The dark side of video games
doesn't merely end with the software
. A handful of game developers, both professional and independent, often have a hard time making games that are fun, or even playable. Those names are "immortalized" below.
Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not sufficient. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy
, no matter how small a niche it is. It has to fail to appeal even to that niche
to qualify as this.
Second Important Note:
A game isn't horrible just because The Angry Video Game Nerd
, or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it
. Nor is it horrible just because it has a flood of negative reviews on Amazon.com and Metacritic. note
There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual, professional reviews, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review(s).)
Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order)
open/close all folders
- Active Enterprises is mostly infamous for creating Action 52, a compilation of 52 different "games" — but only if you use a loose definition of the word. These games have a lot of bugs, sloppy controls, bad level designs, etc. You couldn't tell that to the guys at Active; not only did they expect to make $200 a pop off of this garbage, but they also had plans to make one of the games (Cheetahmen, perhaps the most mind-wrenchingly terrible side-scrolling Beat 'em Up ever burned to an EEPROM) into a merchandising empire rivaling the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, including a line of action figures and a Saturday-morning cartoon. Well, they weren't "plans" so much as "pie-in-the-sky dreaming with absolutely no grounding in what we call reality" but, much like the legless boy who dreams of running in the Olympics, it's somewhat endearing in a way to see somebody hoping to make so much out of such a crappy game. (Note that the former has actually been accomplished.)
- In the game's defense, it did bring us hillbilly ninjas in Ninja Assault, and the so-weird-it's-hilarious Non Human. The Cheetahmen background music has been well received, achieving a cult status amongst gamers and the Japanese. It's played in clubs. Seriously. Unfortunately, Action 52 is the worst possible place to try to listen to that background music because the game can't play the music and the sound effects at the same time.
- Can you believe they actually made an advert for the package? Guru Larry uploaded it to his YouTube channel. It has poor voice acting with stereotypical English and Hispanic accents, hints that the "games" might not be that good, but the animation was decent, and the sad thing is, they still clearly put more effort into the advert than the actual "games".
- Cheetahmen 2, the planned-but-unreleased sequel, was programmed into cartridges while still unfinished (presumably they were prototypes). It had the same clunky Action 52 jumping, waves of nigh-undodgeable Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders, the inability to crouch or shoot while jumping, and a game-breaking glitch which makes Level 4 unbeatable. Even if you use a Game Genie or hacked ROM (or you do what the AVGN did and slightly tilt the Cheetahmen 2 cartridge a little bit) to skip to the last two levels, there's No Ending programmed.
- The Genesis version of Action 52 was only published by Active, as actual development was done by Farsight Technologies (developers of the Game Party mini-game compilation series and various pinball collections). Their version of Action 52 is still an overall failure, but still not as bad as the trainwreck the NES version turned out to be.
- Blast! Entertainment is a low-budget company who mainly uses licenses that are on sale for absurdly low prices and makes game adaptations based on them. While not all of the contract developers they hired were awful, all of the games those companies did for that team were, which is why people should thank Sony for making sure those titles were Europe exclusive. Some of their most infamous works include:
- Their Beverly Hills Cop game takes everything that could go wrong in an FPS. Included are dull and generic environments, stiff animations, sloppy shooting mechanics, lack of voice acting, countless glitches and an ugly PS1-grade player model of Alex Foley that does not even vaguely resemble Eddie Murphy. Everything is covered in this two-part video, though Giant Bomb take a rip into it as well.
- Little Britain: The Video Game, which was hailed by many UK critics as the worst game on the PS2. It's basically a compilation of a few awful mini-games which were blatant rip-offs at best and totally pointless at worst. Anything you need to know about it is summed up nicely here.
- Their version of Home Alone (for those not familiar, the PS2 version) also apply, due to its very unintuitive gameplay and extremely loose connection with the film. JonTron took a look at it in his Home Alone video game journey here.
- Color Dreams. Many of their beat-em-up games share the same gameplay, with unresponsive controls, near-zero attack range, etc. They eventually changed their name to Bunch Games because of the poor reputation of their video games, and later on became a Christian company known as Wisdom Tree. However, it should be noted that while they had some of their best-selling games as Wisdom Tree (mostly because they took advantage of the loophole involving Nintendo refusing to supply officially licensed games to stores that sold pirated or unlicensed versions of their games by mainly selling their games in bookstores where most other forms of Christian media was sold at the time) and was the only company to have an unlicensed SNES game that works (but in a weird manner involving plugging a secondary, official cartridge into it), they no longer sell video games in their current market and are no longer associated with Color Dreams. A FITTING PUNISHMENT!
- Wisdom Tree put some of their NES games up on the site as playable Java games. If you want to take a dive in their infamy, help yourself. (The Zelda-clone Spiritual Warfare is actually not half bad, if you don't want to waste time clicking.)
- Data Design Interactive used to be a fairly decent, if polarizing company. While they did even back in the 90's make some truly horrible games (like Rise of The Robots) it also had a few decent games to make up for it (such as Lego Rock Raiders). However, from 2005 onwards, until the company went bankrupt in 2009, they got a reputation as an infamous shovelware developer whose games were released on the Wii in North America, with very few differences between them. Most of the games that they published during that time frame started as PS2 games from low-budget European companies that Sony Computer Entertainment America prevented from crossing overseas. Due to the Wii's nature, Nintendo decided to be more lax with third-parties... which backfired, as the gate was now open for shovelers to dump their crap upon America, much like the pirated NES multi-game cartridges and the flood of cloned Atari games that sparked the video game crash in the U.S. Some examples of DDI's "handiwork" during that time frame include:
- Action Girlz Racing, one of DDI's countless made-in-five-seconds racing games. No sense of speed, floaty controls and physics that wouldn't pass muster in a Flash game, terrible level design that only spotlights the awful driving mechanics, and a forced Totally Radical attitude. NeverChris said that pandering garbage like this is the reason why girls are stereotyped as not liking video games. It was only the third game in IGN's history to get a rating of less than 1.0 (it got a 0.8), and was called the worst game of 2008.
- Two of the most infamous examples (listed together because they're two of the many reskins of the same game) are Ninjabread Man and Anubis II. Horrible controls, a bad camera that you can't control, and a near-useless (and difficult to activate) melee attack. The games have very few levels, the obligatory tutorial included.
- Delta 4 Interactive (D4i) and On-Line Entertainment made some particularly terrible games that were only available for the short-lived Commodore Amiga CDTV.
- The first one we'll be looking at is The Town With No Name, which has been gaining some attention due to a Retsupurae involving this game. You could actually go ahead and get back on the train without doing anything, and you'll still "win" with the odd ending that it gives you. Of course, if you do want to "play" this game fairly, just prepared to be weirded out by some things that could be considered So Bad, It's Good and this sort of odd ending that happens if you do manage to find Evil Eb, the last boss. Even then, those weird scenes won't be worth your time spent playing this.
- The "bonus" materials give the impression that the people responsible for this abomination were actively trolling the players: the "Making Of" feature is really just a bunch of goofy photos of the crew with terrible jokes and the "hidden features" are a bunch of trailers for other On-Line titles (some of which were thankfully never made, like the sequel to the game below) in which two outtakes of the announcer are left in (one has the announcer coughing and then repeating his line, and in another, you can hear him turn the pages of the script). You can watch how messed up it is right here.
- Our second game from these two is considered worse than the game above. Psycho Killer is a point-and-click horror adventure game where you "move" by clicking on three arrow keys on the bottom left side of the screen. While The Town With No Name had comedy to lessen the horrible effect, this takes itself seriously with a boring and annoying British monologuer, terrible sounds, and filtered pictures and scenes (which, admittedly, isn't as insane as Plumbers Don't Wear Ties) that don't even take up the entire disk memory! Sure, there might not have been enough memory needed in 1992 for some companies to truly take advantage of CD technology, but other companies at least knew that they had to try to fill it up by at least 100 MB. Like The Town With No Name, Psycho Killer has also be Retsupuraed here.
- Dickie, Mat. He is a former (he has since "retired") indie game developer who is mainly famous for the bizarre contents and poor quality of his games. See Hard Time and his magnum opus, The You Testament for specific examples.
- Dragon Co. were a Chinese developer who mostly developed games for the Famicom and Mega Drive, and most of their games fit this trope quite well.
- Starting with their Famicom titles, their Felix the Cat game was essentially a Porting Disaster of the Hudson Soft game of the same name, which was released on the same console 6 years before. The physics are shoddily programmed, the controls are poor and choppy, the story makes no sense and the music is a beepy mess. It's also worth noting that all of their Famicom games use the same engine.
- One of their games is based off the Russian cartoon Nu, Pogodi! but features Bugs Bunny on the title screen for no discernible reason. The levels are badly designed (the second one is nearly impossible without save states) and the game over screen features the main character getting eaten by the wolf.
- Continuing with their licensed games which aren't actually licensed, Tom & Jerry 3 is yet another awful platformer based off a cartoon. The only notable feature about this one is that it features Tom smoking weed on the title screen.
- They made two games based off The Lion King; marketed as the third and fifth installments in the series. While the former is standard Dragon Co. rubbish, the latter is notable for having a soundtrack that qualifies for So Cool It's Awesome, while at the same time having the main character commit suicide on the game over screen. Watch here.
- As stated above, they also made games for the Mega Drive. One of them is Iraq War 2003, which is a really boring lightgun shooter without the lightgun. One of the sound effects is stolen from Microsoft Powerpoint, and there's no way to avoid enemy fire.
- In the late-90's, Activision had a subsidiary called Head Games. They released several games under the "Extreme" label (including two sequels to Extreme Paintbrawl) that were simply horrible.
- According to a letter to the editors of PC Gamer (which gave it 6%, the worst score up to that time), the original Extreme Paintbrawl was produced in two weeks on a rushed schedule. Among many other mistakes, it has one of the worst examples of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard that one could ever find. What's funny about this is that it was originally shipped without any AI at all! If you wanted to play against any bots that would do anything more than run into a wall, then you had to download the patch when it came out a month later. As for the music, one YouTube commenter described it roughly as power metal for people with Attention Deficit Disorder.
