untitled needle game

Creator: unnamed_maker

Average Rating
8.5 / 10
Average Difficulty
83.1 / 100
[Download Not Available]


Adventure (1) Needle (8) Avoidance (3) Gimmick (4) Boss (1) Special (1) Noesis-Like (2) Based (1) Cycle (1)


  • by unnamed_maker
  • by unnamed_maker
  • by unnamed_maker
  • by unnamed_maker

Creator's Comments:

unnamed_maker [Creator]
At first it was easier
but when the testers said
"This is too difficult"
I made it even more difficult.

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[11] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
Dec 11, 2021

21 Reviews:

What I am about to admit is itself a bit of a spoiler for the game, but nonetheless I was given permission by the creator (who shall not be named directly in this review) to write this review, so here I am! I tested this game, which is more or less made evident by the fact that I am reviewing this game seeing as there's no way I would have cleared it the day of (strictly speaking, I could have, based on the time it took me to clear the game, but nonetheless it would not have been feasible, take my word for it), but all the same I wish to get that out of the way now. Obviously, this means I am going into this with a bit of bias, so to counteract that I've chosen to leave out a rating for the time being. At any rate, anything I say is not affected by my want for this game to succeed but instead is what I felt and thought when I played through the game. I'll refrain from describing much of the gameplay except for what is immediately accessible, but I don't think I have to rely on much more than that to begin with for this game.

(Also, I wasn't gonna give ratings, but Cthaere did and called me a bitch for not doing it so he forced my hand. Suffice it to say, I would have rated it a ten regardless of whether I tested it or not.)

untitled needle game is not so much a revelation as it is a continuation of what LAWatson set down in stone with I Wanna Vibe With the Gods. That, however, is not to say it is in any way derivative, merely that the game wears its inspirations on its sleeves - something I consider to be neither a positive nor a negative, merely a fact in and of itself. Vibe With the Gods was such an incredible game thanks to its ingenuity and intuitive gameplay which remains to this day one of the greatest forays into gimmick needle that this community has seen. untitled needle game, on the other hand, seeks to take a similar concept and push it to eleven. The gimmicks aren't as brain-melting, no, but instead they lose the intuition that Vibe was rife with, making this a much harder-to-penetrate game. Whereas Vibe saw you more or less immediately coming to grips with any given screen, untitled needle game asks that you give each stage the time it deserves and nothing less. There will certainly be moments of frustration, moments where you just wish everything was a bit easier or more kind to the player, but the game never relents. I experienced a lot of pain in my time throughout untitled needle game, a lot of strife and difficulty that really pushed me to my limits at points, but I could never really give up - not only because I was testing, of course, but because I just didn't want to do the game that disservice. Despite how difficult and inaccessible this game may be at times, it's never really pushing you away - it wants to make a relationship with you, at the end of the day, it's just that how it chooses to do so can lead to some tiring moments.

Yes, the biggest thing to know about untitled needle game is that it's hard, quite damn hard. Even the easiest stages took me a decent chunk of time and though I'm not exactly a legendary needle player, I'm no slouch by any means. For sure, some will likely have an easier time, but we do not dictate a game's difficulty by the outliers whom play it. At any rate, a lot of the game's difficulty comes not necessarily from execution (though that certainly plays a large factor in places), but instead through the learning phase of each stage. What I truly love about untitled needle game is that each stage is so vastly different from each other that they're all a cohesive experience in their own right, though all fitting neatly under the umbrella that is untitled needle game, but anyways the point of this being that anything you learn from one stage is applicable to that stage only, and the learning process for each stage will differ vastly depending on the person playing.

As an example, sleep dealer (the spring stage) is one that will be sure to raise some eyebrows and cause great irritation for some as it's a gimmick that sort of works against the way you want or expect it to work. Some may think of this as an inherent flaw, but I think it's a great example of the sheer genius of the game overall. Sure, it goes against what you expect, but if you let go of your expectations and just try to work with the gimmick, you'll find that it makes a lot more sense than you'd first think. Nonetheless, it took me a lot of time to let go of those expectations and so I spent a lot of my attempts in that stage simply dying left and right because I'd forget how the gimmick actually work or not be used to it - but eventually, I did get used to it, and I did come to really enjoy it. This stage was also the first one where I really came to understand part of what the game was going for.

