You Have to Win the Game is a free exploration platformer with a retro 1980s PC aesthetic.
User reviews: Very Positive (3,758 reviews)
Release Date: May 6, 2012

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Play You Have to Win the Game

Free to Play
 

Recommended By Curators

"When not working on AAA titles at Gearbox Studios, J. Kyle Pittman apparently has the time to make gems such as You Have to Win the Game."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Originally released in May 2012, You Have to Win the Game has now arrived on Steam with a more difficult remixed campaign and Playable Cat DLC*!!

You Have to Win the Game is a free exploration platformer with a retro 1980s PC aesthetic.

Run, jump, and avoid deadly pitfalls as you explore the ruins of a lost world in search of hidden treasures and rare artifacts!

Experience the thrill of four-color CGA graphics and monotonic PC speaker sounds! Or take a peek at the future of home entertainment with the SIXTEEN-COLOR EGA GRAPHICS option!

Want a tougher challenge? Try YOLO mode! You only live once -- one wrong move and it's back to the start of the game!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 20 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 32-bit executable
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
    • Hard Drive: 20 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit executable
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or similar
    • Hard Drive: 20 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit executable
Helpful customer reviews
36 of 40 people (90%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
You Have to Win the Game is a short but sweet exploration-based retro platformer seemingly designed with the sole purpose of plunging a bullseye arrow into my nostalgia heart. The game has the look of the early PC games I grew up on, complete with CGA graphics (you play it through an in-game CRT monitor emulated on the screen), but designed with the modern pixel-perfect platforming sensibilities of games like VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy. Thankfully, it's not nearly as hard as those games, and can be easily completed in around an hour or so with a little bit of determination. Checkpoints are liberal, and there is no penalty for dying. And for those who enjoy a tougher challenge, there are harder modes available, along with a collection sidequest for 100% completion.

And the best part? It's absolutely free. Seriously, as in no-strings attached, no microtransaction bull$h%t, 100% free. One might think that may mean the quality probably isn't that great, but I assure you it's rock-solid, and clearly made with love and care by someone who was inspired by those early days of PC gaming as much as I was. If you're a fan of 2D platformers, or games having a retro-style with a bit of challenge to them, check this one out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 34 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
There are lot of rubbish on Steam for money. This is a good game for free. And in this rare case free means really free, not a free to loose, pay to win bait as usual.

Maybe those who born in the GHz era cant really value it. I dont know. I played games like Alley Cat when that tech level was recent so it brought back old memories. :)

Imho if you are 2-3x times older than the typical cs:go player and played on PC decades ago you should try out You Have to Win the Game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Fantastic game, a perfect example of how PC platformer games were and felt back then.
Probably the best 8-bit free-to-play game on steam.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Haven't beaten it yet, but I feel like the story is deeper than the cryptic graphics are letting on...

This is one of those games where your progress depends on the item you get. Think Metroid with checkpoints and unlimited lives. Every time you get a new item, a new area becomes reachable, so you have to memorize all of the areas you can't reach to go back to them later. I also enjoyed all of the options to make the game window look even more like an old Commodore 64 computer. A true blast to the past.

Overall, a great free game and worth the disk space. Gamepad recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 19
10/10, like Skyrim with guns.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny