"Aban Hawkins and the 1,001 Spikes from developer 8bit Fanatics and publisher Nicalis is the latest specimen of a breed resurgent in the 21st century: the ultra-difficult 2D platformer. It is a game that is hard for the sake of being hard, and it wears this label proudly. It absolutely does not care if you can't keep up, how many times you die, how frustrated you get.
Unfortunately, difficulty alone does not a great experience make, even in such a brutal subgenre. There has to be a sense of gratification, of progress and reward; a dash of masochism to even out its sadistic torture of players. But 1,001 Spikes lacks self-awareness, and feels bogged down by unnecessary design."