Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES | Review (XBL Indie Games)
Let’s face it: we live in a completely different video game era than what most of us grew up in. Whether we think about casual gaming or the complex and complete experiences some games offer, the old-school formula has mostly been left out. While evolution is a good thing, a good dose of nostalgia does not hurt once in a while. For those looking for this in a game, this is what 8bits Fanatics’ Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES brings to the table.
Aban Hawkins is a old-school platformer that mixes elements from classics like Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. You control Aban Hawkins, an adventurer resembling Indiana Jones, as he makes his way through dungeons to find rare artefacts. The game is composed of about 20 levels that use the same foundations: Get the key and leave through the magic gate. Sounds easy? Think again. Each level is filled with tons of traps, spikes, scarabs and other obstacles that will make your trip through the game a difficult ride. Luckily, you do not get only one chance to make it through the dungeons. Actually, you are given a thousand lives to do so. While this may sound like a lot, you will certainly end up using many of them. Also, without spoiling anything, the ending is worthy of the endings found in the best NES games.
On the presentation side, Aban Hawkins achieves what it is aiming for: the nostalgia factor. The sprites resemble what most of the best classics looked like and the 8-bit music is one that you will enjoy listening through, although it does get repetitive after a while.
As noted before, the game is very hard. It starts out with few traps and quickly starts to get complex. Dying will be necessary so that you learn the right paths and timing to use to get through each section of the game’s levels. While some gamers might be happy with the challenge the game has to offer, it will definitely scare out some players. Even for advanced gamers, the game is hard to get through and will make you curse. Luckily, for those who have a hard time on a specific level, there is a “Skip Stage” option that can be used up to ten times.
In short, Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES is a challenge. Gamers who cannot get enough of games like Super Meat Boy must buy it without hesitating since the game only cost 80 Microsoft Points (about 1$) and will give you about 5-7 hours of gameplay (depending on your skill level). As for the others, downloading the trial is your best bet. If you can get over the difficulty aspect of the game, you will find an incredible old-school platformer.
Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES is available on the Xbox LIVE Indies Games channel for the Xbox 360 for 80 Microsoft Points (1$).
- Perfect NES-era graphics and music
- Addictive gameplay
- Will challenge even the best players
- Low price
- Difficulty will scare out some players
Screenshots from 8bits Fanatics