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It Really Is That Hard, Embrace Frustration

Some games hold your hand and lead you forward with respect for your time and ability. This is lovely. There are some other games, though, that intentionally make the going tough.

These tough masters aren't afraid to let us lose progress, waste our time, or feel frustrated. In fact, they revel in their ability to take us to the very edge of throwing something.

This list includes 31 games from the last 13 years, with 309 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to deal with frustration.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 309
 

 

Elden Ring

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Elden Ring is a role-play game set in a fictional world created by fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, with a focus on combat similar to Demon's Souls and an open world with real time and weather like Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Drink More Glurp

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

Chariot

Release Date: 30/09/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Chariot is a co-op platform game where you haul around a wheeled Chariot, to the end of each level. Pushing, pulling or dragging with ropes, you need to use the real physics of the game to solve puzzles and time jumps to get the heavy object to the...

Bayonetta 3 (Series)

Release Date: 29/10/2009, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Bayonetta 3 is the latest fighting game in the Bayonetta franchise, where you use fantastical guns and outlandish attacks to defeat monsters and hordes of enemies in fast-paced combat. As you move through the stages, you attack enemies with your wide...

Demon's Souls (Series)

Release Date: 04/10/2011

Platforms: PS3 and PS5

Demons Souls is first a series of fighting and exploration games recently re-released on PlayStation 5. From third-person perspective you navigate interconnected locations while fighting enemies with weapons and magic. Larger boss enemy encounters...

There Is No Game

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a comedic adventure with a strange twist. From the outset the game’s narrator insists that there is no game to play. As you inevitably ignore his instruction you go on a journey through silly and unexpected video...

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Release Date: 06/11/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a strange game about movement and momentum. You are tasked with climbing a mountain. However, your only means of locomotion is a hammer that can stick to objects and drag you forwards.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Release Date: 30/01/2014, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Most games design their controls to be easy and accessible. Octodad: Dadliest Catch takes a different approach. Using a combination of sticks and buttons, it creates an awkward, stomach-churning feeling of having too many limbs that you can’t directly...

Jump King

Release Date: 03/05/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Jump King is a high stakes jumping game, where you control a character ascending a series of increasingly spread out platforms. You can control how high each jump is by the length of your button press. This enables you to judge difficult and long jumps...

Silly Walks

Release Date: 07/08/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Silly Walks is an adventure where you control household-objects by tapping the screen to get them to walk. Each tap switches legs so you can control their direction as well as their speed. It sounds simple but takes some considerable skill. The...

Biped

Release Date: 01/07/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Biped is an adventure game where two players closely collaboration to walk through levels, solve problems. It has unusual controls and friendly cute characters that make it great to share in the family.

Phogs

Release Date: 01/06/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Phogs is a game where you control a stretchy dog that has a head at both ends of its body. It sounds a little strange, but is actually an endearing adventure where, on your own or with another person, you control each end of the dog separately to...

QWOP

Release Date: 21/12/2010

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

QWOP is a sports game with a difference. You have to control each limb of your virtual athlete. This changes it from a challenge of hitting buttons to using the touch screen or keyboard to deftly co-ordinate movement to gain forward motion. It's really...

Exhausted Man

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Exhausted Man is a puzzle game where you play an ordinary, but clinically exhausted, person who must complete everyday challenges, and earn a better life. The twist is that you have to do all this with your character lying down.

Pony Island

Release Date: 04/01/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Pony Island is an adventure game where you are trapped in a computer by the Devil. You need to crash the computer to escape and stumble upon the Pony Island game that appears unstable. As you hack away at the game you uncover its corrupted code and your...

Tied Together

Release Date: 19/10/2018

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Tied Together is a platform game for two to four players tied together. Like a three-legged-race you have to co-ordinate how you move. But here you are negotiating jumps and enemies too. Any player can grab the ground and act as a fixed point for...

Spooky Chase

Release Date: 23/10/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Spooky Chase is a running, jumping game where you play a ghost collecting a series of flags. However, each route you take to a flag is then followed by enemies when you go after the next one. You play each level multiple times to collect each flag, but...

Hacknet

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2015

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Hacknet is a simulation where you play a hacker completing missions and hacking into systems just by typing. Designed to be as close to real hacking as possible, you use actual commands and hacking tools to explore servers, chat rooms, and gain access...

Trombone Champ

Release Date: 16/09/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Trombone Champ is a rhythm-action game where you play a trombone in time to on-screen directions. Play is unlike other music games, because you can play a trombone note at any time and the focus is on fun musicality rather than accuracy. It stands out...

Goop Loop

Release Date: 21/07/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Goop Loop is a traversal game where you control a sticky lump of goo stuck inside a concrete loop. You can use the momentum of your goo and the world's gravity to get the loop to roll through the level. In this way you face all sorts of physics...

Tharsis

Release Date: 12/01/2016, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Pieces: Dice

Tharsis is a strategy-simulation game where you must survive a doomed mission to Mars. You roll dice whose outcome can either help repair the ship or make things worse by injuring crew mates or causing further damage. The dice foreground the constant...

Innocence Island

Release Date: 10/12/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Innocence Island is an adventure game where find yourself in a strange land without even the memory of how to walk. You explore the world by observing and learning skills from the creatures around you. It stands out as a journey through a world where...

Robotry

Release Date: 26/10/2022

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Robotry is an unusual platform game where you don't have a jump button. Instead you use two analog sticks to control each leg of your robot and in this way you take on a range of puzzles and challenges.

Salt and Sacrifice (Series)

Release Date: 10/05/2022

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Salt and Sacrifice (and its prequel Salt and Sanctuary) is an fighting adventure game that's intentionally difficult and dark. You play by exploring the side-on world, fighting enemies with swords and other weapons. It's a strange combination of cartoon...

Super Pole Riders

Release Date: 11/06/2013

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

A cross between the high jump, jousting and basketball, Super Pole Riders is a simple game where four players must get a ball hanging from a wire to the opponent’s goal using long poles. It’s the controls that make this game so much of a giggle to...

The Gardener and the Wild Vines

Release Date: 09/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

The Gardener and the Wild Vines is a running, jumping and climbing game where you use flowers growing and vines to propel yourself to the top of a tower. It's a tough game with a focus on skill, but keeps things visually light and breezy. A game that...

360 Degrees

Release Date: 13/03/2022

Platforms: PC and Web

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

360 Degrees is a sports game where you play a skateboarding bunny. Using only the mouse, you perform tricks, grinds, and jumps as you knock over bins to cause havoc and score points in the streets of Melbourne. It combines these unique controls with...

Battle Princess Madelyn

Release Date: 05/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Battle Princess Madelyn is a running and jumping game where you defeat hordes of enemies like the classic arcade game Ghosts 'n' Goblins. It's similarly fast-paced and difficult, here though you have to pick your way through labyrinthine levels, and use...

Crawl

Release Date: 11/04/2017, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Crawl is a dungeon fighting game where your friends control the monsters and traps. The hero player moves around, break boxes and attack enemies while the ghost players try and stop him. Once the hero dies they become another ghost and the next player...

Ecstatic

Release Date: 14/06/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Ecstatic is a fast and hard retro shooting game where you control a mechanical Spider that freezes time and shoots rockets. You need to both keep moving and keep shooting to stay alive. It's like what are sometimes described as bullet-hell games,...

Soundodger 2 (Series)

Release Date: 11/10/2013, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Soundodger 2 is a rhythm game where you move a small circle to avoid obstacles to the rhythm of the music. While it's a simple concept, the variety of deadly obstacles, the speed, and the precision needed (not to mention the extra game modes and...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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