This unhinged browser game about passwords is the most messed up thing I've ever played

A screenshot of The Password Game and Rule 5 which reads: The digits in your password must add up to 25.
(Image credit: Neal Agarwal)

As we've folded more and more of our lives into the internet, our need for grand fortress passwords has increased. Hackers are a lot smarter now! No more one-word passwords, using our own names or even having the gall to simply use "password" as the secret code to all our virtual earthly possessions. Most sites these days have some pretty strict requirements for passwords, but what if this was taken to the absolute extreme?

This is where the evilest will-breaking browser game to exist has manifested. The Password Game left me a lesser woman, a shell of myself. Created by Neal Agarwal, motivated by what I can only assume is some twisted desire to see the world burn, the goal is to create a password with increasingly maniacal rules. Rules that, by Agarwal's own admission, "ensure [he] will never see the pearly gates."

See more

It starts off simple enough. My password has to be enough characters, that's understandable. Add a number? Okay, yeah, can't let those pesky cyberthieves steal what little money is left in my bank account. Very standard password rules here. Then, little by little, the game becomes more unhinged. I had to solve today's Wordle, a game I have not touched since it was bought by The New York Times. I had to solve a chess problem with the correct notation. I had to play a mini version of Geoguessr and look up the periodic table for god's sake! My Google history is an absolute shambles after today.

Every rule is wickedly chaotic, leaving me to put my head in my hands and question why I'd volunteered to play this game in the first place. With each rule that gets added, I'm also forced to maintain every previous rule, too. Oops, I needed to add a number and now the total doesn't equal 25. Why are we still here… just to suffer? At one point I'm asked to write a self-affirmation and I stare blankly at my monitor, wondering if I'm being mocked after spending the preceding 40 minutes descending into madness.

I ended up succumbing to password death 24 rules in, to cruelty I haven't felt since Lisa the plant in Life is Strange. As for how many rules there are, I am yet to find out. The Password Game has bested me for now, but I'm determined to return and beat it. Who knows, maybe I'll use my creation on a future account to keep it super-duper secure. I just hope they're cool with emojis, bold fonts and YouTube URLs.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.