3.5 out of 5. A non-combat platformer with a CRT Filtered Retro Aesthetic. Short and Sweet with catchy music. Does an above average job, but doesn't really compete with the monsters of the genre.
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How Metroidvania is it? Medium Fit. Has a World Map, so the level structure is more similar to Zelda 2, though the game does make you go back to old levels.
Primary Challenge: Tricky Platforming
Time to beat: ~3 hours
Review Info: Super Win The Game was played on Steam

More Info

Developer: Minor Key Games
Publisher: Minor Key Games
Sub-genre: Linear Platformer Hybrid
Features: Multiple Difficulty modes, 2D Platformer, Melee Combat, No Combat, Tricky Platforming, Riddle Solving Puzzles, Collectathon, Level-Based, Family Friendly
Difficulty: Medium, High
Linearity/Openness: High Gating - No Handholding
Platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOS, Steam
Release Date: 2014/10/01
Available Languages: English, French, Spanish

Store Links

    Steam    Humble Bundle    

Buy Super Win The Game if you like…

  • Retro Aesthetic (Complete with CRT Filters!)
  • Catchy 8-bit music
  • Games without Combat
  • Obscure Scavenge Hunts
  • Speedrunning

▼ Review continues below ▼

Super Win the Game is very much the homage to the 80s era of gaming as advertised, but it primarily pays tribute to one aspect of that era – that so many games were platformers. You’re going to find a lot of graphical elements that are practically lifted from Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, but there isn’t any combat in Super Win the Game – just platforming, finding upgrades, and solving cryptic riddles.

Your primary goal in the game is to find a number of objects to do a thing. For the most part these objects are simply keys that unlock specific parts of a level – either by literally being a key, or by making platforms appear or letting you pass through special walls. There are two that actually affect your platforming significantly, but in general Super Win the Game gets by with clever level design more than anything. The actual keys that you find go to any lock, so if you had to rely on only finding keys you could get yourself into a dead game. However, the game has a system where you can buy keys using gems you find, or if you don’t even have gems you can borrow keys to move forward – preventing players from halting progress forever. Eventually you can collect enough gems to get a Skeleton Key, which removes the need for buying or even finding keys – and removes any reason to collect anything besides the Metroidvania upgrades. Since gems are ONLY good for buying keys (and to unlock a bonus area), finding them all becomes soley about completionism rather than any need. But, since collecting gems represents the source of the most interesting challenges they’re fun to get even if they don’t serve any purpose to you.

The platforming challenges are kept quite interesting throughout the experience. Even though there is no combat you will encounter numerous enemies along the way, but mostly they’re just obstacles that send you back to the most recent checkpoint if touched. It’s as if everything serves the role of deathspikes in other platformers, however the bells that save your game are on practically every screen, so it doesn’t get too frustrating. The controls are nice and tight, and since you can’t actually kill anything, that satisfying feeling of pulling off that clutch jump onto the small bit of ground next to an enemy and bouncing around them can be found abundantly. Combined with the catchy 8-bit music, you’re in for a good ol’ time.

In a world where fully fleshed out experiences like Hollow Knight exist, or Ori and the Blind Forest if you just like Platforming, just being a very good platformer isn’t enough to be on top, and perhaps due to its simplicity, I feel like Super Win the Game falls just a little short from being included in the upper tiers of Metroidvania games. It makes some attempt to have a dream-like story element to it, which could have helped carve a unique identity for it besides just being a nostalgia trip, but I personally did not get much out of it. This might be because its attempts at being deep are simply pretentious, or it could be that I just didn’t get it – it’s possible someone out there might have some kind of epiphany from what Super Win the Game presents. For your money you’ll get a good 1-4 hours of core content, but the variability of that estimated time sink is padded by some quite cryptic hints for the location of the game’s most important keys. You may find yourself wandering aimlessly for a significant time completely stumped on where else you haven’t looked – but as usual a simple guide can mitigate this if you’re willing to just cheat through it. There are a lot of speed running challenges and a whole optional platforming world to enjoy, but if you take away the Metroidvania aspect of the game it starts to compete with tighter level-based platformers – like Mario, Celeste, or Super Meatboy – and that’s also not a tierlist it wants to be ranked in.

I think if you want a shorter exploration platformer that will only take up a few nights of time, you can’t really go wrong with Super Win the Game. On a sale it’s priced similarly to other mini-metroidvania games and as a budget title I can heartily recommend it. At its full price though, it starts to face some stiffer competition. But if you want to try the game hands on, its predecessor is completely free, so you can get a good setup for Super Win the Game as well as a good feel for whether you’re interested in continuing the journey. I enjoyed my time with Super Win the Game overall, even if it’s likely to be buried in my memory as the year progresses.


Final Score

3.5/5

Scoring system overview


Metroidvania Breakdown

Combat
– 2

There is none. Not a bad thing, but it's just the facts

Platforming
– 4

Nice and solid, not too difficulty, but still challenging

Exploration
– 4

Finding the game's secrets is the primary focus, and there is a ton of variety to be enjoyed

Puzzle
– 3

Especially late game, Riddle Solving puzzles are a focus, and they're decent. Can be slightly frustrating due to obscurity

Story
– 3

Includes some abstract pseudo philosophy that may be interesting to some players

Graphics
– 3.5

8-Bit Aesthetic works great and really pulls in the nostalgia with the CRT filter

Music
– 4

The music is incredibly catchy, and invites a very positive mood

Replayability
– 2

Besides the main game there are some other secrets to be found, but actual ''replay'' value is relatively low


Want a second opinion? See what other reviews say:

Steam Reviews
All Time: Very Positive
(90% of 455 Reviews)


TBD Metacritic
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