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Return of the rock-hard arcade game

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alone.jpg

Save points? Give over. 

Time was, games didn't have purchasable powerups, difficulty settings or instant restarts. Cartridge games would drain your down time, while arcade cabinets would do ruin your wallet. Titles were gloriously hard, with bragging rights based on high scores and time results rather than new armour or accumulative XP.

But, thanks in part to the rise of the nostalgia-led Indie market, there's a world of rock-solid arcade games waiting to ruin your thumbs. Here are five of our recent favourites.


N++

First their was - a stick ninja title released way back in 2004 when consoles were still consoles and people made less of a fuss about frame rates. A hazard-filled platformer, the levels were easily understood and keyboard-breakingly difficult. Everything went up a notch with 2008's N+ for the Xbox 360 - but N++ is the 'real deal', the game that designers Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns always wanted to make. With 1,000 levels, multiplayer and a level editor, this is the purest platformer you could hope to play.

Coming soon to PlayStation 4


Alone

Alone only took eight months to build - but don't let that fool you. A side-scrolling asteroid dodger, a hint to the difficulty of this title lies in the fact that the game begins in Vetran mode. No easy, no medium - you've got to survive 4,000 metres of rocks, hazards and tight turns before you even begin the game's second level. Built for those with faster-than-human reactions.

Available for Android, iOS and Kindle


OlliOlli 2

Do you lie awake at night thinking about grind combos and reverts? Then you should really get some help. And best avoid OlliOlli 2, because it'll only make matters worse. The follow-up to the hugely popular arcade skater, this sequel fine tunes an already pretty package: land tricks, grind rails, build up a score and attempt to complete some 250 skate-based challenges. Worth playing for the soundtrack alone.

Available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita


Finding Teddy 2

Finding Teddy 2 is far from a picnic. A gorgeous slice of 90's nostalgia, this action/adventure is a refreshing departure from those titles that would attempt to hold your hand through its challenging world. Explore, jump, solve a puzzle, jump, slay a beast. This is what quiet Sunday nights were made for.

Available on Steam


Cube Koala

Mind-bending doesn't even begin to cover this little arcade puzzler. You control a box-shaped Koala (stick with us on this), trapped in a variety of kafkaesque worlds brimming with spikes and deadly traps. By tilting the world left or right, you're able to shift your cubic marsupial around the level in the hope of slinging him through a promising doorway. Seemingly impossible on a first play, you'll gradually become wise to Cube Koala's tricks. That, or you'll be throwing your iPhone out the nearest window.

Available for iOS

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