Horrible / Video Games Other

A handful of game developers, both professional and independent, often have a hard time making games that are fun, or even playable. Game mods and homebrew creations exist that can put the worst fanfic in perspective. Your internet and cell phone aren't even safe. And, in some cases, even the consoles are better off sacrificed to your trash compactor.

Important Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. A game isn't horrible just because The Angry Video Game Nerd, Spoony, Yahtzee, JonTron, 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 professional reviews, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review(s).)

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order)

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  • 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 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.) If you want to know why this was such a trainwreck, miiyouandmii2's video shines a light on the project's dubious history.
    • The nadir of the already loathed package is generally considered to be Micro Mike, which is almost unplayable and nearly impossible to beat its three sparse stages without tool assistance, due to its insanely claustrophobic level design and merciless enemy placement, combined with Micro Mike's uncontrollably fast speed and one hit stamina.
    • 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.
    • People like Vinny also noted that in the NES Cheetahman game for Action 52, if you go down a certain hole that takes you to a "Level 9" (which is just a room that holds a 1-Up and an exit in either direction) and then go to the right door, it takes you to a "Level 10" that's essentially unplayable. It's likely a thing that was originally cut due to strict deadlines, but to Vinny, it was essentially the first time he ever saw a game basically corrupt itself.
    • 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 was a low-budget company who mainly used licences that were on sale for absurdly low prices and made 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, which is a completely failed attempt at an FPS with generic and dull environments, stiff animations, sloppy shooting mechanics, lack of voice acting, countless glitches and an ugly PS1-grade player model of Axel Foley that does not even vaguely resemble Eddie Murphy. Everything is covered in this two-part video, though Giant Bomb takes a few swings at it as well.
    • Little Britain: The Video Game, which was hailed by many UK critics as the worst game on the PS2, is 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 by Tennings.
    • Their version of Home Alone (for those not familiar, the PS2 version) also applies, due to its very unintuitive gameplay, horribly outdated graphics that make the game look like it came out on the Nintendo 64, very repetitive level design and extremely loose connection with the film. JonTron took a look at it in his Home Alone video game journey here.
  • Code Monkeys was a company known for collaborating with Dingo Pictures to release games centered around Dingo Pictures films (exclusively for PlayStation of all things). These games were nothing more than a mediocre activity center with puzzles and paint programs involvednote , as well as watching the film they were based on. Normally, companies who make these type of games would not be here because most of them aren't horrible, but what made them so notorious is the fact that Dingo Pictures makes shoddy knock-offs of more successful movies, and they have their own spot on the other page. Go look them up on YouTube and witness the... well, "horror" is far too light a term to describe it. You gotta love the three frame-per-second walking cycle, the reused voice actors and 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.
    • Their most infamous "games" are English dubs of Disney ripoffs from Dingo Pictures (who are also covered on Horrible.Animated Films)... but many of their actual games are worse.
    • Caddicarus took a look at Dalmatians 3, and he considers it the worst game he's ever played, even worse than Coronation Street: The Mystery of the Missing Hotpot Recipe. 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 CDi 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 quite a while 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 (more-or-less) watching the entire movie.
    • It seriously says a lot about the quality of their games when there have been reported cases of PS2 consoles that have simply stopped working upon attempting to play one of their games. To quote a YouTube comment:
    "I actually own Animal Soccer World and let me tell you it's a piece of shit. We actually had to get a new PS2 because of it - our first one stopped working after I played it for the first time."
    • Aside from the Dingo Pictures collaborations, they were also responsible for The Simpsons Skateboarding, a third-rate knockoff of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games with terrible controls and poor level design among other problems. This game also got a bashing by Caddicarus seen here.
  • Color Dreams was an infamous and prolific developer of unlicensed NES games. 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 were sold at the time) and was the only company to have an working unlicensed SNES game (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.
    • 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 - it has a mention on the So Bad, It's Good Video Games page.)
  • Data Design Interactive used to be a fairly decent, if polarizing, company and unlike many companies they have their own engine, the first model of which dating as far back as 1990. While they did even back in the 90's make some truly horrible games (like the Genesis and Super NES versions of 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 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. Nintendo decided to be more lax with third-parties to attract casual gamers to the Wii... 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.
    • To add an extra layer of horror, the company once worked on the sequel of Zool 2. Once the creator of Zoo Digital (created by former Gremlin Graphics employees) managed to get the Zool license, they obviously wanted a sequel to it, so they contacted the company to do just that. Gremlin Graphics ended up being abhorred by the prototype, and the project was put on ice. Instead of cancelling the game, however, the 5 prototype levels which were all made with a different aesthetic (presumably because the game was early in development) were all continued by Dat Design. The only change that was made was replacing the main character. What started thus as an Obvious Beta for a Zool sequel that was never to be became 5 games (Ninjabread Man, Anubis 2, Myth Makers: Trixie In Toyland, Rock and Roll Adventures and Billy the Wizard) with the same level design, but with a different aesthetic and main character.
    • Billy the Wizard is an atrocious attempt at a "flight racer" with poor controls, weird design choices, and a failure of a tutorial level note  On top of all the other problems it has, it recycles music from Ninjabread Man (which was released back in 2005, while Billy was first released in 2006) which, while not terrible music, is not appropriate for either game.
    • For one example from before they gained their reputation for Wii shovelware games, they made a Nickelodeon game called Nickelodeon Party Blast. While most of Nickelodeon's video games are Cult Classics for the ages, this party game is not. On top of having rather poor, Nintendo 64-level graphics for the systems it was on (the Xbox and the GameCube; a PS2 port was planned, but cancelled), Loads and Loads of Loading, and almost no voice acting whatsoever (aside from host CatDog) beyond generic grunting sounds from the eight playable characters, the mini-games included in the game feature terrible controls, boring gameplay, annoying sound effects (which are bound to be playing constantly during the game), and are painfully easy to win. PeanutButterGamer (who placed this game 3rd on a list of his 10 worst party games behind Family Party 30 Great Games and Animal Crossing amiibo Festival) demonstrates this with a food fight minigame where he won all of the rounds (except a boss fight) by hardly doing anything.
    • Surprisingly, the company still exists. Unlike most companies on the list, they even have their own website. From what one can gather, nowadays they mainly seem to focus on the creation of advergames, although they've also decided to organize a video game summer camp to let more people get familiar with GODS. They are also interested in making a sequel to Rock Raiders, which will be made by the same staff that made the original and the My Personal Golf series. As of this writing, though, it seems that both are in Development Hell.
  • Delta 4 Interactive (D4i) and On-Line Entertainment made some particularly terrible games that were only available for the short-lived Commodore Amiga CDTV and Microsoft DOS.
    • The Town With No Name would have mostly gone unnoticed if not for a pair of Retsupurae videos. 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 actually playing this game with its wooden voice acting, terrible animation, and generally easy nature, since you could beat the game in about a half-hour if you know what you're doing. 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. Interestingly enough, Brutal Moose would have considered this video game a So Bad, It's Good game instead if it weren't for the fact that this game can be very tedious as well with one-hit kills that make you start over at the very start of the game, as displayed in his review here.
    • 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. It especially doesn't help that in the review Brutal Moose did for the game on the DOS version, he completed the game in nine minutes and nine seconds, with five minutes and 23 seconds of his playthrough involved him being stuck on loading screens instead! Like The Town With No Name, Psycho Killer also received the Retsupurae treatment.
  • Digital Homicide was an indie studio run by two brothers, James and Robert Romine, notorious for its low-quality games and plagiarism of assets through Google Image Search and from other game developers. Beyond the asset thievery, Digital Homicide's games were not only completely uninspired, but also full of bugs and glitches, while also charging people between $10 and $25 just for Steam Early Access. Not only that, but Digital Homicide had a really bad case of Can't Take Criticism — they deleted any negative posts on their Steam forum and banned people for posting them. They also started a flame war with Jim Sterling over his highly negative video on their most infamous game, the problems with which are detailed below, and then went and referred to game critics and Lets Players as parasites who are destroying gaming by mocking and criticizing bad games rather than supporting the developers.
    • Their most infamous game, of course, being none other than The Slaughtering Grounds, an abysmal 2014 zombie FPS with numerous bugs such as a plane flying sideways (with sound desynced, to boot), a hugely inconsistent and ugly (and sometimes stolen) art style with both mummies and zombies in the same vicinity for no adequately explained reason, intensely irritating looped music, and such insane concepts as the fact that, when you pick up ammo, you only get ammo for the gun currently in your hand. The game's provision of ammo is also stingy at best, which can leave you helpless against a conga line of zombies that you can't outrun. When the game was first released, the first official screenshot on the Steam page was of Digital Homicide's release page for the game on Steam, with an arrow pointing to a resubmission reason that one of them has filled in, revealing that Digital Homicide knowingly released the game in an unfinished state without the Early Access program.
    • Another game of theirs is Temper Tantrum, a game in which Little Johnny destroys the interior of his house over being sent to bed. The graphics are eye-searing, the enemies don't belong in the same universe as Little Johnny or the interiors because, predictably, the assets are stolen, the controls are terrible, the camera swings around and clips through walls because you can't control it, the music sounds like something out of a Popcorn Arcade game, and destroying multiple objects results in the same annoying sound effect over and over again. The duo went on to release Temper Tantrum 2, which is essentially the same thing but with one or two new levels at most, with none of the flaws corrected.
    • Once the Digital Homicide name became mud, the Romino brothers started a new company called ECC Games (for "Every Click Counts"), where they kept at their old ways by creating Devil's Share and Galactic Hitman to a similar standard of "quality" as their prior releases. They eventually got sued by a Polish mobile developer with the same name, which was understandably peeved that their name was being tarnished by a shovelware developer that they had nothing to do with.
    • To make things even worse, they attempted to sue Jim Sterling for nearly eleven million dollars over his reviews and criticism. The reasons given include 'property damage', 'damage to reputation', and comparing them to the thieves from Home Alone. The article in question makes it clear that it was not joking, complete with photo. Their efforts to crowdfund a lawyer for the case failed miserably, failing to raise the required $75,000 needed and only raising a few hundred bucks.
    • The Romine Brothers have proved that Sterling was not the only target of their harassment; anyone posting a negative comment risked having their profile looked at and their Facebook harassed should they include any personal details.
    • The developer pushed about another game in late June 2016, Paranormal Psychosis. For starters, the graphics look terrible, the text in the controls list and the mission information have typos, and walking speed is tremendously slow with no sprint option. No ammo counter or even a proper HUD is supplied, so there is no way to know how many bullets are left unless the player counted the total bullets in a previous playthrough and are counting the bullets used in the current playthrough. Upon each death, the player is sent back to the start, with no ability to save the game; this allows the werewolf that spawns nearby to spawncamp the player if they are unlucky enough to attract the werewolf to the spawn point. The game is rife with clipping issues. Finally, the game has annoying critters that jump on the player's screen many times during play.
    • While people had given up on the Romines actually delivering a decent game, the bar was once again lowered when the Romines declared their intention to sue yet another YouTuber, "BF18Ace", as well as those who had criticized their product on Steam, for eighteen million dollars. Evidence here, here and here, with the court document for the newer case available here.
    • Eventually, they went too far: they attempted to subpoena Valve for the details of the Steam users they were suing. In an uncharacteristically rapid response, Valve cut ties with them and delisted all of their games. They were eventually left with no choice but to drop the lawsuit and, with their reputation and finances in shambles, retired from the video game industry altogether. Jim Sterling described the entire legal debacle in a February 2017 Jimquisition video.
