Some people say that IABO is difficult – hellish difficult. Indeed, it is meant to be. The difficulty in IABO is a tribute to some of my favorite games: games that hit you in the face from the start. It is not without reason that I always play any Tales on hard mode. Difficult games are that fun – and the sensation of achievement of playing hard games is incomparable to easy games.
A game that greatly inspired me was SuperHexagon. And, to this day, I’ve never beat it. Not even in its hard/easy mode. Why? Well, many reasons. Distraction mainly, clumsiness, bad device. Oh well. But I’ve played it a lot. I never gave up on it. To this day, I play it almost everyday. I even paid for it twice, to have it in two different devices, and not for a single moment I thought the game wasn’t worth my time for being overly hard. On the contrary. I know I have lots of things to gain from playing SuperHexagon (in the same way I think people have a lot to gain from playing IABO, like migraines and reduced eyesight). I played SuperHexagon so many times that I think I’ve memorized the pattern of the walls – or have the illusion of having memorized those, a side effect from playing too much. And so, I know exactly what you have to do to beat it.
This post is sort of a manifesto pro hard games and a story the elder of the village tells the full-of-hormones teenage hero who will go in an adventure. You, my reader, will do what I never could.
STEP 1: Changing your mindset
You are not playing SuperHexagon. You are SuperHexagon. SuperHexagon is an extention of your soul, mind, and body. Yes. You are the small triangle lost in the middle of other convex polygonal shapes trying to find a place in this world that won’t hit you in the face. The tiny triangle on the screen is an extention of your body, the metonym of your thoughts: you came from it, you’ll eventually return to it. Then smash against a wall and restart.
STEP 2: Trust your coordination
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Humans are great learners, and to this day we’ve managed to drive, pilot and control the most unbelievable machinery, like small cards and a few yokai hunting girls. We are able to extend our precision to much more than arm lenght – be it to flip a pancake, be it to pilot an airplane and control the sweeps. The triangle is in the tip of your fingers. Control it the same way you drive, brush your teeth, slice a juicy steak. It is as natural as this.
STEP3: Don’t think of anything else
Clean your mind. Focus on the even-changing colors of the convex polygons. Let them enter your eyes. You know you are concentrated enough when your brain starts to figure out triangles, squares and other shapes where they don’t exist. Also when your sight start to get blurred and/or you get double-vision. Also death.
STEP 4: Let the music absorb you
chipzel has provided great tunes for SuperHexagon. Let them fill your soul, even if you are not into chip music (you’ll be soon). And feel the rage when you die and the song stops. This will motivate you to continue: you want to listen to the song from beginning to end. You will keep on trying until you listen to it entirely!
STEP 5: Move one pixel to the left
You can never be too confident about that triangles dimensions. Although by now – I believe – it has already become an extension of your body, you may be fooled by the other shapes. Never trust too much. If you do, you will bump into the wall and it will be game over. It is a matter of pixels: that 1px distance means your life, your effort, your humanity. Avoiding it by moving to the left (or right depending on the situation you are in).
STEP 8: Embrace simplicity
Practice makes perfect. I believe that you, reader, as my pupil, will heed my advice and follow suit, accomplishing, in the end, what I could not. You must carry on my teachings, spreading knowledge among those who were unable to beat SuperHexagon. Perhaps fate can be changed with them.
On a related side note, IABO cannot be beaten.