- Extreme Boards & Blades is considered by Lazy Game Reviews to be the worst game he has ever played, worse than Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, also published by Activision Value! It has unusable controls, awful graphics, an annoying soundtrack laughably described as ska and a few, bare bones game modes. It gets nothing right, not even the cover which misspells its sponsor (Mountain Dew) in the description while the logo is right above it.
- The games are so bad that IGN poked fun at them with their reviews, like these ones for Extreme Tennis and Extreme Rodeo.
- Ludia is a Canadian game developer partially owned by Fremantle Media, whose goal is to make video games on the Wii based on every popular American game show (except Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both which have their games made by parent company Sony). They distribute through Ubisoft, which also ports the games to other consoles and iOS devices. One problem: they don't know anything about the game shows they're trying to emulate. Also, these games use their own proprietary avatar system, not Miis; had they taken advantage of the existing infrastructure, maybe the rest of the games would've been better. They also have a serious case of bad timing, releasing their Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? game the week before the actual game changed formats.
- The $1,000,000 Pyramid uses the classic (1982-91) logo, but the game itself is an adaptation of the Donny Osmond-hosted 2002-04 series (a revival commonly derided by game show fans). The opponent AI is almost nonexistent, maybe scoring more than one point per subject. Gameplay is slow, which is bad since on-air Pyramid is traditionally very fast-paced. The Winner's Circle has no shots of the big pyramid while you're playing, and gives you $1,000,000 every time you clear it. Game show fan Tim "Loogaroo" Connolly tears it a new one here, and it's riffed on by Giant Bomb here.
- Family Feud 2012, unlike the others, is an X-Box 360 game and uses the console's avatars rather than its own, but still manages to be equally bad. The fictional host, "Sparky Whitmore", makes Louie Anderson look good; the on-screen keyboard practically gives you the correct answers with its predictive text (if it doesn't show up in the choices after two letters, it's not going to be correct); there's long gaps between every action; the avatar animations look wooden; and the parser is worse than the broken one in the SNES version (it somehow interprets "Bike" as "Horseback")! Giant Bomb riffs on it.
- The Hollywood Squares was another victim. There are only four actual celebrities in the grid (Martin Mull, Kathy Griffin, Brad Garrett, and Jeffrey Tambor), and they all take center square which means you only play with one at a time. This leaves the rest of the squares filled with generic people, which removes half the point of the original game show. But most of the magic of the original show was in the celebrities giving joke answers, aka "zingers", and then responding with their actual answer. In the video game, you're only given straight answers — no zingers at all. With neither celebs nor zingers, you're simply crossing trivia with Tic Tac Toe and might as well play Tic-Tac-Dough at this rate. Here's a Quick Look by Giant Bomb.
- Press Your Luck 2010. The avatars all look like they have some form of mental retardation; the Big Board cycles between three static formats, one of which has no Whammies; there's no prizes but a generic "trip" that Big Bucks will direct to in Round 1 and massively breaks Move One Space; the AI routinely answers questions wrong, which is Fake Balance; and both the music and sound effects are inaccurate. What makes this game truly belong here is that a Ludia representative asked the fans for input and "Dismantle" (as some call it) forced C&D orders on superior fan games. Giant Bomb took a look at it, and Loogaroo points out nearly every way it did disservice to the classic show here.
- The DS version was worse, with unskippable Whammy animations and a Big Board that was horrendous in layout (all over the place) and appearance (the cash values are plain white text on ever-changing colors).
- The PS3 version fixed the music and sounds, plus added a bunch of actual prizes.
- The Price Is Right (2008 and 2010, for every console) has a simple Game Breaker — a limited prize pool, about fifty Showcases, and a bad randomizer, along with a rather poor Showcase Showdown wheel. It turns the game show game into "Memory"; just play the game for three hours, write down every prize's price, and memorize the list (or Google for said list) and remember when that prize or Showcase comes up in any game. Other Price video games at least randomize prizes so they don't appear in one sole game every time with some digit randomization to throw off memorizers. The games can't even be arsed to use the then-current set, with the first game giving the overwhelming impression of having been delayed for two years. Giant Bomb has a Quick Look at the 2010 version.
- One major problem with the 2010 version is that Three Strikes Mode no longer gives a strike for losing at the Showcase Showdown (a big criticism with the first game), which means that you can literally go on forever by having a price list.
- Media Service 2000. Among its transgressions are The Moscow Apocalypse, a Cliché Storm with corny visuals, cornier artwork, even cornier gameplay, no jumping, and various other issues.
- Micro Genius. They have three known games under their belts:
- Aladdin II, which is worse than the official NES port of Aladdin, which was already bad to begin with. (Thankfully, there was a half decent, if cut down, port by Super Game) The Game Over screen makes this game look even worse. Just take a look at it◊
- Super Contra X, an abysmal bootleg of Contra.
- Thunder Warrior. Repetitive level design, low enemy variety, clunky controls, and a difficult-to-aim projectile attack doesn't help with the large amount of Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders you face. It seems to pirate some of its content from other games, such as the map screen from Castlevania I and the HUD from Super Mario Bros. 3. Catchy music, though.
- Mystique, a company specializing in pornographic video games for the Atari 2600. Only three games were made by the company, which were all horribly exploitative, and have all been hugely controversial. Mystique went bankrupt following The Great Video Game Crash of 1983.
- Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em, a game where you control two nude women who move back and forth across the bottom of a building on screen, catching semen from a masturbating man who is hiding on top for points. Every time you get 69 points, you will get an extra life.
- Mystique also released Philly Flasher, which is Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em WITH GENDERS REVERSED! The only thing different about it is that besides playing two nude men moving across the building, instead of catching semen, the player will catch breast milk from a witch. Once the breast milk is caught, the two men will then engage in masturbation.
- The plot of Custer's Revenge is as follows — General George Armstrong Custer, depicted as a man wearing nothing but a cavalry hat, boots, and a bandanna while sporting a visible erection, must dodge falling arrows and randomly appearing cacti in order to reach the other side of the screen, where he intends to rape a naked, well-endowed Native American woman named "Revenge", who is bound to a post. The only "noteworthy" part of the game (its early use of nudity) is done in by its extremely-low resolution and color depth, and the publishers picked this game to use the real graphics on the packaging. There's also the Unfortunate Implications of General Custer raping a Native American woman, or that you shouldn't bother with graphics this blocky for this purpose, for a second...note that she's tied to a cactus. Her ass is rubbing against a cactus! As Seanbaby put it:
: Gentlemen, you are the bravest squadron of men it has ever been this Southerner'snote
privilege to serve with. And you will need that bravery today, as your orders are to remove my pants and underpants. I will then attempt to force sex on an Indian girl under heavy enemy fire. Are there any questions? Custer's Military Adviser
: Yes, general. Several.
- Mythicon, an English company that dealt in budget-priced Atari 2600 games. While most other publishers set price points of $40-50 per cart, Mythicon's games only sold for $10... and the results show all too well. Their catalog consists of only three games, all of them horrible — Star Fox (not the famous one), Sorcerer, and Fire Fly. All three share the same problems — sparse and ugly graphics, jerky animation, monotonous music, and repetitive gameplay. Star Fox is generally seen as the worst of the lot.
- What's particularly sad about Star Fox is that Mythicon's copyright hold on that title lasted long enough to force Nintendo's UK branch to change their titles to Starwing and Lylat Wars (for the SNES and N64 titles, respectively). Which means that in Britain, for a time, the title Star Fox was associated more with the crappy 2600 game than the better Nintendo games!
- Taiwanese company NTDEC, short for the NinTenDo Electronic Company. (No, seriously. The lawsuit came quite fast.)
- One of their works was Fighting Hero, a horrible knockoff of the already dubious Street Fighter. The game has some of the worst controls in any fighting game, as they're incredibly unresponsive and button mashing is rendered useless because the player will constantly interrupt his attacks while doing so. The computer opponents are also ridiculously hard as they'll block most of your attacks.
- They also ended up making the games on the Caltron 6 in 1 (Caltron being an alias for NTDEC) and while the games on it aren't awful, they're mostly just mediocre clones of other games.
- Phenomedia Publishing GMBH was a German company, specialising in (often rather bizarre) low-budget games. In addition to countless "Crazy Chicken" sequels (more than 30, according to The Other Wiki), they produced such obscure titles as Lederzwerge XXL◊ (Leather Dwarfs), a game about homosexual dwarfs engaging in all sorts of nasty practices. Even though the cover promises an uncensored version, the actual sex acts always take place behind mattes.
- Germany's biggest video gaming magazine, Game Star, gave Lederzwerge 3/100, the lowest rating in the 15 years of the magazine's existence. The fact, that the game's third and final level was shrouded in complete darkness and therefore basically unplayable was cited as a plus point.
- Phoenix Games. Go look them up on YouTube and witness the... well, "horror" is far too light a term. You gotta love that they aren't even pretending they aren't copying the Disney character designs...and since when is Thumper the size of a horse?
- Case in point, The Lion and the King 2 here.◊
- Their most infamous "games" are English dubs of Disney ripoffs from Dingo Pictures (who are also covered on Horrible.Western Animation)... but many of their actual games are worse.
- Caddicarus took a look at one of their games, Dalmatians 3, and he considers it the worst game he's ever played. It's not hard to see why, either. The game takes every notorious aspect of shovelware and somehow ratchets it up to new levels of horrible. The box art is meant to look like a sequel to Disney's 101 Dalmatians series, but features characters who never show up in the game at all. Instead, the main feature of the game is a 45-minute video that is so badly written, animated, and voiced that it makes the Zelda CD-i trilogy look good in comparison. The rest of the game consists of mind-numbingly easy minigames without an ounce of creativity in them. To top it all off, the game is so poorly-coded that it takes minutes to load even the language-selection screen, and it spins so fast inside a PS2 that the game can never play again if left on for too long. If you're wondering, "Too long" in this case refers to watching the entire movie.