  • Dragon Co. were a Chinese developer who mostly developed games for hire from 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 was to make video games on the Wii based on every popular American game show (except Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both of 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. Notably, every single one of the following games in this section have all been subject to a "Quick Look" video by Giant Bomb, in which the guys more or less tear each one apart; links are listed with each game.
    • 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. 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 here's the Giant Bomb Quick Look.
    • Family Feud 2012, unlike the others, is an Xbox 360 game and uses the console's avatars rather than its own, but still manages to be equally bad. The fictional host, "Sparky Whitmore" is dreadful to say the least; 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")! Here's the Giant Bomb Quick Look.
    • 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, a.k.a. "zingers", and then responding with their actual answer. In the video game, you're only given straight answers; no zingers at all (aside from the four aforementioned celebrities, whose zingers are seen with their actual answers in video clips from the series taken from at least seven years prior). 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 the 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. Here's the Giant Bomb Quick Look, 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).
      • Fremantle, it seems, literally has no clean copy of the original PYL theme music in their archives, as evidenced by this game and the more recent Facebook app. Their solution? "Flash", a piece of stock music otherwise known as the show's 1983 pilot theme, which sounds vaguely familiar to that used on the series. If you kept falling asleep. And were the guy from Memento.
      • The PS3 version fixed the sounds and had its own version of the theme music, 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. Here's Giant Bomb's 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:
  • 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 THE 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, 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:
      Custer: 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 — Star Fox (not the famous one), Sorcerer, and Fire Fly, the first of which is generally seen as the worst of the lot. While Sorcerer is decent in its own right, the rest of the lot is considered to be horrible, to the point that there is an internet rumor circulating that all of them share the same code minus a few tweaks and turns.
    • What's particularly sad about Star Fox is that Mythicon's trademark 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!
  • Ninja Pig Studios would have been just another bog-standard Wii U eShop Shovelware developer — one with a considerable fanbase, at that — if not for its rampant and continuous plagiarism. The fans of their games tend to be young and, thus, not know and/or care about this, but from those who do know, they have received a large amount of scathing criticism.
    • Their first game, IQ Test, completely ripped off a free mobile game called The Moron Test, right down to its lined-paper background and rubber ducky motif, as GameTrailers' Kyle Bosman found out in this video (the relevant bit begins at 9:48 and his discovery is at 10:45).
    • Then came their "magnum opus", Meme Run, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — an endless runner game with scores of "dank" memes ripped right from Google Images and Reddit bombarding the player. Although the quality of the game itself was, to say the least, very questionable, what pushes it beyond your typical shovelware title is its rampant and unapologetic use of stolen copyrighted assets from various sources. It was one of the few games to ever be removed from the eShop because of it. Making its case all the more complicated, the creator of one of the stolen assets — specifically, the "Trollface" image — politely asked Ninja Pig to give him credit, but Ninja Pig flat-out ignored him, and the result is a legal battle over back royalties that Ninja Pig could have easily avoided.
      "He [Jordan Schuetz, owner of Ninja Pig]'s probably the least mature person I've ever dealt with, if I will be frank. That's a difficulty. I don't think he knows what the consequences of ignoring me are. That's just annoying. It's going to slow down the whole process. He's going to be like 'Oh, you want to sue me? Go ahead!' And then we're going to have to spend weeks drafting this thing, writing to the courts, and then he'll be like 'Oh, f***. He's serious. S***! I should probably listen.'"note 
      Carlos Ramírez, owner of "Trollface"
    • Before that was removed, they attempted a third outing, Jumpy Cat, which flat-out stole someone's custom sprite work and then, when confronted by the original creator of the stolen sprites, LIED TO HIS FACE about where they found them. That one was cancelled at the demands of the sprite artist before release.
    • Even after two of their games were canned for legal reasons, a feat that no other eShop developer has ever held, they made another meme-based game: Bigley's Revengenote . The game is a First-Person Shooter that looks like something an amateur would do in a few hours in Unity, and simply consists of shooting at various characters that attack from different directions. The only map is a small square platform with purchasable guns in the middle, and like Meme Run there are lots of obnoxious loud sound effects.
  • 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 I. 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. After Caltron had released the game, it became defunct and sold the game to Myriad. And it, as well, suffered the same fate.
  • Panzer Gaming Studios has built up a reputation as another of Steam’s most offensive scammers. Despite founder Jason Welge having a B.A. in Videogame Art & Design from Westwood College Online and at one point earning a $10,000 grant from the state of Wisconsin, Panzer’s entire library consists of recycled Unreal Engine 4 assets poorly optimized to have nothing but lackluster framerates and excessive motion blur. Liam Lambert of Gizorama calls Welge “Steam’s Weirdest Scam Artist,” given his supposed enthusiasm and love of gaming despite repeated denials, failed Kickstarters, and other offenses such as the following:
    • Time Ramesside (also known as A New Reckoning), is seemingly following in the steps of The Slaughtering Grounds. The game is plagued with Game Breaking Bugs from the very first level, including but not limited to absurdly overpowered enemiesnote , clipping issues, and many crashes. The graphics are dated, highly inconsistent, and at worst incomplete and buggy, and slowdowns are frequent. Level design and general gameplay are equally patchwork, and Rouge Angles of Satin abounds, even in the trailer itself. Even worse, the game is full of stolen material. Unchanged store-bought Unreal Engine assets make up much of the environment, causing the inconsistent graphics; the intro video is even lifted from an Unreal 4 tech demo (logo and all!); and at one point, music ripped from the Django Unchained trailer used without permission. This video shows off some of the... quirky features of this game. Funhaus have also played this here, as has Jim Sterling here, the latter saying that it has somehow become worse after coming out of Early Access.
    • Time Ramesside was also built from recycled assets from an earlier project: Left To Rot. It was a zombie-apocalypse game which, even from the title, left little to the imagination. The project was an ambitiousnote  failed Kickstarter Campaign complete with an awkward pitch of Welge expressing his love for games in front of Gears Of War and Megan Fox posters. The trailer also included the project’s alpha-build, complete with a framerate of 3 FPS. Retsupurae riffed on this pitch here. It also didn’t help matters when the Kickstarter for Time Ramesside was started shortly after Welge was charged with grand theft property in Florida, which he promply denied claiming it was another Jason Welgenote  in 2014: a matter documented by Bro Team Pill here
    • Their following project, X-17, note  is receiving even more attention, being declared worse than Time Ramesside. Complete with the same stolen assets, low framerates, and blur, the game has been seen as an ugly, chugging, confusing mess involving an invasion by a race of nude aliens, a different race of aliens (i.e. more Unreal assets) most likely stuck to level geometry, and random civilian models with eyes and jaws freakishly poking out of their faces. The game itself says in its credits that it’s a “Pre-Early Acess” build, despite it being sold for $17 on Steam as of this writing. Many players have come to the same conclusion around its release, including Jim Sterling, whose video rightfully asks, “What In The Absolute Fuck?” AllShamNoWow's playthrough shows even more cringe-worthy anomalies: a level spending two minutes in unexplained slow-motion, baby dolls with M-16's on their back as enemies, a lead character voiced through text-to-speech, and several dance sequences set to copyrighted music, like the leads doing the Twist and Chicken Dance, and random Nazi Zombies doing Thriller!!!
  • Parroty Interactive was a video game developer that specialized, as their name suggests, in parodies of popular franchises. Unfortunately, they weren't very good at it.
    • Microshaft Winblows 98, a game that "parodies" Microsoft's OS and Bill Gates. Its "humor" consists of nothing more than "Bill Gates is an asshole and he likes money" and "Steve Jobs is much better", in addition to stuffing in references to several things that were popular at the time of release (e.g. a Tamagotchi of Bill Gates who you feed money to and spank). See Lazy Game Reviews cover it here. On the bright side, at least this actually includes gameplay, unlike...
    • ...Pyst, a vaguely interactive slideshow (calling it a game would imply that there's actual gameplay) intended to parody the highly acclaimed game Myst, and a prime example of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot. On paper, the premise sounds entertaining enough: since apparently just anyone could stumble onto the book to transport you to Myst, what if the player got there after tons of other people already did, leaving the island full of graffiti and vandalism as people made notes on the various puzzles in the game and vented their frustration? Unfortunately, Parroty's idea of a Myst parody is to just fill it with Toilet Humor and pop-culture references, all of which are painfully unfunny and often have little to do with the actual game it's parodying. It also ruins the quiet atmosphere of the original game. While Myst had only a few sections with dialogue, this version is constantly talking to you whenever you examine things, and spouting more painfully unfunny jokes. As mentioned above, there's no actual gameplay, either. There's no puzzles to solve; you just wander around until you encounter "King Mattruss" (who is inexplicably played by John Goodman) and win the game. See Brutalmoose tackling the game here.
  • 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 (no relation to the Tabletop Game publisher with the same name) was one of the people that published plenty of the games that were made by Code Monkeys and made a few franchises (such as the Myth Makers series) that would get exploited by Data Design Interactive. While there might be the one odd hidden gem in their library that was imported from a foreign country they (just like gamemaker in the Web Games entry below) still deserve to be on here for basically being Sturgeon's Law Up to Eleven, having at least one screwed up take on every video game genre mankind has ever conceived. At least Midas Interactive (the other company that published Code Monkeys output and the long-lasting rival to Phoenix Games, Blast! Entertainment and Data Design Interactive) imported a few high-quality games to Europe and has also made a lot of good games during its years as a company.
  • 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. 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 A.I. 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, and all politics aside, the "story" is little more than an Excuse Plot that ends on an A Winner Is You note. 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 breaking bugs.
  • While the vast majority of Xbox Live indie games are worse than any retail game could be (although they're probably about the same, if not better than games for the iPad and Android), Silver Dollar Games sticks out as a notorious repeat offender. Sold at one dollar each, their games, with the conspicuous exception of the actually decent One Finger Death Punch, seem to have been made on literally No Budget. Every game uses Full Motion Video exclusively, despite being made in the 2010s, and have minimal interactivity beyond that. Their most infamous game, No Luca No, is played with only one button and consists solely of pushing a jpeg cat off screen.
    • In perhaps the most audacious display of greed seen on the Xbox Live Marketplace, they released another game called Why Did I Buy This, which may or may not qualify as a game in the literal sense. It is simply an interactive menu accompanied by an increasingly aggressive telemarketer's voice. If you do choose to buy the full game, you get the privilege of using a static screensaver and royalty-free music.
    • Silver Dollar later decided to take a page from computer viruses. As seen in Vinny's stream of Bloody Mary (around the 2-hour mark in case you were wondering), the button to confirm purchasing the game is disguised as a command prompt.
  • Strategy First used to publish good games, most notably co-publishing Jagged Alliance. Today, however, they basically act as a loophole on Steam helping talentless amateurs and shovelware games circumvent the Steam Greenlight process simply by virtue of being a publisher. They are credited with publishing hundreds of Steam games, with more games every few days, making it clear they don't actually look at the software they're "helping" to publish. Jim Sterling takes a look at them here.
  • 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 (both of which were already mentioned above), 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 (their scale goes from 0 to -50).
    • Rocman X was a Mega Man knockoff 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. What makes it even worse is that the multicart version (included on Super Cartridge Version 3) is Unwinnable by Mistake due to a bug on level 7 where a moving platform needed to cross a river doesn't spawn.
    • 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. James Rolfe & Mike Matei also take a look into this 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.
  • As a general rule, a section of video game app developers for the iPad and Android devices tend to emphasize quantity over quality, and the less scrupulous ones (such as Adventure Time Pocket Free, mentioned below) have no problems taking advantage of unaware or ignorant gamers. However, considering the tendency for the iPad Store to have lax standards over apps, you get developers like the Chinese producers zhenhe xue and shao zheng (yes, these guys don't capitalize their names on their products) who blatantly use copyrighted material, don't pay attention to basic details (such as having descriptions that didn't sound like they were Google Translated), and have endless app ads pop up in paid games. Regardless, even these bad games get bought and played to a high score. One notable example on discussing the matter was a PeanutButterGamer review on these types of games, including the legendary "Baby Stomach Surgery" and "Baby Makeover".

