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Title: 1001 Spikes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Release Date: 3 Jun, 2014
1001 Spikes is a game I feel like I've been waiting for. Simple mechanics (though the two different kinds of jump add a really strong depth to the limited actions available) coupled with exquisitely thoughtful, punishing level design. There is something exhilarating and magical about a game that gives you something that seems nearly impossible on your first few passes, but soon becomes a second-nature breeze after a few runs, and this game continually throws such moments at you. Put up against other (still worthy) contemporary games that operate from a more classical home console mode of game-making demonstrates just how sharp and vital retro aesthetics and ideas still can be.. Pros:
+ Very good game
+ I like it quite a bit
+ You can do it
- The number of spikes in this game is not exactly 1,001
- Sometimes you feel like you cannot do it
+ Actually you can though. 1001 spike and is a classic 2D action platformer where you play as Aban Hawkins, basically indiana jones minus the whip, who sets out on an adventure to Ukampa to find not only his father but the treasure of the temple in order to prove he is better than him. The 1001 in the title is actually refering to the number of lives you start with. (Though it could mean the spikes because there is a damn lot of them).
You have 1001 lives to best your way through all '30' levels of the Ukampa tomb but don't let that discourage you or make you think that's all the lives you have. At the end of each section, you'll find an artifact which gives you a large chunk of lives. Along with those, there is a skull collectible in each level (including the room that's just a straight walk to the artifact) which I highly recommend collecting. Not only does it grant you a life every time you pick it up (It has to be recollected every time you die) but it also lets you unlock new, fun characters.
These unlockable characters really encourage replaying the game to see how much better you can do with them, the different ways they can clear the levels with their unique abilities (These characters are also characters from different games which helps to encourage unlocking them just to see who they are. See Super Meat Boy if you wonder what I mean by 'From different games') Lastly these characters also have a different collectible to the skull. In this case, a coin that gives you money from 100 to 1000 and beyond as you get to the later levels which allow you to buy even more lives.
For the price you're buying, you're definitely getting your money's worth. Not only is there the main game 1001 spikes but there is also side stories that unlock which take Aban to new dangerous adventures and *Bit of a spoiler* After beating the 'boss', a whole new set of levels open up.
It's definitely worth the buy.
I can understand that the idea of a rage game can turn some people off when they think of games like "I wanna be the guy" or "Eryi's action" on steam but erase those from your mind. This game is definitely designed to lead to a rage at some point depending on your patience, of course but it's not one big trap feast. Like you won't walk through trees just for an apple to shoot down and kill you like in IWBTG. It's not that kind.
You will stumble into some traps or do something wrong that requires you to kill yourself (Selecting retry in the menu takes a life) but as the game goes on, you will start to spot the signs like in Eryi's action where you can suspect which spots are trapped. Everything in 1001 spikes makes a distinct sound like the click of spikes to help you figure out the timing.
I can definitely recommend this game. If this helps you decide to buy it, then I wish you luck.. A really hard platformer, and a homage\/love letter to both old platformers and Spleunker. (As well as to the NIS platformer, Prinny, a Disgaea spin-off, due to the large amount of lives.) 1001 Spikes does a really good job at it's name, giving you a spike death for each of your 1001 lives! It has a ton of content, either local co-op or single player, and tons of stuff to unlock for fun, like extra characters.
Each level has a collectable Golden Skull to find, usually hidden, at each threshold they have some extra content for those who dare to get collect them which come in the form of extra modes or characters. When you play as one of the unlockable characters, your level progress is seperate from the main hero and each other unlockable character, and the skulls replaced with coins which you can use to unlock even more stuff with in the shop. Each almost every character plays entirely different, even the cosplay ones for the main hero have entirely different playstyles and plenty of little details to them. (The Belmont cameo cosplay removes your ranged option of a throwing knife, to a shorter distanced whip, in an exchange for damage power, stuff like that.)
It might seem a bit pricey at $15.00 USD, maybe even still at the $10.00 USD discount price, but it's worth it. With all that content, along with the option to try a hand at speedrunning the game with the timer aid, or getting a better time on a certain level, there is a lot to love and your dollar goes a long way.
The bad side: There are a few bugs, some people are having a little trouble launching the game or getting music to play after death in a level and having to restart, but hopefully they will fix it soon. There are slight workarounds for each bug at the moment, and they aren't making the game cripplingly unplayable.
Overall, if you like the idea of the game, and you are up for a tough challenge, it's worth picking up. One of my favorite platformers, for sure!. Great game for anyone who loves difficult but fair platformers. A lot of value packed into this game. Very well done.. 1001 Spikes take you back to the olden days of platforming, but with the modern "Rage-Game" difficulty. With pixel-perfect controls that are very comfortable, this game takes you through beautiful yet deadly maps, all flawlessly and cleverly designed. While most of the traps can be spotted if you look closely enough, unfortunately there's going to be times where the only way to progress through a certain jump is to die, learning what killed you, and how to get passed.
Rage-Game difficulty (For those who like the challenging platformers)
Great level design
Respawns are near instant
Very crisp and comfortable controls
This game might be too hard for people who don't have much patience
Some of the traps are B.S. (But only the first time through)
The bloody 3-pixel green zone for jumping on one of the later levels (GAHH!!!)
