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Video Game / Progressbar 95

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That's less than a half of operating systems offered.

Progressbar 95 is a mobile video game by Spooky House Studios released in 2019 with a PC version released in 2020. In it, you use Progressbar OS (a parody of Microsoft Windows) control a progress bar and collect blue segments to fill it up. Filling the bar to 100% finishes the level. However, there are many obstacles like pop-ups or explosive red bars that appear and can be distruptive or even cause you to lose a life. Clearing levels earns you points, which are then used to upgrade hardware, eventually allowing you to install new operating systems (the old ones remain playable. After beating enough levels, you can unlock wallpapers for your very phone and special titles for the systems, starting with Professional and advancing from there.

You can also play special modes if you get tired of just collecting dropped segments, like Progress Sweeper, a Minesweeper clone with you collecting segments by uncovering them and following clues, Progress Defender, a Tower Defense in which you use your progress percentage to buy three towers (Firewall, Generator, and Antivirus) on one of three lanes while fending off threats and trying to reach 100% with segments that drop or come from your generators, Progresstein 3D, a Wolfenstein 3D clone in where the goal is to collect bottles that fill your bar while walking down the brick hallway as well as shooting Clippy The Paperclip and mines, and Progressbar XL, a Maze Game where you have to reach the bottom part of the grid by walking through cells horizontally or vertically while not touching red segments (represented by 13) and collecting bonuses.


PB-DOS Shell has two exclusive modes instead of the three aformentioned ones, Progresstrix is a Tetris clone in which blocks of four to seven segments fall and you must fill one line with progress to win, and Progress Commander in which you must tap the right arrow button to move the correct words falling through the left column representing colors ("BLUE" is good and "RED" is bad, for example) so they fill the right column.

Near the end of 2020, the BarOS software line for Progresh hardware, based on Apple Macintosh, was introduced. Bar Systems feature different types of gameplay than just moving the progressbar around. They run on a different computer with its own hardware as well and have a character based on Happy Mac.


Progressbar 95 Tropes Pro:

  • 100% Completion: To beat the game fully, you have to unlock all systems. Each of them also has 10 wallpapers, getting all 10 for a system grants the Professional title for it and a 1000-point bonus for each level you clear on it from then on. You also have to max out all computer components, which can take tens of millions of points. Additionally, beating level 1000 on an OS gives you the Grand edition, with several titles beforehand. Therefore, completionists can expect to beat tens of thousands of levels.
  • 1-Up: Beating a level with the bar being 100% blue grants an extra life.'
  • 13 Is Unlucky: 13 acts as a red segment in Progressbar XL. Stepping on a cell with it (or having it reach your position) gives a BSoD.
  • 15 Puzzle: Progressbar Largehorn and Wista have a small playable 3x3 puzzle where you move tiles to an empty tile around to form a picture or put standard numbers in order. It's optional, but gives extra points once the level is completed. Bar System features a more traditional 15-tile version that is equally optional.
  • 2½D: The Screensaver 3D levels. You control the progressbar on x and y axis as usual, while segments come from the background in several directions (and not the top as they usually do). Segments turn larger/closer as they approach, and can only be collected once they're close/large enough.
  • Achievement System: Version 0.58 introduced 60 achievements to the game which are unlocked mainly by getting end of level bonuses, unlocking systems and reaching system ranks. Like most of the things in the game, their appearance is based on what OS you're playing on.
  • Anachronism Stew: Some of the hardware configurations offered by the game are downright headache-inducing to retrocomputing hobbyists, often having up to a ten-year gap in technology, like Pentium II (from 1997) working with DDR3 16GB RAM (from 2007).
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: Trying to delete System32 will have the game warn you that it's a system directory and ask several times for confirmation. It'll even ask if you're the admin or you're cheating just to make sure.
  • April Fools' Day: Despite there being a legit large update on the same day in 2020, the devs decided to prank its players by turning the appearance of Clippy The Paperclip, the game's main nuisance, into the in-game dog's. Normally the dog isn't annoying and gives points when tapped on, so it led to people getting confused.