    Smartphone Apps 
  • 3D Cartoon Land: Safari, released in 2012 (and since removed from the App store). Taking out of 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.
  • Bob Bros. Legend of Time starts out as an utterly shameless ripoff of Super Mario 64 and goes downhill from there. The game only has one level which consists of a bare-bones Bob-Omb Battlefield with no Cannons, Hazards, Warps, Physics, or NPC's. Bob (or Bruno, as he's strangely renamed in-game) is pretty bare-bones himself, being only able to jump and having only two directly stolen voice clips. The game's sole enemies are goomba-clones, which seem kind of pointless to include considering it's impossible to take damage or die. On top of all this, it's ridiculously easy to glitch through the walls and floor and fall right out of the level, which due to the aforementioned inability to die will result in Bob falling endlessly through an empty void.
  • 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 Dungeon Keeper's clothing and art assets inexplicably lifted from Minecraft, 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. It also led to the death of Mythic Games, but unlike the company, the game still exists with it being maintained by the remains of employees leftover from the companies EA destroyed.
  • 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. The only thing the game has going for it is the accurate 16-bit-style recreations of familiar FF characters and monsters, including those from the post-SNES era (a style later replicated by the much more well-received Final Fantasy Record Keeper). However, the actual differences between characters are purely cosmetic; with no special skills to speak of, all one can do is attack and then pray their precious party members don't get offed in one hit (or that they won't have to dip into the cash shop to bypass the wait time to get their fragile characters into fighting shape again, which can run up to two hours with a full stable of 40 active party members). Predictably, players and critics were outraged when the game came out, labeling it the absolute rock bottom of all Final Fantasy products (IGN in particular decried ATB as both an insultingly obvious cash grab and a waste of a potentially cool idea).
  • Godzilla: Strike Zone takes 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 three of them, while his M.U.T.O. opponents make no appearances at all. Within a day of its release, the app was labeled as "The Superman 64 of iOS games".
  • Rockman Xover, released in 2012 following the controversial cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3, was seen as a major spit in the face to the franchise's fans by Capcom, even more so considering that it fell around the 25th anniversary of the Blue Bomber's first adventure. Most levels consisted of running forward automatically while jumping and/or shooting incoming waves of enemies, all of which went down in one hit. Your Buster even charged automatically, eliminating any sense of strategy from what someone might stretch to call "combat." Boss battles, often the highlight of Mega Man games, were no better, and simply boiled down to a turn based battle where the player and the boss traded shots until one of them (usually the boss) died. To add insult to injury, the graphics and sound all came from the disastrous iOS port of Mega Man X, resulting in a game that not only played horribly, but looked and sounded horrible on top of it. Even the most staunch defenders of the franchise had extreme difficulty finding anything good to say about this train wreck, and for most fans it was proof positive that Capcom had given up on the franchise. The backlash from fans overseas was so intense that Capcom USA abandoned its plans to localize it. The game got multiple updates after release, which added original boss characters that were received well enough on their own that many fans wish they could just see in a real Mega Man game. The game was finally pulled from the market in 2015, and was mourned by no one.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 was the supposed mobile follow-up to the popular Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, 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 used to require 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 money 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.
  • SkullGirls 2: Deadly Airport is a shoddy excuse for a Fighting Game. Luring in players with a false promise of a Skullgirls sequel, the game does little more than allow the player to select a character and display ads. Despite the title, the three characters available note  are from Final Fight and Street Fighter, and the selection screen misleads the player by showing a lot of fake characters that don't appear in the game. Once you've selected your character, another full-screen ad is displayed, and the game crashes and returns to the menu two seconds later, making the game completely unplayable.
  • 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 the game has since been 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 2014 iOS port of Tales of Phantasia was one of the most infamous Allegedly Free Games on the App Store prior to its removal that same year. What was a perfectly serviceable RPG on the SNES and a less-so-but-still-playable Game Boy Advance RPG was butchered into nothing short of a blatantly cynical cash grab. Difficulty settings were cut entirely, locking the players into the hardest difficulty setting, resulting in a game that was nigh-unwinnable without the use of microtransactions. Worst of all, a constant internet connection was required to play, despite it being a single-player game without any social elements.
  • 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. Hardcore Gaming 101's "Your Weekly Kusoge" article on the game is quick to mention that it 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.
  • 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. On top of all that, the plug for the full version in the demo is riddled with misspellings of simple words ("enimies" and "Eveil Gamer"). The only thing it has in its favor is a good art direction, and even that can't make it worth the four bucks. It has completely disappear from the iOS. See 8-Bit Eric's review on this game.

