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5 Insanely Hard Video Games That Want You to Fail




It doesn't matter if you're the best player in the room, be it on FIFA or Souls, because if the dev decides you should fail — then guess what? You're going to fail. And honestly, it doesn't matter how many hours you pour into the journey or how many skill trees you expand on, because the truth is — some video games just don't want you to succeed. Some, annoyingly, just want to watch the world burn, and for you to perish with your controller spitting ash and smoke curdles along with it. And that's fine. Sort of.

While video games tend to gradually get tougher and tougher as the story progresses, some, like Dark Souls, thrive from hurling you into the deep end right off the bat. Stick with it, however, and you'll become a better player with the skills required to obliterate the obstacles strewn out before you. But that's Dark Souls. That isn't one of the following five which, if anything, paint Dark Souls out to be a family-friendly walking simulator. Oh no — there are, believe it or not, much harsher games out there. Games that, honestly, just want you to fail.


5. Geometry Dash

THE BEST FULL VERSION "Press Start Full" [2.2 XL level] - Geometry Dash

It seems ridiculous, spiralling from Dark Souls, a known blockbuster title infamous for its difficulty, to Geometry Dash, a cute little Android platformer with upbeat techno anthems. And yet, here we are, stripping away the bones to reveal the core to the latter, ready to wrap our heads around its brutal conception. Or, more specifically, the “Press Start” chapter that lingers at the apex of near-impossible video game levels.

Over the years, players have carefully mapped out every pattern and twist that Geometry Dash crams into each level, hoping that with enough persistence, the levels will gradually get easier. But they don't. They just find a way to channel through to you and keep you awake at night. Plus, with the catchy score that paves over each level, you can guarantee you'll lose a whole of brainpower to BobTop's evil little creation. “Press Start”, however, will pretty much just destroy you and everything you stand for.


4. Don't Starve

Don't Starve Together Launch Trailer

After steering clear of Geometry Dash and all its mind-bending button-mashing techno madness, Don't Starve seems like a pretty solid stepping stone as we course nearer to the pinnacle of near-impossible video games. Of course, looking almost harmless in terms of visuals, any newcomer will quite easily misinterpret the game for being a relatively simple walking simulator. But boy — that honestly could not be any further from the ballpark.

Don't Starve, similar to other top-tier survival titles on the market, relies on perseverance to course its players through the storm. Lack of such a thing, however, and newcomers won't last so much as a day in Klei's broad and distorted world. And it won't just be starvation that you'll succumb to either, annoyingly. There's also freezing, burning, being attacked by an angry mob, and even being murdered in the dead of night…by Charlie. So, plenty to keep you looking over your shoulder as you try to scrape together a life worthy of living, of course.


3. Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy Teaser Trailer

If you enjoy laughing in the face of death — then you're about to be in hysterics. That's because Super Meat Boy, of all games, will have you both laughingly uncontrollably, all whilst suffering an endless stream of deaths, mainly due to its complex level design and unforgiving controls. But that isn't to say that Super Meat Boy is a frustrating experience. If anything, it's a far cry from being a tedious journey, and instead tries to make an effort to cram as much joy into its core as possible.

Ever since its conception, Super Meat Boy has been drawing speedrunners all over the globe to dabble in its rocky waters. And it has become so well known in the community that the world record tends to drift from one crown to the next, without ever really sticking to one particular player. However, to reach such a place to begin with, you'll have to drive through a few dozen hours of practice runs, in which you will most definitely die. A lot.


2. Cuphead

Cuphead: Dr Kahl's Robot Boss Fight #12

Similar to Super Meat Boy, Cuphead also shares quite the admirable podium up with the toughest video games on the market. Again, looking relatively harmless and almost forgiving, it does a pretty spectacular job of swindling the newbie into thinking it'll be a smooth ride. But sink into its outlandish antics, however, and you'll eventually begin to spot the theme of the game. And let me tell you — it isn't family-friendly.

Like most run and gun titles, Cuphead half expects you to enter a blind fire rage and pretty much just hope for the best as you sludge through the levels. And while most devs would usually allow such a strategy, Studio MDHR instead likes to punish its players for being anywhere near as careless. And when it comes to the bosses, in particular, unless there's a fully scripted plan of action beforehand — then you're basically just lining yourself up for failure. Unless, of course, you really are lucky when it comes to aimlessly spraying bullets at things, in which case you should be fine.


1. Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy

Getting Over It Finished In Under 2 Minutes (Speedrun)

Do you ever feel like the world is just trolling you for no apparent reason? Well, Bennett Foddy is pretty much that troll in the gaming world. He builds anger, he causes veins to bulge violet, and he even brings out the worst in most of us. And you know what? We still choose to go and play his ridiculously simple, yet frustratingly tough creation. Even to this day, after four years of pulling hairs from our scalps — we still truck away at Getting Over It. And yet, as it goes — we still haven't gotten over it. We don't even know what it is, to be honest, let alone how to get over it.

Spool through the gaming sensations of the past five or so years and you'll most definitely clock this one in a heartbeat. The only downside to this fact, of course, is that most people who've sunk into Foddy's work have only really had negative things to say about it. And you know what? We're definitely a small part of that collective. We not only despise Bennett Foddy — but also pretty much everything the trolling dev stands for. We shared these views in 2017, and we certainly share them in 2021.


So, what about you? Do you have a video game that drives you up the wall? Have you been able to complete any of our mentioned five? Let us know over on our socials here.

Looking for more? You could always take a look at one of these lists:

5 Fan-Made Video Game Remakes That Will Blow You Away

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.