  • The Artifact: You start a game with a 1.44 MB floppy disk drive, which gets a few upgrades and becomes a 1 GB zip drive, and it stays in your computer for good but stops being important as other components keep getting upgrades (though considering that you have a CD-ROM which can use better discs later on and people don't use floppies after the 1990s, it was bound to happen anyway).
  • ASCII Art: There is a piece of ASCII art that depicts Clippy saying "Hello!" in one of the readme.txt files found when searching ProgressDOS.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The PC version is 4:3 when you start as you in-game have a CRT monitor, but once you get an LCD monitor, it turns 16:9, with icon placements adjusted accordingly.
  • Bland-Name Product: Some existing computer elements are parodied, usually with their names having typos or being shortened. For example, Videocard Vooodoo 4MB or CPU Seleron 350.
  • Bullet Time: The "slow time" button in later versions of Progressbar slows down the movement of everything drastically for a few seconds.
  • Button Mashing: The scanning minigame. You have to mash the "Scan" button to reach 100% before the errors do.
  • Cap: Progress points from one level (in some operating systems) cap at 50000, 80000, or 100000 (other multipliers and additional bonuses also affect it outside of that, but that's the base limit).
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: Trying to delete Bin through ProgressDOS will fail, as you'd be effectively putting "BIN INSIDE BIN", as stated by the game, to delete it.
  • Catching Some Z's: When Bin is sleeping, lowercase zs show up after him. You'd better not tap him during this time or he'll get upset.
  • Colorblind Mode: You can turn on a Colorblind mode which makes certain segments have characters mark them (for example, dangerous red segments have an exclamation mark).
  • Confetti Drop: An animation of confetti falling is always played after you beat a level and see the chart which shows how many correct/wrong segments were collected or get an achievement.
  • Continuing is Painful: Run out of lives and the game punishes you by lowering your operating system's level by 1.
  • Cooldown: Most of the programs that affect the main game have a cooldown of several minutes which starts when you boot the OS and after they're used, including Firewall, Slow Time, and Scan Progress.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • Progressbar 1 makes several of its elements like icons and characters black and white. There are a few elements with colors like the wallpaper and some windows, but even those largely stick to one color (wallpaper 1 is just blue, wallpaper 2 is just green, and so on).
    • Bar Systems 1 to 5 are all completely black and white. Even the segments lack color, so they have characters on them to differentiate them.
  • Determinator: Clippy. No matter how many times you tap on OK to make him go away, he will come back to annoy you again in a few seconds.
  • Dialogue Tree: You can pick one of three types of responses to Bin's questions (a kind one, a mean one, and a dismissive one) with him reacting and his affection getting adjusted accordingly.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: Later levels drop segments much faster and they sway more erratically as well.
  • Dummied Out: There are several pieces of unused content hidden in the game's files, which include startup sounds and magenta segments.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Playing v0.21 and other early versions can feel surreal. Segments are shorter, windows look differently, there's only a "Like game" button when it comes to social media integration, and perhaps the weirdest of all, progress isn't given in increments of 5%.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing on Relax mode reduces points earned by 0.5x. It can be lowered further with Progressbar NOT's custom difficulty system, with the multiplier going as low as x0.014 on Idle mode.
  • Evolving Music: The game's main theme by Gemfire improves with each new OS and song version being used. PB 1 and 2 have an extremely simplistic rendition similar to a PC speaker, PB 3.14 adds more sound channels and instrumentation to simulate an average soundcard like Adlib, with a high quality version unlockable with nicer instrumentation to simulate an advanced sound card like Roland MT-32. Later versions drop the MIDI format and use MP3 instead, with you starting with a somewhat low quality rendition which can be upgraded by clearing special levels to an HQ one or even a remix.
  • Flawless Victory: Collecting only blue segments grants the 1000-point Perfectionist bonus at the end.
  • Game Mod: The Steam version lets players add modded systems to the game by putting them in the !MOD folder. This allows for different GUI, logos, icons, and wallpapers. Several of them are downloadable on Nexus Mods.
