Some games are built differently. There are games, like Dark Souls, that wear their gruesome difficulty on their sleeves. The aesthetic was enough to tell you that if you are not a sucker for this kind of game, you are not going to have a good time; these games are essentially screaming that you, the player, will die over and over again.
However, there are some titles that take a different approach to luring players. It could be the simple art style, the simple and easy-to-learn mechanics, or even the nostalgia factor that piques your interest. But don’t be fooled, because these games don’t mess around. It’s these kinds of games that deliver an unforgettable experience, whether you like them or not.
Back in the day, Metroidvania games like its namesake Metroid and Castlevania were the most popular action games. And though we now have photorealistic games, many people still prefer the simpler times. Hollow Knight was a fairly recent spin on this decades-old game genre.
This is the game that took the world by storm, as it was often compared to Dark Souls in terms of difficulty. Though it has a cutesy bug aesthetic, Hollow Knight’s design can be dark and depressing. Some boss fights, like those with the Mantis Lords, can be unfair, yet their tight controls and smooth gameplay will have you coming back for more.
This is another indie game on our list, and one you should definitely try. Inscryption is a deck-building game where you progress through the story by fighting beasts and men alike. Simple, right? Well, the game is played from the perspective of a small-time, card-collecting streamer who stumbles upon an unreleased video game version of his favourite card game. What follows is a line of cryptic clues, conspiracy, and murder.
This game starts off slow, but it won’t hold your hand for long. After a while, you’ll be progressing through bosses and powering up as you go. However, if you beat a level or a boss too fast, the game will cheat and destroy you. You can still beat this blatant hack, but doing so requires incredibly powerful cards that you can customise yourself. And once you survive all that, get ready to relearn the mechanics and start a new game, literally.
The Lion King
Definitely the oldest entry on our list, the 1994 The Lion King game was one that made kids of the time very mad. Games back then could be rented for the weekend; this was one way to play your favourite games without breaking the bank. However, developers of the game confirmed that Disney instructed them to make the game extremely difficult as per so that kids wouldn’t beat it during the rental period, forcing them to buy the game if they wanted to beat it.
Although it’s hard, that doesn’t mean it’s unplayable. Many people like a good challenge, and, even by today’s standards, The Lion King game is one way to enjoy walking down memory lane. The game is available in the Disney Classic Games Collection, so you can compare and contrast other games from that era.
What could be more relaxing than a city-builder game? You can simply click your way to collecting resources and building buildings while keeping everyone happy – the core mechanics of these kinds of games, really. In this game, instead of keeping everyone happy, you are keeping everyone alive, for the world was ushered into another Ice Age during the height of the industrial revolution.
Coal is love; coal is life. You build your city around a generator that will keep your city warm and your citizens healthy. As the game progresses, you need to balance the distribution of heat and resources on a thin line while surviving shortages, dropping temperatures, and blizzards. And when you think you have a stable society, the game will throw a curveball at you. A moral dilemma will present itself to you, and then you’ll see how fast this game turns you into a monster, all in the name of survival. You will feel the weight of every “error” in the phrase “trial and error,” but that’s why we love it. And, since its announcement, we can’t wait for the sequel.
Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy
Ah, yes, the game that made YouTubers collectively throw their chairs and smash their mice. This game needs no introduction, but for those who do, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a game where you control a cauldron-dwelling man who must reach the stars using a sledgehammer. We could not make this stuff up, even if we tried.
Even with its wacky aesthetic and gameplay, this game is downright infuriating. Though the mechanics seem janky, they’re actually quite responsive. Thus, precise movement is a must in order to make the climb. As a literal insult to injury, when you fall from great heights, the voice of Bennett Foddy will impart words of wisdom to help you, for a lack of better words, get over it. Though he means well, most of the time it is aggravating, making us curse the cruel god that made this game.
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