The tutorial of 1999 open-world crime game Driver is infamous. It recreates a scene from 1978 movie The Driver, by making you performing a checklist of stunts and maneuvers in a cramped parking garage to prove your skills as a getaway expert. Burnout? Handbrake? Easy enough. Now imagine you are a young videogame-enjoyer sitting down to play your exciting new videogame, and then being instructed to perform a “slalom” with no explanation what the word even means. You have not been alpine skiing, because you are a literal child. By the way, there’s a time limit. Good luck!

That’s a classic unforgiving tutorial, but there are plenty of platformers with punishing first levels, RPGs out to kill you in the starter dungeon, and survival games that throw you in at the deep end.

By tracy