Kale speaks on this in his Save My Boy review and it's a concept that was tossed around too with the release of Morning Dew, but there is certainly an argument to be made for struggle and memorability being more important than quality of gameplay. Personally, I will always come down on gameplay being more important, but at the end of the day, truly brilliant games are able to take both concepts and meld them together to make something truly genius. Morning Dew does so with the red hell stage, a stage which by all accounts should not work but it does, remaining fun to the end and being highly memorable, and of course the entire game was a case of struggling up the mountain for me. Crimson Needle 3 attempts this with 92 and the double diamond secret, although in the case of those games, it was also more a focus on what Kale could make players do to reach the end and while I think the experiment was more or less successful, I end up falling more negatively on it than others (all the same, the game overall works brilliantly with this concept of climbing the mountain as my true end clear remains one of my proudest achievements).

untitled needle game is more in the vein of Morning Dew, not necessarily surpassing it in terms of emotional value (certainly not for me, I have to admit), but I think surpassing it in terms of the quality of gameplay. What is just so immensely wonderful about this game is how damn angry it made me while still keeping me firmly on the side of "play the damn game!" I would give up at points, but I would never be able to let go forever because despite how emotional I got at times, I felt like it was on me and not on the game, like it was a failing of my own and that I needed to give it more time than I had - and in all cases, I was correct. No matter what, I would always in the end push through and feel such spectacular amounts of satisfaction. What untitled needle game seeks to do is to be memorable, at the end of the day it wants you thinking back on every bit, not forgetting a second of it; the game seeks to continually recreate these moments of climbing the mountain. The Witness attempted to recreate that eureka feeling with every puzzle, and so untitled needle game attempts to recreate that same feeling of outrageous happiness and pride at what you've accomplished with every stage. Sometimes it may feel completely insurmountable, but it's never impossible.

A phrase thrown around by the creator goes as such: "everyone will struggle, but everyone can clear," a phrase lambasted by some and simply dismissed by others, but I think it more or less exactly describes the relationship most will develop with this game if they give it the time of day. Thanks to how the game is designed at its core, there is not going to be anyone that will just sail through the game smoothly, everyone is going to have at least one or two stages that really give them a run for their money. Even the very best players are going to be stopped by at least one thing because execution is not the difficulty, coming to grips with a given gimmick is, and that is an innately impossible thing to be intrinsically great at when it comes to any sort of gimmick; yet, it's not like this game will be an impossible task for anyone to beat, either. Sure, you can't come in as a complete novice at this sort of game (a great test to know if you're ready in a mechanical sense for the game is if you can beat the first stage because that level of needle is more or less equal to what most of the game asks of you in respect to execution), but a majority of the community can come into this game expecting to clear it - it's just a matter of time, patience, and mental fortitude (this also means you can safely ignore any given difficulty rating because it really is impossible to say just how hard the game is seeing as it's never been so subjective as it is with this game).

What I wondered most during the course of playing this game was the relationship between media and the emotions it can make you feel. For a long time, I sort of scoffed at the idea that designing something with the sole intent of creating struggle and thus memorability was a silly concept essentially because I felt that if you were making something truly brilliant, you would still retain memorability and struggle alongside well-made gameplay. In the end, however, I think that is one of the limiting factors of video games as an artform, the expectation that it needs to be fun or enjoyable on a moment-to-moment basis. For some people, that is a hard-and-fast rule that can never be broken and, for the most part, I am in that same boat. All the same, untitled needle game was what it took for me to really understand and appreciate the fact that struggling with a game in what seems to be a negative way in the moment is not something that should in the end represent what you feel about the game; instead, what is far more important is what you feel by the end, and what did I feel by the end of untitled needle game?

