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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.
  • 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.
  • 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 in the face. note 
    • 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.
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  • The Brutal Doom mod is Doom, but brutal.
  • Burn! Zombie! Burn: You have to burn the zombie.
  • 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.
  • Divekick. All you need to know is that there are two buttons, a button for diving and a button for kicking.
  • Doom, the Roguelike is, 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.
    • 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.
  • Indie game Dungeons Are Random is a game with, you guessed it, randomly generated dungeons.
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  • 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.
  • Gratuitous Space Battles is precisely what you think it is.
  • 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 was 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.
  • 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.
  • The parody game Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Piles Of Putrid Debris. Guess what the point of the game is.
  • 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.
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It's a Super Smash Bros. game...for the 3DS (or Wii U).
  • The PlayStation 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.
  • Wibble Wobble is set in a world where the entire landscape is... well... wibbly wobbling.
  • 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.


  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! has several:
  • Brütal Legend features a special attack called Face Melter. It causes enemy's 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.
  • In Diablo II if you click on a shrine labeled "exploding shrine", it... explodes. Similarly, poison shrines are poisonous.
  • 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.
  • Doom, the Roguelike:
    • It offers "Hell Arena", if you go in there expecting anything other then a fight with demons, then you will deserve what you get.
    • Similarly, 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.
  • Many spell names in the older English Dragon Quest ( pre-VIII) localizations. Heal heals some HP. You can probably guess what Healmore and Healall do. Sleep puts an enemy group to sleep. The first game 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).
  • 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 don't forget 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.
  • 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 has a name based around its 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.
  • Some attacks in Pokémon really don't require any explanation, such as Rock Throw, Double Kick, Triple Kick, Self-Destruct, and Quick Attack. Confusingly, Double Slap doesn't count because it can hit between two and five times (it's a poor localization of "Round Trip Slap").
  • In 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 move Wake-Up Slap has the user slap the opposing Pokémon and if it's asleep, it gets woken up.
  • 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 new 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 them 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.
  • 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.


Example of: