Pretty Frustrating – A Few Pretty & Hard Video Games

“I’m never going to beat this boss BB.  I’ve tried like 20 times and it just isn’t going to happen.  I’ve literally spent 40 hours on this game and I can’t explore any new areas until I beat this boss.”  I toss the controller over to the other side of the couch.  My husband stands in the living room with a mild look of annoyance on his face.

“You should probably do something else today besides playing video games.”

Two Days Later…

“Oh my god!  Oh my god!  BB!  I beat the BOSS!! Oh my god! I have the Desolate DIVE!!”


I’m such a noob and frustratingly I’ve become obsessed with a game, Hollow Knight, that is so far above my experience level that I’ve ruined my YouTube Recommendations with my relentless searching of ‘how to’ guides. (Thanks Jazzy Jeff – love your videos)

I haven’t played a platformer since Super Mario and I hated that game. But, here I am, 70 hours into Hollow Knight and still obsessed with the beautiful art, the music, the mechanics and the incredible design.  Thankfully, it isn’t 100% a platformer although there is plenty of it within the game.  I’m no where near the end, but I’m hoping that with enough time, I’ll be able to finish the game in a way that is befitting the beautiful tragedy of Hollow Nest.

So Stylish.  I’m never going back.

Not all video games are created equal.  When a game is so lovingly crafted that they embody that care and attention to detail in every facet of the game, you’ll be amazed with the entirety of the experience. In fact, your expectations of all games will be ‘leveled up’ just from playing just a few great games.  You’ll find that anything less than a novel experience will likely cause you to put down the controller and move on.

I’ve found myself at this place and with that, my snobby video game dabbling has taken on a whole new perspective.  Gone are the days of Plants vs Zombies.  I’ve now moved on to games that are better designed and prettier but also significantly harder.

The struggles were no different than what I’ve struggled with in the past.  Jumping, timed jumping, navigating obstacles by jumping, running and then jumping. Obviously, I’m more of a Uncharted 5 on ‘Light’ mode kind of video gamer.

Pretty Hard

Thankfully the save points for the games I share below are very generous and I while I had my doubts on being able to complete these beautiful games, I did eventually prevail.  Even if it was a frustrating and timely process.

Limbo is an atmospheric puzzle platformer. Many of the puzzles are thought provoking. (So much so that I needed to cheat just a little.) The setting is dark, moist and uneasy.   The most challenging aspect of this game for me are the kinetic puzzles where platforming and problem solving meet.

My poor character was killed so many times in so many tragic ways that the game shifted from being frustrating to hilarious and also sad.

Unravel is a beautiful and emotional puzzle platformer.  The scenery is reminiscent of a fairy-tale, even when you are moving around a toxic waste site.  The movement through the world requires a level of precision that I was not quiet ready for but I’m happy I did.

I watched my husband play, who has far more video game experience than me, and he did not struggle at all with the platforming sections.  However, he did struggle with the puzzles so I feel that this game has something for everyone.

Pretty Nice

These games are the more forgiving and less frustrating versions of the games mentioned above.  I wish I had started with these games.  I’m glad controllers cannot talk because mine would have been screaming for mercy as I death gripped it through Limbo.

Inside is made by the same creators as Limbo – Playdead.  Which is a fitting name for a studio where the death of your character is pretty much a guarantee.

Inside is a atmospheric and psychological puzzle platformer.  A few of the puzzles are memorable far after game play.  Far more memorable though is the deep emotional impression the game leaves on you.

Unravel 2 is a couch co-op version of Unravel and is far more forgiving than the original game.  You and your partner play together in the same stunningly styled world, however the underlying story is not as involving as the first game.  The puzzles are tricky but with the assistance of your partner, they become more fun and less frustrating.

2019 looks like there will be many new beautifully designed games to play and I’m excited to explore what they have offer even if I may have to purchase a Switch in order to play Hollow Knight: SilkSong


Have a beautiful PS4 game you love?  Let me know.

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