Difficult and frustrating by design
You are sitting in a cauldron holding a sledgehammer at the foot of a mountain. You must swing the hammer to push and pull yourself up to the summit of the mountain. Sounds like a simple game, right?
Climb, fall, curse, repeat
Love it or hate it, this exercise in frustration tries to mix it up.
Getting Over It is an exercise in gaming difficulty. It is simple to play but almost impossible to finish. It may be frustrating, but this title offers a different sort of gaming challenge. It can be anger-inducing, but it is definitely unique. It’s also very good-looking, so less aware gamers may be drawn in by the lighting and rock shaders.
Bennett Foddy gives an ongoing commentary that explains why he made such a challenging game. He mixes in some other philosophical digressions. This can often be entertaining and thought-provoking.
The hard part is how you deal with the anger and frustration as you inevitably fail and lose all your progress.
The control system, although simple, is incredibly sensitive and hard to master. Your finger swings the hammer, but not always how you expect, making it difficult to replicate any motion, and progress, slow and frustrating.
You will get stuck and have to repeat the same area again and again. Once the game has played through all of Bennett Foddy's reflections for that area -- which are voiced rather well -- you are left in silence. There’s no music to comfort or distract you. You’re left entirely alone with your thoughts.
Playing this title is a hair-pulling experience. It will not suit most gamers, as often it seems unfairly difficult. It will find appeal with those who possess a masochistic streak, and who are prepared to repeat the same passages of play over and over until they reach the summit of the mountain.
Where can you run this program?
The game is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes. An alternative is Celeste; a game with a similar set-up, to ascend a mountain. However, Celeste does not have the annoying sense of unfairness Getting Over It has.
Bennett Foddy has created an interesting think piece on how people deal with difficulty. Only a few people will want to spend much time exploring it, though. One has to wonder whether the questions provoked by this game are worth answering.
Should you download it?
No. This game is frustrating without the fun factor; it feels bent on making you feel inferior.
- Quirky voice-over
- Unique Idea
- Good graphics
- Controls are hard to master
- No Music
- Frequently feels unfair