Is Getting Over It the hardest game in the world?

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a unique and challenging game, and instantly recognisable to those who have been on YouTube and Twitch in the last few years. It was released in 2017 as part of Humble Bundle‘s Humble Monthly subscription service, but due to popular demand, was released on Steam and iOS, and then later on Android and Linux.

Bennett Foddy, the developer, won a Nuovo Award at the 2018 Independent Games Festival for the game, which continues to be played and discussed to this day as one of the hardest games ever. It’s even listed on Steam under ‘Psychological horror’.

The introductory video sheds some light on why Foddy made this game:

Why did I make this? This horrible hike up an impossible mountain.

I could have made something you would have liked. A game that was empowering, that would save your progress and inch you steadily forward. Since success is delicious, that would have been wise.

Instead, I must confess: this isn’t nice. It tastes of bitterness. It’s capricious, it sets setbacks for the ambitious. It lacks lenience; it’s bracing and inhumane, but not everyone’s the same.

I created this game for a certain kind of person. To hurt them.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Development of Getting Over It

Foddy had a fascination growing up with difficult games, and it was a 2002 game called Sexy Hiking by Czech video game designer ‘Jazzuo’ that inspired him to make another game like it. You can see a clean playthrough of the game here and you’ll notice the similarities.

Sexy Hiking, 2002, screenshot
Sexy Hiking, 2002

How do you play Getting Over It?

In Getting Over It, the player will control a character named Diogenes; a man stuck in a cauldron up to the waist and armed with nothing but a sledgehammer. Using just the movement of the sledgehammer, the aim of the game is to climb to the top of the mountain. The mountain is made of various obstacles and random items, starting with trees and rocks, and ending with furniture, buildings and other random objects.

Getting Over It is known as one of the hardest games of all time, as mistiming or slipping with the sledgehammer can cause you to fall all the way back down the mountain. This is what makes the game so difficult and punishing. There are no saves or checkpoints either, so you either have to complete the game in one, or not at all.

Diogenes in Getting Over It

Getting Over It controls

The controls are very simple, but this is what makes it so challenging. You only need the mouse to control the hammer, but this can be incredibly tricky to learn. Quick movements are necessary to swing the hammer above Diogenes, and sometimes you’ll need to be creative with your climb.

You can also put the hammer below you and push up to jump. In some parts of the journey, it’s necessary to do this, and speedrunners will often use this to jump up the mountain.

Is Getting Over It the hardest game ever?

It’s definitely a contender. Due to the unique controls, the sensitivity of the movements and the punishing aspect of the mountain having no checkpoints. Several big YouTubers have cited this as one of the hardest games of all time, and it’s on Gaming Kingpin’s list of the hardest games of 2023.

However, like a lot of hard games that garner a lot of attention and popularity, there are those who inevitably practice intensely and manage to complete the game in astonishingly short times. Furthermore, there is only one skill required which is moving the mouse with extreme precision. Many other hard games require many skills together, such as game and item knowledge, as well as hair-trigger precision.

Getting Over It world record

Speedrunning Getting Over It has become popular as the skill ceiling is incredibly high, and the notoriety of the game being difficult has spurred players on to complete the game as quickly as possible.

For a long time, the official record was by Lockness06 on IGN’s YouTube channel at 1 minute and 41 seconds. Recently, this has been broken, and the speedrun record is currently 59.885s from a player known as Blastbolt the Bolt.

Conclusion

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy could be one of the hardest games of all time for a new player, but it all depends on your appetite for practice and perfection in a video game. The controls being solely in the mouse mean that it’s tough for new players to pick up, but the purity of the game means that with an intense amount of practice and dedication, the game can be completed in under a minute.

Check out our list of the hardest games of 2023 and see if you agree with our list.

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