaded from its official website.


In Liero, two worms aim to wipe the other out using whatever weapons are at their disposal. But there are very neat gameplay twists involved which combine to provide a consistently entertaining experience, no matter how many matches you play. One of the most notable features about the game is the fact that the terrain is destructible, which can be used to your advantage and influences tactics.


"The arena starts out mostly filled with dirt, but as an armed worm you can create tunnels either by digging or blowing the dirt up with weapons," Derek says. "In essence, the playfield is created in real-time by both players, adding a lot of strategy to the game and making each fight feel unique.


"The destructible terrain and weapon variety create a lot of different match-up variables that are constantly shifting during battle. Some weapons are high-risk and high-reward, some are better at close-range versus long-range, some are good at tunneling through dirt, some are good for blasting out large open areas, and so on."




"The playfield is always changing as more of it gets blown up."


Liero also gives players an extra traversal tool in the form of a ninja rope, which is "hard to master" but rewarding and satisfying when used to outmaneuver the opponent. The ninja rope is the perfect complement to the constantly-changing terrain and wonderful weapon variety.


"You never forget the feeling of swinging across the arena with your ninja rope to deliver a face full of spikeballs to your entrenched opponent - or getting sniped by a gauss gun in the attempt," Derek shares.


"The variety of weapons, the per-pixel terrain destruction, the rope physics, the grunting and bleeding of the worms as they get low on health... it's all polished to a shine while retaining a tonne of charm. The result is honestly one of the best 1v1 games I've ever played, and although it's small, it feels perfectly executed."


Previous entry: Krille71