  • The Goomba: Annoying pop-ups. They are effectively enemies, but they only push the bar back and are closed with a single tap.
  • Gratuitous Latin: You can find a Latin directory with a Codex file in ProgressDOS, which is all in Latin as you'd expect. To access it, you need to type in a code which can be found in a readme.txt file, which has the "lorem ipsum" text and the code written in Latin numbers (for example, Duo Unus Septem). The game gives you "MMMMM punctorum" for figuring it out.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Playing on Hardcore mode gives a 1.5x point multiplier. It can be raised further with Progressbar NOT's custom difficulty system, with up to x5.65 points on Impossible mode.
  • Horns of Villainy: Clippy The Paperclip, the main nuisance (and potential threat if he's carrying dynamite), gets fairly prominent horns if you're playing Progressbar Largehorn.
  • Holiday Mode: There are some changes if you're playing the game on certain holidays.
    • Valentine's Day (Feb 14th): Clippy can only say "I love you!" He'd say it sometimes normally, but on this day he does all the time. Dog has heart-shaped eyes.
    • April Fools (Apr 1st): Clippy is replaced by the Dog. Normally the Dog is helpful as he gives points when clicked on, but not this time.
    • Halloween (Oct 31st): A special wallpaper is available by default, the Dog has a pumpkin on his head, Clippy has a vampire costume and always says "Boo!" or "Trick or treat!"
  • Knockback: Touching a pop-up or Clippy pushes the progress bar very slightly, but typically not enough to be dangerous by itself. Touching an Electricity pop-up, however, pushes the bar back through about 40% of the screen, which can easily cause problems if its pushed into something undesirable.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Hardcore mode (or any higher difficulty in Progressbar NOT) can occasionally rely on luck, as you better hope that the red segments don't drop in a way that makes it impossible for the progressbar to avoid them or pop-ups don't trap the bar without any time to close them.
  • Lucky Seven: 7 is considering a lucky number in Progressbar XL. Stepping on a cell with it grants 10 points.
  • Matrix Raining Code: Matrix bonus levels have segments drop in a straight line with a column of rapidly switching code behind them. Since the background is black and the common blue and orange segments are turned dark and light green, it adds to the digital rain atmosphere.
  • Metal Slime: Green segments are especially rare compared to other segments and have a faint yellow glow to them. If you catch one, they automatically fill your progress bar to 100%. They'll also automatically correct any yellow segments you may have. However, they're also faster and harder to catch than any other segment.
  • Microtransactions: The game itself is free, though you can disable ads or unlock operating systems without having to grind for them by paying real money. In addition, "Product Keys" can be bought to provide easier access to alternative visual styles (which usually require a lot of grinding).
  • Missing Secret: After the addition of Progress Sweeper and Progress Defender, there was an icon in the difficulty select menu that would suggest the existence of a sixth game mode. Unfortunately, it can't be unlocked or played. In version 0.56, it turned out to be the icon for the Progresstein 3D game mode.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Bar Systems replace the dog with a cathorse (an animal that has hooves, whiskers, cat ears, a horse tail, etc.). Genius bonus because it’s based on the dogcow.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Waiting for a progress bar to fill is usually boring. This game turns it into a mechanic, where you actually have to collect segments to fill it up and avoid other segments or pop-ups which are potentially threatening.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: Done with hard drive whirrs, of all things. Once the progress bar is 80% full, it'll start making noise, which only intensifies as you get closer to completion.
  • No Fair Cheating: Double subverted. The game does not complain if you use cheats, but you can delete their cheats.txt file in ProgressDOS to get the Fair Play bonus or feed Bin with cheats.txt files to make him happier. If you don't use them or are playing on an easier difficulty, it's likely the better option.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: The difficulty levels in Progressbar NOT don't always decide how hard a level actually is due to the custom difficulty system having some factors be more dangerous than others despite giving a similar amount of points. For example, an Extreme mode (x3.000 - x3.999 point multiplier) with nearly maxed out game pace and segment speed, maximum red segment frequency, pop-ups and level puzzles on, but most other settings low is much more difficult and lengthy than a Surviving level (x4.000 - x4.999 point multiplier) with maxed out game pace and segment speed, minimal segment wobble but maxed segment wobble speed, minimal red segment frequency, and pop-ups and level puzzles on (the Surviving level is still likely to cause deaths, but it'd be much more beatable).
