You Have to Win the Game

You Have to Win the Game is the prequel to Super Win: The Game. Before I go any further, let me first congratulate J. Kyle Pittman on coming up with one of the most unwieldy names I’ve seen at IGC. It’s awkward to type and speak, which means the game will inherently struggle with spreading via word of mouth. Remove the “You Have to” part, add a colon, and just call it “Win: The Game.” Still a crap name (so is Super Win, quite frankly), but at least it’s easy to relay the title from one person to the next.

I am NOT up there!

I am NOT up there!

Anyway, I liked Win: The Game more than its super counterpart. Both titles attempt to pay tribute to classic gaming platforms. Super was focused on the NES, a platform I had little nostalgia for. This one is a tribute to old 80s personal computers, something I have even less fondness of. I’m not the target audience of games like these, so my fondness for them might say something profound about their quality. Win: The Game has similar power-ups to Super, but eliminates all the bullshit. There’s no overworld map that breaks up the action. The game is much more focused on precision platforming, and that tighter focus led to better level design.

It’s sort of hard to pick apart a game that costs no money. It’s even tougher when that game has few flaws. It’s not a big game. It took me about an hour to beat (I clocked in at 90 minutes, but that included leaving the game running while I ran errands, a bad habit of mine that I really need to stop), which isn’t especially deep. But then again, it has a lot of extra modes and achievements for multiple play sessions. The biggest omission is the lack of a map. I’m not sure what Pittman has against maps. Maybe as a child, his family left the opera early and was ambushed by a map in a back alley. Maybe a map forced him to play Russian Roulette in a Korean P.O.W. camp. Both Win and Super Win would have benefited hugely from having some kind of map on-screen, and both games suffer the needless tedium of aimless wandering by excluding one.

I super won.

I super won.

Oddly enough, the thing that strikes me most about Win is that it could have cost money and doesn’t. This is a quality title that costs nothing. Sure, being free served some purpose. It got J. Kyle Pittman’s name out there and built up hype for his future projects. Still, considering all the lazily produced garbage out there that costs $2.99, a genuinely fun game for free is sort of startling. Maybe he is an artist and just wanted people to appreciate his work, and goody on him for that. But he could have easily charged $1 for this and nobody would have complained. Like the man who sawed off his legs to pay for his farm, he sold himself short.

You Have to Win the Game was developed by J. Kyle Pittman
Play it for free on Steam

Winigc_approved1Win: The Game (it should be called that damnit!) is Chick Approved and ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard

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Circix

Just a quickie review here, since Circix doesn’t exactly lend itself to 1,000 words. In this free-to-play mobile game, you connect different circuits together to solve puzzles. Each circuit has a number on it telling you the amount of lines you must connect to other circuits. In order to solve a puzzle, all circuits must be connected to each-other while following each circuit’s required line count. It’s a relatively simple concept, but it’s pretty satisfying as a puzzler. It gets off to a slow start and some of the basic puzzles are insultingly easy, but you can easily skip them and just focus on the intermediate or advanced stages (although most of the intermediate stages are also far too easy). In the higher difficulty puzzles, sometimes you’ll have to double up or even triple-up the amount of lines coming from a single circuit. Circix is an ideal portable puzzler for killing a couple of minutes on a road trip, waiting in line, etc. Awesome game. Really, they probably should have charged money for it.

It doesn't look like much, but Circix just owned my afternoon.

It doesn’t look like much, but Circix just owned my afternoon.

And.. well.. that’s really all I have to say. Again, Circix doesn’t really lend itself to the type of reviews I do here. The gameplay is one-dimensional, works, and doesn’t give me a lot to discuss. There’s no storyline quirks or control issues for me to get snarky about. It’s just a really solid, enjoyable puzzler that nobody will talk about or remember a day after they finish it. I get a lot of requests for simple, free-to-play iPhone games along these lines. Most of them I find enjoyable enough to tweet my approval of. In the case of Circix, I’m going a little bit further with it because I realized that I enjoyed it much more than the typical “I can’t possibly write a review about this” game. In fact, it’s one of the 50 best indies I’ve ever played. So even if it’s impossible for me to be all Indie Gamer Chickish on it, it deserves recognition. And a smack in the face for forcing me to bore myself and my readers writing up this review. Yeesh guys, some kind of annoying mascot or SOMETHING I could criticize would have killed you?

PromoGraphic_180x120Circix was developed Graham Barber & Russell King

IGC_ApprovedCircix is free to play on iOS and Android devices.

Circix is Chick-Approved and ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.

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