You Have to Win the Game (2012)

Short review of the retro platformer You Have to Win the Game from 2012.

Ah, the days of my youth. While VGA was slowly becoming the norm even then, I remember playing a few CGA games on my first PC. That said, while You Have to Win the Game sports a CGA color scheme, the gameplay is pretty polished (which was rarely true for platformers on PCs in these days) and feels much more modern. YHtWtG is a metrovania style exploration platformer where you collect the usual skills (double jump, wall crawling) to advance. The game has enemies, but you weaponless and can only avoid them.

To actually win the game you have to find a word scribbled somewhere on the background in the game and then use it at the appropriate moment by accessing the commando console (the magic symbol the game speaks about, which is the key above TAB, which on US keyboard layouts is the Tilde (~) and the Grave accent (`), on my it was Degree (°) and Circumflex (^)). That probably was my only annoyance, since it switched the gameplay at the last moment from typical platforming to bloody stupid lateral puzzling (one reason why I rarely play adventures, I hate that kind of puzzles). And if you don’t do that, you’ll be put back at the begin of the game and have to play it all over again (fucking annoying).

Still, despite the final puzzle, the game is fun to play, uses the limited color scheme to look absolutely amazing and has save points at all the right places to make even the more demanding rooms enjoyable instead of frustrating. Definitely recommended.