Nerd Bacon is now on Flickr! Here's our chance to share awesome pictures with you guys: rare consoles, huge collections, and maybe a few other things you've never seen are in store. Visit Nerd Bacon @ Flickr now! And check back often as we continue to add new pics from our members!


Nerd Bacon is endeavoring to bring you more news than ever before! Visit our NEWS SECTION to stay up-to-date with the gaming world!


Bacon Bits

No updates in past 7 days!


Ever wanted to know what our senior members are up to in their spare time? Want to get to know our writers a little better? Then take a look at our brand new Bacon Bits: The Baconeer Blogs and see what they have to say!


MEMBERS AREA Updated August 1st.

 

Recent Posts

 
Navigation by WebRing.
 
 

Random Articles

 
 

Twitch Schedule

The Watchman's Retro Weekend
Saturdays @ Noon EST

Join The Watchman every Saturday for the best retro arcade and console games.


Special Events

None at this time

Be sure to subscribe and keep watch for emails about special streams.


 

What's Shakin' at the Bacon

The WatchmanThe Watchman Owner
COO

Super Mario Odyssey is absolute joy! How is it that Nintendo has come back with two of the greatest games of all time, both in one year?
 

nerdberryNerdberry Owner
CEO

Hope everyone is safe during these hurricanes and wildfires! Irma and Harvey are total b-holes.
 

elder grapeVariand Owner
CIO

Framework and several plugins updated. Several issues fixed. Let me or other admins know if you find goofy stuff
 

InfiniteKnifeInfiniteKnife Twitch
Director

Thinking of doing a stream series soon. The theme: Retro games I never beat as a kid and want to try again. Thoughts?
 

Sign in to update your status
 

Recent Comments

  • Nips
    Nips: Many thanks! I would be really excited to see a sequel, or even a spiritual successor that might tackle a……
     
  • Roy Hartsell: I hope Carolina Pride doesn't stop curing their bacon the way they do. Lately their bacon has gone from raw……
     
  • Roy Hartsell: My bacon is starting to burn before it gets done. Smithfield must have bought them!!!…
     
  • Nerdberry
    Nerdberry: really excellent review Papa Nips! Probably your finest review too! This game does look awesome, and the 4 vinyl soundtrack……
     
  • Marie Stone: I tried this and had a complaint about uneven slices. Some were very thick while others were very thin, within……
     
  • Åskblad: Great and objective review, I like it! I'm not very fond of the mainstream Nintendo fanboyism, however you're entirely right;……
     
  • Rhutsczar
    Rhutsczar: The game is interesting, to say the least. Those little bastards can't help from accidentally killing themselves.…
     
  • Nerdberry
    Nerdberry: Hi Jeff. Thanks for reaching out! It's awesome to see other hardcore gamers out there JUST LIKE US!!! It makes……
     
 
You Have to Win the Game – PC

You Have to Win the Game – PC

WTG Start

Platform: PC

Developer: Minor Key Games

Publisher: Minor Key Games

Release Date: May 6, 2012

Genre: Action, Arcade, Platformer

ESRB Rating: N/A

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Malefico

You Have to Win the Game is an action platformer done up in classic retro style. Originally released with only the main campaign, it has been recently updated with a much harder difficulty mode (YOLO) and a version that allows you to play as a cat, complete with nine lives. This diamond in the rough just celebrated its second birthday, but it could be 30 instead given its 8-bit aesthetic, sound and game play.

The Basics

You Have to Win the Game features ultra-simple and responsive controls. Supporting keyboard/mouse and game pad play, and with a control remapping feature for either, this title allows the player to customize every aspect of control to their liking. Since the controls are quite simple, though, it won’t be a daunting task. Your little protagonist, complete with back-turned baseball cap can move left and right, and jump up/down depending on the objects on the screen.

WTG CGA Colors

Graphics and animations are charmingly old-school (you know I love that). The game features the ability to use a four-color CGA palette, or an ultra-advanced EGA display with the real possibility of displaying 16 colors at a time!

WTG EGA Colors

You can also activate a CRT simulation of the on-screen action so it looks like you are staring at an old tube TV set, complete with convexity, the frame of the TV and screen glare.

