You Have to Win the Game is a free exploration platformer with a retro 1980s PC aesthetic.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (94 reviews) - 89% of the 94 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (4,617 reviews) - 93% of the 4,617 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 6, 2012

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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
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 32-bit executable
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit executable
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or similar
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit executable
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (94 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (4,617 reviews)
Recently Posted
galaxypizza45
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
I simply cannot reccomend this "game".

No soundtrack.
No tutorial.
No context.
No clues.
No mercy.
No innovation.
(while not having innovation isn't always a negative, this game DESPERATELY needs it)

While a bad game, this could be a demo for later projects these developers could work on. The talent is certainly there, with some great pixel work and a lovely aesthetic, but it doesn't seem the developers are utilizing this, so I just cannot reccomend it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The 1%
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
this game has AESTHETIC
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheTrueLizard
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
I lost the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BeSerious
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
That's what I'm talking about.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mark 🍣
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
True classic. The only flaw is that it should come in floppy disks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
de_pressed
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
At first I got really ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off cos I thought I was trapped in a cavern, restarting few times later, I used a guide. Still no help. Then I realised I could go down one more level on that room... Then I finally lost the game. I do like how I keep all my coins though! Too much effort getting them again :)
Although I still don't really understand the story, what's the magic word and symbol and why is this dude running around collecting money? Suppose I'll keep playing and figure it out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dommygee
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
this game is ♥♥♥♥♥tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
Helpful? Yes No Funny
arsie
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
hitjyjuhmtny tro
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ConFTW
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Pretty ok and underrated f2p. Get it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
I don't even have a complete hour on this game but I can tell you that this game is all about eventual realizations, and when you get there, you'll think WHY DIDN'T I SEE THIS COMING
Overall, this game is great, you'll love/hate it but you'll never stop coming back to it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
I played it.... and died...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
True classic. The only flaw is that it should come in floppy disks.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
It was a pretty good game, you know. I liked the graphics, and I liked the controls, and I liked the power-ups, but, I did not like the difficulty. I had to lose the game at first, but, I had to win the game on the next try! I would recommend this game to people who like high-difficulty games, and people who like platformers, and people who like old-school games.

Keep up the good work, Kyle! :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
You have to be a tryhard to Win the game
But it's a good plateformer
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
471 of 521 people (90%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
Exactly what it says on the tin, it's a free tricky retro platformer. Will not disappoint.

Oh and you can play as a cat.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
358 of 442 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
The game is so good even steam published it 2 times.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
200 of 238 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
You Have to Win this Game is a quality 2D platformer at an unbeatable price. Free.

Here's a Quick Look video I did of the game after “winning” it. Have a look if you want to see the game in action, or just read the in-depth review below for something more concise. (Please note I did this video before it was released on Steam, which simply means it only shows the original game and not the much-harder, remixed version you can select at the beginning)

http://youtu.be/LIjulBMI85U

To begin, I'll say this game is a classic platformer in every sense. You jump from platform to platform all the while dodging spikes, energy balls, angry crabs, and anything else the game throws at you. Yet while you may not be able to kill anything, you are able to acquire power-ups like activating ghost blocks, double jumping, and jumping off walls to navigate the map easier. There are even checkpoints littered everywhere so when you do die, you can instantly respawn and try again as many times as you wish.

But don't be fooled. Although you may not have any lives (except if you're doing YOLO or the cat, you crazy person), the game is challenging, especially when you're gunning for optional moneybags to collect. You'll probably die multiple times before nailing the pattern down to pass to the next screen. But thankfully it never feels frustrating due to the instant respawn that's always nearby. It's the game's forgiving nature that allows you to constantly want to beat what's stopping you. And I can safely say that every time I did fail, I just dismissed it as my own fault and kept at it until I beat the obstacle. Which is truly the mark of a good platformer.

The game also has a nice, retro visual style. I enjoy how the game acts as if you're playing a classic game on an old TV. It really put me back in the mood when I was just a kid playing my NES. Now while I realize that some people may not have experienced or liked something like this, I really do think it adds to the game because it successfully mimics the era where games used to be like this. It simply gave me nostalgia all over. But hey, for those that don't want it, you can easily turn it off in the options menu.

Now let's talk about a few of the game's flaws:
*There's no music. Some awesome chiptunes really would've made this game shine. Instead all you get is silence
*It's really short. It'll only take about an hour to “beat,” more if you collect everything and explore
*No story. You just thrown into it not knowing what the heck you are or what you're doing. Personally, I don't really mind it not having one since games like Mario never really had much of story either, but some people like to have some purpose other than beating the game. And no, the clever title doesn't count as a reason =p

That's really all of the negatives I could think of. The game simply does its job well, especially so because of how it leads you where you need to be without holding your hand. There's no maps, quest markers, or waypoints telling you where to go, just like most classic games. But somehow I always wound up where I needed to be even when exploring just for the fun of it. Sure, the game liked leading you to places you couldn't do anything in until you got a power-up, or even trolling you by making you do platforming again for trying to take an easy route, but I always regarded it as a discovery that brought me one step closer to the end.

So to sum this game up, it's simply a joy to play. You don't get many free games as good as this one. So if you have some time to burn or are bored, pick this up and have a blast. There's even a NG+ for those like me who missed stuff on their first playthrough.
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148 of 168 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
ONE OF BEST OLDSCHOOL PLATFORMER GAME, AND ITS FREE. JUST PLAY IT!

-Positive
Great graphics with old monitor.
Awesome level design.
Smooth controls including double jump.
A hidden MAGIC WORD
Lots of CATS and other stuff.
yea CATS!!!

-Negative
Trying to finish %100 is pain in the ♥♥♥.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny