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Exactly What It Says On The Tin / Video Games

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Exactly What It Says on the Tin in video games.



  • Early NES games, particularly sports or arcade titles such as Pinball (1984), Golf, and Ice Hockey tended to be this. Even now, sports games almost invariably have titles in the format of [franchise] [sport] [year].
  • This was also somewhat common for games released on the Atari 2600.

Individual Games:

  • 1866: A Mount & Blade Western is a mod for Mount & Blade which is in 1866 in the Wild West, and is basically a homage to the Western genre.
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  • In Ace Fishing, you go fishing in various locations to become The Ace in, well, fishing.
  • While it sounds like a joke game, 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel is, in fact, a video game where you play a chess variant with rules for sending pieces back in time to create parallel universes, and moving pieces in between said parallel universes.
  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Guess what you do in it. In fact, that's the only thing you do in it, other than invite other villagers.
  • Assassin's Creed is very much about the Assassin Brotherhood and their sacred creed with the notable exception of Odyssey.
  • Awesome Possum... Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt - And the ending is spoiled.
  • A Bat Triggered The Sensor That Activates The Defense Systems And Has To Use The Arrow Keys To Escape.
  • Borderlands 2 has a couple of sidequests that fit.
    • There's a sidequest called "Shoot This Guy in the Face". The quest consists of... shooting the quest-giver, named Face McShooty, in the face. note 
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    • There's another sidequest called "Kill Yourself", in which the Big Bad pays you to jump off of a cliff. Although you can also opt out for the other possible mission objective.
  • The Brutal Doom mod is Doom, but brutal.
  • Burn! Zombie! Burn: You have to burn the zombie.
  • Cho Ren Sha 68k. "Cho ren sha" or 超連射 in this context means "Super Rapid Fire". Which is what you do in this Sharp X68000 game; the same goes for the enemies.
  • Color a Dinosaur for the NES. Guess what you have to do in it? In fact, guess what's the only thing you can do in it?
  • Cow Clicker
  • Crosswords DS is a game for the Nintendo DS where you solve crossword puzzles. It's that simple.
  • Cut the Rope. The title says it all.
  • Death Road to Canada is about driving down a road to Canada. A road that is absolutely lousy with death.
  • Divekick. All you need to know is that there are two buttons, a button for diving and a button for kicking.
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  • Don't Shit Your Pants. Guess what you're not supposed to do.
  • Dragon Quest:
  • DRL was originally called Doom, the Roguelike, on account of being... well, Doom, but as a Rogue Like. One look at the game would tell you as much.
  • Duck Hunt. You hunt down ducks. And that's it. That's all you do. Well, unless you play the "clay pigeon" round, which is separate.
  • Indie game Dungeons Are Random is a game with, you guessed it, randomly generated dungeons.
  • The goal of Escape From Lavender Town is to escape from Lavender Town. And to do so, you must press the escape key.
  • Guess what the player character's goal is in Find the Cure!!
  • The Floor is Jelly has its entire game world wobble and jiggle about as the protagonist moves around on it like... well, jelly.
  • Giana Sisters DS: Most of enemies have simple, descriptive names: Owls, Bugs, Bees, Piranhas, Ghosts...
  • Gratuitous Space Battles is precisely what you think it is.
  • Hero Must Die. Guess what happens to the hero.
  • I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1. James Silva made a game. It has zombies in it. He sings about it and everything.
  • The Killing Game Show
  • Monster Hunter, in which (human) hunters take on monsters.
  • The "Neverending Boss Battle" game on Neopets.
  • The IF game Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die.
  • The early Electronic Arts game Pinball Construction Set, which is a construction set for creating Digital Pinball Tables.
  • Plants vs. Zombies, in which plants fight zombies.
  • Portal is (mostly) about portals (to begin with). In the sequel, there is also Chapter 9: The Part Where He Kills You (which is more aptly named "the part where he tries (again) to kill you and fails (again)". Even funnier considering that two separate characters literally say "This is the part where he/I kill(s) you." You even get an achievement titled "The Part Where He Kills You". The description reads "This is that part".
  • Razing Storm: "Complete Destruction Machine Gun Game". Couldn't have said it any better.
  • Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar: Other than the fact that they fly (which is not stated in the title), it's about what it says it is, and indeed they do shoot beams when they roar, that being their method of attack.
  • Seven Weeks of Cat Monarchy: You take on the role of ruling the cat kingdom, while the actual cat king takes a seven week sabbatical to lie in a particularly nice sunbeam.
  • Shmups Skill Test is designed to test your shmup skills.
  • Shoot Many Robots. You'd be sorely mistaken if you thought you would only be shooting just a couple of robots in this game.
  • SimCity simulates a city. SimTower, SimEarth, SimAnt... actually in that one there's more than one ant. This trope applies even less subtly to most games with "Simulator" in the title — Microsoft Flight Simulator, Microsoft Train Simulator, Farming Simulator, and so on — except for parodies, such as Goat Simulator.
  • Space Engineers is about space engineers building stuff in space. The spinoff Medieval Engineers is about engineers building stuff in the medieval period.
  • Space Invaders is about invaders... from space! Back when a video game about that was new and unexpected.
  • The PSP minis game A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks! It's a Shoot 'em Up, and it only costs $1.99 U.S.
  • Ditto for Space War.
  • Spookys Jumpscare Mansion is about exploring Spooky's mansion full of Jump Scares.
  • The parody game Smashing Pumpkins into Small Piles of Putrid Debris. Guess what the point of the game is.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. It's a Super Smash Bros. game... for the 3DS or Wii U.
  • The Play Station Network game "Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars"... Two guesses what it's about. The sequel averts this, however, simply going as Rocket League.
  • Ten Minute Space Strategy is a simplistic space strategy game in which normal-paced games usually don't last more than 10 minutes.
  • Turkey Shoot for the Wii. It's so simple it got terrible reviews for its severely limited gameplay. All you do is shoot turkeys. Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize that the idiom "turkey shoot" refers to doing something that is not challenging at all, even with a time limit.
  • Wibble Wobble is set in a world where the entire landscape is... well... wibbly wobbling.
  • You Don't Know Jack: The Facebook edition of the game has the "Elephant, Mustard, Teddy Roosevelt, or Dracula?!" questions, which as the name implies all have the same answers; players are given a piece of trivia, and have to guess if it's a fact about elephants, mustard, former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, or Count Dracula. 2015 from The Jackbox Party Pack and Full Stream from Party Pack 5 have the similar "Kangaroo, Peanut, Albert Einstein, or Uranus?!" and "Octopus, Coffee, Queen Elizabeth, or Frankenstein?!" questions.
  • You Have to Burn the Rope is a very short game whose goal, and essentially only gameplay (besides jumping) is stated in the title.
  • You Only Live Once: In this flash game, you only have one life. Period. When you press "continue", you just see the consequences of your death. Reloading the game to try again only shows grass growing on your grave.


