Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
Do you know what awaits atop the mountain in Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy? Past all the nonsensical detritus, and after every snippet of Foddy’s philosophical musing? I do. Not because I climbed it, obviously. I’m a coward who relies on the internet for answers.
If you’re still convinced you’re going to get there under your own steam one day, read no further.
I doubt this is still the case, but you used to earn a quick chat with Bennet Foddy himself. He apparently rigged up notifications on his phone alerting him to whenever a climber had suffered their way to the very top. They’d get plonked in a special chatroom, and he’d appear to congratulate them. After hours of earnest soul-searching, after countless heart-wrenching falls, you got a few nice words from the man who put you through it all.
That’s a lovely way for an unconventional game to reach further into the unexpected. There was no hype about what awaited at the top, no Molyneux style hyping up of godhood. I’d assumed there’d only be fleeting sense of satisfaction.
A developer offering themselves as a reward is a neat idea, albeit a grim metaphor to the many studios who feel beholden to the unrealistic expectations of their fans. But it also speaks to how transient Getting Over It seems in retrospect. That mountain only seemed climbable, to me at least, when everyone was talking about it. If you complete the game now you’ll still get plonked in that chatroom, and get to nod at the people who climbed alongside you – presuming people are still bothering to. I suppose that makes the achievement even more impressive, though I suppose that isn’t really the point.