1001 Spikes (Wii U) Review

By Joseph Hawkins 07.06.2014 2

Review for 1001 Spikes on Wii U

"You are dead!" If anyone is going to have any hope of besting 1001 Spikes, they better get used to seeing those three words… a lot. When Tyrone Rodriguez, founder of video game developer and publisher Nicalis, began creating 1001 Spikes, he wanted to make a game to play with his kids. What did he wind up creating? One of the most difficult 2D platformers in recent memory! 1001 Spikes harkens back to the time of the punishing and brutal NES 8bit platform titles, where there were no checkpoints, few lives, and death around every corner. 1001 Spikes may be difficult, but is it any fun?

1001 Spikes follows the story of Aban Hawkins, a young Indiana Jones type character. After Aban's father, Jim Hawkins, disappears in the Antarctic, Aban's sister reveals that Jim had left a map and note for him. Upon reading said note, Aban learns of a treasure that lies behind the fabled Poko-mum door in the Ukampa ruins. Not having the best relationship, Aban accepts his father's quest in spite, and so the journey begins.

At its core, 1001 Spikes is a platform game, albeit an extremely difficult one. The goal in each level consists of getting a key and then proceeding to a door without dying. It sounds like a simple enough task, yet with a myriad of traps in the way, including spikes, scorpions, darts, fire, and falling blocks, it becomes a difficult task indeed, which becomes even more difficult with the chaos of four players on-screen. Thankfully, the controls are precise enough to never feel out of control while navigating these obstacles. The inputs consist of using the analogue stick or D-pad for movement, Y/A for throwing spikes, X for high jump, and B for low jump. The most difficult part of the control scheme is getting used to having two different jump buttons, but once that is mastered, 1001 Spikes is arguably one of the best controlling platformers of the past few years.

Screenshot for 1001 Spikes on Wii U

While the game controls extremely well, it still takes immense precision and skill to navigate the harrowing levels. The difficulty is outrageous at times, though most times not unfairly so. The levels are expertly designed so that while they may seem impassable at first glance, after 20-30 deaths, a pattern begins to stand out that will help the player to finish the level. Unfortunately, the difficulty is such that many will be turned off right away, and even some veterans will give up due to what can become a very monotonous procedure. While challenge can make some lose interest, monotony is where 1001 Spikes will make most tire quickly. Although the levels are expertly designed, as previously mentioned, the tricks and traps used throughout quickly become old news, and it may feel like the same levels are being played over and over (and depending on skill level, that may actually be the case!).

If able to persevere through the game, though, 1001 Spikes has tons of secrets to discover. The game boasts 18 playable characters, all of which play in their own unique way, with specific abilities. These characters were included in order expand the experience and make each play through a little fresher. The differences include some characters being able to double jump, slide down walls, grab on to ledges, or just jump further. As a little extra bonus, 1001 Spikes also has an Arcade Mode with a local co-operative option, which consists of three games. The first game is a throwback to the original Mario Bros., where players grab hold of an urn and try to collect the most coins. Also included is a tower climbing game and a very obvious platforming nod to a certain plumber…

With all of the secrets available to unlock, challenging levels, and the multitude of characters to play as, 1001 Spikes can offer a very satisfying gaming experience. Whether or not gamers will have the drive to reach these experiences is another matter, though.

Screenshot for 1001 Spikes on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Knowing what to expect from 1001 Spikes will play a large part in whether or not it is found enjoyable. If gamers are looking for a super challenging, rage inducing but fair game, they will be quite happy with their purchase. If what they are looking for is an easy going, charming platformer, it is highly advised to look elsewhere.

Developer

Nicalis

Publisher

Nicalis

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Similar concept to this?


 

 
Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I haven't played 774 Deaths, but it seems like the concept is similar. Get through a level, don't die. Judging from the video though, it looks like 1001 Spikes has more variety in the types of traps and dangers.  

Sort of a spoiler for 1001 Spikes:

You can't actually run out of lives. If you run out of lives, the game just gives you more, and you keep your progress. Kind of loses the novelty of only having 1001 lives.

 

Working like a fiend isn't very fun... and surprisingly isn't very fiendish either.

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