Wednesday, August 4

From Cuphead to Super Meat Boy: 10 of the Most Devilishly Difficult Games | Games


Cuphead

If you want to try and enjoy beautiful 1930s-style animation while getting so frustrated that you almost throw the controller at the wall, Cuphead is your game. It’s a run-and-shoot cartoon prank that doesn’t seem threatening, but is actually evil. I had nightmares about one of his bosses (the transforming wedding cake castle), but when I defeated him I felt like a real god.
Consoles, Mac, PC

super meat boy

You, a small square of sentient meat, must speed up and jump through cruelly constructed levels of spinning blades and spikes and other such fun deadly traps. Every time you die, a red splash marks your demise. So by the time you finish some of the more difficult Super Meat Boy courses, everything will be painted red in a kind of mocking tribute to your failures.
Consoles, mobiles, PC

Return

Crash on an exceptionally hostile planet, collect as many weapons as you can, and then try to survive against the terrifying creatures you find there. Every time you die, you go back to the beginning. Returnal is a technically astonishing cutting edge game that carries on the tradition of arcade shooter gameplay.
Playstation 5

essays

Trials, a puzzle game masquerading as a racing game, has you maneuver motocross bikes through obstacle courses while things explode in the background (or under your wheels). Enjoy spending several full minutes constantly restarting the same section of the track and trying to shift the rider’s weight to conquer a small piece of corrugated iron on a slope.
Consoles, mobiles, PC

Light blue

Help a lonely woman climb a snowy mountain where supernatural things keep happening. The best thing about this punishing platformer is the way its themes of conquering doubt fit so well with what you’re doing, which is to repeatedly try tricky leaps and leaps of faith with your heart in your mouth until you can do the right thing. almost impossible.
Consoles, Mac, PC

To the east and down ... Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
To the east and down … Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

As an undead samurai in twisted feudal Japan, only your sword and nerves of steel stand between you and instant death. Sekiro is complex and thematically fascinating, with some of the most brutal and relentless sword fighting ever seen in games. I haven’t finished it yet.
Consoles, PC

Super Hexagon

A fascinating journey: just you, your reflections and some mind-melting music as you try to save a small triangle from the invading geometric shapes. Seriously, this is pure lizard brain challenge and reward. Few people in the world have ever “finished” Super Hexagon, but every time you survive even a fraction of a second longer than before, it feels like you’ve run a triathlon.
Mobile, PC

Spelunky 2

Cave diving in a network of cartoon caves where the slightest misstep will kill you. The greatness of Spelunky is that you never know what’s going to happen – you can survive a hellish encounter with man-eating plants and then fall ignominiously off a ledge. It can also be played with friends, to increase the chaos.
Consoles, PC

Arcade fire ... Defender.
Arcade fire … Defender. Photograph: WMS Industries

Defender

In the late 70s and early 80s, video games were difficult by default, as their main goal was to extract coins from frustrated arcade users. But then Defender came along in 1981 to bleed the nose of even the most capable player. This side scrolling shooter game had you try to prevent humans from being abducted by aliens, while facing a snowstorm from all sides. Spectacularly tough.
Playable online

Dark souls

Dark Souls is not so much sadistic as little sponsor. If you want to advance through his glove of horrors, you must use your brain, maintain control of your nerves and take advantage of the vast knowledge and advice of the gaming community. It’s Worth It: Conquering Dark Souls remains one of the achievements of my life that I am most proud of.
Consoles, PC


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