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Platform hell

Platform hell

contemporary videogame design shies away from player death, tries to avoid or at least mitigate the amount of time the player spends looking at a game over screen. in an age where game over is seen as undesirable, masocore games approach player death as a narrative technique.

auntie pixelante

Platform hell, also known as masocore (a portmanteau of "masochism" and "hardcore"), is a theoretical platform subgenre characterized by intense, seemingly impossible difficulty; intricate, sometimes pixel-perfect timing; and infinite lives with which to repeatedly retry levels.

Platform Hell games have been defined as having the following criteria1:

  • Difficulty as slapstick comedy: these games try to make their sudden and completely unfair deaths so ridiculous as to be hilarious. The player engages in self-aimed schadenfreude.
  • Difficulty as Running Gag: The difficulty never, ever lets up, and after a while it becomes ludicrous in its persistence.
  • Self-awareness: The aforementioned comedy often comes from the game knowing exactly what the player is going to do, and catching them when they least expect it.
  • Difficulty as parody: These games deconstruct well-known videogame challenges, such as Mega Man's disappearing blocks, taking them to completely unreasonable conclusions.
  • Twisted familiarity: The game levels generally fit the classic settings of the game they're based on, and theme their deathtraps and challenges appropriately. This also saves time in level editing. Even original games such as I Wanna Be the Guy are generally one big Nostalgia Level From Hell.
See Also
Categories & Concepts
  1. Platform Hell (Television Tropes and Idioms)


Related Pages


News & Blogs

Nicalis bringing Aban Hawkins & the 1001 Spikes to eShop and Wii U

Tiny Cartridge reports that Nicalis’s next eShop game (and first Wii U game!) is Aban Hawkins & the 1001 Spikes, an enhanced remake of an Xbox Live game by JPN 8Bits Fanatics. 1001 Spikes is a retro-styled Platform Hell side-scroller that surprises you with death! All the time! The trailer for the original XBL game is attached. By the way, have you seen Nicalis's amazing home page?

1 Image tagged Platform hell

Created 8 years, 9 months ago by Matt | Edited 8 years, 5 months ago | 1237 views
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