- While we wish to remain neutral concerning its beliefs and musical output, there's no denying that white supremacist/neo-Nazi record label Resistance Records cannot make a game to save its life. Its entire output (all FPS games) has been compared unfavorably to Daikatana. None of its games seem to have ever passed the beta phase:
- Ethnic Cleansing. All politics aside, the game's untextured graphics look worse than Quake (the game was released in 2002), its setup was discredited when Half-Life came out, and its draw distance is ridiculously short. The collision detection is very off, and the AI is only slightly above shooting-gallery level. The one weapon in the game has no recoil, and there's only one non-boss enemy type, which is reskinned three times. There's only two levels, one of which works more or less at the game's mercy. The game crashes often, several functions (including the save system and the control options) do nothing, and the sound is very poorly coded.
- They then made a couple of spiritual successors: White Law and the two-part ZOG's Nightmare. They're not much better than the original — some basic touch-ups (more weapons, graphics that take less squinting to deem passable) in exchange for a load time of nearly two minutes (sometimes more) between levels, unbelievably pitiful framerates, and various game breakers.
- The Taiwanese company Thin Chen Enterprises (aka Sachen, Joy Van, and Commin, but mostly known as Sachen nevertheless) was one of the biggest unlicensed shovelware developers of the time. They also made many bootleg Porting Disasters of arcade and 16-bit console games, and even created their own NES hardware clone, the Q-Boy (considered by some to be much better than their games). Several of their games were published in America by Color Dreams, Bunch Games, or occasionally American Video Entertainment. Their works include:
- Challenge of the Dragon (not to be confused with the just-as-bad Color Dreams game), a nearly-unplayable and possibly-Unwinnable Double Dragon clone.
- Jurassic Boy 2. The only good point of this game is the funny intro. It got an even more brain-evaporating Game Boy port.
- Little Red Hood, an unlicensed NES game whose only notable contribution was its inspiration for an AVGN episode. Right from the get-go, this game takes Guide Dang It and Luck-Based Mission to ridiculous levels. In order to complete most levels, you have to roam around kicking trees and collecting fruit until a staircase appears, then go down into the secret room and collect a randomly-appearing key, then go back out and find a different staircase which also appears at random. The requirements to get the staircases and keys to appear vary from level to level with no attempt on the game's part to explain them. For instance, level 8 requires the player to first purchase a specific set of items before the staircase will even appear! All the while, you have to deal with finicky jumping controls, a bland and repetitive presentation, enemies who respawn immediately after being defeated, and eventually an ending barely more interesting than a generic "congratulations!" ending. The one review for this game on GameFAQs gave it a 1.0/10, and it's not hard to see why.
- Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu, a side-scrolling action platformer which rivals Cheetahmen in glitchy awfulness. The game received a -50 score from Something Awful, with the reviewer bitterly regretting that the rating system didn't allow anything lower.
- Q-Boy (as opposed to the console) is a Shoddy Knockoff of Kirby.
- Rocman X was a Mega Man engine hack complete with stolen title-screen art. It featured a superhero with a boomerang who could also fly for short distances by charging the fire button (which is used to charge the Mega Buster in real MM games). It's nearly unplayable because of clunky controls, a lack of special weapons, and shoddy programming. You can sometimes walk on the Bottomless Pits in Stage 3. Rocman X was ported to the Game Boy Color as Thunder Blast Man, where the first boss fight was Unwinnable due to a Game-Breaking Bug. Here's some footage, courtesy of some poor, unfortunate Canadian.
- Silent Assault was a poor-man's Contra / Rush'n Attack clone where you could shoot vertically and horizontally, but not diagonally. It had near-useless weapon upgrades. It was also buggy and included a bug that prevented you from precision-jumping in the otherwise piss-easy boss fights, making some of them nearly impossible.
- Street Heroes, a horrible knockoff of Street Fighter II.
- The Chinese company Waixing, who mainly developed Famicom games.
- Super Contra 7. It's likely a hack of either Contra or Super C, as the engine and sound effects seem to be directly taken from the latter, but features ear bleedingly bad music. It also features stolen graphics from other games, such as taking the background for the first stage from Mighty Final Fight, as well as a later stage featuring an enemy taken from Shatterhand. The game is very short, being 5 stages long and can be beaten within 15 minutes. The boss hitboxes are messed up note , and there are other glitches throughout. The score counter is broken for both players and stays at zero, and some powerups are inconsistent from the other Contra games note . Watch this 2 player TAS destroy the game here.
- Speaking of pirate game companies, Yong Yong (AKA Makon Soft) is probably the least competent of the lot. Their games library consists entirely of horribly made adaptations of popular franchises for the Game Boy/Game Boy Color, including Mario, Sonic and Pokémon. All of their games suffer from poor controls, frequent glitches and music that borders on Sensory Abuse.
- Sonic 3D Blast 5 somehow manages to be worse than the Somari hack of the same name, with poor level design and having almost nothing to do with the official Sonic games.
- A year or two later, Yong Yong rereleased it as Sonic Adventure 7 on the Game Boy Color. The soundtrack and intro stills were changed, the levels were switched around to look original and an eye-bleedingly bad color palette was added.
- Rockman 8 is a Porting Disaster of the game it's named after. The bosses are completely screwed up, (i.e. selecting Grenade Man on the menu actually picks "Tengv Man" with Spark Man's sprite, and the boss itself is actually a car) Rockman/Megaman often falls through moving platforms, one of the bosses constantly resets the game and shooting too many enemies in a level causes all of the enemies and moving platforms to disappear. The last point alone makes the game almost unplayable without save states, so combining all of that with No Ending makes one of the most infuriating games ever made.
- Super Mario 3 Special, Yong Yong's paltry attempt to port Super Mario Bros. 3 to the Game Boy Color. The result was similar to their other games; an almost unplayable mess that made the original game look like a complete joke. Only 5 levels were ported from the original game, the powerups did nothing other than give you extra hit points and the fourth level is impossible to complete. To counter this, the map screen can be used to skip straight to level 5.
- To add insult to injury, this particular game was rereleased as Pokémon Diamond, which added completely pointless intro stills from the anime, removed the map screen and started the game on level 4. In other words, you get about 3 minutes worth of terrible platforming, if that. Yes, they really were this incompetent.
- Speaking of Pokémon, they also made Pokémon Adventure, a supposedly original platformer starring Pikachu just like so many other pirate games based off the franchise. It has an intro which features seemingly random Pokédex entries for no discernible reason. Several of the enemies were reused from their other games despite being from completely different franchises, some of the graphics were stolen from Bonk's Adventure and most of level 4 could be skipped by running across the top of the level.
- Their Digimon games are an improvement, but barely. The graphics are no longer eye-bleedingly bad and the games themselves were actually playable to a certain extent. That said, they still fit this trope because they still have all of the other problems that the rest of their games have.
- Surprisingly, their fighting games are considerably better. (Example: Street Fighter Zero 4) The music is still poor and doesn't fit very well (although still an improvement), but the games are at least playable and the graphics are passable. Maybe platformers just weren't their forte.
- 3D Cartoon Land: Safari, released in 2012 (and since removed from the App store). Taking out of the account that this game was blatantly trying to capitalize on another popular and successful game that features a character in a red hat and blue overalls who jumps across platforms and stomps on brown monstrous mushrooms, the game just didn't hold up. The graphics were elementary-school-level cardboard collages at best with serious draw distance/pop-up problems, there were no sound effects save for a warbling out-of-place music loop, and the play control was utterly crippled.
- Reimagining a classic PC strategy game such as Dungeon Keeper for the smartphone generation is a tricky proposition, since most of its target audience has never played the original. Unfortunately, Electronic Arts decided to do so in the worst way possible—creating a lame Clash Of Clans clone in DK's clothing, constantly goading the player into spending money on overpriced in-app purchases to get around the long wait times for performing simple actions as building a single room (clearing a single map square, an action that took only a second or two in the original games, can take up to 24 hours here), throwing mean-spirited insults at fans of the original game (by using the old Bullfrog logo as an indicator of a destroyed room), and deliberately inflating the game's rating on the App store by making it so that writing a 1-4 star review will redirect you to a service page, and not actually publishing the review. The backlash from players was immediate and fierce. Nerdł makes his disdain for the game clear in this video, and Pete Davison wrote a lengthy article on USGamer.net sharply criticizing the game.
- Square Enix has proven that it can publish good smartphone games, as shown by the excellent Chaos Rings and the respectable Final Fantasy Dimensions...which makes it incredibly baffling that they'd release a game as terrible and shallow as Final Fantasy: All the Bravest to the Apple App Store. It was hit with a barrage of negative reviews from the moment of its release, as the player is given no control over any of the battle proceedings, and it's impossible to make any real progress in the game without resorting to using the game's cash shop (for completionists, this would mean spending the equivalent of a brand new copy of Final Fantasy XIII-2, — or, perhaps more damningly, more than the combined cost of the iOS versions of the first five Final Fantasy games).
- Godzilla: Strike Zone takes They Just Didn't Care and The Problem with Licensed Games to levels none would think fathomable. Released in 2014 to tie in with the reboot of Godzilla, the game is riddled with mountains of bugs and an overly sensitive motion-sensor; even slight iPad movements will knock the player way off to the side. There's tons of Fake Difficulty throughout which makes Flappy Bird look like the easiest game on earth; one bit involves parachuting through a ravaged San Francisco, which has the buildings placed so impossibly close together that it's hard to navigate. The graphics look ugly as hell; even for a 2014 iPad app. There are only three levels, two of which have the same basic setup. And if you're Just Here for Godzilla, too bad; Godzilla only shows up in silhouetted glimpses in all 3 of them. Within a day of its release, the app was labeled as "The Superman 64 of iOS games".
