There are video games for everyone out there, something to please any player no matter what it is that they might be looking for. One of the things that is constantly debated within the world of video games is the concept of difficulty, as well as whether developers should be adding in enough difficulty options for everyone to enjoy their game at whatever speed they might choose.
However, if it was up to us there would be some games out there that would be erased from history so that we would never have to think about them, so difficult that it was physically impossible to get through them without a guide. There is nothing fun about having someone hold our hand through an experience, so it's no surprise that we don't find games that seem to demand we use a guide any fun either.
What we've done is pull together some games that are physically impossible to complete or enjoy without a guide. Either they're so difficult or so obtuse that their entertainment value is null and void if nobody is explaining to us exactly what we should be doing, which goes against everything video games should be about!
So, if people are ready, we think it's about time to name and shame that games that need a guide to be finished. People who are looking for an easy and enjoyable time should definitely stay away, so consider this list somewhat of a warning to those out there that don't like to use a guide while they play video games.
25 Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
As different design choices have become expected within the world of video games, it can be very surprising to go back to games like this that perform so many cardinal sins that it is almost impossible to play them with how we currently look at video games. That being said, even at the time a lot of people felt that this game went too far, essentially making it impossible for players to get through to the end without a lot of inside knowledge that would make no sense to somebody that has played normal video games up until this point!
24 Dark Souls
Some people out there will argue that it's possible to beat this game without having to ever look up anything, and while that probably is true, it will add about five hours of pointless guesswork onto the game that just isn't needed. We're not saying that people should use a walkthrough to find out exactly where to go or how to beat a boss, but an hour or two on the wiki before starting the game wouldn't go amiss. There is a certain way to play these games so once somebody has played through one, they'll be able to go through the rest without a guide.
Okay, so in our opinion this game was just straight up unfair, expecting us to be able to figure out exactly what the developer was thinking at the time, rather than offering genuinely intuitive puzzles. The story and a stubborn nature were enough to make sure that some people managed to get to the end of this without having to look at a guide, but anybody that wanted to complete this game without throwing their computer screen out of the window pretty much had to try and find a guide wherever they could get it!
For us, this was one of the first games we ever played that taught us video games could be something interesting, that they didn't have to follow the rules that had been put in place by everything before it. While it definitely laid down the foundation for a lot of different games to come along in the future, the sort of things that are moving video games forward as an artistic medium, there's no denying that some of the problems that people had to get around in this game were pretty impossible without somebody telling us how to do it.
21 Super Pitfall
We know that pretty much every publication gave this game a bad review, but for many different reasons, which is definitely never a good sign! However, one of the universal issues that people have with this game is how vague it manages to be, not offering people a chance to fully figure out what they need to do. In fact, before people even bother looking up a guide they're more than likely to end the game in frustration. It's as if this game doesn't even want to be played with the way that it ends the player's life at every single turn.
There are a lot of people out there that have got a lot of fun from this game, but we think that everyone would agree that the only way to properly get into it is to have either a friend that already knows what they're doing or a guide open during the first few hours. We're not saying that it's impossible for us to have fun with this one, but there is something that puts us off the idea of starting a game that expects a certain amount of commitment to learning the mechanics within it without actually telling us what any of those mechanics are!
19 The Legend Of Zelda
This game was the start of something huge, the beginning to a series that continues to impress people to this day, and we can only imagine they didn't know that when they first released it. One of the things that Miyamoto wanted to create with this game was a sense of exploration that the player could go through on their own, but we would argue that the developers might have gone a little too far... We think that Breath Of The Wild ended up doing a better job, but then everything is better if made with retrospect isn't it!
A lot of the people that played this game in recent times found themselves coming up against a puzzle that seems impossible, with the game expecting the player to come up with a three digit code that nobody had anyway of finding out. Believe it or not, but there were some people who, back in the day, spent their day just trying every single different series of digits before they found the right one. Imagine how upset they must have been when they found out it a was an early type of copy protection and they should've had the code in the manual.
There is pretty much nobody out there that managed to get to the ending of this game without some kind of help, as it genuinely asks quite a lot from the player. Most Metroidvania games only need players to find various new items so that they can progress in the game, while this one actually wants people to solve riddles as they go through the game. Honestly, we think this game is so difficult that we don't think anyone should be ashamed to admit that they needed help to make it to the end!
16 Gabriel Knight 3
What we have here is one of the most infamous puzzles in point and click history, as it expects the player to guess an insane sequence of solutions that people just wouldn't be able to come up with off the top of their heads. In fact, we cannot believe that any developer managed to come up with it in the first place, but the fact that they decided to then inflict this twisted logic on the public is ridiculous to say the least. Seriously, go and look up a walkthrough for this one and type in cat. It'll come up and people won't believe it.
15 Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon
We're not saying that people can't finish this game to the end, but we will say that a guide will be needed by anyone that wants to try and find all of the collectible cards found within. Other Metroidvanias like Symphony Of The Night expect players to get things right if they want to see everything that the game has to offer, which can't be said for this game in particular. That being said, we would not wish on anyone having to find all of these cards without a guide, as that will definitely takes years off someone's life!