    Fan Games 
  • 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.

  • 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 

Super Mario Bros
  • 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, pivot points are poorly placed on Mario's sprite, causing him to jump around noticeably each time he turns around, and it handles in a way that's outright unplayable. Add graphical cut off, use of Microsoft Paint for the menus, the Super Mario Bros Super Show rap on the title screen, a Game-Breaking Bug instead of a proper ending (the game pops up an error message once you clear the final level, since it uses the "Go to next room" command despite no next room existing in the game data), 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.
      • To explain even further, the game is extremely simple but is just made horribly. On top of there being a total lack of a "game" the game also doesn't allow for motion in more than one direction (and that includes changing direction), the piranha plants are animated so quickly there would have to be a seizure warning, the game over screen is just a dialogue box, and the game crashes if you play long enough, because the next room hadn't been made.
    • 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.
  • While most Five Nights at Freddy's fan games vary in quality, none of them are as dishonest and unoriginal as Return to Freddy'snote , which steals models and mechanics from the first two games. These mechanics are poorly implemented, and balanced in a way that renders doors useless;note  other oddities include animatronics disappearing before the player's eyes (the actual games use Offscreen Teleportation by way of the office lights flickering and video errors on the camera), animatronics appearing on top of the camera screen to kill you (in the official games, they always pull the screen down first), or Foxy leaning in the doorway even though it's supposed to be closed. Even the 'new' animatronic, Sugar the Cat, is very blatantly another fan's character, Candy the Catnote . The only thing the creator did produce, the phone calls, are poor renditions of the official games' Phone Guy, and sound more like Butt-Head. It also adds in a ton of bugs that weren't in the original, such as the game occasionally hanging on the jumpscares without going to the game over screen. The hidden bonus night is also completely unwinnable, since the Puppet will jumpscare you regardless of whether or not you have the mask on or off. The game was eventually taken down, but can still be seen - along with the overwhelming backlash it received - in this Let's Play. A grand total of three sequels were later made, which had more original mechanics and custom 3D models instead of stolen assets. A fifth game was planned, but after some Development Hell, the developer cancelled it.
  • Five Nights at Toy Freddy's Trilogy. The games mostly use stolen assets from the original games (With a little "original" content sprinkled in) and the first 2 have horribly edited in models.
    • Five Nights at Toy Freddy's is the first game in the trilogy, and obviously has problems within it. The game has the same plot as the original FNAF game, but instead, it's the toy models from the second game. It takes place in the exact same pizzeria, but has horribly edited in photos of the Toy animatronics, and the person on the phone is a woman. The game is glitchy with the animatronics, sometimes being a complete crapshoot on whether you will live or not. But the most glaring flaw is the save function is broken, meaning if you make 1 mistake through all 5 five nights, you have to do it all over again, making a lot of players just outright quit the game.
    • Five Nights at Toy Freddy's 2 fixes a few problems from the first game (Like the save function actually works) but has a few more problems on its own. It takes place a few years after the first FNATF's, where you go back to the pizzeria for a bet you and your friend had. You thought $100+ was too low for a job this risky in the original games? In this game, you get ten bucks. The voice acting has taken a major hit, replacing the British woman with a squeaky pre-teen who constantly begs you not to die, and will get on your nerves fast. The AI is still a crapshoot, and is made even worst because now they added a ghost and if you move an inch it's game over. But despite all that, It is the exact same game as the first one. It takes place in the same pizzeria, all the rooms are the same, and despite there being a few cracks horribly edited in here and there, it's basically the same game. If you played Five Nights at Toy Freddy's, you've basically played Five Nights at Toy Freddy's 2.

    Web Games 
  • 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. However, 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. It has such aggravating design idiosyncrasies such as drawers embedded right in the middle of a hedge, stolen music from Resident Evil, and puzzles that 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).

    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. 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 — except that it's weaker than the normal enemies that kill you in one hit!

