Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES Review

8 bit Fanatics creates platforming pain in Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES. I say this in the best of ways. 1000 SPIKES is retro gaming in a great way. If you miss those days of playing a game for hours only to still be struggling on the same stage. This game is like that. It starts you with 1000 lives and that isn’t to be nice, it’s because you’ll need them.

This platformer is for the true gamer. You play as Aban Hawkins a guy who looks a lot like Indiana Jones and you are a treasure hunter. The subtitle under the main title is “The Temple of the Dead mourns the living” and I think that says a lot. This game sets out to kill you, a lot. Every stage you beat is a testament to your gaming skill. The graphics are that of an old Nintendo game, and it really works to set the mood.

What you’ll find in the 1000 Spikes are a whole lot of traps. Obviously you have the spikes from the ceiling, floor and walls. You have darts that are shot at you. The always expected falling platforms and disintigrating platforms combined with flamethrowers, even fireballs from the lava floor. The game is broken out into worlds or sections as you start on 1-1. Every 5 levels lead to a satisfying 6 stage which is nothing more than grabbing the key to the next set of 5 challenging stages. After you beat a set of levels you will gain back a bunch of lives. 50 after the first set, then 100 after the second set and so on.

If you are easily agitated by a challenge then you might want to run from this game. Otherwise grab your controller, you have three basic moves; Jump, High Jump and shoot. The controls handle well and feel comfortable. Every stage is as much a platformer as a puzzle. Every time you get past one part of the stage you will find another trap lying in wait. You must grab the key on the stage then reach the exit. The game does provide the option to skip stages, but only a limited number of stages can be skipped. I don’t recommend this since each stage is a little harder than the last. So skipping a stage may get you past your current frustration, but takes away that satisfying feeling of accomplishment you get by completing the stage.

The game offers a save and exit or just exit without save feature. I have used this, after getting to a certain point I had to stop playing saved on exit. So you can always come back and if you accomplish nothing exit without saving. Aban Hawkins is a game that really sets out to challenge you, and does so completely in a completely enjoyable way. Yes you will get frustrated, but it stands out against modern games that have a tendency of being easier than its predecessors.

I give this game a 5 out of 5, but leave you with the warning that this is not an easy game and good luck getting to the final boss, even I haven’t gotten there.