1001 Attempts joins the recent wave of retro 8-bit manic puzzlers coming to iOS, recalling both arcade machines of the early 80s and Internet memes of mere months ago.
With a simple, but not easy, concept—stay alive—1001 Attempts ridicules you with its difficulty while also daring you to keep playing. It’s like that gym teacher you hated who would mock you for your inability to do pull-ups and, after you’ve been humiliated in front of your peers, leaves you with “well, if that’s the best you can do…” That’s 1001 Attempts, a game that will kill you often and terribly and then say, “at least you didn’t die of dysentery.”
In 1001 Attempts, you guide your small, pink sprite across the top or bottom of the screen to collect hearts. Everything from homing comets to missiles to cannons will try to hit your character, which presents quite a challenge. Timing, reflexes, and quick navigation are all essential skills for your survival. Not that you will survive: 1001 Attempts is one of those infuriating iOS games that can’t be beaten. You succeed in the sense that your high score, which is shareable, can best your friends’ or other players.
The game utilizes 8-bit graphics and a chip tunes soundtrack reticent of old game music, which is apparently the thing to do right now. There is no tutorial, or stated objective, or story.
1001 Attempts is an unassuming, uncomplicated game that doesn’t profess to be anything other than what it is: a budget distraction, worth a few minutes of your time, but nothing more.