123 hours and 493 deaths later, I have finally conquered this beast.
Don't be fooled by the seemingly simple gameplay. On the inside, this is a very complex game.
In the beginning, you gleefully frolic through a beautiful system of caves hoarding every piece of shining gold or gleaming jewel in sight. "This is great!" you think to yourself as you open a chest full of rubies and emeralds. You start to whistle a tune as you delve deeper into the caverns. Then you see a golden idol. Excitedly, you grab it. The caves start to shake as a giant boulder comes tumbling toward you at high speeds. With a lucky jump, you survive the huge ball of death. A few seconds later, a spider comes out of nowhere and knocks you down a pit, where you're met with an angry old shopkeeper who is maniacally running, jumping, and firing his shotgun. You're struck with a bullet and sent over a ledge. As you slam into the ground, an arrow is launched from an inconveniently placed trap directly into your face. As you might imagine, you're now dead. Adding insult to injury, your lifeless corpse is flung directly into a pit of spikes.
This experience leaves you speechless. As you recover from this ordeal, you think to yourself "That wasn't fair." Little do you know, the whole thing was entirely your fault. You had failed to thoroughly scan your surroundings before grabbing that cursed piece of gold. Turns out, the boulder had obliterated an altar, causing a swarm of angry spiders to begin making their way to you. After this, the boulder rolled down a hole and smashed into the wall of a weapon shop, sending the shopkeeper into a violent frenzy. This is when one of the provoked spiders jumps onto your unsuspecting head and sends you to your doom.
Nearly everything in this game can lead to your death.
There are many lessons to learn in this game. With every run, you increase in knowledge and skill. Eventually you make your way out of the caves, and your in a foreign place filled with all kinds of new things that want to kill you. That blue frog looks kinda cute, right? WRONG. That "cute" blue frog HATES YOU. It will stop at nothing to murder you.
With every death and every success, you suddenly have a bunch of new questions. "What is that fleshy thing sticking out of the wall?" "What happens if I blow this up?" "Can I safely traverse this terrain?" "Why does that gravestone say 'Ash' on it?" You must find the answer to these questions. There is a great feeling of satisfaction and confidence every time you discover something new.
Overall, Spelunky is an amazing game. It will not fail to entertain, and will keep you coming back for more. There is plenty to discover, with lots of secrets and surprises. It's very unforgiving, and you will have to be vigilent and persistent if you want to conquer it. The extremely challenging achievements assure you that there is always another goal to reach.
Go ahead, give it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.