You Have to Win the Game

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You Have to Win the Game is a free platform adventure game developed by J. Kyle Pittman and released in 2012. The graphics and sound are designed to be retro (CGA and PC speaker) and the game play features the now common theme of placing save states all over the map. As you explore the region you must pick up bags of money and decipher the magic word and symbol. Over all, I enjoyed the game, but it did have a couple flaws.


I have beaten this game with 100% completion, though I needed a hint for the final puzzle.


  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: Windows


  • Despite being limited to single-screen maps and CGA graphics, the game is pretty attractive, and the maps are quite interesting.
  • I always enjoy seeing harder portions of the game when I'm still too weak to deal with them.
  • I like how each room had it's own name often with jokes, although some of them seemed unnecessary.
  • While there are some more complicated jumping puzzles, nothing ever became too frustrating.
  • The ability to display the game in a retro CRT monitor, or use EGA colors is a nice touch.


  • In general, there isn't much for the player to do. Other than the end puzzle, the entire game boils down to fairly simple jumping puzzles.
  • There is a fair amount of back-tracking. Each time you get a new power-up, you have to return to old areas to get the bags you missed.
  • The audio was a bit dull. Even limited to PC speaker, more effort could have been added.
  • With only a tiny amount of monsters, the game world seemed rather empty. It would have been nicer to see more living things in the game, like if the designer replaced some of the spikes with monsters or changed the platforms or moving walls to neutral monsters.
  • One of the room names actually points out an issue, the over-used contrived lock-and key progression mechanism. It would be better if the game used more power-ups to open larger areas of the map rather than generic platform fillers.


  • The lose option which resets your power-ups is dumb. All it does is force you to redo a large section of the map again for no real reason, and it's necessary if you want to get that last money bag.
  • The clues to identify the magic word are extremely vague and don't offer enough information to decipher it.