    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."
  • GameMaker'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 secondsexplanation . A third game was later on made and released, and while it does admittedly contain some improvements from the first two games (such as backgrounds that are more appealing to the eyes and the music being a bit more bearable to listen to this time around), it still contains plenty of faults that were found in the sequel, including some of the aforementioned music being cut at the most inopportune of times, 3D movement looking very stilted and uncanny at points, and a particularly cheap attack for the 2D segments that makes losing almost impossible to do. Vinny from Vinesauce covers this game here.
    • 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". The gameplay consists almost entirely of bland side scrolling sequences with no challenge at all and top down sequences where the player character is reduced to a bland oval. The only level with actual game play is a rather boring and easy maze. All the while, a rambling voiceover talks about how he got addicted to video games, yet never actually describes how he stopped. Watch Lowtax riff it here.
  • Death Trap (no relation to the game on Steam or Atari ST) is a point-and-click horror game gone horribly wrong. Aside from the contrived plot, terrible voice acting and low-budget scares, the game has tons of rookie mistakes. The audio clips can overlap each other if you're playing the game really quickly, the backgrounds often clash with each other and ruin the atmosphere, and the fact that the game is extremely linear. The latter is not due to design choices, but rather the fact that the navigation buttons were programmed to use frame jumping commands. This not only explains why there's no exploration or puzzles involvednote  and effectively killed the point of the game, it made the Flash file a lot bigger than necessary, and it takes a long time for the game to load even if you have a decent Internet connection. If you're curious on how much of a train-wreck it is, you can watch Retsupurae go through the game here, or you can watch this Let's Play. If you look in the comments section of the latter video, you'll find that the author personally apologized for making the game.
  • Neopets hosts hundreds of games, and usually fans are more forgiving of the weaker titles if they provide a decent amount of Neopoints. However, even in some of the games that weren't generally liked, Kau Korral is notorious for being one of the worst designed games ever hosted on the site, even from its early days. You use a Gelert to round up Kau into the barn (bringing into mind just how does that work in a world where all the Neopets are sentient) but the issue is that the Kau spawn randomly, sometimes even halfway off of the board, making the the game impossible to beat. That's including the fact you have to be right on the mark with the Kau in order to make them move where you want them to go. To rub salt in the wounds, calling the farmer causes you to lose control of the Gerlet which serves to only scare away the Kau off-screen than actually help them get into the barn. It's safe to say that everyone was relieved when the game was finally removed, although it can still be played at the Game Graveyardnote . The Neopets Team actually mocked the game in one of their plots where the villain makes them play it (much to the pain of its victims). On the plus side, TNT quickly released a game with a similar concept called Extreme Herder, which is one of the site's more beloved games.
  • 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.
  • Jeff the Killer is 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 even that is ruined by its two dimensional appearance, and that's all the game has going for it, believing that star power is all it really needs.
  • Evil, a "game" by J.P.R., is a first-person game where the player is traveling through "Evil's" mind... except the game forgets to tell you that in-game. The main character moves at a snail's pace, the only challenge comes from the poorly-made jump puzzle segments, and what "scares" the game has are so cheesy or stolen that it ends up being Narm.

    Game Mods 

With over 15,000 Doom mods on the /idgames archives, there are many horrible ones to go around:

  • In Doom's heyday, WizardWorks published D!ZONE, a series of CDs sold containing hundreds of WADs collected from both the BBSes of the time and the early Internet. It was quite helpful among some players who didn't have the resources to check out WADs online. Too bad a large chunk of the WADs were horrible, most of them unfinished, and some that wouldn't even load correctly at all. The back of the boxes often showed stuff that wasn't even in the game. Several YouTube users started a series called The D!Zone Experience to showcase some of the weirder WADs included.
    • These were just a few of the innumerable shovelware discs created by low-budget companies to cash in on Doom 's popularity, with invariably huge collections of WADs downloaded online and put on a disc without considerations of quality or permission from their designers. Determined to beat these distributors at their own game, id Software included a disc known as Maximum Doom as bonus content to the Master Levels for Doom II, containing 1,830 amateur WADs mostly for Doom II—with a great number of them being Doom WADs turned into Doom II WADs using a converter that includes Doom II monsters by randomly replacing exactly one monster each per level. A community member named Tarnsman started a series of livestreams on his Twitch account called "The Great Shovelware Extravaganza" in which he plays through Maximum Doom's Doom II content, on which he spent over 60 hours. His experience was full of shoddy design, beautifully bad texture use, and bugs, including an example that defies explanation.
  • The 1996 Doom WAD "Boom v2.3" (not to be confused with the Boom source port) gained infamy with a review on the classic Doom Underground website declaring it to be the worst such addon the writer had ever seen. It features horrible custom MS Paint graphics for the wall textures (slathered with smiley faces) and the HUD (a solid-yellow rectangle), and sound effects that are unfitting at best (breaking glass for the shotgun?) and annoying at worst (the author shouting things with sound filters applied). The first episode's levels are poorly balanced (you get a BFG with full ammo on the first level with a tiny number of enemies), badly designed (you can often access the exit immediately), and little more than freehand scribbles—and yet one level manages to repeat itself, only with an edit that makes it easier to complete. The other two episodes are a slew of repeated levels that the author admits are terrible and yet still felt the need to include. The text file claims that it's a "MAJOR upgrade" from the now-missing v2.2, which just makes one wonder how bad the previous version was!
  • Another WAD made infamous by Doom Underground was "Wow" (more popularly known by its filename, wow.wad), a 1999 Doom level consisting of a square room with a hanging body, a BFG9000 with full ammo, a Cyberdemon in a deep pit... and nothing else. Oh, and the inside of the pit is untextured, resulting in graphical glitches. All of this is notoriously passed off as a mission to hunt and kill a wounded Cyberdemon trapped in an "illusio-pit." Problem is, killing the Cyberdemon won't even complete the level because it's placed in the wrong map slot, making it Unwinnable by Mistakeexplanation . "Wow" has since become one of the Top 10 Infamous Wads. It even received a comedic remake for modern source ports titled "Wow: Enhanced" which has a vastly expanded story, new music and superior visuals... but which is no more bug-free or Winnable than the original. The original "Wow" can be viewed here. It's the author's Old Shame for a reason: he was ten years old at the time, and went through a phase were he'd upload anything no matter how unfinished.
    • What bears mentioning is that the graphical glitch in the "illusio-pit" is more commonly used by level designers for the original engine to hide enemies underground, so when the player approaches what seems to be the unbroken surface of (say) a body of water, the enemies appear to rise out of it to attack them. (Enhanced source ports implement a special effect for this purpose and more, making it unnecessary.) What qualifies it as a glitch in this level is that it appears to be an artifact of the designer forgetting how to apply lower textures.
  • The works of Jerry Lehr, Jr. seldom rise above the level of the community's earliest custom maps, even the most mediocre, because they're mainly a series of rooms and corridors with little to no height variation and lousy gameplay consisting of shooting clumps of low-level monsters with a shotgun or chaingun. He would qualify as Horrible with his Nightmares trilogy—the first of which was the second ever WAD rejected from the /idgames archive for quality reasons—and his early WAD pack, which is worse than most people's early WADs because its four WADs largely comprised of the same flat and simplistic level repeated over and over again with different object and hazard placement each time. But his last known release, Nightmares of Loki 1999, takes the cake. It combines the problems of flatness and bad gameplay with annoying sound effects, custom textures made up mostly of Doom textures repainted in eye-searing colors, and seemingly endless switch hunts that defy human logic to the point that cheat codes may be required to solve certain levels. Not that you have that luxury at first, of course, because the cheat codes have also been changed for some reason. Unsurprisingly, Jerry Lehr, Jr. later admitted that he made the WAD while addicted to marijuana. A review of Nightmares of Loki 1999 on Doomworld following its 2003 rerelease can be found here.
  • Doom: Rampage Edition was eagerly anticipated, featuring the premise of a Baron of Hell who escapes a UAC lab. Unfortunately, after three years of work, it failed to live up to its promises. The WAD featured 60 megabytes of stolen music that did little else but bloat the WAD to 80 megabytes (that's three quarters of the archive), straining the net connections of its time. Whoever got past that was treated to sloppy graphics—the baron's hand was just a recolored fist with badly drawn green flames and the skyboxes were just wall textures with regular sky above them—boring and repetitive gameplay, and the illogical ability of the baron to use guns. These included a Cacodemon gun launching a fireball that punched through enemies and killed most of them in one hit, and a shotgun and dual chainguins with infinite ammo you could collect very early on. You could use the Baron's usual abilities, the fireball and the claw, except they both used the aforementioned edited fist and the fireball had no proper firing frame. All of this and more won Rampage Edition Worst Wad at the very first Cacowards in 2004. The author's hostile reaction to its adverse criticism didn't help matters.
    • It was so bad that one community member, Deathbringer, said he could "pull a better wad out of [his] ass." In a little over three weeks, he made a wad titled such: "A better wad i pulled out of my ass".
  • Nazi Auferstehung: A DukenDoom Adventure won Worst Wad at the 2006 Cacowards for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to sloppily textured levels created with a random level generator, badly imported resources from other games, a Most Annoying Sound of Duke Nukem saying "Die, you son of a bitch" every time you gib an enemy (which also plays if you input a suicide code in a source port that has one), and a filesize bloated by a truckload of copyrighted MP3s that don't play as music in-game just like Rampage Edition on top of multiple copies of the copyrighted Doom II resource file. Also following in the footsteps of Rampage Edition, its author didn't take the harsh criticism well, infamously and hilariously attempting to defend it by claiming to be autistic, in the process demonstrating the exact opposite of autistic behavior.
  • Giulio "Glassyman" Galassi created Gamarra's Story, a series of maps that were widely reviled for their weak design and dull gameplay. This led him to lash out with Gamarra's Soul Story, a series of unfunny "joke wads" that, on top of sharing all the flaws of his previous work, was created solely to enact a childish revenge fantasy against his critics by hiring the player to kill them for insulting his work. It got bad enough that his Worst Wad Cacoward in 2007 came with a plea by the reviewer to stop making WADs altogether. Glassyman was eventually banned from almost the entire Doom community, and little has been heard of him since.
  • The user mattbratt11 achieved notoriety the same year with Doomworld posts consisting mainly of bizarre ideas for Doom mods and reacting badly to criticism of those ideas. His one released WAD is Mattbratt's Level Pack, a full megawad where the first four maps were stolen from other authorsorigins  and the rest consist of rooms and corridors with little to no height variation that are mostly textured in the same monotonous shades of gray. He also cared so little about balance that he encouraged the use of cheats to beat it, including an infinite ammo patch stolen from the DeHackEd distribution. A video review of the WAD can be found here.
  • UAC Military Nightmare, a Skulltag (now Zandronum) WAD created by a troll known only as "Terry." What sense can be made of the plot involves John Romero heads, poorly drawn MS Paint faces, and an evil Santa Claus trying to "rape" the player with BFG blasts. On top of dumb gameplay and incredibly loud sound effects, the scripting fails to work roughly half the time; when it does, it usually treats the player to excessively vulgar references to anal rape. One level is even flat-out malicious, due to a script that fucks with your source port configuration and renames your character to a homophobic insult. It duly won Worst Wad at the 2008 Cacowards, accompanied by a vitriolic guest rant almost as vulgar as the WAD itself.
    • "Terry" also has a catalog of levels designed to lure the player in with decent visuals and then suddenly catch them in a "trap" subjecting them to extremely loud noise, rapidly flashing lights and vulgar text popping up all over the place, more or less Sensory Abuse. As if that weren't bad enough, he has a group of fanboys who do the same thing (although these could be aliases), to the point that "Terrywad" as become synonymous with "crap" on the /idgames archives. Some of these also cross the line into active malice: some follow the aforementioned example by screwing with your Zandronum configuration; others are "zip bombs" which disguise themselves as small archive files, only to suddenly explode as compressed petabytes of folders inside folders are unzipped, meaning your computer eventually runs out of memory.
    • 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.
  • 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, badly overpowered custom weapons, and too many ungodly annoying or lethally aggravating custom enemies amongst the randomly generated roster, and almost all of the resources are plagiarized. There are also a ton of custom items that either break the game or are utterly useless. On top of all this, the author, Doomguy 2000, loved to advertise this WAD, even when told by seemingly the whole Doom community to stop, earning him a reputation as an Attention Whore.
    • His other releases aren't much better. They're largely intentionally provocative concept WADs that could be considered "avant-garde" if one were charitable, from 30,000 Levels (literally 30,000 of the same box with an exit switch repeated over and over), to Blind Doom and Seizure Doom (exactly what those imply, with the bonus that Blind Doom still has visible floor and ceiling textures), to The Worst Level Ever Made (also precisely that). These WADs and the aforementioned Terrywads ultimately led to the Worst Wad Cacoward being discontinued in 2011, as it was originally meant for unintentionally bad work and awarding it to WADs made terribly on purpose attracted trolls and Attention Whores and caused it to lose most of its meaning.

