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Nintendo Hard

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Date: Jan 27, 2012 - 11:00 AM
Say hello to a scientific analysis of how mathematically hard some classic games are.

Location traversal and single-use paths, ala Pac-Man, is NP-hard. Pressure plates, ala Prince of Persia or Portal, is PSPACE-hard if there are two pressure plates, and NP-hard if only one is required to open a door. In the case of switches, one switch is P-hard, two is NP-hard, and three or more is PSPACE-hard.

Viglietta then uses these characteristics to classify each of the 13 games. Boulder Dash, which involves traversing a map strewn with boulders, is NP-hard. Prince of Persia, thanks to its pressure plates, is PSPACE-complete. Doom, with its multiple switches, is PSPACE-hard (and Viglietta claims that most other FPSes and adventure games are the same).
Regrettably, they don't have categories for games like Ninja Gaiden 3 or the original Castlevania, which qualify simply as "throw your controller at the wall repeatedly in frustration, Nintendo Hard."



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