1001 Spikes is a 2D platforming adventure title in the style of older NES titles such as Mega Man, Super Mario and particularly draws a large influence from Spelunker. The Wii U version of the title features off-screen play and controls very well on the GamePad as well as the Pro Controller. This title is a sidescroller, that while difficult at times, has a very responsive and refreshing control scheme and style. You advance through stages while collecting loot and dodging enemies with a one hit death style. The game limits you to 1001 lives throughout the entire game, which at first seems like a lot but as you advance can dwindle fast if you aren’t careful. The game also features a multiplayer mode that is stylized like Mario Bros where you battle with up to three additional players to survive and defeat foes to collect points. I had a large amount of fun with both modes of the game and despite frustration at points, I did push on and enjoyed each and every bit of the game.
One thing that’s fantastic about 1001 Spikes is that for as fast, bloody, and brutal as its gameplay becomes – it’s also predictable. This is in a good way though, meaning just like the old school games of our childhood we can replay levels over and over again until we master them. There is no random annoyances to tolerate and instead the perfectly crafted level design was trusted by the developer to be great enough for us to be satisfied with alone. And it is indeed satisfying. Traps, traps, everywhere there’s traps. Spikes come out where you didn’t even expect them to forcing you to re-think and re-forge your way through a level. The ground shifts beneath you, random flames spit out at you, and an overall feel of excitement and joy runs through your veins as you actually become an expert platformer.
In the stages of the main campaign you will often find that standing still is a sure recipe for death. At the same time, every single step and jump must be perfectly and precisely calculated to avoid death. You start off with over a thousand lives though, hence why the game got its name! The bonus modes are great too, including Tower of Nanner which is essentially a race to the top in a very vertical-oriented level designed for pain and punishment. Retrying every level from the beginning in the normal campaign of the game is very excellent, but in this mode you are allowed to pick up where you left off. You can also unlock characters such as the Bit.Trip Runner cast. And I swear the visual look of the game paired with its precise controls makes it feel like I’m controlling some sort of alternative reality taking place in another dimension for my own amusement.
Stylized like the games it tries to emulate, 1001 Spikes plays on the vintage-new style of 8 bit graphics and music which may push newer gamers away but aims to the nostalgic crowd. I fell for its charming music and art style due to the memories of a tube television in a dim basement playing my NES and SNES. The Nintendo 3DS version of this game features the base 1001 Spikes story as well as additional campaigns and a multiplayer mode. This means the player has more to do once the game itself is done. As well as the additional campaigns, there are many collectibles in the base game. If you own a Nintendo 3DS then you certainly shouldn’t want to miss out on this. With graphics that could have made the Virtual Boy actually move units (if it had color), this is a great gameplay experience and earned every point of its final score in spiked blood.
Overall Score: 8.8 / 10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: 8bits Fanatics
Publisher: Nicalis, Inc.
Available On: PS4 | XO | Wii U | 3DS | PC | Mac OS X | Linux
Played On: Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Louis Thompson on 20140725 and was last modified on 20140725 .