You Have to Win the Game

By: Derek Yu

On: June 24th, 2012

You Have to Win the Game, by Pirate Hearts

You Have to Win the Game is a free platformer by Pirate Hearts. Reminiscent of games like Locomalito’s L’Abbaye des Morts and Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV, YHTWTG doesn’t venture too far from its roots but is nonetheless a fun “explore ’em up” with plenty of tricky sections and interesting locales. It also features a neatly-done visual gimmick that makes it look like its being played on an old CRT monitor.

TIGForums: DevLog for You Have to Win the Game

TIGdb: Entry for You Have to Win the Game

  • Johnny Polai

    8-bit lover here. Great game! Excellent gameplay, all the best of the 8-bit genre with a bunch of new twists! Thanks!

  • Paul Hubans

    Charming visual style and I was really enjoying the game for a while, until I got to the “Forever” room… When you’ve got to pull of 3 feats of timing in a row before you can proceed, and you end up dying off the bat dozens of times, the game is no longer fun; this is bad design. I was relieved when I finally made it through that room, only to take a wrong turn and end up right back. That’s when I stopped playing.

    Awesome visual concept but I’m really not a fan of punishing platformers like this.

  • Исмаил Магомедов

    Really great and addictive game!

  • Paul Hubans

    I hope I wasn’t too harsh in my wording, having just dealt with that scenario immediately prior to posting that… I think the overall design of the game is very well done, but I found that one part to be overwhelmingly unbalanced. Anyways, I got past it and DIDN’T go left this time (much to my chagrin I might have avoided that whole scenario had I read the next room’s title).

    Anyways, I’m at a point where I *think* I’ve explored everything I can and everything that hasn’t been reached seems like I need some kind of add-on ability like high-jump or float-fall… Not sure if these mechanics are in the game, but I’m otherwise not sure how to proceed through some areas.

    Also, I think this game would benefit greatly from a Metroid-style mini-map with 3 states per cell: unexplored, explored, and complete (complete being the state it gets when you’ve collected the bag in the room/done everything you can there) – Granted not all rooms have a bag but maybe they should? Though that might screw with your current %age complete algorithm.

    Anyways, I’ll post this in the devlog, too. Cheerz!

  • gamecreator

    Paul: yes, there is a double-jump, as well as a wall jump and “switches” to turn on both red and blue blocks (where they’re dotted before). I got to the “end” and I think I know why I “lost.”

  • gamecreator

    Oh, and the punishment for losing is quite harsh, in my opinion. But I can’t think of how it could be better designed at the moment.

  • Josh.R

    This is a really great retro game. Lovely presentation, not overly frustrating -even the very hard bits are quite short-, and tons to explore.
    @twitter-258217323:disqus (*Slight Spoiler I guess*) There are ways to get new abilities, they are usually after rooms where an enemy is shooting a lot of things at you. They are difficult, but once you clear it more of the game will open up.

  • Maxim

    I like this game so far, it has a pretty damn cool map. There are a few too many checkpoints and it’s a little unbalanced, but it also feels very authentic (like hand-painted China). Little more smooth than it’d be with an authentic CGA adapter, but that’s probably a good thing. I appreciate the ability to turn the CRT effect off too, ’cause I’m actually using a CRT here :P

  • Maxim

    Oh man, I had to break the game too apparently. I managed to get to the bottom of the Forgotten Tunnels board using double jumping and there’s no way back out. I can BARELY make it to the right-side platform’s height if I try to get the highest jump possible, but I think I might have done something the designer didn’t account for.

  • Maxim

    Nevermind, I escaped it but that was truly awful. Then I died again :P

  • Maxim

    It’s easier than I thought: You Have to Double Jump after Walking off the Platform.

  • Fart Commander

    “Reminiscent of games like Locomalito’s L’Abbaye des Morts and Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV”

    Ever heard of the ZX Spectrum?

  • Jake Dlugolecki

    Was the developer unaware that some of us still use actual old CRTs to play retro games?

  • guest

    Was the commenter unaware that a lot (most of?) us don’t cave old CRTs to play retro games? Hint: You can turn it off and play it on your CRT if you’re lucky enough to have the space set aside for one.

  • Dialock

    There you go tiger. Still use one of it’s predecessors at the office and it is acceptable for all game play.

  • Jotaf

    I really wanted to enjoy this game that emulates ZX Spectrum graphics, but I can’t because apparently it requires shaders v2.0 … (the irony just kills me)

  • Jake Dlugolecki

    If you’ve got the option to turn it off then that’s fine. But I find this “screen within a screen” filter to be rather cynical and silly. Why not just have scanlines and/or phosphor burn?

  • guest

    I loved it, personally. I don’t want it on every indie game, just this one. It genuinely gave me a nostalgia trip combined with the color scheme.

  • Maxim

    It’s actually a simulation of IBM’s CGA, a 4-color 15khz video adapter designed for the original IBM PC.

  • Johnny Polai!!!!

    You guys should post Salvation Prophecy, not because it’s a good game but so someone can write about the game to help me decide if I should buy it or not… Not some damn reviews!!! Thanks.

  • Johnny Polai

    I meant I need some damn reviews of that game! Thanks, lol.

  • JoseD

    I love the TV effect. All I deactivatged with the white tv “frame”, was a little distracting… but I loved the screen curvature, shiny pixels, scanline, even the screen specular! Loved all that!

  • Jason Younger

    Agreed, that one room was unnecessarily difficult. Much, much more so
    than any of the other rooms I came across. I tried playing from the
    start twice, the second time hoping I would find something to help me
    pass that room. After realizing that no, you just have to deal with it I
    just uninstalled the game. The rest of the game is hard, but doable…
    it’s just that one room that has a ridiculous and unbalanced difficulty

    Really a shame, I was enjoying the game quite a bit up until that point.

  • DereYuk

    “Don’t be hasty” was a dick move. Stopped playing there.

  • Annoying Nerd

    Actually, CGA graphics would typically only be found on 16-bit (rarely 32) platforms.

  • Thomas

    That *was* pretty crappy. :(

  • Belánszky István

    Love that CGA GFX at first sight!

  • Tyler Finn

    That fake television look really reminds of Pixel Junk Sidescroller!

  • Adam Metcalf

    I got 89% of the things and got the losing ending. I knew the magic symbol but not the magic word. :(