Creator: Derf

Average Rating
7.9 / 10
Average Difficulty
57.3 / 100
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Needle (21) 50_floor (2) Visual_Challenge (4) Art (1) Sudoku (1) 65_diff (1) but_you_might (1) need_to_cancel (1)


  • by Emmanating
  • by DerpyHoovesIWBTG
  • by Emmanating
  • by DerpyHoovesIWBTG
  • by DerpyHoovesIWBTG
  • by DerpyHoovesIWBTG

Creator's Comments:

TheNewDerf [Creator]
Hey -- I appreciate everyone who has taken time to leave feedback, even though I don't make games anymore.

Just to clear up a common observation on XIFT: this game was part of a larger structure of games which all had certain states of mind as their theme. This game's theme was anxiety. That's the reason why the saves are invisible (to keep players in a state of unease), and it's the reason why the visuals force the player to constantly focus on reading the spikes, instead of passively relying on knowing their shape. These decisions clearly have quality-of-life drawbacks (as with most of the games I made, I was to a certain degree trying to alienate the player), but at the time I felt they were justified to make a unique experience which was different to a normal 50-floor needle game.

You can make your own mind up as to whether or not this was a worthwhile trade-off (just because these decisions were intentional doesn't mean they were good design choices for you, of course). I just wanted to leave this here for the people who think these decisions were thoughtless or arbitrary. Nothing in my games was ever thoughtless--even if a lot of what I made didn't work out the way I wanted it to, and in a lot of respects failed. I was a teenager, and a novice--but I was always passionate about fangames. I think a lot of people were like that, and that's part of the joy of the community.

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[14] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
Sep 14, 2019

62 Reviews:

Okay it just dawned on me that I somehow didn't review this game at some point. I went and did another playthrough just to make sure everything I planned on saying in this review was accurate. To cut to the chase, XIFT is, in my opinion, one of the best fangames ever made, if not THE best. Everything about this game screams style in their own regards, but when put together forms an incredibly unique experience that anyone into needle should play at some point. For the majority of the game, you traverse through abstract hazardous shapes, rather than generic spikes most needle games use. The creative "spike art" in this game are complimented extremely well by the equally alien soundtrack and visual style. The visual style as well as music changes every act, but still feels unified. This release feels largely similar to the previous version of the game that came bundled with Holocene Juveniliax, but improves a couple of screens by making jumps feel slightly less tedious or precise. The only change between this release and the original version that I do not like is the different song in Act 3. The new song is fine, but doesn't really feel like it fits the game as well as the original song. I can understand why it was changed, as the original song had a bit of loud static at one point in the song which startled a lot of players. That said, I personally think the replacement song could've been better. Aside from that my only complaint is that a couple of jumps, especially in the latter half of the game, feel a bit out of place in terms of difficulty/precision. There are two jumps in particular that come to mind in the penultimate stage with a fairly precise and slightly annoying final jump.

With those minor flaws in mind, this game is about as close to perfect as a needle game can get. If you play needle and haven't given this one a try, you're doing yourself a disservice.

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Tagged as: Needle
[3] Likes
Rating: 9.8 98       Difficulty: 55 55
Apr 25, 2018
A genuinely perfect game.

The other 100s I've given on this site were purely because they were the best at doing what they were set out to do. I still may have had my minor gripes with them, but generally it wasn't because they were perfect, but because they were the best at doing their job. This one, on the other hand, was quite literally the most visually stunning, aesthetically appealing, and the most fun I've ever had in a stand-alone platformer.

The premise is already quite unique, the story is never truly explained, the graphics and aesthetics are almost intentionally trippy to take you out of any form of logic and put you in single screen abominations where the only option is to dive deeper. The jumps are beyond unique, they are one of a kind. The structures are slightly less tight than they look due to bigger borders. The addition of autosave would've been risky if not for the careful and meticulous spread of them. Every time it felt like there should be a save, there was one, without exception. Above all else this game is completely balanced in keeping its skill curve almost entirely increasing at a steady pace, almost never getting overwhelming.

You probably wouldn't even realize that this game is a 50 floor game, simply because it does not feel like it whatsoever. It feels like a cohesive journey, it feels like a constant trip, it feels like it should never end. The soundtrack keeps you there, diving deeper and deeper, and with every time you dive, the visuals get ever so chaotic.

I feel I have said all I possibly could without repeating myself more than I already have. Play. This. Damn. Game.

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[2] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 51 51
Oct 5, 2023
A game that starts off fairly enjoyable but gets progressively worse, culminating in a final stage that sacrifices fun for precision.

Pretty much every unconventional design aspect hindered my ability to have fun. Maybe other players are less picky about quality-of-life concerns, but for someone like myself, QoL is a huge part of my enjoyment.

If you're on the fence about trying it, first consider the following:

- Saves are invisible and automatic;
- You have no control over where the kid respawns;
- Blood lingers long after death, coating spikes and obstructing their perimeter;
- The visuals become increasingly obtuse as you progress, with the last stage even having invisible blocks on which to stand;
- Floating vines are an integral part to the platforming in later stages; and
- Many jumps require low frame inputs, making things easier if you can jump cancel.

