10 Unexpected Video Game Difficulty Spikes That Brutalised Players

Game Overs from out of nowhere!

Tattleboads Turbo Tunnel
Trade West

Creating a fair and balanced difficulty curve in video games is one of the most challenging aspects that every developer will face in getting their game to market. If you make the title too hard then you risk completely alienating certain portions of the player base as they fail to progress past certain points, and on the other hand, if you make the game too easy then you could end up failing to hold any interest.

People want a challenge, but they want it to be a fair one, and it's here where the difficulty comes in. How do you at once teach and push the player without it leading to a skill capped brick wall? The ways around this are numerous and would actually benefit their own article, but what we're interested in today are titles that seemed to get it right but then dropped the ball hard, before hoofing said ball right into our faces for good measure.

These are moments that turned experiences from being a casual but uphill climb into a scene more reminiscent of trying to climb Everest with your teeth. So brace yourselves as we're about to encounter some absolutely brutal difficulty spikes.

10. Magical Nitro Delivery - Castlevania 64

Tattleboads Turbo Tunnel

Castlevania 64 is, to put it bluntly, an absolute embarrassment to the Castlevania series. What should have been the franchise's first foothold onto Ninty's new console ended up being a slip down the ladder thanks to its shoddy controls and utterly abysmal camera.

Plus it had one of the most painful difficulty spikes ever in the form of "The Magical Nitro" section. Just saying that aloud will cause many veterans of this title to shudder as they'll know that carrying one of these restricts your movement so that you can't jump without the nitro exploding and killing you in one hit.

Normally the places to use the nitro are close by, but one challenge asks you to take the bomb from the top of the castle to the bottom. That's an obscenely long time to not get hit, not fall, and obviously NOT JUMP, all of which are made so much harder by the games erratic camera.

Things get even worse in the next level, but for its sheer annoyance, the Magical Nitro makes the list.

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Jules Gill hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.