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You've Been Playing Spelunky 2 All Wrong

The classic cave exploration rogue-like Spelunky has returned with a sequel, Spelunky 2. Critics were singing the game's praises before it hit digital storefronts. Many reviewers, who were fans of the original, commended the sequel for building on an already solid foundation and providing more of what made the original Spelunky an indie darling. But therein lies the rub: If you are a Spelunky fan, you know what you're getting into with Spelunky 2. However, what if the sequel is your first trek into the world of Spelunky? You will be blindly charging into a cave swarming with bats, ghosts, and traps, all of whom want you dead.

Spelunky 2 might look like your standard, 2D platformer — complete with an easy tutorial — but the game enjoys kicking you while you're down while also dipping you into lava for good measure. Yes, this 20+ hour game forces you to learn the hard way. Since Spelunky 2 hides so many secrets and tricks from you, here are a few ways you might be playing the game wrong.

You're not whipping while your back is turned

Whips are an adventurer's best friend. They have gotten Indiana Jones out of more messes than he cares to count. They are the weapon of choice of the Belmont clan. And they are your starting weapon in Spelunky 2. However, you can't exactly crack a whip and hope to harm anyone. You have to draw the whip back, swing it forward, and put your back into it. In other words, there's a slight delay between when you press the attack button and when you actually attack with your whip. Assuming, of course, you attack from the front.

In Spelunky 2, you damage anything immediately behind you once you draw back the whip. This trick lets you attack enemies without worrying about timing your whip strikes, especially if you have to land a blow while jumping. You can even have peace of mind knowing your back is never unprotected, especially in areas where monsters can box you in with a pincer maneuver.

You're assuming spikes will always kill you

Traditional video game logic says touching spikes instantly kills your character — or at least takes a sizable chunk out of their health. Sometimes you don't even have to touch the pointy end of a spike to skewer your character. Since Spelunky 2 is all about safely navigating trap-laden corridors, you might assume the game features plenty of spikes thirsty for your blood, and you would be correct. However, if you also assume these spikes work the same as spikes in other games, you wouldn't be correct.

Spelunky 2 (and the whole Spelunky franchise) features the most realistic spikes in video game history, since you can safely walk through them without being killed. You can even run through them without worry. However, if you try approaching spikes the traditional way by falling onto them from above, you will die. You aren't even safe if an enemy knocks you sideways into them while your invincibility frames are active.

So yes, the spikes can kill you. But they don't always kill you. That's kind of refreshing, isn't it?