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Video Game Review – You Have To Win The Game

Looking for an old school action platformer that you can get for nice and cheap? Does free sound like a good sum to ‘pay’ for a game? Got an hour or two to kill? Then look no further as on Steam there’s a fantastic title called You Have To Win The Game.

You Have To Win The Game - It's in the title.

You Have To Win The Game – It’s in the title.




If you’re looking for a story then you won’t find one here. However, I’ll gladly provide you with a story for the game for those of you who need stories. Once upon a time, there was a guy who wanted to win the game. So he set out to go and win the game. The end. Seriously, I can’t do any better than that.


Ah... Umm... Err... This is a bit of a predicament.

Ah… Umm… Err… This is a bit of a predicament.

This is where the game truly excels. It’s not a game that requires any flashy graphics (although it is stylistically pleasant), nor does it need the best audio in the world. It certainly doesn’t need a story other than for you to win the game. Some of my most fondly remembered games include Dig Dug, Pac-Man, Tetris (although the music in Tetris is phenomenal of course). So this goes to show that a game doesn’t need to be all bells and whistles. Instead, it just has to be a solid gaming experience.

Thankfully, this free game delivers just that. The jumping mechanics feels tight and responsive, which is the most important aspect of an action platformer. It’s not a hard game to understand, as it’s a case of jumping over obstacles and collecting some skills to allow you to progress in the game. But just because the games gameplay is really simple and the controls handle well, it means you always feel as if you are responsible for all of the mistakes you make.

Couple this with several game modes and plenty of Steam achievements to keep you busy and you’ve got yourself a great game. Also, look out for the so-called secret cat area, which is pretty damn adorable. Apparently the developer put his cats in there because he loves his cats. Well, that’s a good enough reason.


The audio is really simple, but it is nicely done too. It features no music (none is needed to enjoy the game), but it has some basic sounds for the actions and the enemies firing pellets at you. As well as this, I became infatuated by a very simple bell, just because it made one of the most pleasing 8-bit like sound effects I’ve heard in a very long time. I once stood there just ringing the bell for a good 3 minutes solid whilst I figured the layout of the room out.


As always, we like to provide you with a gallery of all of the games that we review, as we believe graphics is an incredibly subjective point. In this instance, I enjoyed the aesthetics of the game. It didn’t need to be anything more than what it is, as everything was very clear. It wasn’t as if I couldn’t differentiate good from bad!


I had a great time with this title. It’s cheesy, it’s silly and it’s downright fun. That’s what the game wanted to be. If I had any real criticisms it would be that the game is incredibly short. But… That in itself is actually not a bad point. It’s a game you can pick up FOR FREE and complete quickly. If you want to go for a perfect game on your Steam accounts however, beware, this game is not for the faint of heart. One of the achievements gets you to complete the game… Without dying. When I won the game last time, I died over 600 times!


The screen above is the only ‘flaw’, but it’s not me complaining because there’s a support screen. I really enjoyed the message that was being conveyed, as it was really heartfelt and it felt like this game meant the world to the developer. As a new found fan of the game, I felt at home reading what the developer (Kyle Pittman) had to say about his life and his works. What I didn’t enjoy, sorry Kyle, was the loud typing sound effect that was in my ear. I had to turn it all down and just watch the words go up on screen. But don’t worry, this screen isn’t mandatory. Since it is a free game however, I would still implore you all to read it, for it’s truly touching.

I’d like, in my own small way, to assist Kyle in getting his message out there. Do you want to help the guy out too? He’s an ex Borderlands 2 developer as well, who stopped working on big titles to make indie development his life. Support him at his Patreon account for his upcoming game and don’t forget to buy Super Win The Game. Also, go give them a Like on Facebook and a Follow on Twitter. He’s made a fan out of me.

Don’t worry about how short the game is, for you will be preoccupied for a long time if you’re a perfectionist. To get all the achievements, you have to investigate every single room and collect every single thing and not die once for one of them. This is a game that’ll leave the achievement hunters hungry and it’ll give the casual gamers something to pass the time with. The non-hardcore like modes are good for a simple challenge as there’s no limit on deaths. Have you played this game or heard of it? Let us know in the comments below, over on Facebook or Twitter.


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