I Wanna Be The Guy: (But You Probably Won’t)

Download the game here.

I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game is undoubtedly one of the hardest games ever made. At first glance, it really doesn’t look that hard. The game opens in a similar fashion to Megaman 2, the same song and all. Once you press SHIFT, you are taken to a “choose your save file” screen. Your choice of save file does not matter, so we shall continue. Move the arrow down to New Game, and select “Medium” difficulty. Trust me on this. This is the only way you’ll have a chance. One thing that might get some getting used to is the controls. SHIFT is jump, and Z is fire gun. The Kid, the name of the protagonist, is capable of double jumping. The first thing you should do is shoot the save point. This will save the game, obviously. Next, double jump up the gap. This is what you encounter.

This doesn't look too har...

Oh.

Right off the bat, the player will die. How can anyone expect an apple to fall out of the tree and kill you instantly? And that right there is the theme of this game. Anything and EVERYTHING will kill you in this game. Apples? Yes. Clouds? Yes (with the help of some spikes). A giant version of Mike Tyson from Punch-Out?

Yes.

Just about anything in this game is capable of killing you. However, it’s always in an interesting way. For example, in one screen, the moon will fall out of the sky and start rolling around. You then have to jump around and avoid the moon until it opens up the path to the next screen. The first time you see this screen, you will be surprised by the falling moon. The next couple of deaths will involve you figuring out the moon’s path and what to do. Eventually, it comes down to memorization and one good attempt. Once you get to the next save point, the cycle repeats. Unexpected death, followed by figuring out pattern, followed by many tries attempting to get pattern down, followed by the successful attempt to get to the next save point. Sometimes, it isn’t an unexpected death, but rather, just an incredibly complex jump pattern the player has to do.

Like this

Ok, technically, that level is from Super Meat Boy. However, that level captures the essence of I Wanna Be The Guy. The point is, this game is hard. Very hard. So why was this game made? Well, the main reason it was created was to make an insanely difficult game. it does this by returning the player to the time of 8-bit and 16-bit games, which were typically much harder. Games today have, to most players, felt too easy and a breeze to get through. This is mostly done to keep the player immersed, but, when the game is over, does the player feel very accomplished? If the game is too easy, not particularly. If the game is hard, the player is pretty ecstatic about finishing. The problem is, even though the player is ecstatic for finishing, the player also gets frustrated the longer it takes. The more frustrated a player gets, the more likely the player is to just give up and stop playing.

Chances are, you’ll eventually give up on I Wanna Be The Guy. At some point, you’ll reach a screen that, no matter how many times you try, you just can’t beat it. This frustration at the level will build up, until you can’t take it anymore, and just, give up. This game represents the fact that, even though challenge is good in a game, too much challenge will just end up causing problems. No matter how much joy the player gets from finishing a level, it doesn’t matter if the player never gets to finish the level. I Wanna Be The Guy demonstrates this last fact. Only the most dedicated of players will complete the game, and they will feel accomplished for doing what few have done. Conversely, many players will end their game experience with defeat. This game can be viewed as a message to game developers that challenge can be fun, and developers should look into it more. It also serves as a warning; too much challenge, and the player will become disinterested. To give the player the most fun, developers will need to walk a fine line between making a game immersive, but challenging.

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4 comments
  1. sgosain said:

    As someone who used to think of himself as a good video gamer, I’m am ashamed to say that my pride took a serious shot after playing this game. I played this game 4 different times and got nowhere. Sadly I went to medium difficulty level and had absolutely no luck. Anything that moves in the game seems capable of killing you.The spikes got me twice before I realized how to get passed them. To get anywhere in the game, you face has to be 5 inches from the computer screen so that you are able to try and see everything and pay attention at all times. I struggled mostly on the moon path, which was the farthest I could get. To be honest, I think the game was made to difficult, and because my interest started fading when I realized i wasn’t getting anywhere productive. I didn’t realize that hitting the save point saved the game as stated in the instructions, so this game did become very irritating because dying happened so quickly, and then you had to start all over again. If i had to make any adjustments, i wouldn’t make the game so hard because if it is impossible at medium, i hate to think what the next level up would be like. I probably wouldn’t last 10 seconds.

    • ultrapoulet said:

      The different difficulty levels really don’t have much of an impact on the level design. All the different difficulties do is change the number of save points in the game. I think medium has about 65, hard has about 30, very hard has 15, and impossible has 1. Something like that.

  2. cleo313 said:

    I tried it after seeing psychadelicsnake play it (look him up. he’s good). And just like the Unfair Platformer, I died about 20 times and was ready to throw my laptop out the window. It’s one of those challenges that only the most loyal and patient gamers can go through. Every inch is counted and can be the end of you. Whoever heard of a super hero that can get taken out by a random flying apple? Thought given the apples are about the same size as your 8 bit character. But with this game, I would prefer NOT to be the guy and stick to being the chick with her sanity still in tact. Whoever made this is a beyond sadistic and I can only imagine the people who have played this until the end. If those few people exist still.

  3. crhyde said:

    My only problem with games like this is that is it necessarily an indication of how good of a gamer are you? As you said in the very beginning of the game you are hit by an apple that you had no way of avoiding other than having previous knowledge of the danger of the apple. Games like this seem more like a puzzle to me. You go through the game and through your failures you learn the right combination. Eventually it comes down to a memorization of events and movements. In my opinion a game that tests your ability as a gamer challenges you to make reactions based on unpredictable events. This is why I have always been drawn to multiplayer aspects of video games because they involve competing with other people who are going to make moves that you can only do so much to foresee and respond to. Here we have an example of you getting told you’re choice of move is wrong until you make the right one. Would you rather play a chess game as it is designed or in a manner that every wrong move you make is made aware to you until you memorize all the right movements to win?

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