• Crota’s End Attempts
  • Low-score run - Super Mario Bros
  • Extreme Randomizer Nuzlocke – Pokémon series
  • No-Sword Link in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Inverted controls (Any game with camera controls)
  • Nothing Goes Right (sports, racing, FPS)
  • Mike Myers on CoD (any FPS)
  • Halo Teabag Competition
  • Against the clock clean-up on Dynasty Warriors

So, you think you’ve mastered Super Mario, you’re the sharpest shooter on CoD, you’ve beaten Ocarina of Time so many times you can recite every line of dialogue. What if we told you there are countless secret games residing within your favourite platformers and FPS titles waiting to be played, each more fun and challenging than the next. Innovative gamers have ensured that no matter how good we get, there’s always a new challenge to be faced.

Against the Clock Clean-Up on Dynasty Warriors

The Dynasty Warriors series is renowned for giving the player the ability to plough through ranks and ranks of useless peons using elaborate and exciting combos and ridiculous special attacks. However, the main aim of the games is to win a battle of supremacy over the field by capturing bases and fulfilling story-telling missions to get through each battle, forming a compelling chronology along the way. Other than the range of difficulty settings the games have to offer, by far the most thrilling way to make the game more challenging is to go up against the clock – not to get to the end of the mission, but to completely pulverise your enemy until there’s nothing left. We call this the Against the Clock Clean-Up, and it’s a great way to add a twist to just about any high-enemy-density hack and slash game.

Teabag Tournament on Halo

This is a multiplayer game that should be familiar to most if not all Halo players by now, featuring the ultimate act of gaming humiliation, the teabag.

The aim of this game is to team up with a buddy and see who can rack up the most consecutive teabags – not kills, just teabags – without dying. You may find it hard to deal with the shame of causing more serious players to ragequit at your antics, but that will pass, and you’ll soon be fully focused on that teabag count.

Highest score wins.

Mike Myers on Call of Duty

Call of Duty is a relatively simple game, but takes a lot of skill, and sometimes it’s just not fun being the worst player in the lobby, but thankfully there’s a way for friends to kick back and have some low-stress, high-excitement fun. 

Mike Myers is a fancy name for Hide and Seek. Most often played in a private game, all players but one must hide while the seeker, Mike Myers… seeks.

But there’s another twist, the only weapon allowed is your trusty knife.

Play ‘Nothing Goes Right’ on Mario Kart

Next time you’re challenged to a game of Mario Kart, make it interesting with a new set of self-imposed rules. Set up the game however you wish, because in ‘Nothing Goes Right’ there is only one additional rule: you are not allowed to turn left.

Sounds crazy, and it is. It’s a fun and appropriately frustrating way to win against your friends, but once you get the hang of doing 360s and wall-bouncing to veer left, it’s immense fun.

If you find it hard to resist pushing the analogue stick west, you can use tape to prevent it from moving in that direction.

The beauty of the rule is that it can be enforced in any game with an element of direction, so if you and your gaming significant other have vowed not to play Mario Kart any more, there are plenty more games to choose from.

Inverted Controls

Since the birth of home consoles, the FPS genre, and camera controls, it was the first thing most gamers checked when loading up a new game: whether the Y-axis and X-axis controls are set up ‘correct’, or in ‘god awfully wrong, how in hell can anyone play like this?’ mode.

Most gamers, however, don’t consider how much fun they could be having, challenging themselves by using the control settings they do not like.

Ocarina of Time Uber Challenge

The Legend of Zelda series offers some of the most replayable story based games the world has ever known, including but not limited to the seminal N64 title, Ocarina of Time. Nowadays, most fans can pick up this game and play it for the same leisure as reading a great book, reliving all the excitement, romance and tension of the first time, but none of the challenge.

Luckily, the internet has stepped in to bring back the feeling of those head scratching days of the past, with a set of self-imposed rules that collectively make up the ‘Uber Challenge’.

These rules include limiting yourself to the use of a broken weapon, avoiding useful items, upgrades, and not dying, while ensuring you complete some of the most challenging aspects of the game, and remember that you’re not allowed to enter the Forest Temple at all, intended to be the first temple, until you’ve completed the Shadow Temple, which is intended to be the last.

To beat this ultimate challenge, you’ll be required to execute a host of glitches and in-game tricks without the use of mods, making the Uber Challenge a completely different kind of game about precision, timing and forward planning.

Crota’s End Attempts on Destiny

The Destiny community is certainly a patient, creative, and innovative bunch, always finding new ways to supercharge the difficulty of the game with self-imposed rules and meta-challenges. From blindfolded runs to using the Rock Band drum kit, to a no-gun-run of The Dark Below raid Crota’s End, every Destiny update has led to incredible feats by fans.

The challenge here is not necessarily about beating the raid, but finding creative ways to make it as challenging as possible while still completing it. Everyone seems to have their own way of making the limited Destiny content replayable and infinitely challenging, which is a fantastic way for dedicated fans to keep the Destiny flame alive whilst waiting for the next update. 

Pokémon Extreme Randomizer Nuzlocke

Pokémon games are an incredible journey, from picking your first Pokémon partner, growing together, defeating criminal organisations, becoming the champion. There’s definitely something to be said for the bond between trainer and Pokémon.

A Nuzlocke challenge is a set of self-imposed rules that not only make the game more challenging, but also enhance the emotional journey. There are different variations, but the basic principle is that you are only allowed to catch the first Pokémon that appears in each area, and if one of your Pokémon faints you must deposit it in a PC box named ‘graveyard’. It may be hard, but it adds an extra degree of risk to the game that can make it more intense, varied, and more fun.

Apart from the Pokémon themselves, knowledge is the one thing any serious Pokémon trainer holds dear. Knowledge of type match-ups, knowledge of stats, knowledge of moves, and knowledge of your opponent are what allow a trainer to create a winning strategy to out-predict and out-perform the foe, and come out on top.

Now imagine all that knowledge before you, burning to crisp, as every Pokémon, its moves and its type, is regenerated completely at random. You’ll have to relearn a new type match-up system, as well as which moves Pokémon will learn as they level up. You may think it sounds easy to keep track of which types, moves, and Pokémon have been substituted for each other, but breaking out of old habits is actually much harder than you’d think. 

And there you have the Extreme Randomizer Nuzlocke, a wild emotional ride driven by counter-intuitive randomized chaos – what’s not to love about this challenge?

Low-Score Mario Run

When it comes to challenges like these, the gaming community really lives up to its nerdy reputation. While casual gamers were focused on racking up big points on their favourite current gen titles, a certain Super Mario Bros (NES) fan and YouTuber, NotEntireleySure, spent their summer practicing how to get the lowest possible score, 500 points.

This requires collecting no coins, defeating no enemies, and finishing every level with 00:00 remaining on the clock, right at the bottom of the flagpole. One of the most difficult challenges in this run is a jump on world 8-1, which requires the playing to jump over a large pit without collecting any of the floating coins. The jump has to be pixel-perfect, which means at the NES frame rate of 60 frames per second, the inputs must be executed within 1/60 of a second. It’s safe to say this is a pretty challenging run.

How low can you go?

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