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 was the supposed "sequel" of the series, except it combines the worst aspects of the aforementioned Dungeon Keeper Mobile with the worst aspects of free-to-play smartphone games. The game not only requires money to buy alone, it also runs on a freemium system that is designed to rip off the player with the usual "pay real life money to speed thing up" and cool features actually requiring real life currency to buy! This game is part of the ongoing horrible trend of smartphone porting of popular franchises which brings out the worst of monetization. Fortunately, if nothing else, series holder Atari appears to have learned from its mistakes and aims to make the game's PC release a Polished Port, taking input from RCT fans as well as bringing back series creator Chris Sawyer to oversee production.
- Super Monster Bros from Adventure Time Pocket Free (a.k.a. Mario Games Casas Team; not to be confused with Adventure Time). The gameplay is an obvious rip-off of Super Mario Bros., and the graphics are heavily designed after Pokémon. The physics are occasionally inconsistent, and projectiles are too limited. What makes this game truly monstrous, though, is the micro-transactions that it constantly thrusts upon players; most of these purchases are ridiculously expensive, with the very first one a new player could be tricked into buying ("Role NO.1 and Unlock All") costing a whopping $99.99. It is even almost identical to the related game Super Squirrel Bros. Even though it is now removed from the App Store, its notoriety remains a warning to parents who didn't supervise their children browsing the App Store, indicated in this article.
- The fact that the 2014 iOS port of Tales of Phantasia is being offered for free should already raise warning bells, but the foolish player who ignored that telltale sign and downloaded the app will be in for a nasty surprise. Difficulty settings have been cut entirely, so you're permanently locked into the real game's Harder Than Hard setting. This means that enemies can and will beat your ass six ways to Sunday unless you paid a visit to an added shop beforehand, which has amongst its merchandise a special item that will resurrect a slain party on the spot with a temporary stat boost. Of course, there's a catch - the gear for sale in this shop can only be bought via (you guessed it!) microtransactions. In short, what was a perfectly serviceable RPG on the SNES and a less-so-but-still-playable Game Boy Advance RPG has been butchered into nothing short of a blatantly cynical cash grab. And not only have experience gains been slashed to make level grinding even more tedious (which naturally the aforementioned cash shop sells items to expedite), but the number of save points has been drastically reduced just in case you thought you could brute-force your way through with a mortal patience level. Have "fun".
- For a short time in 2011, a bootleg app bearing the name Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shuffled onto the App Store, and it was one of the lowest of attempts at sapping money off of unaware parents. The game had absolutely nothing to do with TMNT; it was actually a poorly-coded and poorly-drawn Cabal clone with a background stolen from the first stage of Contra, with two spots very badly filtered over to mask the source material. The screen was filled to the brim with numbers with indecipherable meaning, and the score failed to reset when you died. Hardcore Gaming 101 took a look at it here.
- TIGG, short for The Irate Gamer Game, is a blatant reskin of Commander Cool which fails on the merits of even that, thanks to horrid controls, unintuitive gameplay (including misleading backgrounds), paucity of individual enemy types, absence of checkpoints, tendency to hemorrhage health power-ups, and its story, composed wholly of constant, unfunny references and told exclusively via cutscenes. The only thing it has in its favor is a good art direction, and even that can't make it worth the four bucks. Not even the Irate Gamer's fans will defend this trainwreck.
- Periphery of Power - The firing patterns, a major selling point of Touhou games, go from mediocre to absurd. The final boss' attacks consist entirely of blue bullets and lasers. The bonus spellcard turns the entire screen white; you die without knowing why. The bosses consist of Self Insert versions of the makers. While the official website says the game hasn't actually been released yet, somebody still made a Let's Play of it.
- Resurrection of Heaven's Liquor - The character artwork is even worse than in the originals (at least, pre-Undefined Fantastic Object) the music is painful, (especially the half-composed first-stage theme, which gets repeated play) and enemy fire is an afterthought at best; note that Touhou in general is famous for its kickass score and its shooters are known for their very elaborate firing patterns. The characters are broken, and Aya is both the final boss and a playable character! Its lone saving grace is the inclusion of the Extra Bosses from the original games as player characters and Mima as the Extra Boss. If you enjoy pain, watch a member of Maidens of the Kaleidoscope get VERY close to killing himself, and if you want to see everything this game has to offer, this Let's Play shows it all.
- Did you think Periphery of Power and Resurrection of Heaven's Liquor were bad? Check out the videos of the same Touhou fan playing this disaster. The stage 2 boss has two attacks that do nothing at all, stage 5 is the same "pattern" (random spam) over and over again with different colours, all but one of the final boss's attacks have the same name, and all of her attacks use the same gimmick. Most of the bullet "patterns" in the game don't even count as patterns. They're just spam of really fast and/or really dense bullets (many attacks are impossible to dodge because of this). The game also has enemies that come from behind without warning, bullets that randomly change direction while you're trying to dodge them, murky bullets (hard to see/read) in stage 3, and attacks that are impossible because of the enemy's movements.
Super Mario Bros
- Retsupurae found three awful Metroid fangames on Newgrounds, all of which definitely belong here.
- Metroid Genesis, an on-rails First-Person Shooter where Samus lands on the planet Newgren 5 and has to shoot Metroids in the Fulpian Research Institute. It looks like it was made in MS Paint, has virtually no challenge, and can be beaten in five minutes. The final boss fight is against Ridley, who is so hideously drawn it looks like he's dying of cancer. Amazingly, of the three Metroid fangames to be Retsupuraed, it's the most playable of the three.
- Metroid Elements, the "sequal" to Metroid Genesis. It manages to be both too easy and too hard: easy because most of the bosses pose zero challenge and there's barely any enemies, but hard because the controls are atrocious, there's no Mercy Invincibility, Samus handles like she's on ice, there are Bottomless Pits everywhere (even in places where it doesn't make sense), and Ridley, the final boss, is almost impossible to beat thanks to an unfeasibly tiny hitbox. The music is nothing but dull, droning remixes of other Metroid songs. The graphics are bland, with no backgrounds other than gradients and plain platforms everywhere. Every sprite is hideously resized; Samus's ship is gigantic while Samus herself is smaller than most enemies. The bosses are almost comically atrocious; one is a crudely drawn worm (described as 'Amorbis drawn by a kindergartener') and the other is an eye-door from Super Metroid resized, put on the ceiling, and given a ludicrously easy-to-dodge beam attack. What's worse, though, is that it was apparently made by The-EXP, the same person that later created actually good Flash games like Shift and K.O.L.M. We can only assume that this is an Old Shame by now, especially since it was actually taken off Newgrounds entirely as well.
- Metroid; Beginings [sic] is a very Obvious Beta that makes Elements look like Super Metroid in comparison. If you play it, you'll find that most of the time, the game ends when Samus glitches out and falls through the floor. The game has no save feature, and if the player dies they have to replay the entire game. There's no semblance of exploration or nonlinearity, and in fact very little to connect the game with the Metroid series (the author's excuse for the sheer ignorance of canon is that he "didn't want to plagarize", in which case, why bother making it a Metroid game at all?). The plot is somehow both nonexistent and all over the place, the art style is ugly, the bosses are all insanely hard in the worst possible waynote , and there's literally No Ending.note
- On Mario Fan Games Galaxy, there are quite a lot of absolutely godawful fan games based on the series, so here are a few that are seen as bad by the standards of everyone, both within the community and outside of it...
- Super Mario Bros Super Quest is one good example. Why so bad? Because for every single action Mario does, he shouts out a catchphrase from Super Mario Advance. As in, he screams WOOHOO at the top of his voice every single time he jumps, and shouts 'Just what I needed!' the second he collects a single coin. So if you jump through a bunch of coins, he basically shouts machine gun style at the player with his voice clips overlapping each other and cutting everything off, which is the very epitome of Most Annoying Sound. The physics are even worse, Mario goes straight to full speed the moment he moves, his momentum completely dies when he jumps and generally, it handles in a way that's outright unplayable. Add graphical cut off, use of Microsoft Paint for the menus and the Super Mario Bros Super Show rap on the title screen, and you've got something which just needs to be seen to be believed. Just watch LSF Games tear it down here
- Another bad one is Boo Mansion. How bad? It doesn't even have a title screen. Or music. Or a foreground, it's just a Boo aimlessly floating around a maze of cut off doors and floating Piranha Plants with very little that can be considered a game even present.
- Mario's Toad Hunt (by the same person as Super Mario Bros Super Quest) is absolutely awful too. Not only does it have awful graphics that look stretched as hell and a foreground that's blatantly cut off in many places, but there's also a bad physics engine and a general lack of "game" here; there are no enemies or obstacles bar bottomless pits, the goal is simply to eat all the Toads (made worse by the actual munching sound used when Mario "collects" one) and there's no real point to even playing it, since there's an A Winner Is You ending and a grand total of just two levels.
- Super Mario Fusion MF doesn't have a bad concept (Mario crosses over into different worlds like Mickey Mouse), and if it was done well it could have been a good Mushroom Kingdom Fusion clone, but the problem is that the gameplay is just irredeemably broken. The physics don't work well, with Mario handling in a jerky and uncontrollable way. Bugs are everywhere as Mario can get stuck in solid walls/ceilings like they were made of quicksand and there are places where you can get stuck forever and forced to reset because Ice Mario's abilities don't work properly. Enemies are programmed poorly with Thwomps moving too fast, cannons firing when you're on or next to them and other minor issues. The levels are way too long (every level bar the first is a Marathon Level, which makes the game's stingy powerups and shoddy physics unbearable), way too hard (the game uses precision jumps and enemy spam in a game where the engine is completely unusable to begin with) and one level is completely Unwinnable by Mistake (the pipe to the next area doesn't work at all). And if you hit the edge of the level, there's no invisible wall. So Mario can literally fly off the screen past the camera and fall into nothingness, dying immediately. As you can read in this review, it's a game with a lot of potential, but made absolutely horrendous by a broken game engine.
- Ao Oni has a lot of fangames. Listing specific fangames would be a tremendous task so instead let's go over the many faux pas Ao Oni fangames have made: 1) Buggy or poorly implemented AI. 2) Improper setting of the tilesets which causes problems such as the player phasing in and out of bookshelves. 3) An outright absurd and obnoxious reliance on injokes and memes. 4) Nonexistent gameplay due to linearity or features that don't even work.
- Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels was touted as a remake of another horrible game (listed above), claiming to be "broken, but now complete", allegedly ironing out the bugs and making it playable. Despite having a massive budget for an indie game (funded by fans on Kickstarter), it somehow ended up worse than Cheetahmen. Not only did none of the bugs from the first version get fixednote , but there are now bugs that render the game completely unplayable.
- Slender Graveyard is not so much a fangame as a threepenny rip-off of Slender, with worse graphics, pointless stolen stock assets, horrible map design and inexcusable sound design, including audio levels that must have been taken in the dark. Any attempt at a scare in the game is either apropos of nothing or completely telegraphed, and they're all obnoxious jump scares punctuated with the same heavily clipped, unimaginative audio. Worse still, the game is outright horribly optimized—despite being done with the Unity engine, it suffers regular framerate drops.
- One-WAY, a Yume Nikki fan game in which you play as Aitsuki and explore your dream world. What makes it so bad is that the music is incredibly unfitting and possibly stolen, MS paint backgrounds, the sprites are less than mediocre, and the ones that aren't that bad are stolen or recolored. Heck, they even stole some sprites from Ib and used them for an effect NPC seemingly totally unrelated to the effect Aitsuki receives, unless you count that one puzzle in Ib involving collecting balls of paint as what the effect is referencing. Thankfully, the game is being remade.
- The Arise series is known for consisting of not particularly well-made Point And Click Games, what with the bland aesthetics, abrupt and random Jump Scares, and Moon Logic Puzzles, but Arise 4 can't even be considered So Bad, It's Good. The game forces you to navigate around a confusing hedge maze with screens that look very similar that is made even more confusing because you may not be facing the direction you might be led to believe upon clicking to move in a particular direction. The game has such aggravating design idiosyncrasies such as drawers embedded right in the middle of a hedge. And the most frustrating gameplay feature is one where various monster faces fade in and have to be shot at before they reach the player and trigger a game over that forces you to start from the very beginning of the game. Not only is switching between normal clicking and the gun designed in such a way that you might accidentally click out of the game, the game also includes the previous Jump Scares so that you have a hard time distinguishing between those and the faces that you actually have to shoot. Come, watch Slowbeef and Diabetus suffer through it here.
- The intro to the game has text reading, "I see you are surviving quite well. My next installment will make you want to DIE." As slowbeef puts it, "It's about as accurate as it can get."
- The puzzles either pose zero challenge (finding a key code requires solving first-grade math problems) or are infuriatingly cheap, such as requiring you to click on a specific book in a bookshelf to find a key. The book lights up when you put your mouse on it, but it's hard to notice, and there's nothing to draw your eye to the book, and to add insult to injury, there's no hint that the bookcase contains a second item (since you already found one item on the bookcase).
- And then there's the final boss (yes, there's actually a final boss) of Arise 4, which is essentially just a Jump Scare .jpeg that takes about fifty shots to kill and functions almost identically to the normal enemies.
- Game Maker's official website has a buttload of crappy games.
- "Dodge the Viruses". The game only consists of the main character jumping around while dodging the viruses bouncing around. The creator believes that all criticism is "horrible comments".
- "Smiley 2__Save the World". The game has absolutely no challenge whatsoever. It has a smiley face going back and forth, and another one controlled by the player. If the player hits the space, the game displays "Smiley save the world".
- Sturgeon's Law is taken over the top on the YoYo Games archive. Going by the length of the "featured games" list, less than 1% of games are considered So Cool It's Awesome by the Game Maker staff — or at least awesome enough that drawing attention to them is a good thing. Anything considered So Bad It's Horrible against this backdrop is... well, you get the idea.
- Just to give you an idea of the scale involved, YoYo Games has ~400 featured games, taken from a library of 116,000 games.
- Lowtax's Youtube channel features Let's Plays showcasing many poor Game Maker games, which show a general pattern: ripping off actual games or licenses, poor texture usage, bad graphics, bad sound design, and simplistic gameplay, if the gameplay works at all.
- Even among the games reviewed by Lowtax, Dontrel Dolphin is often regarded as the absolute worst, and definitely the weirdest. In short, it's a platformer with all-around terrible level design, an art style that resembles Yoshi's Island on crack, Loads and Loads of Loading, and music that's pure Nightmare Fuel. Not to be deterred, the creator made a sequel... which has worse graphics, worse music, an intro narration that sounds like it was read by someone reading from cue cards while on valium, and 3D boss battles which almost always crash after a few seconds.
- Then there's the really oddly named JOSH (AKA Josh.exe), something made to discuss the danger of gaming addiction... In a video game. There's also some terrible voice acting bordering on lines of Narm, and some rather out-of-nowhere moments with even MORE Narm. The graphics overlap when they shouldn't (a table holding a TV gets overlapped by the player character, for instance) and you can phase off the entire map's camera. The graphics are even worse, too, and the menu has a typo which makes the word "Dedication" spelled like "Deadication". Watch Lowtax riff it here.
- Death Trap is a point-and-click horror game. or at least, it tries to be. You see, there are two coding commands in Actionscript 2 known as "gotoAndPlay(frame number)" and "gotoAndStop(frame number)." One of the uses for these two lines of code is for putting them on buttons when combined with the "on(release)" command, so that when you press a button in the .swf file, the button will lead to a certain frame in the .swf. They're not meant to be used for everything (or at least, not in their bare form), but they can be used for some stuff, such as simple buttons in menus. However, they're not supposed to be used for, say... movement buttons in point and click games. You can guess what the author of ''Death Trap'' used these commands for. Because of how these work, you can't just throw around some basic buttons and expect things to work without making the game really linear. And that's exactly what the author did. He made the game really linear.
- There is no exploration whatsoever. Sometimes there are arrows that show on the screen and are unclickable until you're forced to return. There are less then 4 alternate routes in the game, and all of them lead to instant death. Because of how it's coded, the author couldn't just link back to certain frames of the game, which increased the filesize exponentially because he had to copy the same image multiple times.
- The voice acting is terrible. The main character is emotionless, and the villain sounds like he was done by a 12-year old who watched his first slasher flick. There is one thing that he did well; the creator is Australian, and was faking an American accent.
- All of the backgrounds were stock renders from "Gallery of 3D." He made nothing himself.
- The real kicker though? In the Newgrounds review section, he replies to negative reviews saying that "he worked his ass off for this game." Sure buddy, sure... He also has this attitude towards anyone giving him constructive criticism.
- However, in the comment section of this video, the author of the game does express regret over making this game.
- Nocturnal Letters is a Newgrounds point-and-click whose main draw is that the backgrounds are real pictures taken of the author's family's home. They are...except not only were the pictures taken with a webcam, they're so hideously compressed that it's nigh-impossible to make anything out. Navigating around the areas is unnecessarily difficult as well, thanks to a confusing navigation system and the aforementioned terrible compression. The puzzles are barely there, and the story can't decide if it's a horror story or a Brother-Sister Incest love story.
- Rule for Creepypastas: if Jeff the Killer is in it, it's terrifying. Rule for games: if the Jeff the Killer is in it, it's crap. Illusion is a Slender-clone where it's easier to die and harder to win, and Illusion: Ghost Killer has pretty much the same mechanics and goals as Slender, only Jeff appears to attack you whenever you try to place one of the cameras (you need to place six), on top of some Engrish and cartoon graphics. However, the absolute worst of all the games is the one simply titled Jeff the Killer. It's a series of jumpscares of Jeff's face, along with a spider for some reason. There is absolutely nothing else that's scary in the game. There's a couple of keys to use on doors, as well as a gun which is used once (on the spider), has terrible aiming, and has no place being in a Creepypasta-inspired game. Since you get a weapon, you have to have a health meter, which goes down whenever you look at the monsters, and losing all of your health causes the entire building to take off into space, leaving you behind with Jeff's face. Winning is pretty much A Winner Is You, and finding the real ending is hard due to the confusing level design and awful lighting (which is constantly flashing). Oh yeah, and all the music is Hell Is That Noise, just for maximum irritation. Admittedly, Jeff's face is pretty scary, but that's all the game has going for it, and seems to believe that star power is all it really needs.
With over 15,000 Doom
mods on the /idgames archives, there are many horrible ones to go around:
- The infamous Giulio "Glassyman" Galassi created a series of infamously-bad maps that were widely reviled, leading him to lash out at his critics by creating childish, mean-spirited, homophobic, and incredibly-unfunny "joke wads" mocking his critics. Galassi has been banned from every notable Doom community on the internet, and the mention of his name creates Internet Backdraft. Here's a review of one of them.
- "Doom: Rampage Edition". Eagerly anticipated, but ultimately failed to live up to its promise. 60 megs of stolen music that did nothing other than bloat the filesize to 80 Megs (which, aside from potential legal complications, strained the net connections of its time), bad graphics, boring and repetitive gameplay... It won the award for Worst Wad in the 2004 Cacowards. The author's hostile reaction to its adverse criticism didn't help matters.
- The mod's plot is about a Baron of Hell who escapes a UAC lab. The plot had potential but is ruined by the above flaws and the fact that the Baron can use guns, among others a Cacodemon gun that fires a lone fireball that kills most enemies in a single hit and goes through them, and infinite ammo shotgun and dual chainguns that you collect very early on. For the record the Baron's usual abilities (a green fireball and a claw) are there... except they use the same view sprite (an edited fist) and the fireball has no proper firing frame.
- It was so bad someone claimed they could pull a better wad out of their ass. A week later, Deathbringer made a mod titled such — "A Better Wad Pulled Out Of My Ass".
- "Nazi Auferstehung: A DukenDoom Adventure". Won the Worst Wad award at the 2006 Cacowards for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to badly-textured levels created with a random level generator, badly-imported resources from other games, a truckload of copyrighted MP3s that don't play as music in-game, use and abuse of Most Annoying Sound (a sound byte of Duke Nukem saying "Die, you sunovabitch" plays every time an enemy dies by gibbing - an ill-conceived decision, as the same file plays after inputting the suicide code), and its inclusion of multiple copies of the copyrighted Doom II resource file. But this didn't become as infamous as it is until the author hilariously attempted to defend his creation by claiming to be autistic, which didn't fit his behavior at all; if anything, he was "anti-autistic".
- "UAC Military Nightmare", by someone under the name of Terry. The story of the mod is a bunch of John Romero heads trying to "rape" the player with BFG rays. The gameplay is dumb, the story and scripting is vulgarity featuring overt references to anal rape... One map is even flat-out malicious, with a script that wrecks your Skulltag (now Zandronum) configuration and renames your character to a homophobic insult. It duly won Worst Wad at the 2008 Cacowards; see Darknation's rather vitriolic rant about it here.
- "Terry" also has a large catalog of well detailed, unfinished maps designed to fool the player into a death trap filled with ear rape. As if that weren't bad enough, he has a number of fanboys that do the exact same thing (though these could be aliases), to the point that "Terrywad" has become synonymous with "Shit" on the /idgames archives. Some of these cross the line and are actively malicious: some follow the aforementioned example by screwing with your Zandronum configuration; others are "zip bombs" which disguise themselves as small zip files, only to inflate into hundreds of megabytes (or, in one case, a gigabyte) when you extract them due to compression trickery and potentially overload the system trying to extract them.
- On May 4, 2014, "UAC Military Nightmare" and a number of its successors and imitators were purged from the /idgames archives as part of a crackdown on WADs that misrepresent their contents, and on malicious WADs such as zip bombs and those with scripts designed to wreck your Zandronum config. Two days later, a directory was created to house the rest of the "terrywads" completely separate from the regular archive, making it obvious what the WADs are so anyone can avoid them. Not a tear was shed in the community—except from the WADs' creators and their fanboys, of course.
- There's also D!Zone, a series of CDs sold containing hundreds of .wads collected from the internet. It was quite helpful among some players who didn't have the resources to check out .wads online at the time. Too bad a large chunk of the .wads were horrible, most of them unfinished, and some that wouldn't even load correctly at all. Several Youtube users started a series called The D!Zone Experience to showcase some of the weirder ones included.
- Grezzo 2. Some Italian thought it would be a good idea to plagiarize a pretty goddamn wide (and we mean wide—the file takes up more than two gigabytes) variety of Doom mods, binding them all together with an extra helping of WTF(e.g. killing the pope—with a gun that shoots popes) It's disorganized, offensive nonsense on all fronts. Here's Dross Roztank doing an LP in Spanish, if you wanna look: first, story mode 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
- "Wow" (more popularly known by its filename, wow.wad) is a 1999 Doom level consisting of a square room with a hanging body, a BFG 9000 with ammo, a Cyberdemon in a deep pit...and nothing else. And the walls of the pit have no textures, resulting in graphical glitches. It's certainly one of the most pointless levels for any game, but making it one of the Top 10 Infamous Wads is the author's passing it off as a mission to hunt and kill a wounded Cyberdemon trapped in an "illusio-pit". Can be viewed here.
- The word "illusio-pit" comes from the use of untextured pits having fake floors drawn over them, which makes them useful for illusions simulating deep water (an area of water surrounding an illusio-pit will make the water seem to stretch over the pit, making things look like they are submerged in the water) or monsters rising up out of the ground. Of course, wow.wad's use of the "illusio-pit" seems more a consequence of the author not knowing how to apply upper and lower textures.
- "Save The World!" is a 10-level patch which suffers from numerous problems. All 10 maps have sub-par texturing and bland, boring architecture. All of the new enemies are random Google Image Search results (often with the plain white backgrounds still intact) on top of the same 3 or 4 enemy templates recycled several times. The templates these enemies were based on are no better, having the static pictures slide around making loud, obnoxious noises and firing stock projectiles. One of the levels doesn't allow the player to move and is therefore unwinnable, Another is a plain square with an enemy that can't hurt the player, many others rely on Fake Difficulty in the form of not providing enough ammo. On top of all that the authors didn't include any new music, instead opting to use unmodified tunes from Doom II often in out-of-place settings. And there's No Ending to speak of.
- "Doomguy's Warzone" is not to be confused with something with the same name that came out years earlier. It is essentially a gameplay mod with far too many unnecessary difficulty modes, too many overpowered custom weapons, too many ungodly annoying or lethally-aggravating custom enemies amongst the randomly-generated roster, and almost all of the resources are pretty much plagiarised...not to mention, there are a ton of custom items that either make things too easy or are utterly useless. On top of all this, the author, Doomguy 2000, continues to pimp the hell out of his disasterpiece; even being repeatedly told to cease and desist said pimping, by seemingly the whole Doom Community, didn't hinder him any. You may Face Palm at Doomguy 2000 for his unwavering stupidity now.
- Doomguy 2000's other work isn't much better. While some of his stuff might be considered "avant-garde", he has quite the volume of horrible wads.
- 100x. It's a patch that multiplies the amount of enemies and items 100 times, and ends up making the game completely unplayable.
- Blind Doom and Seizure Doom. 2 concepts that didn't need to exist in the first place, and aren't even done particularly well. For example, in Blind Doom you can still see the ceiling and floor textures.
- The Worst Level Ever Made. It's a 1x1 box. That's it. No gameplay to speak of whatsoever. Well, at least the title is honest.
- The Most Impossible Difficulty Ever lives up to its name. It replaces everything with unbelievably broken custom monsters, getting you killed almost instantly and lagging the game to near-frozen levels.
- Christian Weston Chandler (better known for the creation of Sonichu; see the Horrible.Webcomics section for details) is infamous for his LittleBigPlanet mods. They are, barring perhaps the "First Date Level," quite bugged, poorly assembled, and full of Fake Difficulty. One of the mods, despite having been up for three years, has had fewer than 20 people clear it. This carried on to the game's sequel:
- "Autism Tutorial". It's a cutscene with no gameplay proper, but the content's the real problem — it starts out as the basics about Autism, taken from That Other Wiki. Not halfway through, it's a schizophrenic, self-important, rambling Author Tract that has nothing to do with Autism, yet somehow exhibits every negative stereotype associated with it, culminating in a "satirical" talk show segment where the host beats up Hans Asperger for no other reason than that he made Chris feel less special. Here it is, in just seven parts.
Super Mario World
- Kong's characters are known to be extremely glitchy and broken. Mentioning Kong is calling a flame war upon yourself. Here's one reason.
- Omega Red beat Rare Akuma, a character purposefully designed to be broken and undefeatable by a skilled MUGEN character maker, on hard AI mode.
- In more general terms, the Infinity Mugen Team template for Marvel Vs Capcom-style characters is said to be so bad that it would be easier to make an accurate MvC character based on Kung Fu Man than on the template, or to take the sprites that Kong ripped and code it yourself.
- "Raruto Full Game", a game based on a Naruto parody (which is WAY better than the game) whose whole roster comprises poorly-coded Kung Fu Man edits. The stages available in-game are all stolen. Here's a peek at said horrid characters getting beaten up. By far, funnier than the "full game" itself.
- There are some characters referred in the MUGEN community as "Retarded Characters", all considered such because of horrible controls, badly-coded features, or deplorable spritework. In some cases, the spritework may be good but the characters are blatant ripoffs of existing characters, also known as "Spriteswaps". For example, Warner's Vampire Burns (a spriteswap of an already-horrible Jedah by Kong) and the extremely-infamous Peter Griffin by Actarus (no words needed).
- Speaking of Actarus, while his Peter Griffin is his most infamous character, he has many more characters with large problems. Bad spriting and sounds, a shortage of hitboxes, bloated stats, and overpowered attacks. Of course, various people have beaten down Actarus' 'characters'.
- Spriteswaps in general tend to be pretty awful. It doesn't help that many of them have jacked-up stats. Given the fact that the underlying code is meant for a different character, hilarity is bound to ensue even if no modifications are made. Of course, some creators have even done sprite swaps of their own characters.
- Several authors take the idea of spriteswaps Up to Eleven. Almost all of KoopaKingdom.com's characters are spriteswaps of Mortal Kombat characters, poorly made into Nintendo characters. Spriteswapping is far from the only flaw present in KoopaKingdom.com's characters. They also possess ridiculously powerful attacks, high priority on all of their attacks, spriting issues (even disregarding the spriteswapping), glitches, and several characters still have the pre-spriteswap sounds (resulting in Yoshi sounding like Scorpion, for instance.) Don't just take our word, see them in all of their unglory here.
- For more examples of Retarded Characters, just look at what YouTube drops on results on retarded character beatdowns.
- One particularly awful character creator is GooGoo64. He combines the horrible-to-the-point-of-gamebreaking coding of Kong or Ainotenshi with the spriting styles of some of RyouWin's earlier Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes characters (essentially, using a capture card to get footage and then manipulating it into sprites for the character). His characters have unblockable moves, moves that render the character invincible while using them, one-hit kills, and various other problems. But one that stands out even among this crowd of miserable failure is his version of Gold Lightan from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, which turns out to be a spriteswap of an MvC-style Ryu but with massively jacked-up stats; to make it worse, while the character is open-source, he didn't appear to have given credit to the original creator, or even changed the file names.
- The_None, author of several very much better quality Joke Characters made an extended video beatdown series where he showcases each of Googoo64 aberrations' broken moves, explaining additional bugs and subsequently beating them legitly (if possible at all). You can start from here.
- Another infamous creator (though less well-known than Actarus or GooGoo64) is Pgrs111Magen. To start, every single character of his is a spriteswap, encompassing a wide variety of characters. While most of his characters are badly done Touhou characters, a few are hate characters of people he doesn't like, most likely because they bashed his works. In addition to spriteswapping, his characters tend to have sprites and palettes that range from awful to down-right horrifying to outright pornographic. Combined with equally bad soundpacks, several characters with overpowered stats or moves, and a blatant disrespect for those that created the characters, and we have a real piece of work. Don't just take the description into account, there are many videos on YouTube bashing these creations, none perhaps more in depth than Dumanios'
- Spinicci "Kingstar" Giacomo is an author often speculated to have some connection with Actarus due to how similar their "creations" are. His sprites consist entirely of stolen art cut and pasted at random, with the end result often described as "Cardboard Cutouts" or "Action Figures". Max Payne in particular is generally regarded as his worst due to being a spriteswap of an already shoddy Duke Nukem and having one of the most grating death cries known to man.
