Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)
Title: 1001 Spikes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Release Date: 3 Jun, 2014
Great game for anyone who loves difficult but fair platformers. A lot of value packed into this game. Very well done.. 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.. 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.. 1001 Spikes a.k.a. Aban Hawkins vs. Shootface McHateYou.
This is not a game for the faint of heart or the buttery of fingers. It's a difficult puzzle platformer that requires more quick reflexes than analytical thinking, those there's plenty in this game to test both.
This game is painfully fair as well. There's really only one stage in the game that feels like a crapshoot, and that comes near the end of the postgame. The rest, if you die, it's because you haven't figured out the level yet.
There are plenty of different characters to check out once you've beaten the main game with the main character, as well as other game modes to explore. You definitely get your money's worth.
If you enjoy difficult games, puzzle platformers or getting sniped repeatedly by wall statues, this game is for you.. 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.. www.youtube.com\/watch?v=S8rO3T3qYB0\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noreferrer\" id=\"dynamiclink_1\">https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=S8rO3T3qYB0<\/a>. 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.. 1001 Spikes is a great platforming experience that takes problem solving, good reflexes, and patience.
1001 Spikes is not on the easy side of platformers, but the learning curve is very fair. Your controls and goal are simple and the "easy to learn, hard to master" philosophy is in full effect here. 1001 Spikes avoids one of the big sins of platforming (lack of precision) very well. Your characters have a high and low jump, and some type of attack. The gameplay feels satisfying. With a little trial and error, you will find yourself knocking projectiles out of the sky, dodging pressure sensitive spikes and juggling between high and low jumps. It feels very inutitve traversing the levels and the range and weight of your characters actions begin to feel like second nature. The boss fights are also refreshing.
The various characters you can unlock (most being cameos) are all very neat and have their own quirks, however you cannot enjoy them interchangeably. It was such a let down for me to unlock a new character after some hard runs only to find out that I have to restart from level 1 with that character rather than being able pick up where I left off. This can give you an opportunity to play around with all your characters and really get to know them, but the game is kind of forcing you to take character tryouts seriously by pushing you back to square one. With that complaint aside, I found trying out all the characters very enjoyable. Curly Braces from Cave Story is probably the easiest to play with her jet booster, but my favorite is President Thompson with his double jump and machine gun.
The alternate modes (or hint hint, there is a whole separate campaign if you know where to look) are fun and add plenty of replay and longevity. The co-op modes were extremely enjoyable and I was actually able to beat some levels with people who were new or rusty to platformers. Still, I would say playing through one of the co-op campaigns of 1001 Spikes with a friend was one of my favorite serious, short, co-op experiences.
I think some relative comparisons are in order to be more helpful.I enjoyed Super Meat Boy and Spelunky to an extent: I am not a fan of slippery or floaty characters in platformers (SMB) and I found it was way more fun to just kill all my friends in local co-op than actually try to work together and beat Spelunky (I also preferred the original art style).
However, I definitely really like all 3 games, so here are some relevant details:SMB has a faster restart than 1001 and unlimited lives (though 1001 offers plenty of lives and you can always go back and earn more), 1001 Spikes has set levels you choose rather than randomized ones that string together like Spelunky, 1001 Spikes has significantly more unlocks than the other 2, 1001 Spikes has set aside co-op campaigns while Spelunky offers some competition and only the main campaign with enabled co-op, 1001 Spikes has some action in the form of shooting, while SMB has none and Spelunky has more depth with in game shop and variance of weapons, The boss levels in 1001 are a good mix of action and platforming, SMB was strictly speed based platforming, Spelunky feels more like a Mario boss fight.
1001 Spikes has a lot of replay value, great controls, and satisfying gameplay. The co-op, large cast of characters, alternate modes and long campaign are equally challenging and fun.
(I happened to play it without internet last summer, so please ignore the short amount of hours as it is definitely not accurate).. Disclaimer: If you inherently can\u2019t stand timing-based platforming and a certain level of trial-and-error\/memorization, this game is not for you.
Mario really changed platforming huh? I mean he pretty much created it with his appearance in Donkey Kong, but it was Super Mario Bros. that defined core platforming mechanics for years to come. Chief among these is the jumping itself: SMB added a momentum based system as well as variable jump lengths depending on how long you held down the button. Put these together and you had a game that just felt better than any other game at the time. Fast forward to today and we\u2019re in a resurgence of the genre, with a new SMB, Super Meat Boy, taking its place as king with the most refined Mario controls to date.
