Super Win the Game is a nostalgic, open-ended platformer with one hell of a visual hook
An email from David Pittman after my article on Eldritch the other day alerts me to Minor Key's Super Win the Game, sequel to their 2012 freeware title You Have to Win the Game. If you can't recall it, or you've never heard of it, YHTWTG is a platformer with a curvy, scanliney visual filter reminiscent of the chunky monitors of yore. It looks absolutely lovely, as you can see here. Sequel Super Win the Game retreats even further from HD, by sporting an (optional) CRT TV effect. It's a warm, nostalgic-looking game, with a trusting, open-ended structure that reminds me of the NES Legend of Zelda titles. I'm pretty damned excited about it.
I've played a bit, and while the CRT effect's default settings seem a little aggressive (at least compared to the TV sets I had growing up), you can tweak every element of the visual filter with an extensive selection of settings, or turn it off entirely if you'd prefer the raw pixels. Compared to similar filters I've come across while doing my free games column, however, Super Win the Game's TV effects are top notch, and evocative of my days gaming on a 8-bit system through an RF cable back in the day.
Visuals aside, I'm a fan of how open-ended the game seems. After an optional tutorial, you're dumped in a rather sizeable world and left to figure things out on your own, with plenty of towns full of NPCs, short platforming stages, and bigger dungeon-ish locations to explore. I'm reminded most of the original Legend of Zelda, although owing to the sidescrolling perspective I'd say there's a bit of the sequel in there too.