Freebie: ‘You Have To Win The Game’

“My gosh” is probably what you said when you saw that header image, right? I know I did. Kyle Pittman has created an 80s styled PC platformer with You Have To Win The Game – such a teasing title. Fitting with the retro aesthetic, the game is simple yet darn right difficult at times in a way that will make indie enthusiasts reminisce of their time with VVVVVV.

As much as YHTWTG is a platformer, it’s just as much about exploration, in fact, even more so. During your leaps and bounds across the game’s single screen carvings (no scrolling here), you’ll come across various peculiarities. We’re speaking ghost platforms, inaccessible heights and screens that allow for no escape.

As the exploration percentage clocks up in the bottom right hand corner you’ll come across more and more items that will help you out. The first of which will likely be a switch to activate he blue ghost platforms so that you may reach new areas. Careful though, as sometimes help can also hinder as it blocks off other areas that may hold a vital bag of gold.

After a while, the game will have you scratching your head and wishing to slam your fist through the monitor and its title will seem like a mocking friend, forcing you to play on despite the stress. That’s not to say the game isn’t fun though, as you should know, we like such tortuous gameplay round these parts and welcome it with open arms. YHTWTG is made very well and captures its retro style rather magnificently, making it engaging for those who remember when games looked like this and for those who don’t.

You can download You Have To Win The Game from this link and make sure to check out the Pirate Hearts blog from which it came.


Valuing gameplay and innovation over everything, Chris has a keen eye for the most obscure titles unknown to man and gets a buzz from finding fantastic games that are not getting enough love. Chris Priestman, Editor-in-Chief of IGM

IndieGameMag - IGM