You Have to Win the Game is a free exploration platformer with a retro 1980s PC aesthetic.
User reviews: Very Positive (2,669 reviews)
Release Date: May 6, 2012

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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."
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Recent updates View all (3)

October 1

Super Win the Game is now available!

Super Win the Game is now available at a 10% launch discount on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/310700/

0 comments Read more

August 1

Super Win the Game release date announced!



Hi y'all! Exciting news today! Super Win the Game will be coming out October 1, and we have a new trailer to celebrate! Check it out on the Steam store or at http://www.superwinthegame.com/!

23 comments Read more

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

PC
Mac
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
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
I can't believe this game is free because it is really really good!
Without giving too much away the goal is to-- well the title says it all.

A simple puzzle platformer where your wits and curiousity is rewarded, or not.
Expect to die a lot. This is not "I want to be the guy" levels of cheap death nor does it feature that many cheap deaths.
It does contain leaps of faith often though and spikes. Lots of spikes.

xbox controller compatibile, small (111mb), and it's free.

I strongly recommend this game and you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying it out.
Posted: October 12
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
You Have to Play the Game
Posted: October 3
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.1 hrs on record
Obviously inspired by VVVVVV. It has the same kind of world, made from a grid of named rooms. The same balance of brutally difficult jumps and frequent save points. None of VVVVVV's gravity gimmicks though. YHTWTG has traditional platforming, and more emphasis on exploration.

The aesthetic is a big part of it, especially in 4-color CGA mode. It's not just "pixels because low budget" or "pixels cause that's what I can do". The different rooms and areas feel unique, and are detailed, even in only 4 colors. It's done very well.
Posted: September 29
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
It's free, plus it takes 4 seconds to install. It's a good game, no reason not to try it atleast once.
Posted: October 5
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
A short (1-2 hours long) retro-styled platformer with a focus on non-linear exploration. It does a good job of making simple power-ups feel rewarding and the map connects in interesting ways that makes backtracking not feel too tedious, which is important since you'll spend a decent bit of the game retreading old ground looking for areas that are now reachable due to your newly found power-ups. It really captured the feeling of "oh cool, that's how I get over there."

There are some annoyingly hard rooms, but checkpoints are frequent and you respawn immediately. If the CRT and visuals aren't to your liking, you can modify them in the options to be more colorful and drop the monitor within a monitor effect.

There's also very little hand-holding involved. You basically start up the game and explore with no intrusion. A fun little game which has more depth than you'd expect for a free, retro-themed platformer.
Posted: October 3
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
when i started this game i honestly didn't know what to expect, except that i had to win the game, due to my poor platforming skills, i could not win the game
Posted: October 15
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
VVVVVV meets Super Meat Boy.
Posted: September 24
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
An splendid free little game which poses as simply another 2D retro platformer, but is actually a both skillful and heartful love letter to PC games in the 70s/80s. "You Have To Win The Game" is a collectathon of the likes of VVVVVV, with tricky jumps and an extensive map to go back and forth until you collected everything and, well, win the game.

Short but sweet. Highly recommended.

And it has 2 cats!
2cats!
Posted: September 25
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
-Oldschool graphics
-Fun to play untill you get stuck at some point imo
-Hardcore mode
-9 lives mode
-Generally a fun game , yet most people wil ragequit at some points of the game :D
Posted: October 17
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
I won the game.

EDIT: I didn't win the game. It was still pretty great for a free thing that someone made.
Posted: October 1
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
One of the best old school games you can find for free. It's alot of fun and brings you back to the days of the NES, Master System, SNES, Genesis and alot more other consoles of the old days. As you can remember those games were hard! This game is a bit more forgiving as there is a save system but it will still kick your ♥♥♥ alot. It's really fun but my only complaint is trying to get 100% will make you go insane. 9/10
Posted: September 25
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
hard little ♥♥♥♥er...
I love it!
Posted: September 28
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
I just can't seem to win. All I do is lose the game. Oh darn, I just did it again.
Posted: September 28
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Although a short game, it's a very good game. There is not much story to speak of, but it isn't necessarily the most important part of this kind of game - the title describes the objective, and a counter in the bottom right hand corner describes the win condition.

It's easy to see where the developer has gotten his inspiration from (among others VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy (and, while I'm not quite sure as it might have gotten inspiration from the same sources, I might want to add I Wanna Be The Guy to the list, too).

The game is hard for pretty much the same reasons VVVVVV is hard - it's difficult to remember how to get where, and it's easy to get lost in the numerous level screens. Some parts of the game requires some "grinding" (if that's an appropriate term to use for trying again and again in a platformer), and some levels are pretty boring to do after a while. But the save-points are plentiful, and collection of money/artifacts/things are saved upon collection.

All in all, a really good game. It took me 1 hour and 50 minutes to get to the end without losing, and completing the game 100% took me 2 hours and 10 minutes (that means 20 minutes extra from my first, any%, win to my second, 100%, win. After this, I have three achievements left, which I'm going to go finish pretty soon. Other than getting 100% of the achievements, it doesn't look like there is a lot of replayability, as much of what makes the game great is the exploration. However, it could be a fun game to run through once in a while, just to see if you remember every level and how to do them.

If you like this game, I'd recommend also checking out VVVVVV, Eversion, and I Wanna Be The Guy. This game reminded me a lot of those three, and I have enjoyed all three of them a lot, just like I did with this one.
Posted: September 24
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
As someone who got their start with games in the late 80s/early 90s, I feel this game speaks to me.

This game is an example of new things being nostalgic.
Posted: October 1
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
I found a way to lose
10/10
Posted: October 13
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
This is a surprisingly fun little game, and you can't beat the price! I played with the higher color mode and without the monitor filters...game looks quite nice that way. Controls are good and easy to use on controller (easy to set movement to dpad instead of analog, too). If you like stuff like VVVVVV, don't pass this up.
Posted: October 2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
It's okay.
Posted: October 3
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Gonna recommend this game.
This game makes so much fun AND looks so beautiful!
You have to try it.. as a cat.
Posted: September 27
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Posted: October 15
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