  • Animal Crossing: One of the many Funny Animal villagers is named Bluebear. She is, in fact, a blue bear (or bear cub, technically). Not the case for other languages, or for other villagers with seemingly-descriptive names, like Goose the chicken and Moose the mouse.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! has several:
  • Brütal Legend features a special attack called Face Melter. It causes enemies' faces to melt.
  • C-12: Final Resistance tends to do this a lot with the enemies. The Big Bad is named Alien Leader. He's an alien who leads all the other aliens. The Cyborg Soldier is a soldier that is a cyborg. The Cyborg Sniper is a sniper that's a cyborg. The Alien Scientist is a scientist that is an alien. And so on...
  • Catherine has a boss called Child with a Chainsaw. It is a huge baby, with a chainsaw as its arm.
  • Civilization: Reaching the Future Era in the sixth game allows construction of the game's strongest military unit, the Giant Death Robot.
  • In Diablo II, if you click on a shrine labeled "exploding shrine", it... explodes. Similarly, poison shrines are poisonous.
  • In Doom, the BFG in "BFG 9000" canonically stands for "Big Fucking Gun".
  • Some Doom II: Hell on Earth levels are this:
    • "Entryway" is the entrance both of the spaceport and of the game.
    • In "The Gantlet" one has to fight through swarms of monsters.note 
    • "The Crusher" prominently features a crushing ceiling over a Spider Mastermind.
    • "Dead Simple" is a very simple level — and if you're not careful you will end up dead.
    • "Tricks and Traps" is full of nasty surprises.
    • "The Pit" is built around a huge pit.
    • "Bloodfalls" is so named due to the prominent waterfalls of blood that feature in the level.
    • "The Living End" is the last non-boss level.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Many spell names in the older English ( pre-Dragon Quest VIII) localizations. Heal heals some HP. You can probably guess what Healmore and Healall do. Sleep puts an enemy group to sleep.
    • Dragon Quest I is especially egregious, calling your offensive spells Hurt and Hurtmore; the first one hurts enemies, and the latter hurts enemies too, but more (later games changed these to Blaze and Blazemore).
  • DRL:
    • The game offers "Hell Arena". If you go in there expecting anything other then a fight with demons, then you will deserve what you get.
    • Some of the challenge game names are pretty self-explanatory. If you see a challenge called Angel of Shotgunnery, then guess which kind of weapons will be the only one you can use.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has an item called the Boots of Blinding Speed. It's a pair of enchanted boots which, when worn, grant you 200 speed but make you 100% blind.
    • In Oblivion, the Imperial City has a shop called Rindir's Staffs. It's owned by a Bosmer named Rindir. He sells staffs. Imagine that.
  • In Far Cry Primal, there are bitefish in the lakes. Fish that bite.
  • Final Fantasy IX has an eastern Mist Continent, a continent full of Mist; Outer Continent, a continent just outside of the Mist Continent to the north; Lost Continent, a frozen continent that only handful of people know existed located at the northwest; and finally Forgotten Continent, a western continent that pretty much forgotten.
  • Guild Wars has quite a few skills that fall under this trope. Just guess what "Heal Party", "Heal Other", and "Can't Touch This" do.
  • Hellsinker is so loaded with proprietary terminology (even the options menu and exit command have unique names!) that this trope is the exception rather than the rule. "Kill" is how many enemies you've destroyed. "Timer" is how much time has passed within the stage. "Life" is your lives. "Subweapon" is your alternate weapon.
  • Almost every realm in Impressive Title has a name that matches its given biome, such as Desert being a Shifting Sand Land and the portal to Volcano teleporting you to a volcanic area. However, sometimes the name references the bosses that spawn there, so it's not hard to guess what lives in Wyvern Hills or Serpent's Pass.
  • Kindergarten has the Monstermon card "Literally Grass". It's just a normal patch of grass.
  • A Knight's Quest for Milk: The "Everything But Milk" store sells... everything but milk.
  • Let It Die has consumable mushrooms, many of which have names that explicitly state their effects: Toughshrooms make you tough by increasing your defense. Crushrooms let you crush your enemies by buffing your attack power. Boomshrooms go probably shouldn't eat those.