WTG CRT Emulation

The one thing missing from You Have to Win the Game is in-game music. Aside from a brief tune during the title sequence, and I assume some kind of fanfare when you win, only the sound of near-silence will accompany you on your journey.

Game sounds fit right in with the visual theme. 8-bit sound effects are synthesized simply and accompany your jumps, landings, and of course, deaths. Aside from that, the only sounds are the occasional ringing bell and mini-bosses spitting deadly orbs which crash against the game environment, and in the worst case, the intrepid explorer.

Speaking of death, You Have to Win the Game is full of it. Aside from environmental hazards like lakes of lava, flames, death orbs, and boiling pools, you’ll face flying bats, floating jellyfish, slithering snakes, and other enemies during your travels. By finding and ringing bells, the player creates respawn points that take you to the last bell rung when you inevitably expire.

WTG Mini Boss

When the player approaches an important item, the item room is preceded by a boss that spits out death in a pattern that allows little room for error. Scattered throughout the game are bags of treasure that I assume contribute to the score in some way, though the game gives no clue as to your progression other than as a percentage of the map complete.

Game play, while simple, is challenging, and you’ll quickly find yourself having to make series of perfect running/jumping moves in order to to traverse the terrain.

WTG Cerulean Aura

The game world starts with various elements that cannot be used until you unlock them by finding items linked to their utility. Other objects upgrade player abilities like wall jumping.

WTG Activating Elements

The game world is not huge – at least I’m assuming that the percentage of rooms discovered, which is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen, refers to the entire game and not just the first area. If there is more than one area, then I’ll stand corrected and probably end up devoting a ton of time to this title.

The Bottom Line

The simplicity of You Have to Win the Game allows any player to jump right in, and the UI customization features make it easy to customize the look of the game to the player’s liking. Likewise, the straightforward controls allow players to quickly learn their character’s limitations and concentrate on navigating the subterranean world.

That’s a good thing, as the game allows you to take divergent paths early on and the game world itself makes use of not only the horizontal, but vertical elements as well. Various columns, giant mushrooms, and blocks exist, restricting jumps in some cases. Platforms allow the player to jump or drop in relative safety. In some cases, there’s no choice but make leaps of faith to reveal the terrain below.

WTG Leap of Faith

Aside from the disappointing lack of music, the only other complaint I have with this game is the rather sudden increase in difficulty. After managing a number of screens with little difficulty, you’ll encounter a devilishly designed set of rooms that will kill you repeatedly AND not allow you to escape their deadly embrace without successfully maneuvering through the death traps within.

WTG Nightmare 1

Still, the obstacles aren’t insurmountable, just extremely annoying. With careful timing and a little luck, the player can continue to explore and ring a bell to escape the zone. Exercise caution, though or you’ll take the wrong path back through the maze and find yourself stuck again.

WTG Nightmare 2

You Have to Win the Game offers substantial replay value, as its possible to win without collecting all the items, especially treasure – some of the smaller areas are difficult to access and I have yet to find my way into several – and if you do extract every bit of fun in Normal mode, there’s always Cat mode that gives you only nine deaths before you must restart, and YOLO that restarts the game after every death. Good luck finishing in that mode – my suggestion would be to get yourself some head and tummy provisions and settle in – you’re going to be a while.

The Verdict

Although You Have to Win the Game is not entirely novel (the developer includes an extensive “About” feature that references numerous games that influenced the design), it does offer an authentic vintage vibe, solid controls, an engaging world and ample challenge.

The only faults, in my opinion are in the lack of music and the shift from first to fourth gear with respect to difficulty.

WTG Cave Painting

Some of the best things about this game are that any PC will run it, even systems ten years old or more, and that it’s available now on Steam for the enticing price of FREE. If you’re a fan of platformers, and are attracted by the idea of a modern game with an antique look and feel, give You Have to Win the Game a try. You really can’t go wrong; it’s free, takes about a minute to download, and will reward you with hours of retro fun.

8 out of 10

I’m especially interested to know what some of the other Baconeers think about this one – I know we have numerous fans of old platform games…

As always, please post questions or comments to this page or email me, malefico@nerdbacon.com.

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon

 
 

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *