The creator of Eldritch and Neon Construct, Minor Key Games returned to the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention this year with the recently updated Super Win the Game, a challenging puzzle-platformer currently available for PC.
I had the pleasure of experiencing Super Win the Game back at SGC 2014. An update to their free title You Must Win the Game, Super is an expanded version with more levels and additional gameplay mechanics. If the level design wasn’t an obvious nod to the classic NES-era of puzzle-platformers and action-adventure games, Super Win the Game is also presented behind a faux CRT display, complete with scan-lines and a periodic screen-flicker.
Super Win the Game has since released through the Minor Key Games website, Steam and itch.io, though developer J. Kyle Pittman was present at SGC 2015 to present the latest build, complete with new speed-run and challenge stages, an overworld map and more, courtesy of the June update. I breezed through the majority of the previous build, though I will admittedly state that the latest version chewed me up on many occasions. Super Win the Game isn’t just a visual homage to the NES-era, but it’s difficulty is on par with some of the more devious “NES Hard” games from the late-80’s/early-90’s.
The SGC demo had me running, double-jumping and wall-jumping through a gauntlet of instant-death traps. The ability to wall-slide/jump is a welcome addition to the previous build, as it gave me additional- though not necessarily easier– ways to traverse across certain rooms. (Note: I didn’t encounter the ability to wall-jump in the SGC 2014 build. It may have been present in the game, but I personally didn’t discover it in my run.) One room in particular featured two spike-ridden platforms on each side, with one vertical platform shifting back-and-forth between them; stay on either side for too long, and you get crushed on the spikes. As a final sadistic touch, the platform disappears if you stay on it for more than a full second.
The only method that I found for clearing that area was to double-jump up to one side of the platform, wall-jump up and around to the other side to avoid getting crushed by the spikes, then double-jump up and out of the room into a safe area. After chatting with a handful of NPC’s (“non-playable characters”) who seemed to be just as lost in the dungeon as I was, I ultimately gave up at one of the more difficult challenges of the SGC demo- a spiked tower that could only be cleared by wall-jumping up a series of disappearing blocks on one side, and descending another set of disappearing blocks on the other.
Those who long for the days of Zelda II and early Castlevania titles should consider giving Super Win the Game some recognition. Super Win the Game isn’t directed at the most elite of platforming veterans, however it demands a certain level of skill and patience to conquer some of its challenging moments.
While Super Win the Game was the only playable game from Minor Key Games, Pittman showcased a footage reel for both the first-person-roguelike Eldritch, their brand new stealth title Neon Construct, and the upcoming Gunmetal Arcadia.
Image courtesy of Minor Key Games