Lots of people struggle to find their calling in life, but Orangenose Studios has zeroed in on theirs. They specialize in micro-game collections (think Wario Ware), and they’ve made a killing on the App Store by pumping them out over the last couple of years. They’ve brought us 0.03 Seconds Pro, the Stupidness series, and now Hardest Game Ever, a game that takes its title seriously.
But don’t let that scare you away, because you’re eased into the challenge. Hardest Game Ever consists of 34 micro-games, some of which take less than a second to complete–if you’re good enough. You can progress through the games in three levels of difficulty, but unlocking higher difficulties is no easy task.
Even your cooking skills will be tested.
The micro-games compiled here test your reflexes, your basic math skills, and your precision. So, in one micro-game you might have to tilt your device to aim a sniper rifle at the center of a target, and then tap the screen to shoot. The trick is that you only have a couple of seconds to do it, and you’re judged based on how many millimeters from the center your shot landed. Another game has you tap numbered buttons in order as fast as possible, but you have less than a second to complete the task. Almost all of the tasks make sense for a touchscreen interface and are fun to complete.
Crucially, you’re not punished for failing a micro-game. Some of the games are so challenging–even on the easy difficulty–that you’ll have to retry them a dozen times, and it would be insanely frustrating if you had a limited number of lives, or otherwise lost some of your progress.
Their lives are in your hands, dude.
However, some of the games are unreasonably tough, like the one that asks you to slide a beer mug as close to the end of the bar as possible without it going over. In this game, the end of the bar is far off-screen, so you have no idea how fast to swipe your finger. Also, some of the games seem to stretch the input accuracy of the iPhone. For instance, there’s a game that asks you to touch three onscreen buttons at the same time. The game grades you on how many microseconds pass between when your first finger hits a button and your last. Can the iPhone, or the game, read your taps that quickly?
Also, micro-game collections work great as party games, so it’s unfortunate that there’s no multiplayer mode. Sure, you can take turns on the games and hand the phone around to other people, but a competitive multiplayer mode would make it even better.
Even still, Hardest Game Ever offers a fun, challenging, and surprisingly intense gameplay experience. If you don’t mind a challenge, it will raise your heart rate and keep you coming back for more.