- Mario's in Terror. Probably a troll game to be honest, it's a glitched, near unplayable mess that plagiarises Brutal Mario (first and fifth level), Kaizo Mario (second level) and the original game (one of the others).
- SMB Crossover (Not to Be Confused with the popular and well-done Flash game). It's entirely level remakes based on better games, and horrendously done, massively cut off and glitched remakes to boot (the Yoshi's Island level has to be seen to be believed).
- Mario Super Star. No video to show it, but it's a terrible game with many... unusual problems. Namely, a level with entirely glitched graphics to the point of unplayableness, levels without any enemies, flat levels, levels which are nearly the exact same as the originals (except you're invisible), massive slow down, cut off, and an unwinnable final boss with no weaknesses or attacks. The biggest problem? Unlike most games listed here, which are usually only a few levels long, this game lasts for nine worlds.. You will lose the will to live if you try to play the entire thing.
- Its sequel of kinds, SMW3 New Levels and Retro Levels is a bit better, but not much. The first five or so levels have zero challenge whatsoever and often no enemies or sprites in them, but it really, really starts to fall apart in 'level' 8. That level is literally just the SMW Bowser fight. Then the next one is just the first level in Super Mario World, except you're permanently invincible, the next is another unedited SMW Bowser fight, except you're forced to be small, and while one final level is sort of new, the final real one is a completely unedited SMW level. It's just so lazy all round, and it's the author's fourth game in a row which could be classified as at least So Bad, It's Good. It can be found here
- Hammer Brother Demo 3 is a hack made by a Brazillian user called blackout77 on SMW Central. It's also a horrific mess in pretty much every way possible.
- The graphics range from bland to absolutely horrible MS Paint-level abominations that probably wouldn't stand up to Chris-chan's work. Most notably the stadium castle in world 1. Sometimes they clash horribly too, like Donkey Kong Country backgrounds with 8-bit Super Mario Bros. 1 foregrounds. They're also glitched in many cases. Sometimes top-down graphics like those from Pokémon are used in a side viewed platformer and look hideous.
- The music ranges from okay to awful, with some of it either having no samples in a song that needs them (which makes it sound like crap) and some ported songs that sound like the original as butchered by NES pirates. Just the horrific mess that's been made of the Cossack's Citadel stage 1 theme from Mega Man 4 has to be heard to be believed. Hear it in this video, which compares the crappy ports to the original songs.
- Levels are copied wholesale from better games. Including Super Mario Forever (a kaizo game) and Kaizo Mario World. At least six are unedited from the original game.
- The whole thing has Ratchet Scrolling, yet levels require you to go left as well as right. Lots of being screwed over as a result.
- Whole parts are blatantly ripped off from Brutal Mario, except without the quality ASM/programming gimmicks. Think "Brutal Mario as if The Asylum made it". He also horribly rips off VIP 4 in two more levels.
- Seriously, just read the review here. It's just... bad on so many levels.
- Super Mario Bros Lost Brain Ultimate Edition. In short, it is absolutely void of anything resembling consistency, making every single aspect of the game an excruciatingly cheap exercise in Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
- Link's Adventure: The Legend of Zelda meets Super Mario World. Should be good, right? Well, no, it isn't. The graphics are simplified, complete with a Link who has just one animation frame and constantly faces the camera with his nonexistent face. The enemies are NES sprites on 16 bit backgrounds/tilesets, which look absolutely horrible; the music is extremely bland SMB 3 tunes used with no variation (literally, the grass/athletic theme is used for all but TWO levels with no changes) and the level design is flat and boring with huge areas of open space with no obstacles. Really, the whole thing is just a horrendous missed opportunity. You can see the hack in The 5 Random Guys LP of it here.
- Harmonix's Rock Band Network has the song "Fat Kid" by Nothing More. Not the song itself, but the chart. The only decent chart is the guitar chart; the bass chart is completely off sync with unnecessary chords, the drum chart smacks of using the wrong notes, and the vocal chart has many wrong pitches.
- Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 have tons of custom campaigns created for them and there are lots of bad ones. Most of the recurring elements of a badly designed map is areas that abuse Door To Before, throwing in hordes of zombies for seemingly no reason other than to "challenge" the player by forcing them to fight hundreds of zombies for the sake of it, and starving the player of items like ammo and health kits. Modders may not even bother to have the survivor AI work properly, which can cause frustrating things like the AI not picking up new guns or supplies and getting stuck due to badly programmed pathing.
- What also does not help for levels that don't make survivor AI work correctly are modders who defend the notion by saying that you need to play with friends to fully enjoy the levels. Little do they realize that not everyone has 3 friends who all have the same custom campaign nor are they always online at the same time.
- Fire Emblem has an extensive hacking community, so naturally a lot of stinkers turn up. One of the biggest problems is that most hacks tend to get abandoned early in development; it's rare for most "total conversion" hacks to ever make it past the first few chapters before ending abruptly and leaving whatever story was being established up in the air. For "balance" or "challenge" hacks, meanwhile, the issue generally just lies in the fact that most of these types of hacks are laughably unbalanced and/or unfairly difficult, and may also be buggy due to a lack of testing. Some other extremely common issues for any type of hack are poorly designed maps with bad enemy placement, high level foes that the player must defeat long before it would be feasible for them to do so, unbalanced character stats and growths that either make the game too easy (no one has any real flaws, resulting in an army of juggernauts) or too hard (none of the characters stats go up reliably, resulting in a weak team well into high levels), terrible sprite work, and poor quality music.
- Perhaps the worst big-name offenders are the Gheb Duology and Tales of the Emblem. Gheb FE and Gheb Saga are prime examples of dragging a bad joke too far through the mud. Although the hacking itself isn't bad, the writing looks like something a 10-year old who just heard from his friends what rape is would come up with. Coupled with an annoyingly high difficulty, this is one to pass up unless you want to experience the awfulness yourself. Tales of the Emblem, on the other hand, is the epitome of lazy hacking. It simply replaces every major character in The Sacred Stones (Lyon being the odd exception) with Tales characters. It also makes almost everyone completely broken, gives stat boosters more than one use and gives almost everyone terrible, terrible sprites with badly-inserted blinking frames.
- There's also Fire Emblem Different Dimensions Ostian Princess, or FEDDOP, which is what you will be after playing it. The design decisions make hardly any sense, the plot stars Lilina but has so many holes it's hardly there at all, and there's hardly any difficulty at all and, after clearing chapter 13 the game goes right back to chapter 12, causing an infinite loop. It's broken on a completely hilarious level.
- Schoolvania, a rom hack of Castlevania I. It's plagued with horrible level design, is obviously untested, and despite its name, doesn't really have anything to do with school. Bottomless pits are virtually everywhere, which is a problem in a game that already has recoil and stiff jump physics. Ironically, it makes some parts easier because some enemies just walk straight into these pits. Some segments require you to damage boost to proceed. You can't even make it to Death because the blocks are arranged in a way that are impossible to bypass.
- Grudge, a custom campaign for Cry of Fear, was awful in design through and through. Attempting to play resulted in viewing some poor map design and frustrating trial-and-error gameplay with repeated dying, inexplicably for standing on the wrong spot or even just reaching for in-game items strewn about across the levels. Even though it was submitted to the official english-speaking forums, any info given as to what to do or how to progress in the campaign was written entirely in Chinese, creating a language barrier that alienated a good 98% of the forumgoers. Along with models snagged without permission and giving Cry of Fear credit for the stolen music from Silent Hill and Resident Evil, had one of the developers of Cry of Fear step in and remove it from the website.
- The existence of the Atari Jaguar CD is puzzling, given the Jaguar's low sales. The toilet bowl-shaped design was the least of its troubles — few copies even worked, and were nigh irreparable to boot. Only 15 games were made for it, none of which could outperform Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" music video in terms of graphics. Dr. Insano, one of the few who could get one to work, says:
[N]ot only is it prone to hardware failures, it's prone to about five different ways it can fail. It can fail if [it] isn't perfectly set on the [Jaguar]. It can fail if the contacts aren't clean. It can fail if the MemoryTrack cartridge isn't perfectly set, and it can easily fail because the laser itself or the motor mechanism are defective, and they often are, and in [Spoony's] case, it failed because the lid is so poorly designed that, when closed, it actually closes too tightly and mashes the CD against the inside of the drive, preventing it from spinning, and that could easily cause additional internal damage[...E]ven when I did get it to work [it] still froze all the time, and I do mean all the damn time!
- Spoony himself later remarked "After spending three days getting the thing to work [...] the motor on the CD drive completely crapped out."
- It took James Rolfe (in tandem with Richard Daluz, his repairman) three tries to get a salvageable, let alone working, unit. note
- The Game.com (the dot isn't pronounced) by Tiger Electronics. It introduced the touch screen, Internet browsing, and the potential for online multiplayer (no game for this system used it for gameplay) a full seven years before the big names. Unfortunately, it just wasn't possible to do that well with 1997 technology. The device had to be tethered to a bulky modem and two expensive add-on cartridges if you wanted to use the Internet. Its Game Boy-grade CPU was crippled (by multiple culprits, one being the OS-mandated processing overhead) to the point of barely surpassing the Game & Watch. The touch screen didn't have a full percent of modern touch screens' sensitivity, and suffered so much ghosting and smearing that faster-paced games were virtually unplayable. You can actually see the touch screen electrodes when you pick the thing up, all 108 of them. Add a library of under 20 games, and you have an example of great idea, lousy execution. Here it is in action, specifically on a port of Sonic Jam.
