Most ruthlessly punishing indie games


Some people make videogames because it’s something they love. Some people make videogames to gain fame and fortune. And some people make videogames because they want you to suffer... horribly. Crawling forth from deep crevices in the earth, a handful of particularly sadistic indie game developers have emerged to hunt for fresh souls to feed their unholy engines of destruction. These depraved, pale creatures take delight in the pain their creations will inevitably inflict upon you and have masterminded these games to produce the maximum amount of anguish possible. They crave your torment so badly they’ll even let you play for free.

With no money at stake, the punishment-delivering capabilities of these games have been left to grow unchecked. For your masochistic delight, we present to you a twisted menagerie of indie freeware designed to destroy your spirit and possibly your keyboard. These gaming abominations want to snap you in half, eat your innards, and regurgitate them back onto your corpse. You’ve been warned. Now go play!

I Wanna Be The Guy

No. You absolutely do not want to be The Guy. The Guy repeatedly gets disemboweled in a spray of pixelated bloody mist if even so much as the nail on his tiny pinky finger gently brushes up against a spike or other deadly obstacle. Believe us: You don’t want to be him. I Wanna Be The Guy is a psychotic amalgamation of visual and audio elements from classic retro NES games of days long past stitched together into something warped and insidious.

You’ll attempt to guide the titular hero along the path of good-guy righteousness…until that path comes alive with spikes, lasers, man-eating apples, and other hellish implements bent on ending your puny existence. Getting to the second screen is a challenge in itself. Venturing further beyond that point quickly becomes an exercise in absurdity.



Momentum (or lack thereof) is what makes Precision such a bastardly game to tackle. There are no foes to battle, no power-ups to meddle around with, and no health bars to be concerned about. Physics is your only enemy. More precisely, the sinister physics implemented by the game’s maker is your only enemy. The goal is to simply run and jump from rooftop-to-rooftop in each level, collecting green bottles along the way, and climb down a ladder at the end to proceed without falling into the abyss below.

The controls and movement physics are ironically designed to be anything but precise, which is why you’ll replay some levels over and over dozens of times before completing them. Proper jump timing, carefully gauged momentum, and a good memory are the only way to persevere. But death and profane utterances come fast and furiously.


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  • Cernunnos - July 20, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    Syoban Action is a bitch at first, but after completing it a couple of times and memorizing the traps its a breeze, really.
  • AlphaAGENT144 - July 20, 2009 1:08 a.m.

    you guys forgot an infamous one around the interwebz: Touhou its extremely hard, i believe it deserves a place on this list
  • deathrebellion - July 19, 2009 1:58 p.m.

    and i thought the last boss battles of Megaman X series wuz hard :|
  • thomashalpenny - July 18, 2009 3:30 p.m.

    @TheElusiveMongoose i started playing unfair platformer its the most annoyingly addictive game ever
  • Kikyabut2 - July 18, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    man, the worlds hardest game, that took me FOREVER to finish, my hands were practically glued to the keyboard and i had 6389 deaths! it was insane!
  • SolidSpartan - July 18, 2009 6:04 a.m.

    That's it! I'm gonna download I Wanna Be The Guy. You people make it sound so, how should I say this, "cool". (Dam! I couldn't think of anything better. ReCAPTCHA: "chickens protect" What DO chickens protect? My guess is, THIER EGGS, and I'm not talking about the ones that hatch...well, actually, I am. ^_^
  • FinalGamer - July 17, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    I love IWBTG, I've actually killed the first boss and heading onwards when I got the stamina. A friend of mine's even beaten it. It is pure awesome.
  • dreamgor - July 17, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    "sees i wanna be the guy" WAHHHHH the torture device from hell "jumps out from closest mountain" i got to the shy guy who shoots bullets ... even with watching multiple playthroughs i can't nail it...
  • Kaz993 - July 17, 2009 5:36 a.m.

    I beat I wanna be the guy. It took... forever. I got so pissed. I broke at least two keyboards and shouted WHAT THE FUCK so loud my neighbors complained. No joke.
  • theschwartzb - July 17, 2009 3:41 a.m.

    These games looks soul-destroyingly difficult.
  • bmrskate - July 17, 2009 3:08 a.m.

    *I Wanna Be the Guy. Damn my good grammar lol
  • ryno - July 17, 2009 2:43 a.m.

    what about Don't shoot the puppy
  • dweller - July 17, 2009 2:38 a.m.

    Wow. Bite the bullet is so awesome. A parade of bullets with some slo-mo has exploded my mind.
  • civver - July 17, 2009 12:31 a.m.

    I suppose you people playing these games are having fun. I know I won't.
  • elchetos - July 16, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    That only shows how hardcore gamers often seek the most masochistic challenges we can get our hands on. I remember IWTBTG when it just came out... Even after watching the video of the playthrough of the first level I couldn't get past the 3rd screen. Oh, those good times...
  • Corsair89 - July 16, 2009 7:15 p.m.

    I'm definitely avoiding these games because I would get so pissed off at them after dieing so many times.
  • Pepsuber88 - July 16, 2009 6:20 p.m.

    I remember passing the wheel in the worlds hardest game, it took me 48 tries to figure out there was enough space between each wheel to stop. The hardest game: Bowman obstacle shooting. RecAPTCHA: tral fudges
  • Cyberninja - July 16, 2009 6:04 p.m.

    not touching any of these games and metroid has a new villan because my recaptcha is sister brain
  • TheElusiveMongoose - July 16, 2009 5:42 p.m.

    How about The Unfair Platformer? ^^ It's a flash game not an indy game, but it is so packed ith booby traps... just try it ^^
  • Danomeon - July 16, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    Correction: "The second screen". Sorry, I was excited about being the first. Except I didn't admit it. Until Now. I'm an idiot.

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