Schadenfreude is a powerful force; there’s something occasionally delightful about watching another human being walk into a wall of well-crafted, relatively harmless cruelty. Hence, perhaps, the inevitable pleasures of watching someone die over and over again in the following video, an excerpt from an admittedly, brilliantly devious iOS title called Trap Adventure 2.
It really is a minor masterclass in player-fucking-with; our favorite moment is when a random brick suddenly pops off the level, dropping the player into a pit more-or-less at random. It’s a beautiful illustration of the idea that traps and hazards in games can be jokes, even if the trappings here feel a little suspect.
There’s nothing new, after all, about video games specifically designed to get you to rip out your own hair; I Wanna Be The Guy, the “masocore” genre’s thesis statement, was released more than a decade ago, and there are plenty of Mario Maker levels out there that accurately recreate the sensation of having your teeth drilled with a dull, rusty nail. Still, there’s some special hell reserved for anyone who would apply these techniques to a mobile game—complete with mobile game controls and monetization, which apparently forces you to watch ads to get more lives to continue your descent into pain.