A little game called Getting Over It was a runaway success. At least, it was for a very limited amount of time. But given that the game was about as simple as games can get, made by a single person, it can be considered one of the biggest video game success in history. The creator, Bennett Foddy, surely walked away an overnight millionaire. But what about the game made it such a success?
If the idea that the game must have been a great deal of fun, like the online pokies NZ has to offer, this assumption would be dead wrong. The game is in fact designed to be a frustrating, hair pulling exercise in tedium. But, at the same time, also a game that rewards careful, methodical play styles. In other words; the game was an instant viral hit based on it often sending players into a rage.
Physics Mountain Climbing
The concept of Getting Over It is an odd one at first glance. Set in a 2D world, the player controls a man sitting in cauldron, covered up to his waist. In the hands of the character is a hammer, which can be controlled via the mouse. Moving the mouse moves the arms of the character, able to swing the hammer freely on a flat plane. What’s the goal?
The 2D plane of the world stretches upwards as a cliff. The player can help the character ascend the cliff, by using the hammer as a climbing tool. And, being that the game is based in physics, this is a difficult task. The hammer acts essentially as a climbing hammer, but it is difficult to control, and movements that are too fast, ill timed, or otherwise imperfect can easily send the character back to the bottom of the mountain.
This means, of course, that an hour of progress in the game can quickly be lost, simply by an accidental movement of the mouse. The result almost guaranteed frustration, given the imperfect nature of the climbing system. There are also no saves, no checkpoints, or even levels. It’s one long, precarious climb to the top of the mountain; like geocaching but with quests that are even harder to complete.
Few will ever reach the top, and fewer will even stuck around long enough to see beyond the first section of the game. And this also happens to be why the game has been such a phenomenal success.
Hard when Others Are Easy
The game quickly gained a reputation for being frustrating, difficult, and unforgiving. And in this era of easy games, that catapulted the simple game of Getting Over It to viral success. Players gathered around eagerly to watch YouTubers fail at the game, and were eager to give it a bash themselves.
It wasn’t long before the game had sold millions. Few ever beat the game, but given that it was cheap, few really cared beyond simply attempting the physics based climbing system for themselves. Although, those who have finished it will surely have a solid reputation.