Discover the lost treasures of Ukampa in South America as Aban Hawkins searches for his estranged father, world-famous archeaologist, Jim Hawkins. Aban Hawkins races into the frozen tundra of the antarctic, undiscovered temple ruins and the vast caverns of South America in search of his father and the legendary treasure rumored to lie...
User reviews: Very Positive (193 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 3, 2014

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"Balls hard is the best way to describe it. Challenging, yet understandably so. The sense of accomplishment you get when you complete a level is amazing"

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About This Game

Discover the lost treasures of Ukampa in South America as Aban Hawkins searches for his estranged father, world-famous archeaologist, Jim Hawkins. The elder Hawkins mysteriously disappeared while exploring the ruins. Before his disappearance, the elder Hawkins entrusted his daughter, Tina with a map to the location of the ruins but with a grave warning that death awaits around every corner.

Aban Hawkins races into the frozen tundra of the antarctic, undiscovered temple ruins and the vast caverns of South America in search of his father and the legendary treasure rumored to lie behind the Golden Door of Poko-Mum.

Features

■ 1001 Lives to pass 100+ Levels
Devious traps and cleverly designed levels ensure a variety of challenges that will test the limits of your skills, reflexes and patience.

■ 4-Player Local Co-op and Versus Gameplay
Test your platforming and treasure skills with up to 4 of your friends!

■ Retro with style
Classic 8-bit style chiptunes by Rushjet1 and Misoka with true-to-Famicom graphics

■ Secret of Ukampa
Unlock nearly two-dozen secret characters, each with vastly different gameplay and abilities

■ Watch the Story unfold
The action and mystery advances through in-game cutscenes, each character with their own unique story!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel: GMA 950 and up, ATI/AMD: X-Series 300 and up, Radeon-Series 9600 and up, Nvidia GeForce 6000 and up
    • Hard Drive: 256 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core 2.0 (or higher)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 256 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.8
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel: GMA 950 and up, ATI/AMD: X-Series 300 and up, Radeon - Series 9600 and up. Nvidia: Geforce 6000 and up.
    • Hard Drive: 256 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.9
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core 2.0 (or higher)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 and higher, ATI Radeon HD-Series 4650 and higher, Nvidia GeForce 2xx-Series and up.
Helpful customer reviews
22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
This game is NOT I repeat NOT for those who pretain to the following:
- unable to Maintain their cool / have a short fuse
- Give up easily
- Have had no experience with platforming prior to this game
- Want a causal experience
- Hate spikes

Now then onto my opinion of the game. This game is by far one of my favorite platformers that I have played right next to super meat boy. This game is as tough as it can get and if you want to make it far you will need to have the psychologic idea of "if it looks like it's able to kill you, it probably will"

Now I will admit this game's degree of difficulty at times goes down to out right troll level, with traps right at the finishing door which will kind of ruin the vibe of completeing the level. I will also say that Some of the golden skulls as well as levels I would of had no idea how to do unless I googled how to finish it or obtain the skull.

Onto some positive notes I personally love the difficulty of this game! I view myself as a veteran; claimably a master when it comes to platforming and and it's nice to see games like this come and basically give you a slap in the face and say "you think you're hot stuff huh? Try this on for size then". It gives us gamers the reality check we need to see that we are not "MLG" or "Greatest Platformer in NA", we are just gamers with more fun to experience with this game and to overcome it through all the hard times and trials it provides. The major positive aside, I also adored how it seemed so retro as I feel it really fit with the style of game, as it was 3D or something, this game would end up looking much worse in my opinion. The music is also divine and the little details really add to the ruins and complete this game. If you are looking for a nice little challenge than please without hesitation pick up this fantastic game. And don't you worry about your extra lives, as you have 1001~
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
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.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
The number was in no way exaggerated.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
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).
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
1001 Spikes at first glance seems like an unforgiving, frustratingly difficult, sadistic game.

But really it just comes down to:
"Oh, I haven't done this level yet. Well let's expect to die a couple times to either spikes coming out of the ground or some boulder falling on my head because I'm trying to dodge the completely obvious traps first."

But that's where the fun comes from...
First entering a stage and figuring out where the next spike-trap is that's gonna kill you and having a sense of pride come to you when you just barely jump to safety. Only to have your hopes and dreams shot down by a statue that fires a dart in your face, but don't worry you remember exactly where that spike-trap is and to throw a knife to block the statue's dart only to land and the floor falls from under you... Welcome to the wonderful life of Aban Hawkins.

The level progression of the game is pretty good. They don't just throw everything at you from the get-go and expect you to be absolutely afraid of every step you take through Ukampa. Every 5 stages you get a nice little break in the action to just walk peacefully through the temple to get the key and progress to the next chapter.

The controls are solid, there's no momentum in the game so you stop moving Aban and he instantly stops moving but the thing that might get you at first is there's two jump buttons. There were a few times where I'd franticly be jumping and throwing my knives, dodging traps and just suddenly find myself fall down a pit because instead of doing a high-jump, I had hit the normal-jump button.

The game's decently long and along the way you can collect Golden Skulls (There's 30 of them, one in each stage) and once you get so many you start unlocking other modes to play (All the unlocked modes can be play with up to 4-players).
-There's a tower mode where you pick your character, climb a tower to save a princess and collect treasure along the way.
-There's Lost Levels mode where you pick a character again, and go through chapters which consist of 3 stages and each chapter is a tileset from the campaign mode and each stage has coins you can collect.
-There's a mode that was meant for 4-players. You hit a golden chalice for coins to pop-out and try to see who can get the most coins before time runs out.
You will also start to unlock other characters which have their own unique gameplay mechanics.

It's one of those rare platformers that really makes you feel like you acomplished something great once you beat it. All that hardwork, all those tears, all those controllers you broke along the way and if that wasn't enough for some of you, you can also play through the entire thing again as a different character to unlock their own cutscenes.

A fantastic game worth every penny!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
1001 Spikes might throw the occasional cheap and dirty trick but for the most part it plays by a set of rules. You follow the rules you'll do fine on most levels aside from two which were complete hair-pullers for me (9-4 and 10-4, if you're wondering. Yes, it's difficult but far fairer than many of it's nay-sayers claim. I honestly found it to be easier than Super Meat Boy and it doesn't do as much out of nowhere stuff as IWBTG.
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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2014
This game makes me not hate my ex-wife.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
27.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
There are a lot of good levels in single player and a large number of characters. Some of the characters are very similar, but there are enough unique ones that it doesn't really matter too much. The multiplayer modes are decent, but not as good as the singleplayer. The game has lots of traps, but once you die to one you can anticipate other similar traps later. I never found it to be too unfair, since it's pretty much impossible to run out of lives.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
If you are into impossible platformers, this is the game for you.

1001 Spikes is just perfect, period! The music is great, the art style is great, the gameplay is great!

At first it might seem like there isnt much to do, but when you start unlocking characters and different game modes, it all changes.

When you start a level you have to grab a key and reach the end door to finish the level. But there is also a hidden skull to collect. which often leaves you trying to find it behind something, or going through another, much harder route to reach it. There are different gamemodes you can unlock further in the game, which give you something else to try out. There is a shop that you can unlock, where you can go and buy characters or buy more lives if you die too many times.

You can also play with, or against your friends if you so happen to have any friends that have the game.

BUT, this game is not for the faint hearted.
It is a hard game that is not for everyone, and you will get the occasional rage.
I highly recommend this game to anyone that likes a challenge.

I rate this game 9/10, others might bash their computer and never play it again.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
"We are going to die" (Indiana Jones Temple of Doom) Yes, you are going to die in this game about every 10 to 20 secs upon entering a new level. The levels are not random but there are brutal none the less. This is a side scrolling 8 bit platform game which requires you to pretty much memorize the stages because the you will never know what to expect. The ceiling may come falling down or spikes may come out of a block you just never know what is going to happen. Trial and error is the name of the game here. If you like games like Spelunky, Super Meatboy, Braid ect. Then you are going to love this game i sure do. Not for the faint of heart just for the persistent hardcore. Highly recommmend!
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84 of 93 people (90%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 3, 2014
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 "♥♥♥♥ing troll ♥♥♥ game" 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 "♥♥♥♥ing troll ♥♥♥ game" 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.
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92 of 123 people (75%) found this review helpful
49.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 2, 2014
Easily one of my favorite platformers, I cannot recommend this game enough! It's full of difficult moments but it never feels unfair. All of the unlockable characters have an immense amount of detail added to them, each one that references another game respects the source material completely and totally. This is the instant-classic of 2014.
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35 of 41 people (85%) found this review helpful
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2014
Everybody knows that 1001 Spikes is a masterpiece of mechanics and the pinnacle of level design as an art form, but, for as much as I have relished every agonizing, brilliant moment, my favorite thing about it is the respite stages at the end of each area. You simply move through the level, free from danger, and ironically these are the moments in which I truly feel like I am on an adventure.

