Candied, crushed sago't gulaman
Fact: Indie platformers are one of the most difficult game genres ever conceived by man. This is an infernal, intractable truth branded into the immortal souls of everyone’s who has ever played Spelunky or I Wanna Be The Guy. They are a special species of monster, bred to usher in virtual hell. They are the worst kind of temptation–one you know will not be good for you but let into yourself anyway. You don’t need that kind of grief in your life. Just walk away. Hey! What are you doing? Don’t go back! What are you EVEN doing? Don’t you ever learn? No. NO! It’s not worth it! Don’t.
I kind of wish I rode the Flappy Bird rage train (plane?) when it was in full swing. Only then could I fully internalize how the entire civilized world regressed into a prehistoric frenzy. I have few regrets. This is one of them.
However, I am no stranger to Satanic levels of frustration. There are myriad titles that you can choose from, with difficulties ranging from Hair-Uprooting to Artery-Twisting to AHHHH AHHHHH AHHHHHH. Spelunky is a dungeon crawler located on the Sisyphean sliding slope of madness. Playing I Wanna Be The Guy is like trying to hug an anthropomorphic cactus man who really wants to get a closer feel for your eyes.
Last 2007 saw Terry Cavanagh release his daring indie baby, VVVVVV. VVVVVV is one of those games that is smooth on the entry with a nuclear fallout aftertaste, like a shot of lube chased with razor blades. It starts of almost cutesy with its introduction of dead-simple antigravity mechanics and pixelized space explorers. Then after 20 minutes of faffing about in this spiked wasteland, like most cutesy things, VVVVVV ramps up the difficulty, placing due importance on pixel-perfect accuracy and Boddhisatva-esque patience. It draws you in, forcing you to “git gud casul” lest it kills your entire family and eats you alive. Figuratively, of course.
Then there’s this monstrosity, FFFFFF. FFFFFF introduces itself as this derpy Frankenstein’s monster cobbled from everyone’s favorite sidescrolling purgatory and VVVVVV if VVVVVV did not possess enough mercy to end. You guide your flappy-beaked, viridian casualty-to-be through a series of never-ending, randomly-generated spiked tunnels. Your arsenal is sticking to ceilings. Your lives, infinite. Your deaths, around the same number.
Do not play this game. I spread the link around at work and now the screaming won’t stop.
If you’re still interested (you brave, stupid person), click here or any of the pictures.