Spelunky, of my favorite games in recent years, is also one of game designer Jon Shafer’s recent favorites. In this great article from his game design blog he sums up why unfairness is one of the keys to Spelunky’s successful design.
In spite of the first impression it gives off as a twitch game, the quality Spelunky rewards most is patience. Take a methodical approach to every obstacle you face and there’s a very good chance you’ll make it all the way to the end. But that assumes you know how to overcome those obstacles. And here’s where the critics who say Spelunky is unfair have some ammunition.