YHtBtR Quick Critique

by Steve Bowler on April 5, 2008

in critique,design

As far as epic level hoppers go, Cave Story might have been legendary for its day, but there’s a really hot new web game making the rounds, called You Have to Burn the Rope. A classic 16-bit throwback retro level hopper, every minute of it a satisfying romp into childhood nostalgia.

There’s been a lot of talk about how easy the final boss is to beat, but I think it plays into the newer schools of game design. The idea is that we no longer live in a “quarter fueled” game economy. The player bought the game (or in this case downloaded it for free), so let them enjoy the experience and finish the content. YHtBtR accomplishes this goal so well you might expect that it was the mission from day one.

While there’s a few walkthroughs for it on the net already, but hopefully you won’t need them to finish the main boss, which as a game designer I found to be an especially tantalizing treat. You see, you can’t beat him with your main weapons (your axes). You’ll have to find his special weak-spot and exploit it to beat him, which is a played out boss game mechanic, but given the “retro” feel of the game, I found it entirely appropriate and true to the vision of the creators.

Make sure you stick around for the credits. Some surprisingly high quality production values for a web-browser game, and sure to put a smile on your face.

If you need this final line to tell that I’m kidding, I need to work on my sarcasm/comedy.

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