I Wanna Be The Guy is an awesome homebrewed platformer that I have not yet finished, but demands blogging anyway because it is so good. It’s a nostalgic blend of 8-bit Nintendo memories and insane difficulty that will make your hands bleed. I’m told that when the original creator first heard that someone beat it on the hardest difficulty level (where there are no save points), his reaction was, “You’re kidding.”
The great thing about IWBTG is that it’s not hard for boring reasons like bad controls or barely-reachable jumps. It’s hard because it messes with every assumption players have learned to make. Anyone who’s ever picked up a controller has an instinct for what sort of thing is deadly in a video game– and that very instinct is what kills me most. I know I’m going to die, but I never quite know how; avoiding the obvious traps, I’m caught by unexpected ones. It usually takes me about an hour to get to the next screen, but I always feel like I’m making progress. I have to train myself to get through each obstacle, one at a time, until I can do it consistently enough to tackle the next. It’s hard, but I always feel like I will be able to do it if I try a little longer. My friends are on “R” duty, which means they sit next to the keyboard and press “R” to restart me whenever I die (usually every three to ten seconds).
My only real complaint is that it’s sexist. On the “medium” difficulty level (there is no “easy”), your character wears a pink bow. Right, because being bad at videogames makes you a girl.