Sheer, unbridled joy.

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Tagged as: Needle Gimmick
[23] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: N/A
Dec 11, 2021
[20] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: 64 64
Dec 12, 2021
I liked the first screen and if the whole game were like that it'd be pretty fun. As it stands though the gimmicks are really annoying and the more tame ones like the moving blocks and water areas are forcefully made harder by having long saves. Not for me.

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[13] Likes
Rating: 3.0 30       Difficulty: N/A
Feb 19, 2022
the north korea part was a bit scary

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Tagged as: Avoidance Special Based
[12] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 84 84
Dec 14, 2021
"What I am about to admit is itself a bit of a spoiler for the game, but nonetheless I was given permission by the creator (who shall not be named directly in this review) to write this review, so here I am! I tested this game, which is more or less made evident by the fact that I am reviewing this game seeing as there's no way I would have cleared it the day of (strictly speaking, I could have, based on the time it took me to clear the game, but nonetheless it would not have been feasible, take my word for it)".

I could not have put it better myself.

In any case, for me, this is the game morning dew was not.

Let me explain: For many people, morning dew is a long, arduous journey, one which can throw a curveball at any moment. It is a game that, at times, requires you to power through content that you may find nearly unbearable, often after hours of gameplay setting up the sunk cost fallacy trap. While these usually count against the game in many people's minds, they are also what makes it as special as it is. When you look back at it, it is something that while you're glad you've cleared, you're also somewhat relieved is over.

Such was not the case for me. In general, I found morning dew gameplay to go down quite smoothly, particularly the extremely wacky gimmicks, in which I excelled. There are only 2 points of strife (one of which I treasure dearly) and a handful of irritation, and neither managed to leave enough of an impact to make the game feel like what I've described above.

This game, however, is hard. From the beginning, with the tutorial mocking the inexperienced players daring to download this unprepared and the first screen of the game starting us off with a bit of serious yet creative jtool needle while being by far one of the easiest segments in the game, it is made abundantly clear. I have had my fair share of struggles, and am not afraid to admit I have abused debug keys more than once (although usually only once I have complained enough for the creator to agree to change the segment in the version I was playing at, including one extremely nasty end of save death that would have likely had me quit for at least a week had I played it without debug mode. To the game's credit, even after countless deaths to the final jump of what is undoubtedly the hardest save in the game, I was never tempted to cheat it). In this sense, I have had to mentally power through the game, although purely due to difficulty and learning factor concerns rather than due to wacky design choices. Throughout it all, though, I could not help but appreciate the game.

As most have deduced by now, especially those who have been following the handful of players who have gotten far enough to witness the full scope of the game, the vast majority of it tests the player on consistency. It is more common for a save to span multiple screens than not, which not only gets exponentially harder in length but also in learning factor, as no stage (aside from the first screen, if you really consider it that) consists of pure jtool needle. In this context, any mistake a player makes is going to hurt tenfold, and so any mistake the maker makes is going to hurt a thousandfold. Despite this, and the very much uncompromising style, the game manages to execute this concept in a way that is going to captivate anyone whose eyes are set of seriously grinding it, and while the struggle stays as real as ever, it has been quite rare for me to curse the maker rather than my own ability after an unfortunate death. This is a testament to the maker's skill that they have managed to pull it off as smoothly as they did at this difficulty level.

Now that the cards are (mostly) out in the open about the difficulty (heh, you thought I'd give it a rating and spoil how hard it truly gets? that'd just ruin the fun), I hope that those who can get past the initial difficulty barrier and have the mindset to clear a single stage would be able to continue to the end and find the game as excellent (if frustrating at times, although I do agree with marc that it helps build the emotional connection to it) as I did.

(edit to add: Shoutouts to Oneohtrix Point Never, particularly Replica. Go listen to it after playing this)

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Tagged as: Needle Gimmick
[12] Likes
Rating: 9.5 95       Difficulty: N/A
Dec 11, 2021