  • Christian Weston Chandler is infamous for, among other things, 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.

  • 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 overpowered 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 similar 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's 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 jacked-up stats or overpowered 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 actually bashing these creations, none perhaps more in-depth than Dumanios'
    • One of Dumanios' video descriptions is a "Reason You Suck" Speech directed towards Pgrs for several sins he has committed, to list:
      • Extreme Immaturity
      • Blatant Spriteswaps.
      • Making hate characters towards anyone who criticizes him.
      • Showing no respect towards any of the authors he copied.
      • Worst of all, making a spriteswap of the deceased Reuben Kee's Dragon Claw (and naming the character Miss Whore.)
  • 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.
  • The appropriately named "Idiot" is another MUGEN author that creates mostly retarded and just plain bad characters. Normally, this wouldn't make him especially worthy of a notable entry here, but even among the countless retarded character authors, Idiot actually is a special case. To begin with, he is often cited to be the one author that paved the way for other retarded character authors such as Pgrs111Magen or XboxRob11, meaning that arguably the entire "Retarded Character" genre can be laid at his feet. But even though Idiot is mostly known for his retarded characters, those pale in comparison to those characters of his that actually aren't retarded, which are mostly lazy, broken and genuinely horrible. Here is Dumanios taking down almost all of Idiot's characters, where their sheer awfulness is put on display. Especially notable examples here:
    • For some reason (other than laziness), Idiot made 4 seperate versions of Spongebob Squarepants which are actually all spriteswaps of completely different characters, but you would only know that by looking at their names (For example, Shao Kahn Spongebob being a spriteswap of... well, Shao Kahn of course...).
    • His EvilWaddleDee is just plain overpowered beyond belief, and it looks horrendous. It's just a purple floating Waddle Dee that has still a white background on it, and yet it's a spriteswap of Reuben Kee's Evil Ken of all things.Note 
    • Idiot must have some strange obsession with King Dedede from the Kirby franchise, as he has quite a few characters representing him. Probably the worst one has to be his "Kung Fu Dedede". It's basically Kung Fu Man with Dedede's head poorly replacing his head. For some reason it has an absurd amount of health and it has completely unfitting and at times unsettling sounds whenever it attacks or gets hit.
    • And just to put a cherry on top of all this dump, Idiot made a punching bag character of Mugen Toons, a MUGEN author he apparently doesn't like. This character description should tell you everything you need to know:
    "Mugen Toons has retired, so I made this to beat the shit out of Mugren Toons!!!!! I HATE MUGEN TOONS. HE MAKES SPRITESWAPS!!!!!!!!!"

