Top 5 Challenging Games

Top 5 Challenging Games

When most people think of playing Flash games, they think of a lovely break from their day. A time to de-stress, play with friends and maybe have a good laugh as they enjoy a lovely, pleasant trip through Gamer’s Land. Others scoff at this naive idea. “Games shouldn’t be like strolling through daisies! They should challenge you to your very soul, where you question everything you know and scream at the little pixel man… Why can’t he just jump! a! little! HIGHER!”

This group of hardcore gamers know if you’ve never had your mouse slippery from sweat or haven’t felt the plastic of the keyboard vibrate below your fingers as you smash them out of rage, then you’ve never known true gaming. For when you have finally succeeded against all odds, you now know that you have won the rights to the very universe! Or perhaps just the chance to brag to your friends about your victories. Here are five of our most difficult games, so you can have that taste of victory made even sweeter through your tears of pain. Let us know if we missed a game whose victory you wear like a badge.



When the game is titled with a command for you to lose, you know you’re in for a challenge. The Give Up series (with a sequel completed and a third in the works) started by John Cooney and Tasslefoot, later continued with Massive Monster, has embedded itself in our hearts just as the little blue man embedded himself on those spikes. There are really only a couple of levels and one goal; to reach that exit door. Every time you do, however, the stage restarts and something more deadly than the last is added in, or things are shuffled around to cause you to trip up… usually onto something sharp or explosive.

Actually…. I lied. The real goal of these games is for the orange computer eye to mock your failures enough that you push the always present and very easy to click “GIVE UP” button. As the challenges become nearly impossible and the A.I. snarkier than ever, you’ll find the temptation to press it grow and grow. How far can you make it before your resolve crumbles?



A good warning sign that a game is going to make your blood boil is how simple the controls are. The easier the mechanics, the harder it’s going to be to win. Space is Key is testament to that as Chris Jeff takes you on a world of pain. All you need to do is tap the spacebar to fling a small box into the air to avoid anything other than stars as it moves forward without stopping.

Bright colors and upbeat, fast-paced music keep your spirits as high as your death count. Even with a more simple level design than Give Up, you’ll still have your nose glued to the screen. The action never stops and now you won’t have to either as Space is Key is also a finger-smashing app ready to go wherever your phone can. 



If you need something more light-hearted and bubbly to look at as your anger grows, Bullet Heaven 1 and Bullet Heaven 2 will fulfill that need. As cute as it is deadly, Matt Roszak’s games will have you dodging literally thousands of bullets as you try to collect enough gold before you die so you can upgrade and get a little bit farther the next time you go. While there are difficulty options to chose from, you’ll find that their definition of “normal” is… not so normal. Things ramp up quickly in this fuzzy little adventure that will leave both you and your mouse out of breath.



If platforming and constant deaths aren’t your thing, Bennuk’s Where Am I can give you that hair-pulling frustration before the leap of joy that comes from conquering its mind-twisting levels. In a plane of gray, you must find the exit, and the only way to do so is by hitting into the invisible walls that light up for brief moments from your blind searching, leaving you guessing where you are and where you’re headed.

The short little organ sounds of the *bings* and *bongs* as you bounce off the walls are sure to give you a smile even as you find yourself running into the same dead end again and again. The most painfully hard thing about this game is dealing with its ending that comes way too soon… the curse of all Ludum Dare games. But the silver lining is you can sneak this game into any busy day.



Of course, no list would be complete without the game that ended up defining hardcore games; Jonathan Mcentee and Edmund McMillen’s Meat Boy. Playing as the squishy and drippy titular hero, you have to save your love, Band-Aid Girl, in these treacherous levels. Tight controls are hard to do when you’re a pile of uncooked flesh leaving a sludge trail on every wall you squash into, but that is what makes Meat Boy… well, Meat Boy, of course.

Not only are there levels to play (and skip when things get rough) but there’s even a custom map builder so you can try levels others have crafted or make some yourself. This is definitely a game everyone who even slightly enjoys a challenge should play. If you can’t say you’ve rage-quit Meat Boy, then you haven’t truly lived.

If these games gave you a taste of the thrill you’ve been missing in your life, check out other games that will have you raging against your machine.


Written by Lori, who one day hopes to fill this line with many links to show off all her creativeness, but as she suffers from a serious case of procrastinitis and must do many horrible, boring things known as “adulting” it may be a while.