  • Referenced in LittleBigPlanet:
    • "The Material Changer is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. Or on the cardboard. Or the polystyrene. Or whatever else it is that you want it to say it on."
    • Some of the logic fits this too. The Game Ender ends the game, the Smoke Emitter emits smoke, and all of the sensors sense exactly what they say they do. Player Sensors, Water Sensors, Tag Sensors, Impact Sensors, etc.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time:
    Toadsworth: I've dubbed this the Bros. Ball. Why, you ask? Because you are bros. And you form a ball.
  • Most of the Robot Masters in the Mega Man (Classic) series have a name based around their abilities, followed by the word "Man". For Example, Ice Man has ice powers, Tornado Man has wind powers, etc.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has a completely batshit insane, gloriously hammy monk named Ribsmasher. His moniker pretty much sums up his character: He is completely and utterly obsessed with smashing ribs.
  • PlanetSide 2's Halloween 2014 renamed several bases. The infamous "Subterranean Nanite Analysis" was renamed to the much more fitting "Pit of Despair". The base is built into an underground pit, and is a horrible, horrible meatgrinder for attackers such that players often just straight up log off in despair when their allies attack the base. Sadly, the name was reverted at the end of the event.
  • Pokémon:
    • Some attacks really don't require any explanation, such as Rock Throw, Double Kick, Triple Kick, Self-Destruct, and Quick Attack. The move Wake-Up Slap has the user slap the opposing Pokémon and if it's asleep, it gets woken up. Confusingly, Double Slap doesn't count because it can hit between two and five times (it's a poor localization of "Round Trip Slap").
    • The Chamber of Emptiness in Pokémon X and Y. It does have two items in it at first, but once they are gone, it's just an empty chamber.
  • The powers from [PROTOTYPE]. Claw gives Alex Wolverine Claws. Hammerfist turns his fists into "hammers" to pummel things with. Whipfist gives him a whip-ish long reach. Blade is a Big Fucking Blade Below the Shoulder. Musclemass boosts the size of his muscles. Shield gives him a Shield. Armour gives him Instant Armor. Disguise allows him to disguise as consumed victims.
  • Quake: The Ogre Citadel is full of Ogres. The Underearth is mostly underground. The Sewers is a Down the Drain level. Azure Agony uses mostly blue textures.
  • RuneScape:
    • Jagex is apparently fond of this trope, given some of the quest and area names. The Goblin Village is a village... with goblins. Dragon Slayer is a slaying quest that involves, yep, a dragon. Black Knight Fortress... eh, you get the idea.
    • In the skill Dungeoneering, when you mouse over the list of end of dungeon awards, you get information about that award. If you were unfortunate enough to get "Most deaths" and then mouse over it, the trope name appears.
    • The trope name appears on another item, fungicide. Examining the item gives this: "Does exactly what it says on the tin (kills fungi)".
  • Sands of Destruction features the World Annihilation Front. Guess what they want to do? They are opposed by the World Salvation Committee; no points for guessing what they want to prevent.
  • Terraria: Many of the herbs:
    • Daybloom blooms into a small flower during the day.
    • Moonglow glows with a blue aura during the night.
    • Blinkroot flashes rapidly when ready to be harvested.
    • In the non-PC versions, Fireblossom blooms while partially submerged in lava.
  • In the Touhou series, Marisa's spell card, Loving Heart "Double Spark", is quite literally two Master Sparks fired at the same time.
  • Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion: Turnip Boy lands in hot water with Mayor Onion for refusing to pay his property taxes.
  • WildStar has the Path system, divided into four distinct professions: the Soldier, who kills hostiles and handles security; the Explorer, who maps out the world, finds underground systems and hidden paths, and goes on surveillance/recon missions; the Scientist, who studies, re-purposes, and hacks the flora, fauna, and forgotten technology on Nexus; and the Settler, who builds their respective faction's infrastructure like buff stations, transportation, and supply caches.


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