Day 278: This is Hard

Posted: 2011/08/16 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #278, and today’s game is “This is Hard”.

I couldn’t find a trailer for “This is Hard” on Youtube, so the video included is a review from another reviewer. I don’t like to do that, as I worry people will confuse that review for my own (which I don’t necessarily entirely agree with), but this game is worth seeing in motion. This game is hard, but also fast and rarely frustrating. It’s a great buy for 80 Microsoft Points.

First, from the developer (Stegersaurus Games):

“Think you’re man enough to conquer the depths of THIS IS HARD? Trek your way through nefarious traps and deadly zombies to escape with your life. Who would fill the world with so many sharp and explosive objects? Conquer these challenges, or join the undead masses.”

What I love about this game is the sense of controlled speed. It’s not exactly Sonic, but it is pretty fast. Controls are a little on the looser side, which (paired up with the game’s speed) actually works in its favour creating a “flowy” sense as you race through the level. This is in contrast to a lot of super difficult platformers with infinite lives, which often feel a bit more sedate. “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain” comes to mind.

The game uses classical music for its soundtrack, and that combined with the constant deaths lends an interesting sense of gravity to the feel of the game. A unique element of the game’s presentation is that, instead of a bank of lives that counts down to zero, you start with zero deaths and over time they count *up*. This does a surprisingly better job of encouraging you to retry the game than the infinite (or near infinite) lives of super hard platformers like Super Meat Boy and “Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES”.

Pardon the pun, but it’s dead easy to get your 80 Microsoft Points out of playing this game for a few hours, and you’ll likely find you come back to it in the future to beat it faster and/or with fewer deaths.

Click here to download “This is Hard”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.


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