- For some reason, there was a Game.com port of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, a sluggish and stripped-down version of the game that only included 13 of the characters of the console versions, and a limited pool of special attacks and finishers for each.
- Dr. Ashens has reviewed this game system and several of its games. He was not merciful.
- Neither was the advertising, which seemed to think that insulting gamers was how they would sell their product. It was like they wanted the system to fail.
- Tiger made a last-ditch attempt to save the console with the Pocket Pro revision, which was somewhat smaller and had a much better screen... but cut out the original model's internet connectivity. Unsurprisingly, it again flopped at retail.
- The Gizmondo, quite possibly the reigning king of mismanaged portables this side of the Virtual Boy. Released by Tiger Telematics note in 2005, the system came in two variants — one for the low price of $400, and a cheaper model for $230. The difference between the two? The cheaper model forces you to wait through on-screen commercials before playing. Couple that with a cell-phone sized screen, a pathetic battery life of 90 minutes, and a library consisting entirely of eight unremarkable games, not to mention the lousy marketing, and you have a recipe for disaster. To top it off, it sold a truly abysmal 25,000 units (making it the single worst-selling video game device of all time), bankrupted its parent corporation, and brought CEO Stefan Erikson's Mafia ties to light, resulting in his arrest.
- The Hyperscan from Mattel, a small console released in 2006 and discontinued the next year. Similar to Skylanders, the console has a scanner where you use cards to scan in powerups for the character you want to play in the game. However, unlike Skylanders, the scanning refuses to work properly, leaving one to constantly swipe or place the card on the scanner to get it to read. Moreover, the system is incredibly light with no rubber ends to keep the console on the table. The games (all five of them) have abysmal loading times and unimpressive graphics for its time. Despite retailing at $70, the Hyperscan failed to please its child demographic and had to sink to $10 to push its product before folding in 2007. Classic Game Room takes a look at it here.
- The Interact, the only gaming system ever put out by Intec, a company that specializes in accessories for most gaming systems. This system is not advertised on Intec's official website at all, and for good reason. It's a flimsy ripoff of the Nintendo Wii with a similar looking console and controllers. Unlike the Wii, this system only sports graphics that would look bad on the SNES and only mono audio support. The games for it are all soulless copycats of other better games, and some of them even steal graphics from well-respected franchises like Half-Life and Crash Bandicoot. Also, whereas the Wii had plenty of games with poorly-implemented motion controls, the Interact has faked motion controls; using certain peripherals are literally the same as pushing the A button. Pro Jared considers it as one of the worst systems he's ever played.
- Jungle Tac's Wireless60 has the exact same problems as the Interact: poor and stolen graphics, dull gameplay, and fake motion controls. Rerez takes a look at it here, where he calls it the worst game system he has ever played.
- The Sega Nomad, possibly Sega's worst attempt at making a console, was essentially a handheld Genesis released around the time of the Saturn. While this sounds like a good idea on paper, it's absolutely terrible in execution as it burned through six batteries in 90 minutes, though you could buy a rechargeable battery... which cost $80 and ran out even faster. It was also incredibly sensitive to motion, so you could barely move it lest it freeze, shut down, or just break entirely. It took #1 on Cracked's 6 Most Retarded Gaming Consoles Ever Released.
- Even more, because of its design, a lot of games either couldn't be played or couldn't be beaten! Playing games from the 32X, Sega CD, and the Master System-enabling Power Base Converter forced you to mod it or use third-party devices... and the first X-Men game for the Genesis is unwinnable because there's no reset button!note
- The Pippin, released in 1996 as a partnership between Apple (yes, the same Apple that brought you the Macintosh, iPhone, iPod and iPad) and Bandai, was an unusual cross between a computer and a console, created with the intent of having a cheaper computer play on your TV screen. Instead, the sticker price was $599 USD at the time of launch, the very same price the PlayStation 3 had at launch a decade later, and had substandard hardware below even those of computers of its day, including a 14.4k modem, an anemic RAM supply of 6 MB, and practically no hard drive storage, other than a floppy dock drive capable of handling four disks. Even its controller, the "AppleJack", was apparently not of much use for connecting the Pippin to a standard Apple Macintosh computer. As the only legitimate game console Apple Computer released (this was before the iPhone and iPad), the library of games on the Pippin was small, with four times more games released in Japan than in the U.S.; most of them were from Bandai. Not surprisingly, the Pippin was an enormous failure, selling only 42,000 units and being released at a time when Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy.
- The notoriously bad Shoddy Knockoff systems continue to be churned out by an unnamed company affectionately dubbed as simply "POP Station". Why are they so bad? They're glorified Game And Watches masquerading as high-end electronics. The only good thing out of them have been the reviews by Dr. Stuart Ashen. Worse, they in themselves have their own knockoffs—and true to form, they're still worse than the original.
- For that matter, just about every other "knockoff" system being made. Such as the Zone 40 (a Wii knockoff) and Guitar Star (a Guitar Hero knockoff that you plug straight into your television set). Where can you find those? Your local pharmacy and/or hardware store. No joke!
- Special note goes to the infamous Laden vs. US made by the same people who make Pop Stations. Yes, they made a terrible Game & Watch knock-off game based on one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in history. Watch Dr. Ashens review it and see the sheer disgust he has with its very existence become all but visible on video.
- Mattel and PAX's Power Glove, an NES accessory made famous by its appearance in The Wizard, would theoretically allow the player to control the game using one hand. It was meant to be a big thing, but ended up a barely-functional piece of garbage. It cost more than an NES console, and was nearly unusable. There were only two games released with programming specifically for the Power Glove, although three others were planned — the infamous Bad Street Brawler and Super Glove Ball. There was a method intended to make the Power Glove work with other games, via a keypad and punched-in combination, — but even then, it controlled at best like a drunk on a unicycle. These days, it's best known as a recurring motif in The Angry Video Game Nerd, being famously eviscerated in his 14th video back in 2006 and featuring in later videos, as well as being frequently associated with the character in Fan-Art and Fan Games.
- At a time when LCD games were being phased out and the Game Boy Color was just about to be released, the ill-conceived Pro 200, made by some unknown company under the name ProTech, was released via mail order, claiming to be a cheap alternative to all the other systems out on the market. The "system" (to say the least) was marketed as to having 200 games, being a full-function calculator and having "state-of-the-art" computer chip technology. In reality, the system had only fifteen games (the marketers got the 200 figure by counting each difficulty level as an individual game), most of which were Tetris rip-offs. The ones that weren't Tetris rip-offs were just as bad due to the system's ridiculously small screen, much like those cheap products one could find at a bargain bin.
- The RCA Studio II was a poorly designed console even for its day. Released in early 1977 before the Atari 2600 and shortly after the Fairchild Channel F, not to mention faring even worse than some of the best quality Pong consoles, the RCA Studio II had some major flaws. Despite having five built-in games, the console could only play games in black and white; it had internal speakers whose only sounds you could hear were repetitive beeps; the numeric keypad controllers were built directly into the console, forcing you to huddle up close to the screen just to use them; and the RF switchbox was of a faulty design that supplied the signal to your TV set which, at the same time, gave you both video and DC power to the system. Only 15 games were released on the RCA Studio II, the five built-in games plus 10 cartridge-based games, despite that it was one of the first systems to use interchangable cartridges. Watch this and this review.
- Tiger Electronics' R-Zone, which manages the impressive feat of being a Shoddy Knockoff Product of the Virtual Boy. The one thing it did have over the Virtual Boy was that you could wear it on your head rather than having to use a stand. When you did put it on however, you were treated to graphics worse than a Game & Watch (mostly due to the eye-searing "red on slightly-darker red" color scheme) rendered about three inches in front of your right eye. Needless to say, this didn't produce anything even vaguely resembling virtual reality. Making this whole system even more ridiculous, there were no less than four different versions; the standard "headgear" version, a much larger tabletop variant, a traditional handheld version, and one which also incorporated an electronic organizer, all of which crashed and burned equally. Stuart Ashen gives his take on the handheld version while The Angry Video Game Nerd briefly analyzed the headgear version.
- The Virtual Boy console was one of Nintendo's most publicized and definitely most infamous failures. Originally intended as a ground-breaking 3D game system, the project was spearheaded by Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game Boy. He was forced to get the system out as fast as he could, and it shows: The system couldn't handle color, so it stuck to a monochromatic, headache-inducing red-and-black display, which could even cause permanent eye damage if played too long. The system was bulky and had to be propped up on a table for you to play it, and only the player could see the games being played, meaning multiplayer on the same system was impossible (while the system had a port for a link cable, the system was discontinued before the cable could even be released). Only 22 games were ever released for the system, without any standout titles that took advantage of the 3D effect in a significant way, such as first-person shooters. While some of the games might not have been half-bad, such as Wario Land, there was no reason for them to be on Virtual Boy to begin with, and putting an incredibly addictive game like Tetris (two separate versions of it, no less) on a system that can cause permanent eye damage in long sessions is just puzzling. It destroyed Gunpei Yokoi's career with Nintendo, and was such a humiliating flop that Nintendo doesn't talk about it anymore (barring them poking fun at it in Tomodachi Life), even editing out a reference in the overseas version of Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was decades until they made another 3D console.
- The VictorMaxx Virtual Reality Stuntmaster. The device is not a console, but rather a large set of goggles that can plug into a SNES or Sega Genesis and play games in front of the user's eyes. The box also boasted a "motion sensor", which supposedly reacts when the user turns his/her head. Whilst having a slightly better design with a headband rather than the Virtual Boy's stand, the thing's size and weight put serious discomfort on the user's nose. However getting it to work presents the biggest problem; there were no instructions in the box (though it did have a bizarre joke résumé) and the wiring system was a complete mess, which out of the box was unable to plug into anything but an original model Genesis. When you finally get it working, you are treated to a horribly muddy Game Gear-like display that seriously hurts the eyes. And the "motion sensor" promised on the box? It was a ripcord-like stick you clip onto your shirt and plug into the device, that shifts the display a little when the ripcord runs along a sensor. James Rolfe and Mike Matei take a look at it.