Can a "Nuzlocke"-Type Challenge Work for any Game?

Nuzlockes are a very popular fan-made challenge mode for avid Pokemon players to give the game a more difficult mode, but can a variation of this be applied to other games? Let's find out!

Nuzlocking is a popular fan-made challenge mode for Pokemon players. It is all over YouTube with such famous "Poketubers" like TheKingNappy, ShadyPenguin, and more. There are also many ROM hacks made by fans that add into the Pokemon games an actual Nuzlocke mode to give the player that "hard mode" feeling, as Pokemon is often too easy to play and requires no real skill when playing the base game. 

So this got me thinking ... can a challenge mode be used for other games? Let's find out!

The Basics

For those who don't know what a Nuzlocke is, it is a set of rules that the player must follow when playing the game.

Some of the rules are as follows:

  • You can only catch the first Pokemon on a route
  • You must nickname that Pokemon to deepen your bond with said Pokemon
  • If the Pokemon faints, it's considered dead and must be released or left in the PC labeled "Death Box", etc.

With this in mind, let's see if it can be added to a game such as Kingdom Hearts.

Yeah, Kingdom Hearts has different difficulty modes, but it doesn't have a challenge mode. For this type of a game, a challenge mode can be something along the lines of: If a party member faints, they must not be healed until the next fight or using only one Limit/Drive form per world. Having challenges like that can add more replay value to a game the doesn't have much replay-ability in it in this day and age. 

Challenge Modes

Other games have implemented challenge modes, such as the Destiny franchise. Built into the game there are specific challenges you must complete in order to earn better loot from the bosses during raids or strikes. In Destiny 2, Bungie has added challenges to daily activities, such as patrols, PVP, and public events. 

I believe having more challenges like this added to games -- or even fans making up their own to make their favorite games more fun  -- will help with those long droughts of people not having anything to play. Again looking at Kingdom Hearts, there are multiple titles in the franchise, and making a "Nuzlocke" type of challenge (for the sake of this article, let's call it "Keylocke"), players can use this challenge mode to replay the older titles while they eagerly wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 to come out. Another game that players can add a challenge mode to is God of War

In God of War, some challenges can be to only use two magic spells or to level up every other weapon in Kratos' arsenal -- or better yet, don't use any quick time events outside of boss fights. This can be called "Godlocke" or anything else that players can come up with. God of War, like Kingdom Hearts, has difficulty modes already in the game, but adding these challenges can make it more fun, add a refreshing twist on already enjoyable gameplay mechanics, and just add a whole new level of excitement. This will certainly give players that "first playthrough" feeling again as they try to come up with strategies on how to beat a certain boss or figure out which powers to use. 


What are your thoughts on this? Can Nuzlocke rules be tweaked and added to other games, or does Nuzlocking only work for Pokemon? Comment below and let's chat!

Featured Contributor

Games Pokémon Genres ActionAdventure
Published Apr. 3rd 2018

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