Each time a player pulls this sword from the stone, it gets heavier

Here’s a simple yet intriguing concept for a game. There is a sword in a stone. Pull the sword out of the stone and you will be crowned king. The sword is then returned to the stone, and the next player to pull it out is crowned king. Easy.

But there’s a cruel twist to this free game on Steam, which is called in full: “He who draws the sword will be crowned king.” Each time a player draws his sword and is crowned king, he becomes slightly harder for the next player to pull the sword. With each successful pull, the sword grows longer and heavier. The game came out yesterday, and this morning I tried to pull the sword out (you click and drag… and drag, and drag, and drag). After a full minute of pulling, I managed to raise the sword only about an inch.

The difficulty level at that point was listed at around 5,800, and there were already over 100 previous kings. While I was pulling, two new people became kings, but I gave up long before I could be crowned. It felt like it would take all day.

Since then, things have only gotten more difficult for would-be kings. Currently, the difficulty level is listed at 10,000, which seems to be the maximum. But players are still doggedly pulling that sword. Just sitting at the menu screen, I saw someone new being crowned king. If no one pulls the sword after a while, the difficulty will slowly decrease, but once someone is crowned king, the sword will start to get heavier and longer again.

If you don’t want competition, you can also play in offline mode, where the weight and length of the sword are fixed, but it’s still very difficult to take off. Basically you have to click and hold and move the mouse up and up and up, and since you can’t move the mouse any higher you have to reposition it back to the bottom of your mousepad without letting go. the cursor leaves the sword–or immediately and painfully falls back into the stone.

Above is my last attempt at offline mode. I don’t think I have the willpower or the finger power to be a king, even an offline king. Is that you?

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