14 Grim Fandango
We wouldn't be surprised to find out that some people will genuinely be annoyed to find this one on the list, as nostalgia will always blind us from the truth, but if people actually went back to play this game now they would find a mess of incredibly difficult puzzles. Some of them make very little sense, and while it is definitely in the pantheon of important narrative games that moved the point and click genre forward, there's no denying that many of the puzzles found within the game have genuinely no logic to them at all.
Well before everyone was used to the various subversive ways that technology could be used to enhance a video game or its narrative, this Sega Genesis game was breaking the mind of every child that got to the end, by expecting them to guess that they should reset the console to get to the last level of the game. Don't get us wrong, we actually think it's pretty amazing that they put this into the game back in the day, but cannot believe that anybody figured out that this was the solution without using a guide.
12 Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Anybody that has played this game will know that it offers up a type of story and gameplay that many can't find in other types of RPGs, but that doesn't change the fact that a lot of people struggled to get to the end of the game once they found themselves on a boat. At first, the addition of this mechanic is exciting as it really opens up the world of the game, but it also means that the players are forced to navigate a huge number of areas that were previously kept away from them, making it borderline impossible to figure out where they needed to go next!
We've already spoke about how difficult Myst was, and being the sequel to that game, it would appear that the developers felt they had to increase the difficulty even more to live up to the expectations that were created by Myst. We would find it genuinely impossible to believe anyone that told us they were able to get to the end of Riven without having to use a guide at least once. There was just too much included in the game that asked the player to figure out things that had never been properly outlined to them!
10 The Witness
Ever since Myst and Riven came out, not many games have tried to take on the genre as it can be incredibly difficult to get right, with many people refusing to play a game that seems unable to properly explain to the player what it is that they're supposed to be doing! However, The Witness is absolutely beautiful to look at and a lot of the puzzles on show here only take a certain amount of basic logic to get right, so we imagine that a lot more people played The Witness than ever did Myst. That's not to say any less used a guide to get to the end though!
9 Takeshi's Challenge
Video games are an odd medium, as they are still relatively young when compared to every other form of entertainment out there, meaning that we have seen a lot of experimentation within a short amount of time. For example, in this game, the player is expected to sing into a microphone on the controller to get through a part where the main character finds themselves in a karaoke bar. Yes, everyone did read that right, even though it sounds unlike anything that a developer would choose to put into a game...
8 Starship Titanic
There are a lot of video games out there that try and be funny, but very few of them actually manage to write anything that gets people laughing at the screen. Well, this game was hilarious, written by two brilliant comedy minds, but that doesn't change the fact that the puzzles were hugely punishing, with many people struggling to find the game funny once they have to struggle through some of the puzzles found within... We don't think that anyone got to enjoy all of the comedy found within this game without using a guide!
7 Vagrant Story
Many people like to think of Dark Souls and other modern games when they start discussing video games that aren't technically difficult, but purposefully keep information away from the players to increase the difficulty. Those who have been following video games for a long time know that games like Vagrant Story have been doing it for a while, never giving the player enough information to make sure they're ready for the next enemy. Without a guide, it can be incredibly frustrating to figure out what to do next...
While we imagine there were a lot of people who managed to complete this game without a guide back in the day, we refuse to believe that any modern gamers have managed to do the same thing! It expects so much guess work that people born these days just wouldn't have the same amount of patience needed to complete the game without a guide. Sure, kids back in the day may have drawn their own maps and spent hours bombing random areas to progress, but kids these days definitely won't be doing that anytime soon!
5 The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Okay, so unlike the rest of the games on this list that need a guide due to their puzzle or combat difficulty, this text adventure was actually purposefully made to be difficult. It was written to be funny in many ways, so we don't want to spoil anything at all, so we think that everyone should give this one a go if they never have done before. However, we will say that we doubt anyone will be able to make it through every single puzzle without the help of a guide, and we doubt that the creators had anything else in mind.
4 Jet Force Gemini
We're sure that a lot of people played this game back in the day, and while they were able to get through a huge amount of the game, getting right to the end meant that the player had to go on a real backtrack through the game, collecting a bunch of things that may have been missed on the first time through the game. We know that some people are willing to put up with a lot more things than others are, but we cannot believe that anybody was willing to try and collect everything in this game without at least the help of a basic guide.
There aren't many horror games out there that demand the player use a guide, as they often come with fairly good combat and some alright puzzles, but sadly this isn't true of every single horror game out there! Anyone that played the original Siren on PS2 will know that there were some objectives in this game that seemed purposefully made to require a guide, with obtuse reasoning and secondary objectives. Often though, these things were needed to unlock further scenarios within the game, rather than just offering extra challenge to those that wanted it!
2 Digimon World
It's no wonder that so many people never bothered playing a game like Digimon World, as Pokémon offered up a chance to play something better and much more simple! The evolution process was very difficult to get our heads around, and it being a badly coded game, some people found that even when they did what was needed of them they still wouldn't end up with the result that they wanted! Rather than turn to this game with a guide, we say that people should probably just stick with the far better pocket monsters game.
1 Dwarf Fortress
While this game isn't well known to those who mainly stick with mainstream games, even most of the people that have heard of the game have never actually played the thing because of the amount of effort that it takes to actually get into it. Seriously, it is physically impossible for anybody to get into this game without a guide, as it's so complex that people won't be able to get their heads around it without something telling them exactly what can be done and how they get it done. Somebody that wants a challenge should give this one a look, but turn up with a guide.