Super Win The Game is an adventure platformer and a sequel to the freeware You Have to Win the Game. Whereas the previous game drew inspiration from the adventure scene of the Amiga, Super Win is more reminiscent of the NES’s selection of platformer games, particularly Zelda II. Just before your arrival into the game’s land, a nefarious Wizard tricked the King into working with him. This didn’t end well, as the King’s heart was split into six pieces and scattered across the continent, subjecting it to the rule of the despotic Hollow King. Only a courageous Wayfarer could assemble the heart pieces and bring prosperity to the land!
Developer: Minor Key Games
Price: $7.99 – $9.99
Released: 1 October 2014
That’s an interesting land
The basic mechanics of You Have to Win the Game carry over to Super Win the Game. That is, you can only jump but can’t hurt enemies, and there are plenty of checkpoints. Through exploration you can find upgrades such as double jumping and wall clinging, allowing you to reach new destinations. Instead of taking place in a gigantic labyrinth, there are towns, dungeons, and other destinations all over the world map. Some of the more popular destinations are linked by the underground Subcon system for easy travel, although some of the doors are placed right in the middle of dangerous dungeons rather than in more accessible places. This time, to Win the Game, you need to find all pieces of the King’s heart hidden across the land, and confront the Hollow King in his lair!
Townsfolk are a useful source of hints and directions, as well as lore. These clues are especially useful for knowing how to safely access certain areas. Some towns also include shops to trade gems with keys for unlocking doors and fortune tellers to put you on the right track. Super Win’s dungeons are larger and hold more hidden secrets than its prequel. While some necessary items are not far out of sight, a few of the King’s heart pieces are obscured in clever ways that require prior knowledge and a willingness to fiddle, experiment, and occasionally throw yourself into danger.
Should I go wayfaring?
Super Win the Game does very well in capturing the spirit of NES adventure platformers, without the difficulty and useless hints they had. Speaking with townsfolk, exploring the world, and finding hidden artifacts are key elements to the experience. And just in case this all isn’t retro enough, you can turn on the very customizable CRT simulation and anaglyph 3D options, although I found it better to play the game without them.
While the game feels like its prequel in some ways, the similarities end with some sound effects, upgrades, and character movement. The VVVVVV-like level design and graphics are gone, in favor of a home console game experience featuring colorful 8-bit graphics, auto-scrolling rooms, different environments, hidden areas, townsfolk dialogue, and more. Super Win also includes an NES-styled OST with brief, often jolly, and adventurous tracks.
This brand and flavor of adventure platformer has been for the most part inaccessible to many folks due to its usual difficulty and generally being unhelpful, which is something Super Win the Game has thankfully averted. Although still difficult and challenging in many aspects, the game is fair, and your punishment for dying is simply going back to the last checkpoint, of which there are plenty. If you’re looking for an adventurous and laid back retro experience with some modern bells and whistles that you can finish in roughly three to six hours of playtime, you are in the right place!