  • 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 and NES Final Version is a hack made by a Brazillian user called blackout77 on SMW Central and released in 2014. It's also a horrific mess in pretty much every way possible. It has since been removed from the website for flagrantly violating its quality standards, but a Let's Play remains on YouTube for the morbidly curious. Among its faults:
    • 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 in world 1's stadium castle. Sometimes they clash horribly too, like high-detail 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-view 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. On more accurate emulators and real hardware, some of the good tracks turn into glitchy abominations with a real possibility of crashing the game.
    • The Metal Man Boss in World 2 is invincible, making the game Unwinnable by Mistake, unless you use Game Genie or Lunar Magic to skip the level. Sumo Brother Tower and Abyss of Death have no exits in Demo 3.
    • Levels are copied wholesale from better games, including Super Mario Forever (a kaizo hack) and Kaizo Mario World. At least six (Butter Bridge 2, Outrageous, Funky, Valley Fortress, Chocolate Secret and Donut Secret) are unedited from the original game (at least in Demo 3).
    • The whole thing has Ratchet Scrolling, yet levels require you to go left as well as right, resulting in multiple forced deaths.
    • Whole parts are blatantly ripped off from Brutal Mario, except without the quality ASM/programming gimmicks. Think "Brutal Mario as done by The Asylum". The hacker also horribly rips off VIP 4 in two more levels.
    • The Final Version was hosted as a ROM image in Blackout's personal files. SMW Central has a zero-tolerance policy towards ROM images, and it was removed because of that policy, as was Super Mario Kollision 2.
    • 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.
  • Iggy In Unova is a German rom-hack starring a flickering sprite of Iggy Koopa riding on a Chargin' Chuck through something that can best be described as one of the most horrendous looking landmaps in history. No Mario level of the original Super Mario World has been edited, unless you consider "sprite flickers out of nowhere" to be serious editing. It also features some overly Vulgar Humor (Try telling a German gamer that this romhack has a level named "Omasex". He will believe that you are joking.) and tons of MIDI synthesized music tracks from pop-cultural phenomenons that do not fit the levels they were used in at all (Poker Face is used in a mountain level. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is used in a pipe level. The James Bond Theme is used in a cave level... the creator did not even make sure that his music tracks could get covered by fair use). levelengine has this tied up with his own attempt at a rom-hack as #1 in his The Top 10 Worst SMW Hacks I've Let's Played. To put this into perspective, you only need to know that Hammer Bros Demo 3 is only #2 on the list. However, after he finished Let's Playing Hammer Bros. Demo 3, he considers that to be worse.

  • Harmonix's Rock Band Network has the song "Fat Kid" by Nothing More. The problem is not the song itself, but rather the note chart of the song. The only decent chart is the chart for the guitar (and even that's debatable); the bass chart is completely off sync with unnecessary chords, the drum chart smacks of using wrong and off-beat notes, and the vocal chart has many wrong pitches. (Note that Harmonix does not chart songs in the Rock Band Network — that task is taken up by either the artist themselves or an "authoring group".)
  • Also from the Rock Band Network, we have "Pawns" by Dead by Wednesday. Once again it's not so much the song itself but rather the charts that are dreadfully done, particularly guitar and drums. Guitar features a myriad of unnecessarily awkwardly charted riffs topped off by a solo that flip-flops between being under-charted and over-charted throughout while also being consistently off-key all the way through. Meanwhile drums has a bunch of questionable fills (worst being 2:02 in) and unnecessary double bass after the 2nd chorus even though the song isn't nor does it have a 2x bass version (as certain RBN songs after RB 3's release that feature double bass pedal in their drum tracks would often get), yet you can hear un-charted double bass earlier in the song so it's not even consistent (it probably says something that the amount of people who have a full combo on this drums chart even to this day could be counted on one hand). Add in sluggishly-paced animations and some embarrassing lip-syncing from the singer character not long after the aforementioned fill and you have what some have considered the worst full band chart in the game.
  • 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.
    • One constant offender goes by the name of "Huck" (or, on gamemaps.com, goes by the alias "Herbius"). He constantly "fixes" old and abandoned campaigns and maps, only to break things further. None of the content he "fixes" is given permission by the author, and absolutely no quality control has been put into his "works".
  • 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.
    • Tales of the Emblem 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 horribly breaks just about every character, 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's right out of nowhere daughter Lilian but has so many holes that 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. If you like, you may experience a Let's Play here.
    • Corrupt Theocracy is another infamous one. It claims to be a "semi-custom" hack, which translates into sprites that are either splices/recolors of existing sprites, or are simply the original sprites with no modification at all. It also means that many of the maps are just maps from FE 7 itself, just with changed enemy placement and a ramped up difficulty. Those maps that are new are universally low quality, and often the only "challenge" in any of the maps is dealing with hordes of pathetically weak enemies, usually mixed in with a couple of obscenely powerful ones. The characters are horribly unbalanced, with many of them being overpowered. The story, while not just a terrible find/replace job like that of Ostian Princess, is poorly written, rife with grammatical errors, and mostly told through tedious narration rather actually showing the player anything. There are also a number of bugs, such as being unable to look at the stats of the lord of the first part of the game, certain weapons not displaying their stats properly, the screen going black at the start of certain chapters, and the inexplicable return of every single character from the first part of the game once the player gains access to the prep screen in the second part. Fortunately, this is a failure the creator learned from: the hacker in question would later go on to create both The Sun God's Challenge and The Sun God's Wrath, the latter of which in particular is well-regarded.
  • Schoolvania, a rom hack of Castlevania. It's plagued with horrid 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, and you can't even make it to Death because the blocks are arranged in a way that it's impossible to proceed.
  • 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.
  • That's Life!, an unofficial Sims expansion pack that was nothing but an installer for a bunch of stolen fanmade items that were available for free to download online. The problem? This was actually sold in stores. Even in its early years, the Sims community shunned the thing and even attempted to petition stores to remove it from shelves. Even with all of this, X Media Publishing, a German company who released the expansion pack, made a sequel, That's Life 2. The sequel tried to one-up the original by including a 3D virtual mall to "shop" in. However it's very buggy and crashes frequently. Watch LGR tackle the pack and its sequel here.

