That’s Quite A Lot, Isn’t It? 1001 Spikes Released

By Ben Barrett on June 4th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

I worry that if the trend of games which repeatedly kick you in the nethers continues, the Daily Mail and your mum might start to have a point. Between Dark Souls, Binding of Isaac and any number of roguelikes and retro-remakes, the next generation is being turned into failure-lovers. Still, not our fault that it’s so much fun, is it? The latest pain offering on the masochism shrine is 1001 Spikes, a Spelunky/I Wanna Be The Guy-inspired platformer where you’re given 1001 lives to get through its levels. It’s out today and you can impale yourself on the trailer below.

Mmm, grisly. Looks laughably hectic and totally impossible with three friends, and positively grinding solo. A perfect combination. Not so convinced they haven’t gone a little too far with the lo-fi graphics, making something that looks like it was made in the early ’90s rather than paying homage to it. The music sounds gorgeous though, and you can hear some more in that style over on joint dev-pub Nicalis’ website.

There’s details on what to expect if you dive in on the Steam page and a bunch of additional screenshots and trailers. They detail the variety of characters available, some of whom are based on other games. That was one of my favourite things about Super Meat Boy.

, , .

32 Comments »

  1. wilynumber13 says:

    Wait, what does this have to do with Advance Wars??

    Anyway I don’t really see the problem with making something that looks like it was made in the 90s rather than just picking and choosing the qualities they like. Those limitations can breed stronger creativity.

    • Neith says:

      Ah yes- sometimes limitations can paradoxically give us freedom. At least that’s what Mr. O’Neil on “Daria” said.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Re: Advance Wars, it’s an editing artifact so you WILL NEVER KNOW :O

  2. LionsPhil says:

    Wow, a bastard-hard 2D platformer with indistinct pseudo-retro graphics!

    Thank god the indie revolution saved us from the repetitive churn of identikit AAA games.

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      mediocrity is ubiquitous and indiscriminate

    • Phasma Felis says:

      It really tears you up when other people like stuff you don’t like, huh?

      I really don’t get the rage over these things.

      • Fomorian1988 says:

        It’s less rage, and more “Oh. A hard faux-retro platformer. I’ve never seen that before.” in sarcasm mode. Let’s face it, every a retro platformer is the most common genre among indie games.

        • Neith says:

          “Let’s face it, every a retro platformer is the most common genre among indie games.”

          Whilst I completely agree with you, there are only a handful of actually GOOD “retro platformers” available. The only ones I’ve liked were Spelunky!, this, and La Mulana. Things like The Giana Sisters? No!

          I welcome this kind of mess. For me, it’s therapeutic to go back to the roots of gaming every now and then. Basically everytime a new CoD is released, I feel a little bit of the gamer inside me die. Games like this refresh me, and make it able for me to co-exist with all the OTHER shovelware. And I do see some AAA titles as shovelware (>coughcough<)

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      To be fair, though, at least half of anything is repetetive mediocrity.

    • Shadow says:

      I can take retro graphics, 8-bit is fine. But it grinds my gears they go down to essentially 4-bit palettes and still have the nerve to charge 15 dollars for something that honestly doesn’t look very deep at all. Spelunky is 15 dollars, and graphics aside, it seems far more unique than this thing.

      Anyway, I complain about the graphics not due to fidelity concerns nor anything like that, but rather because it’s steadily becoming much less a valid stylistic choice and more a covert cost-saver they can pass as something else with hipster smugness. And still charge comparatively high sums for the resulting product.

      • Neith says:

        Hm, very nicely put. I agree.

        Spelunky! HD was worth every penny. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original. But taking the game and giving it a facelift didn’t hurt the mechanics of the game at all, because the mechanics were sweet.

        If a game is good in 4/8-bit, it can be just as good in HD. I, personally, wish every one of ‘em would come with two different types: Retro and HD. Then I would feel that asking for more than $5 for it is justified.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Please stop comparing games to Dark Souls that are nothing like Dark Souls.

    • Neith says:

      *Edit: Please stop comparing ANYTHING to Dark Souls. Let it go. Dark Souls is good and all, but it is not THE END ALL, BE ALL GAMING EXPERIENCE.**

    • Nenjin says:

      4th’d. This is quickly become the #1 over-used comparison by the games media. A game being difficult does not make it Dark Souls. In fact, almost nothing makes a game like Dark Souls except when it’s Dark Souls. It’s getting so bad I half-expected Nathan to say One Tap Quest was “Dark Souls-like”, because you lose a lot.

      • Casimir's Blake says:

        Indeed. Not even Dark Souls 2 managed that feat. What with being the equivalent of mediocre fan-fiction blighted by incongruous level design and over-abundance of heavily armoured enemies that take hours to defeat. I’m expecting these things to appear in tons of other games now, just because DaS 2 did this to make things “difficult”.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I didn’t compare it to Dark Souls. I mentioned Dark Souls. Dark Souls is a video game.

  4. bangalores says:

    Still nothing on the Star Citizen dogfighting module release, guys?

    Do you only like writing about SC when its negative news?

  5. BooleanBob says:

    My F*CK YOU game d’jour is Teleglitch. Level 8! Finally! Oh wow! Oh boy! I wonder what lies beyond the doors of the first ro- SQUID ROBOT WAR BASTARD MURDER DEATH DEATH MURDER F*CK YOU F*CK YOUR ITEMS F*CK YOUR PROGRESS DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE.

    Excuse me. It was a little emotional.

    • meepmeep says:

      On my very first go of Teleglitch I somehow panicked all the way to level 4. I have never played it again since on the basis that I doubt I’ll ever manage it again.

  6. Laurentius says:

    “Not so convinced they haven’t gone a little too far with the lo-fi graphics, making something that looks like it was made in the early ’90s rather than paying homage to it.”

    FU, Prince of Persia is 1989 game, Another World is from 1991.
    Seriously this ridiculous trend of bashing gaming nineties has to stop.

  7. Nixitur says:

    Hmm, not too sure on this one.

    I mean, I love retro-y balls-hard platformers (like Bleed, Spelunky, They Bleed Pixels, VVVVVV, Dustforce, Super Meat Boy, Cloudberry Kingdom and Nikujin), but what all those games have in common is that they make sure that every death you suffer is your own damn fault. They are fair.
    This one doesn’t seem fair.

    The I Wanna Be The Guy comparison seems very apt and that’s not really a good thing. Spikes that just pop up under or beside you with no warning? Not a fan.

  8. Premium User Badge

    RaveTurned says:

    “Chase The Cultists To Save A Sacrifice Girl!”

    In 2014. *sigh*

    Tip to devs – if you want to use damseling bullshit as character motivation or even as a substitute for your entire plot that’s your call, but you might not want to highlight that kind of lazy writing in your trailer like it’s a unique selling point or something to be proud of.

    • The Random One says:

      Maybe she’s a superhero. Sacrifice Girl, with the power to give everything up!

  9. OctoStepdad says:

    Are we getting a “Wot I Think” on this? I am really intrested in this but I wanna know how the game controls.

    Can anybody comment on them?

  10. Shooop says:

    Oh look, it’s Spelunky without the unique gameplay and downgraded hipster-approved 4-bit graphics.

    Boy the indie games scene has sure done wonders for the industry which is plagued by developers who just rip off successful games hoping to score part of their success!

  11. The Random One says:

    Looks more like IWBTG than Spelunky, which is not a good thing. Even though both are games in which you jump around and die a lot, Spelunky is well designed because you have to master its systems, while IWBTG is poorly designed because it wants you to say FUCK a lot and only proceed through rote memorization.