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The game doesn't have a plot. You just collect segments and upgrade your computer as well as OS.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Blue segments are correct and orange ones are wrong (you can still collect them, but you won't get the bonus points blues would give).
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Progressbar NOT requires you to enter a password to use it. The password is "********", or literally eight asterisks.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Grinding for points to get upgrades is extremely fast on Progressbar 10 and 1X due to them not having a progress points limit like the older systems (or at least, theirs is very high).
  • Play Every Day:
    • In the mobile version, playing at least one level for 7 days in a row lets you unlock versions of Progressbar you can't unlock by just progressing (3.14, 2, 1, and PB-DOS Shell).
    • In both versions, you can clean Bin once per day for extra points when you finish the level.
  • Poison Mushroom:
    • Any segment that is not blue, grey or green. Orange ones fill the bar but don't give points at the end of the level that blue ones would, pinks reduce progress, and reds make you lose a life.
    • In ProgressDOS, UNKNOWN files may contain a large cache of points, hold absolutley nothing, or crash the game and take a heart.
  • Randomly Generated Quests: "Today's challenges", which aren't given each day despite what the name suggests. Instead, three of them are randomly picked each time you turn on the game, usually involve filling a progressbar by a certain amount, beating levels, or getting rid of annoyances like popups, and give a 5000-point reward after you clear another level.
  • Red Herring: Directories you find in ProgressDOS may be empty, for the purposes of wasting time when you search and think you'd find something in "C:/FILES/FOLDER/" for instance.
  • Retraux: This game uses references to old Windows operating systems at first, complete with graphics and whirring computer sounds. Clippy The Paperclip also shows up.
  • Schmuck Bait: Clippy may show up carrying an "x4" sign and saying "Don't press!" while a timer ticks down. Actually pressing the button that closes him makes him say "I told you!" and spawns four copies of him.
  • Score Screen: After clearing each level, you are shown a screen which counts how many points you've earned from the stage based on collected blue segments (as opposed to the orange ones which don't give points unless you got a bonus with them) and other bonuses.
  • Screen Crunch: Progressbar 1X makes you use a radial progressbar with segments coming from all sides and angles. Other Progressbar systems would have you use a regular horizontal progressbar and only have segments fall from the top, which works perfectly fine due to smartphones having a screen with high vertical resolution. However, 1X's changes don't work too well with the low horizontal resolution, making it frustrating to react to segments that come from the side, not helped by the wide radial progress bar. An update tried to address this by making the bar slightly smaller, but it hardly fixes the issue.
  • Shown Their Work: The game creators who have made this game clearly researched Windows systems. Each Progressbar equivalent of an OS looks and sounds just how you'd expect. There are also references to rather obscure versions, like Progressbar 95 Plus which is based on the enhanced version of Win 95, or Progressbar Largehorn which is based on Windows Longhorn, a prototype of Vista.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: As part of making the Progressbar NOT line have a professional look, Clippy wears glasses if you're playing one of its systems.
  • Something Completely Different: The game occasionally has you play a special level with a black background in which no pop-ups appear and you get a lot more points for completing it. You can either get a 3D Screensaver level which makes segments come in a way that resembles 3D (but your bar is still 2D) or a Matrix level which makes blue segments dark green and orange segments light green, with all segments falling straight down and leaving trails of letters and numbers above.
  • Spin-Off: December 2020 saw the release of two Progressbar 95-related installments that use the engine of You Sunk called Progressbar Popup Fighter and Progressbar Calculator, with the former being a game about closing pop-ups before the system is overloaded and the latter being a simple calculator application.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: Before entering the initial boot menu or in the select system menu in Popup Fighter, a message saying "All the characters and the operating systems depicted are fictitious. Any resemblance to a character, operating system living or dead is purely coincidental" is displayed.