It's not that I use this time to reflect on the challenges that I've surmounted. It's not that transition in which I am saying goodbye to one area with its distinctive tileset before moving on to another. The romance of these stages is simpler than that: It's just a pleasure to move through an exotic space! By suddenly stripping away all semblance of difficulty, 1001 Spikes startles you into noticing that one of the basic strengths of videogames is the experience of place.

When all of the scorpions and dart-shooting busts and crushing effigies and flamethrowers fall away, there's just you and a decaying ruin, adorned by idols carved from bricks of gold and lit by columns of blue flame, housed within the red dirt of the jungle and deep purple caverns, overgrown with vines that sway as you brush by, curtained by waterfalls and the slowly flooding drip of leaking ceilings, and eroded by lakes of fire barely contained with thick stone dams. Corridors narrow to a crawlspace and balloon outward into large pedestal chambers. They wind from side to side, rising and falling, or provide a shambling staircase out of darkness.

The fundamental lines of these spatial compositions are as beautiful as the pixel art with which they are drawn, and these little journeys are yet further characterized by situational events. Rope bridges collapse behind you, imposing doors are opened with the depression of multiple switches or the assembly of several ritual keys, and gates crumble away with the terrain, dropping you into the abyss. These surprises somehow manage to evoke a sense of mystery even though there are no puzzles to solve and a sense of adventure even though your path is a straight line. I could play an entire game comprised of these completely safe yet intriguing and enchanting stages.

Ukampa lies behind me in ruins, its golden skulls all safely ensconced within my loot sack, but I am not finished with 1001 Spikes. Not by a long sight. More adventures await. Regardless, I am more than ready to say that I don't just enjoy this game; I love it.
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24 of 30 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 3, 2014
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!
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25 of 34 people (74%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 3, 2014
1001 Spikes is a hardcore platformer in every sense of the word. It will stop at nothing to impale you on spikes, crush you with a boulder, burn you alive, and then impale you on even more spikes. Some may even call this a rage game by how hard it gets, but stepping up to the challenge and completing each level is really satisfying.

Here's a quick look video that goes over the postives and negatives of this game. But for those of you who just wanna read about it, continue below. (Info about other modes below since this only covers story, which is the meat of the game)

http://youtu.be/3kUrYLU_9qw

Let me begin my review with what this game is about. You're an adventurer exploring trap-infested dungeons, and the whole reason you're there is because you want to get the treasure to prove to your late father that you're a real man. Yeah, a guy with daddy issues. The reason this is called 1001 spikes is because you get that many lives to complete the game with, but you can get more by collecting artifacts and golden skulls. It's pretty straightforward, but the fun comes with the challenging maps.

In every level, you need to collect a key, then go to the exit. But it's not as simple as that. Hidden spikes will pop up without warning, dart traps will suddenly fire when you go near, and platforms with fall without warning as soon as you step on them. Because of this, you will die many times and have to start over from the beginning. Yet each time you will become a little wiser and learn the patterns until you eventually reach the end. Very much a trial and error system, but a good one that keep things challenging, but not enough to feel too cheap and make me want to quit.

Another good thing is the ability to drag your friends in for some local co-op or minigames. Things can get very hectic and fun as you try to complete levels together or kill each other. Every character plays a bit different too, such as playing Knight Arthur from Ghouls 'n Ghosts and having his armor get knocked off after a hit for a second life. There's even an interesting tower-climbing mode with boss battles if you collect golden skulls to unlock it, so don't forget to grab them as you play the story mode. The last mode you get is basically the same as the story, but the levels are hard right off the bat and you only get 100 lives.

