Ah, password requirements. They’re necessary—left to our own devices, many of us would simply choose “password.” They’re also sometimes frustrating, since every website puts its own spin on it. (Looking at you, financial websites that only allow 12 letters or numbers and no special characters.) But few get as amusingly goofy as The Password Game, which challenges you to fulfill increasingly absurd requirements.
Released on Tuesday by Neal Agarwal, this browser-based game starts off innocuously enough: Pick a password. Then make it at least five characters long. Then include a number. An uppercase letter. A special character. That’s all standard, and we’ve all seen plenty of that in the real world.
But after that, things begin getting wild. You have to mention a sponsor in your password, for starters. And math rears its ugly head, reminding us (me) how rusty we’ve become at it. Not saying this will happen to you, but I’ve discovered I can’t quickly solve numeral requirements and may be going slightly insane.
The fun part about this puzzle game (and I do find it fun) is how it highlights the usefulness of a good password manager. Sure, as you progress in the game, you actually end up with a decent password. But remembering it on your own? Good luck. Far easier to leave that work to software or a service of your choosing, and let it generate and store the passwords for you.
As you play the game yourself, just be aware: Its creator knows what chaos it wreaks. As spotted by PC Gamer, a tweet went up yesterday that openly admits the “rules in this game […] ensure I will never see the pearly gates.”
Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.