The multiplayer feels tacked on (But the Lost Levels\/Tower of Nannar are fun by yourself regardless)
All in all, this game was worth every cent I put in to it. I've 100% the game with every character, and had a blast doing it. If you're still unsure, I'm certain this will go on sale at some point, but don't wait too long! You're missing out on a good time.. There is probably some joke or pun to be made about the 1001 spikes but I'm coming up empty. So I'll just say that it looks like the spike maker counted up the order wrong and ...
Ok I have nothing. Luckily Nicalis have something quite special in this platformer from the affectionately named "\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665ing troll\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665game" genre.
The gameplay is simple enough (with one oddity, which I will get to). You enter a level, you avoid traps and make some jumps while also shooting knives at the occasional enemy. You find the key and perhaps the hidden mask object and make your way to the exit. You then repeat this process through longer and more difficult stages until you run out of things to do. Along the way expect plenty of water, fire, snakes, scorpions, crushing blocks, spikes and even more spikey spikes. There isn't anything particularly original here if you have played similar games in the past (stretching a long way back) but what is here has been proven to work.
The controls are a little strange in that you have two jump buttons, one "high" and one "low". This saves you having to judge how hard to press a button (high enough to clear a spike, but low enough to avoid the fire above?) but it can get a bit fiddly at times. Personally I always found myself using the high jump unless a situation specifically seemed to call for it. In these cases, such as jumping on a block without triggering an arrow trap it was handy, but I'm still not sold on the concept. Still, everything works and you can aim your jumps properly and it doesn't feel floaty. If anything, jumping and shooting fails a bit more often than it should, when trying to line up a small object like an arrow (when you are standing shots line up perfectly). This isn't a big deal though, so in this regard the controls get a solid pass.
To complement the tight controls, the level design is all important in a game like this and 1001 Spikes doesn't let you down. The levels all seem lengthy but not "too long" and there is a good variety in the challenges. For example, one level will have you carefully negotiating spiked passages, waiting for just the right moment to advance forward. The next level will require you to make a series of fast paced jumps as everything falls down around you. Levels feel unique, despite reusing a lot of assets and the effort required to pass them should make them memorable long after.
That is, if you don't give up on it. The magic of "\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665ing troll\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665game" is in how much they troll you and how much of it you can take. Think you have finished the level? Well you forgot about that block, right at the end which will drop on your head without warning. This will kill you, forcing you to restart the level (no checkpoints here!) in an increasingly infuriating manner. So where does it sit on the troll meter? Above Super Meat Boy, some obstacles you just can't avoid. But it is also well below something like I want to Be The Boshy. Most traps give you a split second of warning, such as the tips of spikes showing before they impale you. Because of this, most deaths (but not all) feel like they are a result of you not paying close enough attention. The game does a good job of training you too. Chance are if you find a good place to rest while you evaluate the next section of a level? There are spikes on that block.
So you'll die, but you'll learn and progress always feels achievable (or you can skip levels, so it isn't a big drama). Note that you do technically have a life limit (x1000) but 1ups are easily farmable by redoing short stages and finding the bonus pick up. So 1001 Spikes is tough but just fair enough (think 1-5 deaths on an easy stage, 20-30 on a hard one), which will hopefully not put off too many people.
Having said that, one of the most difficult challenges the game offers is getting through the story parts without hitting "skip". They are long, stretching on forever and the text forwards far too slowly. I kind of enjoy the ironic tone to the writing, but little of importance is said and there doesn't seem to be any need for a story at all. Rest assured you can safely skip it and get back to the spikes.
To round out the package, the game offers other arcade style modes which can be played in 4 player local coop (sorry online fans). These include challenges such as climbing a high tower and competitive modes like holding an urn the longest, which remind me strongly of old NES or even C64 titles and other treats like an extra difficult tribute to a past game. Rest assured too that the coins you collect in those modes are not completely going to waste.
Now I'm not a big coop gamer (people who are will love playing through the main game with a friend), so these extras are not necessarily for me, but they do make an easy purchase decision even easier. Further the game provides a wide variety of unlockable characters, each with their own abilities (longer jumps, double jumps etc). This lets you tackles the levels again with different approaches and helps alleviate any concerns about the number of available levels (although there are enough anyway, without spoiling anything, probably a lot more than you think!).
In terms of presentation, 1001 is more functional than impressive, but everything does the job. The music is suitably excellent and the sound effects inoffensive. If anything the menu systems and cutscenes could use an extra coat of polish, but as mentioned before they are best skipped anyway, so perhaps skimping on them was the best approach after all.
I really like 1001 Spikes. I realise it will not be for everybody, given the brutal style. But it is just accessible enough that everybody should give it a go, just in case they get the right level of sadistic fun out of it.
Just keep an eye out for that 1001'th spike. That'll be the one that gets you or ... yeah still nothing.. Summary:
Not recommended for those who are frustrated by "surprise" deaths. You will die MANY times in a level simply because getting through it is a long sequence of "trial and error" attempts where you'll be killed by traps and hazards that provided no forewarning to their existence or nature, and so succeeding becomes a series of deaths that provide the experience you need to memorize where the dangers lie so that you can combine that with skilled platforming and attack shots in order to pass a level. Repeat for the next level, and so on.
I'm not one to enjoy either trial and error experiences, or a memory game, so I don't recommend it.
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