Avoid this game like the plague if these harm your fun.

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Tagged as: Needle Visual_Challenge
[2] Likes
Rating: 4.5 45       Difficulty: 60 60
Jun 29, 2022
Aesthetics and music choices are great (especially stage 4's song), however the needle feels lacking. most of it suffers from what most needle from this era of fangames suffers from, which is a compulsion to be super off-grid and trying to invent new spike placements without necessarily inventing new jumps, or having any regard for how fun or enjoyable a jump is in the first place. Despite this, the needle is fairly enjoyable, or at least I had a fun time with it. I definitely abused numpad cancels for this and I might not have needed to though. My main issue with this game is that the core concept, that being the anxiety created by not knowing when the next save is, falls completely and utterly flat. every screen follows roughly the same formula, of 2-3 precise jumps per save, with the save ALWAYS coming right after or right before a difficult jump. I always was able to accurately guess where the saves are due to how predictable and safe the balancing was. I think this mostly comes as a secondary side effect of the needle design. This concept would work far, far better with long consistency based saves, made up of easier, more lenient jumps. With the style of needle used here however, having longer or more unpredictable save placement would have skyrocketed the difficulty, and it seems that the core concept of the game was sacrificed rather than the design of the needle, which is unfortunate to say the least. Some of the most egregious cases involve single jump saves, and there were only 3 saves that caught me off guard by not giving me a save when I thought I would have received one. All 3 of these instances occurred in stage 5, and 2 of them were 4 jump linear corridors that I expected to be 2 jump saves but instead were 4 jump saves. The final instance was the final screen, which I suspect was a 1 save screen but I don't know because I first tried everything after the 4th jump since it was all very very easy.

No rating given, because I don't wish to align myself with the low ratings (who complain about trivial things or complain about the parts of the game that are (or could have) made it great, such as the unusual visuals and the main idea behind the saves), nor do I think this game really deserves a low rating, since that usually indicates a poor experience. This game is still fun, bottom line. I just think the primary idea and emotion it tried to communicate through gameplay completely and utterly failed.

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Tagged as: 65_diff but_you_might need_to_cancel
[2] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: 65 65
Sep 16, 2021
Rating based on the Holocene Juveniliax version, but with commentary that applies to both versions.
Yes, I know, rating a game based on an old version is definitely not fair, specially when the new version is public and available for everyone. Normally, I would clear the entire game in the new version all over again, but I'm getting too old. Not as in actually old, like I can barely lift my fingers to press "jump", but too old to put this much effort into a game I've already cleared. I'd rather be playing a new fangame. So I did more or less the same thing I did with "I wanna let oneself relax" and played a good chunk of the new version, just enough to make sure my review still applies. When I say "rating based on", I'm talking about the numbers only. Alright? Now let's talk about the game.
This is an amazing needle game. The aesthetics are perfect, and gameplay-wise the needle is pretty good too. Plenty of creative jumps and unique layouts all around. Stages 3 and 4, in particular, were amazing in both regards. However, it does have some issues. The two main issues I found were the nature of some jumps themselves, and the level design overall. Most jumps feel intuitive, and even though they are precise, you just know the inputs you need to get past them. But notice how I said "most". Some jumps only allow a certain sequence of inputs, even though others look just as alright. It feels like I'm playing a L-game (Or Yuki Spike on Frantic). Which isn't actually bad by itself, but makes the second point even worse. The atrocious idea that no one ever called for, but some makers still have for some reason, of placing the hardest jumps at the end of long saves. From the original version to the new version, I feel like both problems were toned down quite a bit, but they still exist. And whenever they are present, you can be certain that the needle related to them is going to be cancer. Last save, for example, seems to remain an unchanged abomination.
Other minor issues exist as well. Namely, floating vines are definitely not the most intuitive fangame mechanic around, and the game doesn't quite give you a chance to get used to them. It just throws them at you and good luck. Besides, invisible touch saves have some drawbacks. Because they're invisible, you don't ever know when can you relax. And if you don't know that, you'll need to stay focused from the beginning to the end, which does not work well with this game's length and trippy visual style. And because they're touch saves, there's the risk of backtracking every now and then. Enhanced by the fact that you don't see the areas you need to avoid should you fall. It's just not a good idea.

[NEW SECTION] I thought I should add a portion about the atmosphere as well. The author says that the game's lack of saves was intended to give off a feeling of anxiety, and many people report that he succeeded. Personally, the only feeling that the lack of saves gave me was that of annoyance. Maybe that's why my experience was worse than many others'. Maybe my brain just missed the point. I just wanted to leave extra feedback noting that the feeling of anxiety this game is renowed for giving off is not ubiquitous. You might not feel it at all and, if you don't, your experience might not be the greatest. I've scrolled down the reviews, I know I'm not the only one either.

I spoke a lot of the negatives, but they only affect a small portion of an otherwise amazing game. However, the small portions they affect do require a higher amount of attempts, so you might spend longer than you'd like to in them. Which is why, I can't give this game as much of a high rating as I wanted to. Still, it's a game I would certainly recommend.

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Tagged as: Needle
[2] Likes
Rating: 8.0 80       Difficulty: 65 65
Jul 21, 2019