A few months ago I saw this short video clip that Bennett Foddy posted on twitter of what looked like a man in a kettle rotating some kind of sledgehammer parallel with the camera and everyone in reply was very impressed with the animation on display. I was baffled but similarly impressed “What the fuck is Bennett working on?”
This is the guy that made QWOP, GIRP, and other games that also have intentionally bizarre control schemes that elicit feelings of frustration. When I first played QWOP I thought it was some kind of hilarious one-off joke. It’s almost impossible to play because the Q W O and P keys on your keyboard control the individual thigh and calf muscles on a runner’s legs. Then with GIRP and the other games, well, you start to learn that Foddy is not going away, this is just who he is.
Today I’ve played some of his latest triumph in frustration, the full title is “Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy”, and holy shit I want to throw my computer out of the window. The newest achievements in torture from the lord of input darkness is that your protagonist is indeed a man in a kettle and that sledgehammer is there to help you slowly drag yourself up a mountain. All of the control is through your mouse now, so a quick grab of a ledge just requires moving the mouse cursor over that ledge in such a way that the hammer doesn’t impact anything else along the way and then pulling your kettle dude up by lifting him with the hammer along the ledge.
Go too quickly and you’ll launch your character into the air, which sounds desirable for a faster ascent of this mountain but doing that in a controlled manner is extremely difficult.
As much like his past nightmares as Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy is, the audio clips of the developer virtually egging you on to continue are so different from anything he’s ever done before. The game also plays jazz music, which I find incredibly grating. When I fell down just now before writing this post he threw up a song with a title specifically about failure, and also had some choice quotes from authors and poets about how failure is when you give up instead of continuing to try.
A developer speaking to the player outside of a commentary mode isn’t entirely original, The Beginner’s Guide from the developer of The Stanley Parable also features a developer speaking to the player but it wasn’t so direct and clearly designed to infuriate anyone playing the game.
I’m not sure how much more of Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy I can tolerate, but it’s definitely worth playing when it comes out on December 7th for Windows and macOS via Steam and the Humble Store. I’d only advise against it if you’re prone to destroying computer hardware.