The RPS Advent Calendar, Dec 9th


No obstacles can stand in your way as you seek the glories of door number nine.

It’s Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy!

Graham: You are a half-naked man in a cauldron of water. A mountain stands before you, made of rock and metal and detritus. You can only move by using the sledgehammer in your hands to lift, shove and swing yourself across the terrain. Just the concept alone makes me fall in love with Getting Over It.

That concept is taken from another game, called Sexy Hiking, released for free in 2007. What Getting Over It does is pair it with nicer art and physics, which is fine, and with narration by creator Bennett Foddy. It’s the narration that takes it from diverting novelty to sublime physical comedy. Foddy explains the philosophy of the game, drolly remarks upon your setbacks and comforts and mocks in equal measure. You can best get a sense of it and the game via the trailer, which is the best of trailers.

Foddy is best known for QWOP, a game I enjoyed a great deal, but controlling your sprinter’s limbs made progress feel impossible. It resisted serious attempts at success. Getting Over It by comparison always seems achievable. You can move your character forward in easy arcs just by rotating the hammer against the ground. You can punt yourself into the air by flicking the axe against the ground. You can, quite quickly, make what feels like substantial progress up the mountain.

This is, of course, a trap. You will hit a hard part and you will make a mistake and this mistake will send you all the way back to the beginning again. In QWOP I would just give up, bored or frustrated. I’m never frustrated when I fail in Getting Over It. Instead I think: I can do it again, and I can do it better. Suddenly it’s hours later and there’s a pain in my neck because I’ve been tensing my entire body with each tricky maneuver. As the trailer says, Getting Over It was made for a certain kind of person. I am that kind of person – and it hurts me.

Alice: One single motion explored to its brutal extreme. It is delightful – and I really mean that. Between the bricolage of everyday objects making up the level, Foddy’s narration, and the gentle building of tricks, it smiles as it stamps on your fingers while you dangle above a precipice. Don’t get angry, get over it.

Head back to the calendar to open the door to another of 2017’s best games.


  1. Turkey says:

    I feel sorry for the calendar guessers this year. It’s been a veritable wildcard bonanza so far.

  2. fuggles says:

    Isn’t it great?! Why celebrate the populist stuff I already know about and would have already bought if I cared?!

  3. and its man says:

    oh, thanks for reminding me. That’s what I wanted to buy today.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    What’s sad is that every wildcard, save Hand of Fate 2, was on my longlist and in some versions of my shortlist; I booted them off because the number of ‘eligible wildcards’ is like 50 games this year. So far I’ve gotten Wolfenstein 2 and Norwood Suite and NOTHING ELSE, making this my worst year yet.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      (This was meant to be a reply to Turkey, somehow I failed)

    • klops says:

      But did anyone else either get Bayonetta, this or the Viking-RTS or those cool looking pixelly games that John liked? Wolfenstein was 100% sure, Suite was 97%, all the others are sort of surprises or something I’ve completely forgotten.

      • Vandelay says:

        Very few have picked the less expected games. I’m only 1 ahead of Aerothorn with 3 correct picks, yet I’m still first. It is just that I’m joint with about another 4 or 5 people!

        I suspect that it is just a case of the more esoteric picks being front loaded.

      • TheBetterStory says:

        I’m not a guesser, but I would have been very disappointed not to see OneShot on the list after John praised it so fervently.

    • Frog says:

      Ditto here except I’m running average. I finished Norwood and had a good bit of fun. I’m kinda working Wolfenstein now, except I got distracted by Subnautica.

    • and its man says:

      I’ve entirely played wildcards.

  5. Dewal says:

    This game is too hard. Couldn’t they make an easier version where you can save or skip the hardest parts ?

  6. kwyjibo says:

    This is a game that is designed to be watched. Killing it on twitch and YouTube.

  7. JOJOFACE says:

    Bennett Foddy had a great interview on the Roundtable Podcast just yesterday – very enlightening, he’s an interesting guy.

  8. Fachewachewa says:

    Honestly my GOTY.

  9. Umama says:

    This game is in the Humble Monthly Trove if you are a subscriber, FYI: link to

  10. Rack says:

    Really not a fan of this. The commentary and design speak to a certain kind of person. The kind of person who likes difficult games and thinks this makes them a better person than people who like easier games. I can understand liking challenging games, I can understand being frustrated this is no longer the norm. But that self satisfied sneer at people who prefer games to be easier is something that rubs me the wrong way.

    • Premium User Badge

      zapatapon says:

      Where do you see anywhere (in the trailer, the game itself or in this article) a self satisfied sneer at people who prefer easier games? Any kind of hard and arbitrary challenge that you willingly decide to subject yourself to works, at some level or other, based on the feeling of elation you expect from overcoming it while most other people can’t or won’t. This is what makes you feel special. But this doesn’t necessarily imply that one has to be a dick about it (although that is unfortunately common in “gamer” culture).

      If anything, this game appears to incite “people of this type” to introspection, as well as to invite all others to watch, laugh along, and reflect as well. I don’t see any disrespect here.

      • Worriedman says:

        I agree, I am definitely the type to not like “overly hard” games that can be made easier without detracting from the overall experience (looking at you, Cuphead and Dark Souls). This game on the other hand is entirely about the difficulty, but it is very clear about this from the beginning, and that if you arn’t the type of gamer to like things like that then no hard feeling, this one isn’t for you. I feel that this attitude is the antithesis of Cuphead; Cuphead had an enormously awesome aesthetic and soundtrack, and they do have an easy mode, but if you want to see the last level and beat the game you have to “get gud.” If you don’t feel that’s possible, well, sorry, you just got locked out of the last bit of art, music, and story. Getting Over it on the other hand practically begs the player not to buy it, because the difficulty is the entire experience and it is pretty brutal. The trailer even says that if he wanted to make a “good” game he would have made it easier. In effect, I feel that the game’s sense of humor isn’t so much directed at the player, but more the developer.

      • Rack says:

        The article certainly doesn’t channel that idea and the trailer has a wonderful self-effacing quality that clearly says “this one’s not for you” If I hadn’t got it from the humble monthly I’d not have seen any more. But the game does seem to push that idea. The aim might just be to stroke the egos of players who play it, but it does ring to me of “other people can’t appreciate a challenge, they like crap that you just blitz through and forget”

    • Nelyeth says:

      I started writing a comprehensive reply, but it just felt like too much effort, so I’ll just ask this : what has the world done to you to make you so bitter?

      Edit: Oh, someone wrote the comprehensive reply already. Good. What this lad says.

    • Cederic says:

      I’m not sure if this is a hard game. It’s a game with a learning curve, but once you’ve mastered hammer control is the game actually hard?

      I couldn’t be arsed with the learning curve, so I don’t know myself.

  11. andrewi31 says:

    Calendar door numbers eight and nine will not open properly, but I will not let it get to me.

  12. Ejia says:

    This is a spectator sport. I sure as hell am not going to play it because it looks like it’d infuriate me to no end, but it’s rather amusing to see someone else flail and fail in it.