Naser Al Wasmi (Senior Reporter): Are you ready to die? Because you’re going to die a lot in Dark Souls. This third-person action banger from FromSoftware reminded the industry that they’ve gone soft and reintroduced what it meant for a game to be difficult.
Ian Oxborrow (Homepage Editor): The Jungle Book on the Super Nintendo. It may have been early days in my video gaming journey, but for the life of me I couldn’t beat Kaa the snake – an end of level boss. Annoyingly, it was near the start of the game too. I was aware that other people were having the same problem, but this was before the time when you could simply go on the internet and access a walkthrough guide.
Michael Coetzee (Sub Editor): Part of the opening of The Witcher 2 was incredibly hard in the game’s original form. I died a lot before becoming more adept with my sword. The game was updated with a tutorial zone and difficulty tweaks, but I miss the tough, almost Dark Souls-esque challenge of those original first few minutes.
Cody Combs (Social Media Journalist): PaperBoy, this game plagued my childhood. I loved and yet hated it all at once. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever completed the obstacle course at the end of the game. I’m also still perplexed by the awkward layout of the game. That said, who doesn’t like throwing newspapers at fictional homes? It’s still a fun game, but equally frustrating.
Simon Wilgress-Pipe (Online Editor): Alan Wake, Xbox 360. Never have I played a game where I couldn’t even get past the training section on the most basic level. Tragic.
Naser Al Wasmi (Senior Reporter): The Witness, this cryptic, deeply engaging title drops you off on an island and gives you nothing else. The game is like nothing I’ve ever played. Part puzzle game, part interactive language course, the story unfolds in the environment as you progress through increasingly more difficult puzzles. The language you learn is not spoken but one completely devised of geometric cues that lead to hints in the game. The late game puzzles will challenge you by drawing on all the lessons learnt from former puzzles, all the while making you question what you’re doing with your life.
Faisal Salah (Social Media Journalist): Mortal Kombat 3. Picture this: a six-year-old me completely taken by the realistic imagery and fighting style of a game I could only watch others play. Finally, I manage to get my hands on a Sega genesis cartridge. The level of difficulty I was struck with completely shattered me. I wanted to get better, I wanted to beat the ladder, but alas, I would have to wait some 15 years to do that.
Louise Burke (Online Editor): Canasta, my Dutch Oma (grandmother) loved playing the fiendishly complicated card game which rose to fame in the early 1950s and appears to have since shrunk in popularity along with our attention spans. I could never get my head around the rules, but maybe I should have tried harder.
Michael Coetzee (Sub-Editor): The first Prince of Persia (1989) was hard for a kid back in the day, especially before online guides or videos. I did eventually finish it after stumbling on a guide in a mid-1990s games magazine and set aside a day to accomplish the task.