  • The Action Max VHS Video Game Console, created by Worlds of Wonder (the people behind the beloved Teddy Ruxpin), was pretty much a game system that used VHS tapes as the medium to play games — except that the system itself was not what played the tapes, but rather the user needed their own VCR to play them, while the system was used for recording scores and playing gun sound effects through its speaker. Using a light gun (or two for 2-player games), players would shoot at the screen. The gaming was strictly point-based and dependent on shot accuracy — players could not truly "lose" or "win" a game. This, along with the fact that the only real genre on the system were light gun games that played exactly the same way every time, greatly limited the system's appeal and led to its quick downfall with a measly 5 games to its library. Ben Minnotte of the Oddity Archive provides further history on the Action Max and attempts to play it here.
  • The Sega Activator was created during the first big push by video game companies to make virtual reality games (at least a full decade before the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR made VR gaming viable). Designed as an octagon set on the floor, this special controller could let players play games with their body, ostensibly letting you enter the game you're playing. In practice, it was awkward and exhausting: each side of the octagon correlated with D-pad directions and the Genesis controller's face buttons, and the game was controlled by moving one's arms and legs over the infrared sensors on the octagon, and much like the Power Glove described below, only a small handful of games were made to support the Activator: Mortal Kombat, Eternal Champions, and Comix Zone (and even then, they didn't support it very well). Trying to play other games with it was an exercise in exhaustion and futility. All this, combined with the need for perfectly level ceilings (ceiling fans and vaulted ceilings would interfere with the sensors), the need for its own power supply, and an $80 USD asking price, made it a very hard sell. The one upside is that the technology for the Activator was later used and improved by Sega for a Japan-exclusive arcade game: the deluxe version of Dragon Ball Z: V.R.V.S.
  • The Advanced Game Player and Advanced Game Player 2 whose names were obviously patterned on that of the Game Boy Advance. And never has there been anything more unworthy of such a title. Both had the same eight games, all of which were stored internally but required a different game card to access; the system came with four such cards, two games to a card, although these didn't even always work since you wouldn't always get the game you were trying to play (sometimes the console would load up a pair of games from another game card for some reason - of course, this meant that as long as you were fine with whatever randomly came up you didn't really need the cards anyways). Of the four face buttons, only one actually gives the games any input, making it a bizarre nod to the Atari 2600 controller (the other three control volume, brightness, and even the power switch which you could accidentally hit and shut off your game). The only good thing about this POS is that it's backlit, but the backlight works independently of the system itself so you can turn this on and use it as an ordinary handheld light. It's one of those systems that promises thousands of different games when it has only eight and the "different" games are merely variations on the difficulty & speed. To really ice this rancid cake, however, the control interface would flip over at random times. You can't make this stuff up - the directional buttons would randomly remap to the face buttons and vice versa. The games themselves, of course, were utter crap, including such gems as "Hit Brick" and "Fill Brick" and two "Car Racing" games which for some reason are both sequels with no original installment. This is the kind of thing grandparents who don't know anything about gaming buy for their grandkids, especially since the AGP2 sort of looks like a PSP so it obviously must be one.
  • The very existence of the Atari Jaguar CD is preposterous, 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. One of the developers of the Highlander tie-in game for the Jaguar CD revealed why: when they were making the game for it, they found out the hard way that the add-on was clearly rushed out the door and was too buggy and resource constrained, to the extent that everything for it had to be coded by hand from scratch just to make a game on it.
    • Dr. Insano, one of the few lucky 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 the game Sonic Jam (which is not an actual port of the Sega Saturn game).
    • 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 would help them sell their product. "It plays more games than you idiots have brain cells"?! 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 Game Master by German company Hartung, which was also released in the UK as the Systema 2000, was a horrid knockoff of the Game Boy note . Of the two dozen or so games made for it, all of them are just poor quality knockoffs of Game Boy games. The screen also had a very low framerate and was very blurry. Even though it had a dot matrix display, it has nowhere near the resolution as that of the Game Boy and only had a single color. The controls for most of the games are slippery and unresponsive (not helped by the lopsided D-pad and buttons positioned at the bottom of the system, forcing the user to stretch their thumbs down there or pinch the system by the bottom and causing it to fall out of their hands) and the music in most games sounds like a random mess of beeps, or distorted classical tunes in some games. The packages for every game (at least the UK versions) were no better as they not only featured very cheesy art, but poorly translated Chinese text describing every game's features and the carts merely crammed in plastic baggies together with said manuals. Here is Stuart Ashens' look at the system and a handful of games for it.
  • The HyperScan from Mattel, a small console released in 2006 and discontinued the next year. Similar to the likes of the later Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the console has a scanner where you use cards to scan in power-ups for the character you want to play in the game. However, unlike Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the scanning refuses to work properly, leaving one to constantly either swipe or hold the card in place 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 children demographic and Mattel had to sink to $10 to push its product before folding in 2007. Classic Game Room takes a look at it here. The Angry Video Game Nerd has also reviewed the console as a part of his 2014 Twelve Days of Shitsmas series, as well as looked in depth at four of the games that were released there (the fifth one, a Spiderman game, was not reviewed because he couldn't get a hold of it) and notes that it had less titles released for it than the Virtual Boy, which he reviewed earlier.
  • 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 suspiciously 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. ProJared considers it as one of the worst systems he's ever played.
    • "Interact" is merely one of several aliases for this terrible console. Others include WiWi, MiWi, MiWi Xtra, MiWi 2, MiWi 360 Deluxe, Digitron and iSport. While they may differ slightly in appearance, they're all the same shitty system underneath.
    • JungleTac's Wireless 60 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. And these knockoff consoles aren't limited to just the Wii. They can apply to any console that's extremely popular, or is even somewhat popular if it sells well enough. Take JungleTac's Wireless Air 60, the sequel to the aforementioned Wireless 60, for example; this is a console that knocks off Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Xbox One with the Kinect functionality but managed to make the knockoff Kinect become a lot less functional by comparison. The problems from its predecessor still remain here, only in addition to fake motion controls, it also features a completely broken method to move various things from one way to the next in many different ways. Rerez considers this sequel to be even worse by comparison, and you can watch it here.
    • Possibly the only good side to these Wii rip-offs is that somewhere deep in their hearts, they're still Famicom clones - except, thanks to the magic of OneBus technology, they're able to hold up to 16MB of data without splitting it to code/graphical banks and render graphics remiscent to 16-bit consoles. Here is a demonstration of another such Wii rip-off playing Fami carts with a moderate success (earlier parts contain the showcase of both the built-in and bundled games).
  • The Ouya. It started life as a Kickstarter campaign that promised a developer-friendly and easily hackable gaming system and also offered players to try any game (yes, any game) for free before buying it. It raised 8 million dollars in a month and was the most backed project on Kickstarter, with everyone thinking that the Ouya would revolutionize the industry. When the system was released to backers, word of mouth quickly spread of how much of a colossal disapointment the system was. The system was quickly plagued with shovelware games (with one game even being nothing but animated rain) and was discovered to have trouble even running smartphone games, despite the system essentially being a smartphone in a game console shell. The controller was criticized for its abysmal build quality, with the grips on the analog sticks wearing after only weeks of use and the buttons sticking down after being pressed and having to be pried back up. The controller was also priced at $50, which was half of what the system sold for, which was $100. It had a terrible marketing campaign, with a commercial that landed a spot in the Advertising page of So Bad, It's Horrible. Despite the hype, it was a commercial failure, with Ouya having to sell itself to Razor Inc. just to escape the massive debt that the company has put itself in. The same day, Julie Uhrman stepped down as CEO of Ouya Inc. The Ouya was quickly forgotten about and was discontinued in 2015. As if that wasn't humiliating enough, there was an incident where they could not reserve a spot at E3 on time had had to set up their booth outside in a parking lot...across the street.
  • 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, and the device 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. It's only real saving grace is that it did have a few notable game developers (such as Bungie) that made some really good games for it.
  • 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). It plays horridly with fragile and often unresponsive or delayed controls, the charts don't match the songs at all, and the songs themselves are poor quality MIDI files with ear-grating guitar soundfonts. Ashens reviewed a similar piece of hardware called "Guitar Fever", but no matter which name you call it, it is still bad.
    • 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 sold via mail order, and claimed 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 electronic toys one could find at a bargain bin.
    • The commercial advertising this is worse, going as so far to toss out an SNES Street Fighter II cartridge at the halfway point. Ironically, the AVGN had it in his favorites on his YouTube account at one point.
    • As of August 2011, this product is still being sold through newspaper ads... with the same ad they made in 1998.
  • 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 LJN Video Art is widely considered by console collectors to be the worst console ever made. Whether it even falls within the traditional definition of a video game console is questionable, because it's literally just a drawing program. You can load in "activity cartridges" with "pages" of lineart, but that was it. Even as a coloring software, it's horrible because of its stiff (borderline unresponsive), yet really squeaky controls; a 50-cent coloring book and a set of crayons could provide a better experience. See Gamester 81's review of it here, as well as the AVGN's evisceration of it during the finale of his Twelve Days of Shitsmas series for 2014 here, with him not only agreeing that it's the worst video game console ever made (and a poor excuse to what an Etch-A-Sketch could do without electronic technology and what Microsoft Paint could do on a computer), but found that the styrofoam that came with it gave him more interest than the actual console did.
  • 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. 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 and they both agree that it makes the Virtual Boy look good by comparison.
  • The VIS (Video Information System) was released by Tandy in 1992, initially sold exclusively at Radioshack, but later through mail-order catalogs. The VIS was basically yet another CD-ROM "multimedia" console, following in the footsteps of the Phillips CD-I and Amiga's CDTV, except this one was based on PC-like hardware with an already outdated Intel 286 processor, and ran a "modular" version of Windows 3.1, as one of Microsoft's first attempts to bring Windows to embedded platforms. The reason why the system flopped can be summed up as such: it was marketed as primarily being an edutainment device, and its lineup was mainly cheap interactive storybooks and ports of existing Windows and DOS software, such as the Compton's MultiMedia Encyclopedia (which was promoted in the console's (extremely cheesy) promo video as being a killer app, and was practically a killer app for multimedia PCs in general). The closest thing to a legitimate video game was Links golf — but it was already avaliable on PC and Amiga too. With a launch price of $699, it was too expensive for a game console, and one could spend a few hundered dollars more to get a real PC that could do everything the VIS could and then some; thanks to mixed customer reception, some Radioshack employees jokingly declared that the VIS was "Virtually Impossible to Sell". In early-1993, Tandy attempted to sell the VIS through mail-order catalogs at a lower price of $399, and re-branded it as a Memorex product. Eventually, Tandy gave up, after only being able to sell 11,000 units.