1,001 Spikes review: Temple of doom - Joystiq

"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."

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admiralvic1592d ago (Edited 1592d ago )

I got to say, I'm surprised the two reviews for this game have been so low. I wasn't expecting high reviews, since difficult games tend to get crapped on for being difficult, but still, figured it would score higher.

Anyway, okay / poor review though I don't get some of the authors points. Like I believe the level skip function was added because the games difficulty is not a linear progression and certain levels are certainly harder than others (5-5 is easier than 2-1, which is the first real stage). So instead of basically telling you to figure it out or give up, the game lets you skip it so you can progress and circle back if you want. I also believe using the item in the shop for 10,001 coins (I think thats the cost) lets you literally skip a level without penalty (you do need to beat it for real if you want the collectible). Furthermore, you lose the ability to skip levels once you hit the "challenge" stages.

As far as the lives go, I think they serve as a reminder of your failures and nothing more. However, not like it really matters. Certain stages can give as many as 256 lives, collecting skulls gives a 1 up (so you can endlessly fail a stage and lose nothing if you get the skull) and the shop sells lives if you're that desperate for them.

Anyway, not to get on my soap box, but this is why review scores are bad. The game scored a 6 (as far as Metacritic is concerned anyway) and yet the author outright states "1,001 Spikes is superbly crafted, but unfortunately, this makes the lives system and level skip options – ways in which the game undermines itself – all the more disappointing," which makes me wonder why this "superbly crafted" game lost 4 points in the first place. Is a level skip and pointless lives system THAT detrimental to the game?! Furthermore, for a review of the game it's certainly missing a lot...

There is no mention of the Tower or Lost Levels, which both work differently than the main game, nor was there any mention of the unlockable characters having unique abilities / offering up new gameplay options. The author also didn't touch on the multiple stories out there (several of the unlockable characters have their own stories, plus you get a cutscene when buying certain costumes), the even harder bonus levels (this also has the true end) or really much of the content beyond what you could see in 45 minutes and deductive reasoning based off screenshots.

TL;DR I don't get this review.

Rhezin1592d ago

it's too damn hard. Especially the Stage 5 levels. I can't beat them, so I stopped playing. Although lost levels are pretty great for split-screen co-op, YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE ENTIRE GAME TO UNLOCK ALL THE CHARACTERS. Which is BS, I thought going into this game they would already be available. Now it seems I'll never be able to play as all of the 16 unlocks.

Rhezin1592d ago

And whats up with sharing lives from your first character with a new character you want to play with? Why can't we start out with 1001 lives again?! No, I think the score is accurate..