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Video Game Review – 1001 Spikes

In a game that features a character who is similar to the temple-exploring legend that is Indiana Jones, going through the Temple of the Dead with a little pistol, we can be sure to see many surprises. But in this indie action-platformer, is it 1001 reasons to celebrate, or 1001 reasons to cry? Timlah investigates this tough indie title.

1001 Spikes Logo

Genre Action-Platformer
Developer Nicalis
Publisher Nicalis
  • Steam (Windows, Mac & Linux)
  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Wii U
  • XBox One
Price £9.99 on Steam at time of writing

This is a game that has been very well received amongst most critics of the gaming world; why? Because this is a true blast from the past in terms of gameplay value. It knows what it set out to achieve: A good, tough game. It never feels unfair, when you die in this game, which is important, because it sets you a limit. It gives you 1001 lives to get through the ruins and temples. Sounds like you have plenty of lives right..?

… Right?


In 1001 Spikes, you play as Aban Hawkins, who was originally going to be named in the title (Aban Hawkins & the 1001 Spikes). They stuck to 1001 Spikes however, as the game seems to feature a good number of unlockable characters, which would kind of ruin the purpose of naming it after the main character. Although characters in this game are mostly cosmetic, they do have an ever so slight effect on the game. In the video above, you’ll see me playing as a character called CommanderVideo, a character from another game called BIT.TRIP RUNNER. He falls slightly slower than Aban does – Plus he fires out little coins of power, as opposed to the slightly smaller bullets Aban uses.

It plays like a typical platformer, but one difference is the jumping mechanism. Normally, you will have a single jump button, in that you hold down longer for more effect. In 1001 Spikes, you have to press the correct jump button for the type of jump you wish to perform. There’s a small and a large jump, both of which are mapped well with a controller. In fact, if I had to compliment the game on anything else, I’d say the control scheme of the game is really well thought out and clearly controllers were at the forefront of the game design, which is great!

Another little point I’d like to raise is the fact that as you play through, instead of you going out there and just doing a level at a time, perhaps going back to level one, etc, you get to retry the level over and over again… To a limit. You get 1001 lives to begin with. You can get more by unlocking skulls which represents artifacts that Aban and crew pick up on their adventures; these skulls are in usually tricky spots which makes them increasingly tough to find. As another item mechanic, there are coins, which can be used to purchase more characters.


Falling back to the golden era of gaming is usually a winning strategy amongst indie developers, of which 1001 Spikes knows very well the importance of good early era graphics. Check out our gallery below!


The music in 1001 Spikes is nice and simple, typical of the era it’s looking to portray. It can be a little competitive if you die a lot of times, however generally you’re getting too wound up at the amount of times you’ve died to actually care the music is being repetitive…

It’s well done for what it’s worth, though!



1001 Spikes feels like a really well thought out game and it shows. There’s a lot of tightness in the controls which is important in an action-platformer. If I had to raise any criticisms of the game, is that it can feel quite repetitive later down the line. In the video above, where I show just how tricky the game is, it can get quite frustrating and tiresome having to go through xyz amount of deaths for each and every level. It’s why a game like this, I feel, should not be done in one go. Play it, enjoy it, for £9.99 you’ll get a lot of game for your money… But don’t expect to be enamoured with it enough to do it in one sitting. It’ll be a game you’ll keep going back to… and that’s not a bad thing!

Have you had the pleasure of playing 1001 Spikes? Let us know in the comments below, or as always let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.


2 responses

  1. I haven’t played it. The difficulty would frustrate me too much.


    February 2, 2016 at 9:51 am

    • Admittedly, I love rage games… And this one was right up there!! Still… 1001 lives. How hard can it be– oh yeah, the video…

      Liked by 1 person

      February 2, 2016 at 10:09 am

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