1001 Spikes is available now on the Wii U and 3DS eShop stores in North America, and early noise around the platforming title is that it's pretty darn tough. Retro in looks and, it seems, retro in style, it's sure to endanger 3DS systems and GamePad controllers now that it's nestling on some systems.
Though these versions have been produced and published by Nicalis, the game was created by Samu Wosada. A gimmick of the game is that something special happens if you lose all 1001 of your lives, which even Wosada-san thinks is relatively unlikely for most, though he has explained to Siliconera that he produced the title with his own abilities as a yardstick, rather than the focus-testing approach of big-budget titles — "What I really wanted to accomplish is a very focused game that a select group will really like and accept". In comments likely to resonate with some enthusiastic download gamers, however, Wosada-san explained how he wants players to have a sense of accomplishment in what they do.
By no means do I get any satisfaction or enjoyment by watching people die. I really want to see people clear my stages. I can feel my heartbreak when I see people die I can feel their pain. In all seriousness, I think the true satisfaction of the game is when you clear a level on the fourth or fifth try. You’ve learned the traps, you know what to watch out for, you’ve memorized and you’re finally able to beat it. If you beat it the first time through, then it might not be that fun. There won’t be gratification because you didn’t have to work to beat it.
...Even with in compact spaces, I focused on simple traps, but I combined these traps to create a puzzle. The satisfaction of creating a more complex trap out of a series of simpler traps is very gratifying even as a designer.
Wosada-san clearly believes that we're increasingly seeing a trend where recent ideals such as cinematic experiences are being replaced by a desire for more engaging, interactive games. We're not convinced the retail numbers and profit results will back that up, but it's an ideology that'll certainly resonate with some.
I think almost any genre can benefit from this model of being rewarding through persistence. At some point until the previous generation, there was like an arms race for having a better story, better characters, and better graphics. People felt that was the only way to make a game better. But, we are at a cusp of a new revolution where going to focus again on gameplay and quality entertainment through interactivity. I think we’re talking a step back from story and graphics. It’s about rewarding a player for learning the game. Take a rhythm game for example it’s not just playing a song, it’s about playing a song many times and finally getting to the end of it and feeling 'wow I did it.'
Have you had a chance to take on 1001 Spikes yet? Let us know what you think of the game and Wosada-san's comments.