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Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

·3 mins

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a beautifully simple game that has captivated people since its release. On paper, it seems simple. You’re a man with a hammer stuck in a pot. There’s a mountain. You have to climb the mountain. Sounds easy, right? Someone has brought it in on an external hard drive and is doing comedically terribly. You grab the mouse of the school PC you’re huddled around with the belief that you can just make it up easily, how hard can it be? If you’ve played the game, you probably know what happens next - at best, this person makes no progress and only their ego is harmed. At worse, the man in the pot has fallen back to the start of the game and everyone is sad.

These interactions have given Getting Over It a special reputation - it was simply impossible for mere mortals to complete. When me and two other people got it on a Steam sale (and one person pirated it), we had that mindset. None of us had seen past the playground section relatively early on in the game. We all slowly chipped away at the game, seeing sections that we’d only seen in speedruns. Eventually, I’d done the impossible. I had conquered the ice cliff, the platforms, the church and rectory, the living room and the factory, the playground and the construction site, the granite rocks and the lakeside. I had learned to hike, and there was no way left to go but up. I had finally completed the game that I thought uncompleteable for years. I pressed PrintScr twice, shaking as the credits rolled. Completing Getting Over It was an achievement that I had finally accomplished.

This sheer difficulty is created by the game’s ingenious use of physics. Your hammer has a weight to it, which makes controlling it brilliantly frustrating. If you’ve ever played a VR game, it’s kind of similar to when you pick up a very heavy object and it lags behind your hands to simulate weight, only this time it’s lagging behind your mouse. You will also bounce and slip off parts of the ground that are too steep for you to stay safely. These two design decisions make Getting Over It feel like no other game - it’s the only game that has made me feel my mousepad as I played.

Upon replaying, I got the chance to listen to the game’s voiceover (by Bennett Foddy). It was there in the first playthrough, but the ~9 minutes of audio was spread out across the 4 hours it took me to beat it. Bennett makes some great points about digital culture, and the state of games today. I really don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say that it elevates the game from a silly indie game to something more reminiscent of a work of art.

In conclusion, you should play Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding games I’ve ever played, and if you manage to beat it you’ll get the satisfaction of watching others slowly work through the parts that you hated the most.