  • Tilesweeper: Progress Sweeper, a game mode introduced in version 0.54. Your objective is to collect enough blue segments to fill the progress bar to 100% as each one fills it by 5% while avoiding orange and red ones, as the former still fill the bar but don't give points after clearing the level and the latter make you lose a life. After uncovering a tile, it may have an orange or red number which means how many of those segments surround it. You can put an orange or red flag on tiles you think have those segments, which gives bonus points after beating the level if you flag correctly. Clearing a level in this mode gives 1.25x the usual points, as it is intended to be more challenging than the main game.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Cheat codes. You could use them as they have rather helpful effects, like the ability to make all segments blue, but each code can only be entered once. At least, one cheat code becomes free again the next day, though it may not be much if you play dozens of levels daily, like how the today's challenges systems intends you to do.
  • Troll: Clippy. Even disregarding the fact that he tends to pop up at inopportune times, occasionally with a stick of TNT as well, he effectively mocks you if you get very close to upgrading a computer part. If you need less than 1% points to get the next upgrade, he shows up with a ":)))))" in his speech bubble. He also says that you can move diagonally in Progressbar XL, then says that was a joke as you can't do that.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • Progressbar 1X replaces the normal progressbar with a radial one and makes segments come from all directions, with you spinning the bar around by tapping it.
    • PB-DOS Shell changes the controls so you can move your progressbar by using an in-game joystick of sorts, rather than just moving it with your finger. It also replaces the three special game modes with two exclusive ones, Progresstrix and Progress Commander.
    • In Bar OS systems you have no control over the bar, which moves on its own. Instead, you control a pop-up in the lower part of the screen and try to fire segments into the bar.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: Progressbar 95, the system you start with, only has the Normal mode and the two special game modes available. Relax mode and Progress Defender are playable once you install Progressbar 95 plus and Hardcore mode is playable once you install Progressbar 98. The unlocked difficulties stay for all later systems and the three unlockable ones before Progressbar 95.
  • Up to Eleven: The earliest versions of the game had your hardware max out fairly early on with fairly low-end specs, with Seleron 1.2Ghz being the best processor or a 500GB SSD being the best hard drive for example (though you'd still get 48GB DDR4 RAM, which was relatively high). The game would receive an update that'd raise the max hardware to what was available on very high-end computers at the time, like the MD Razor 9 5000 (based on AMD Ryzen 9) or a 100 TB SSD. Then in another update the max specs have been increased to stuff that wouldn't be available in real life for years. Those include (soundcards and videocards not mentioned) Corn 11i-15K 9Ghz, 128TB DDR7 RAM (DDR5 wasn't even out), 1.5PB M3 SSD hard drive, a VR PRO+ display, and AD-ROM (Archival Disc-ROM, based on a potential Blu-ray successor) 128X RW.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You get a Bin as a virtual pet in later systems and can take of him by feeding him, caressing him, cleaning him daily, and answering his questions positively.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Shoot a dog in Progresstein 3D and you lose a life. Well, you are playing as a dog in this minigame, so he wouldn't want to hurt his own folk, but still.
  • Video-Game Lives: You start with 1-5 lives, depending on the difficulty. Hitting a harmful object makes you lose a life, unless you wait for and win a scanning minigame. Getting only blue segments in a level grants an extra life.
  • Violation of Common Sense: There's nothing stopping you from collecting orange segments and clearing a level with them despite them being called wrong by the game. Collecting a symmetrical amount of blues and oranges grants the 1000-point Yin-Yang bonus, collecting a pattern of blue>orange>blue>orange or vice versa grants the 5000-point Zebra bonus, and collecting only oranges grants you the 4000-point Nonconformist bonus. That said, in the later levels blue segments give more points than any of the orange-segment bonuses as well as an extra life, so it's better to get only blue segments anyway.
  • Visual Pun: Occasionally you find ladybugs in the system menu. Tapping on them brings the message "You found a bug!" and the option "Report it", which gives 2500 after a level. In other words, you're literally finding and reporting "bugs" in the system.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: Progressbar 1X. It's the most cutting-edge system available and the only one with a radial progressbar.


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