I WANNA BE THE GUY / Kayin / PC
Any idiot could sit down one day and decide "I'M GUNNA MAKE THE HARDEST GAME EVUR IT'S GUNNA BE SO HARD!", and then slap together some nonsense that isn't any fun to play. I Wanna Be The Guy, by Kayin of Pyoko.org, definitely hates you and wants you to die, but it's more than just a sadomasochistic exercise. It's actually worth playing, as it is doable with (a lot of) practice, and humorous cameos combined with Treasure-esque epic boss battles will continually pique your curiosity as to what's ahead.
As the introduction puts it, "Many years ago The Guy left world and retreat to Dungeon of Doom. Now Young Boy goes to defeat The Guy and become The Guy with his gun pass handed down to him by former Grandfather The Guy". The whole game is basically a running paean to classic 8-bit NES games (with some other eras and consoles thrown in for good measure), and the creativity, cleverness and great sense of humor are what make the game worthwhile in spite of the punishing difficulty. Your quest to become The Guy will require you to hunt down and collect the severed heads of six different bosses, which opens the way to the Castle of the Guy for the final showdown.
Your poor little Wannabe The Guy can only double-jump and fire his pea shooter, and climb certain types of walls. He'll have to somehow use these skills to ferry him through the game's insane shmorgasboard of difficulties, with only the occasional save point as an ally. Save points are distributed depending on the difficulty level you choose; picking Normal difficulty (which is still hard) puts a save point on almost every screen, yet doesn't tone the game's challenges down at all.
The game is a 100+ MB download, thanks mostly to the fact that it uses MP3s for all of its music. I appreciate the good selection of tunes, but I can't help but note that if the game used MIDIs or some similar format it would probably be about 80 MB smaller. If you just want to try the game out without a massive download, there is a 15 MB "trial version" which features only three of the game's main bosses and areas.
There's a creative energy to this game that is very appealing, and we can only hope that Kayin goes on to further sharpen his skills and create some new games that maybe aren't so head-bangingly difficult. If The Guy has your interest piqued but you just can't take the heat, there are plenty of videos on Youtube highlighting the best moments of the game. Even if you just peep it on film, it's worth a look for fans of classic gaming.