However, this game isn't without some faults.
-There isn't any online multiplayer, nor is there any bots. So if you're all by your lonesome, half of the game's selling point doesn't apply to you. Sure you can play the levels by yourself, but it's kinda boring and the levels lose most of their dynamics since they cater to multiple people.
-Some people may take issue with the pixel graphics and over-saturation of them in today's market. And while I personally don't mind the graphic style, lots of people avoid games simply for this reason alone.
-Even though I do like the difficulty, sometimes I found myself frustrated with some of the trial and error gameplay. Can't tell you how many times I was so close to the end only to be sent back to the beginning from a hidden spike trap.
-Honestly, I think this should be a $10 game. I was halfway through the campaign after only one and a half hours, so with it being so short on its single-player mode, it may turn a few people away. Though admittedly, the later levels are gonna take you much longer to complete since they start getting insane.

To wrap this up, this game is for those who like a challenge. It even caters to those who are perfectionists and want every collectible and the best times. So if you have buds to play with, this is a good buy. But if you only want it for the single player, get it if you've been itching for a game that really pushes you to beat it. And if you're still on the fence, wait for a discount and this will definitely be worth it.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
83.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2014
It's the most difficult indie game I have ever played. There's basically a death trap everywhere you step, so if you manage to pass a death trap, you'll die by another one. It's fun trying to run away from all the death traps, and complete the levels as fast as possible. The Skulls and unlockable characters make it even more fun, and they give a lot of replay value. And just when you though you're done with the game, now that you completed World 5, BOOM! Another 5 worlds (Antarctica) Gets unlocked, And they're x5 times more difficult than Ukampa! Everytime you die, you want to try again, and again and again. And everytime you die, you get better. You probably think this is a negative review, you're wrong. Doing all this stuff I listened makes the game a lot of fun, the levels are well-designed, and there are surprised everywhere. There's even Local Co-Op, and extra game modes, which are a lot of fun too! I'm giving this game a solid 10/10, of course, I completed the whole Story Mode. Making a review without experiencing everything is a little stupid in my opinion. Yesterday I spend 12 hours straight in this game. It's really addicting, and the graphics are beatiful. If you like Hard games, pick this up immediately, you even get a "33% Off" discount if you own Cave Story+ or NightSky, which makes the game cost only 6,66€ If you already bought this game, I'm just going to say one thing: Good Luck!
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
60.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2014
Disclaimer: If you inherently can’t 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’re 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…

1001 Spikes scales back the jump mechanics to pre-Super Mario Bros.; there’s 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’s not to say the game feels bad though; you can change the direction of your jumps in mid-air, so it’s not clunky like Castlevania or Ghosts n’ Goblins. It also means that it’s 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’s not always advantageous to use the high jump, even with jump correction; the game makes you use both. You see, most of the game’s obstacles are traps, with slight visual clues of where they could be. This works synergistically with the jump system; you’ll 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’ll 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 “puzzle platformers” out there but more often than not they’re 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’ve carved out a path you’ll still have to think quickly to execute it; unlike platformers like Meat Boy there’s 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’s a really unique feeling for a platformer, and frankly it’s exhausting at first. But as you play more, you’ll get better at the game and at the quick thinking and memorization needed to complete each level. While the game doesn’t build in the sense of reward like Super Meat Boy does, it doesn’t really need it; by the time you beat each level, you’ll 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 – oh wait, you don’t have to start over? You just get three more lives? …Then what’s 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 “pay-to-win”.

Speaking of side modes and characters, this game has a lot of content! There’s 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’t 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’s 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’s great is how it layers it: every level has a teaching layer, a “get through the level the first time” 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’s say there’s 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’s not going to be just arbitrarily discolored, but discolored because, it has hidden spikes in it, or maybe it’s 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’re gone, rather than just a series of arbitrary obstacles. You create the timings yourself, there isn’t 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’s 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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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2014
Have you ever been to hell?
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
This game is, to me, what video games should always be : Challenging, simple, fun and addicting.
It's somewhere between Rick Dangerous and Spelunky, and while playing it, chances are you'll be somewhere between joy and rage.
Everything screams NES game at you, from the graphic to the music to the gameplay.
Every level is a perfection in Evil level design.
If you're wishing video games were more like well...video games then look no further! There's a spike trap looking for you in Ukampa :)
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