Aban Hawkins & the 1,001 Spikes pokes its way onto Vita

Indie developer Nicalis (Cave Story, Nightsky) has set their sights on pure masochism. They make no secret that they have likely created "the most challenging game to come to the Vita this year" with 1001 Spikes, a 2D pixelated platformer that draws inspiration from 8-bit classics like Spelunker.

Having previously appeared with only 1,000 spikes as a remake of the 8bits Fanatics game on Xbox Live Indie Games and the Nintendo eShop, 1001 Spikes sees explorer Aban Hawkins venturing into a temple filled with dangerous traps, like bats, fireballs, and...yes...spikes. The object is to find a key that opens the door to the next room, which is also filled with sharp pointy objects. Hawkins can use daggers and a short and long jump to make his way through, but part of the challenge appears to be judging which leap to use. He will also have 1,001 lives at his disposal, but if you think that makes this game easy, Nicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez laughs in your general direction.

"The designers have spent countless hours fine tuning placement of every obstacle and item in the game," Rodriguez tells the PlayStation Blog , "literally every detail of the game was meticulously planned and thought out, tested, tuned and retested."

There are six worlds to explore in 1001 Spikes, which will feature 8-bit cutscenes and special unlockable characters. The game will also feature co-op and competitive multiplayer modes that will likely revolve around the idea of not dying. 1001 Spikes is set to poke through you later this year.