Planet Grunch


GRUNCH your way through several levels of deadly spike.

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sergiocornaga's picture

So hard! Wah!

So hard! Wah!


I updated this game to add Secrets. Because of the Secrets it is easier and more interesting.


I have decided to preserve the original secret-free version here:

Although I think the updated version has more mass appeal, people who enjoy rough, unpleasant games might prefer the first version.

everythingstaken's picture


I beat the updated one. I want to play the original one, but I keep getting very frustrated. I was designing some Ralph 4, World's Hardest Game, Jet Set Willy inspired levels for a large project of mine, and this made me think that just having bouncing things in designed spaces is also good. Was still thinking what you thought of Septillion, as it feels like the platforming version of this in a way.


I did play a pre-release version of Septillion you posted on the "altgamez" Discord. I got game over on the super precise level with all the falling rockets and I didn't really feel like trying again because of the long audio cutscenes and the fact that I barely made any progress in all my attempts at the level. So I haven't checked out the release version yet. Now that I think about it, it does remind me of Grunch, particularly the original version of Grunch.

What I think of it.... I'm not sure! Like Cute Jump, which you mentioned as an influence, it feels like a game that's intentionally unpleasant to play in many respects. I'm not a person who believes games or any kind of art needs to be "fun", so that's fine. But I'm rarely in a mindset where I want to do unpleasant things that I have no obligation to do. Even though I made Cute Jump, it's kind of a struggle for me to replay the main game, and I *really* don't ever want to replay the optional secret content. In Septillion, it's *interesting* that the player is forced to sit through a wall of strange exposition between each level; it gives the game an unusual pace and texture. But just because it's interesting in an intellectual sense doesn't mean I actually want to do it, most of the time. So, I think my feelings on Septillion are that it is interesting but too difficult (in both conventional and unconventional ways) for me to play.

The original Grunch was a very raw form of expression; I made it from about 1:00am to 6:00am one morning and I just placed things without much care whether it was too unfair or too tedious. And it turned out I didn't really like playing it. I didn't even properly finish playtesting it before release because I was tired and wasn't enjoying it. When I reworked I feel like all the "rawness" all disappeared and it became a nice, but pretty normal videogame. It felt like some form of self-censorship to me. But the updated version is much more enjoyable, right...?

A lot of feelings like this I've had over the years have made me wonder about the value of making unpleasant games in the first place. After I released Cute Jump, after almost a year of slowly working on it during which I was very depressed, I had the thought, "I just want to make 'fun' games from now on". Is it worth the effort to pour your heart into something that appeals to hardly anybody, and that you don't even really enjoy yourself? But I still believe games should explore feelings other than "this is fun" in their play, even if I find it difficult to appreciate those games sometimes.

everythingstaken's picture


Interesting! I guess there are different sorts of fun, but yeah, I totally didn't want Septillion to be fun in any conventional way. Why do you think there isn't value? I also think these games are really interesting in a performative sense. I like the idea that if someone puts out a game that there is the idea that it can be beaten and knowing that is interesting in itself.


About value, I'm thinking about the value of making a work for the creator, rather than the value of the work to other people. Although, for me I feel like these things are tied together a bit. Ultimately, I think I want people to enjoy or appreciate the things I make. I really like experimenting with unconventional design, but I think if I make something too uncomfortable then it won't reach people, and in the end I won't feel proud of it. But I also feel a bit sad whenever I tone down some of the strangeness in my games because I think others won't like it.

There are definitely lots of different kinds of fun, and I think in my previous comment I didn't really acknowledge that, and was mostly talking about "conventional fun", the sort that most "game design advice" is geared towards maximizing. I think what makes me happiest is when I make something deeply weird and then a lot of people turn out to enjoy it.

sergiocornaga's picture

I am glad for the update. I

I am glad for the update. I reached the flower ending, if there was another ending past the exit of that level with a final-sounding name, I may have missed it!

Yay! If you're wondering,

Yay! If you're wondering, past that exit is (rot13): n ebbz pbagnvavat sbhe yvirf, juvpu znxrf gur onpxgenpxvat sbe gur sybjre raqvat n ovg rnfvre!