How does 1001 Spikes fit into this? Well\u2026
1001 Spikes scales back the jump mechanics to pre-Super Mario Bros.; there\u2019s no momentum system or variable jump based on length of button press. Instead, there are just two jumps: a jump that clears 1 tile and a jump that clears 2 tiles.
What does this mean? Well as far as negatives go it means that you never get the same sense of great game feel as you do in Super Meat Boy. That\u2019s not to say the game feels bad though; you can change the direction of your jumps in mid-air, so it\u2019s not clunky like Castlevania or Ghosts n\u2019 Goblins. It also means that it\u2019s more accessible; you have to worry less about mastering a complex physics system and more about your timing and reflexes. With more reliable jumps you can also have more daunting challenges, without a lot of the error in the trial-and-error.
But the biggest thing it facilitates is puzzles. It\u2019s not always advantageous to use the high jump, even with jump correction; the game makes you use both. You see, most of the game\u2019s obstacles are traps, with slight visual clues of where they could be. This works synergistically with the jump system; you\u2019ll have to constantly think on your feet about where traps could be located and how to handle them, but because of the rigid jumping you\u2019ll also have to problem solve about what sequence of jumps and landings to use to get you to your goal. There are a lot of \u201cpuzzle platformers\u201d out there but more often than not they\u2019re puzzle games that just happen to be platformers. This game uses platforming as its puzzle mechanics; rarely do I see a game so multifaceted and yet so singular in its design. Even once you\u2019ve carved out a path you\u2019ll still have to think quickly to execute it; unlike platformers like Meat Boy there\u2019s no clear break in between obstacles. Traps add an extra sense of cohesion to the levels as you have to keep moving and thinking on your feet with no time to catch your breath. It\u2019s a really unique feeling for a platformer, and frankly it\u2019s exhausting at first. But as you play more, you\u2019ll get better at the game and at the quick thinking and memorization needed to complete each level. While the game doesn\u2019t build in the sense of reward like Super Meat Boy does, it doesn\u2019t really need it; by the time you beat each level, you\u2019ll have gained the satisfaction of solving a puzzle and of executing tight platforming in one.
This is all reinforced by a smart lives system where you have to actually learn how to play the game, and not just muscle through it like Meat Boy, so that you can preserve your lives and prevent yourself from starting over from the beginning. It \u2013 oh wait, you don\u2019t have to start over? You just get three more lives? \u2026Then what\u2019s the point?
This is the start of a few baffling decisions; why have a life system at all? Or a level skip option? Why is there a store anyway? I get that it creates a strong connection between the side modes and characters and the real gameplay as Aban but it ends up feeling grindy and \u201cpay-to-win\u201d.
Speaking of side modes and characters, this game has a lot of content! There\u2019s a single screen Mario Bros. style fighting game, a Kid Icarus style climbing game with scroll locking, and The Lost Levels, which actually is the game I expected except in short form, with a reduced number of levels and only 101 lives, but a Game Over if you lose them all. It doesn\u2019t introduce any new mechanics but it does put them together in new ways, and to be honest a shortened form probably works better for that Game Over concept anyway.
The best part of the game though is the level design. With rigid jumps and movement speeds there\u2019s already a lot of potential for fine-tuned gauntlets to jump through, with a lot of pixel-perfect platforming that really matches the aesthetic and gives you the feeling that nothing about this experience should have been any different. But what\u2019s great is how it layers it: every level has a teaching layer, a \u201cget through the level the first time\u201d layer, and a speedrunning multiple path layer, and everything in the game is created with these layers in mind, all without ever sacrificing internal logic. There are no scripted events here; everything is created using the tools given, and anticipation of how the player will tackle it. So let\u2019s say there\u2019s some spikes on a timer, and there seems to be a conveniently different colored block as a safe spot. Well that block is going to have logic to it; it\u2019s not going to be just arbitrarily discolored, but discolored because, it has hidden spikes in it, or maybe it\u2019s actually a cracked block and will break when you stand on it. When all of these layers and the logic within them come together it creates a world that feels like it existed before you and will continue to exist after you\u2019re gone, rather than just a series of arbitrary obstacles. You create the timings yourself, there isn\u2019t one set way you have to do it; a favorite mechanic of mine includes pushing a sliding ice block, that you can jump on and ride. Its velocity is set and firm, but it\u2019s up to you to set it into motion, not the game. This is a damn fine platformer, and in my opinion, probably bests Super Meat Boy as my favorite to date.
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