At times it becomes a mind-numbing slog, as you're reduced to performing the same rote set of actions for hours until you perfect the one jump or dodge that's holding you back. The reward is a sense of mastery, but the price can be awfully steep, making this a true test of skill – and patience.
The impatient will probably give up just a few levels in, but the devoted will find a lot to enjoy with 1001 Spikes. It's a fitting tribute to the games of old, while embracing a challenge level that today's dedicated gamers will truly appreciate. If they don't break their controller first, that is.