Arstechnica- Remember when dying in a video game meant something? It can be a bit hard to recall these days, when the most popular games "punish" death by restarting the player at an autosaved checkpoint 15 seconds prior, or making them wait five seconds before respawning for more multiplayer shooting. But there was a time, just a few decades ago, when making only a few errors in a game meant starting that game over from the very beginning.
It may seem cruel to the modern gamer, but back then, this kind of punishing design was a technological and business necessity. Designing death to be a true "game over" was a way to compel more quarters from players standing in front of the arcade cabinet, or to extend the life of console games whose length was limited by memory storage constraints. Spelunky sets those same constraints out of conviction, rather than necessity, and this one design decision transforms the game from an above average run-and-jump adventure into a meaningful, almost transcendent gaming experience. -