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Horrible / Video Game Generations: First to Fourth

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Video games have come a long way from the early days of cartridges and cassette tapes. While these eras have produced a number of classics, there was plenty of room for developers to produce crap, as the entries below prove.


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    Second Generation (1976-1984) 
  • Airwolf for Amstrad CPC takes The Problem with Licensed Games to its absolute extreme. In it you have to navigate a helicopter (that can't stay still in the air, you know, what helicopters were built for in the first place) through passages so tight that you need to be pixel-perfect. You also need to destroy walls pixel by pixel. You have a health bar, but because there is no Mercy Invincibility it drains almost instantly. If you go from screen to screen in the wrong place, you die. Dessert with that? There's a timer that kills you when it hits 11:00. Your reward? The game just freezes at the last screen. Nobody ever got past the first level. Joueur Du Grenier reviewed this thing, as well as filmnstuff.
  • In the early 80s, Space Invaders inspired many clones of varying quality, but Alien Invaders for VIC-20 is easily the worst of them all. It features slow aliens that can't shoot, A Winner Is You ending and a length of one minute. Stuart Ashen demonstrates it here under the gaming sin of being too bloody easy.
  • Birdiy [sic] by Mama Top was the only arcade machine that they ever produced. A quick play of the game can show you why it flopped in the Japanese arcade market. And by quick play, we mean you’ll pretty much have seen everything in the game in less than 5 minutes. It’s a very simple game that tasks you as a mama bird to fetch worms on the single screen and feed them to her babies while pecking monster rats off the tree so they don’t eat the baby. When you feed the baby one worm (yes, ONE worm) the act is over and the process repeats until the player loses all of their babies. The only major differences after a couple acts are the enemy speed and a skunk that guards the earthworms on the bottom. Since picking up any worm on-screen will clear the act, the skunk wouldn’t matter at all except for the extra points. Predictably enough for a game that’s been converted from Pac-Man, the monster rats look less like rodents and more like the familiar ghosts with mouths and tails instead of ghost legs, and most of the sound effects are extremely ear-piercing. Again, this was a commercially released arcade game in 1983 and has no more playability than 5 minutes. Crystal Castles was released in the same year, had a real ending, and was far more playable than this! You can see some footage of the game here.
  • Cascade's Cassette 50 - allegedly "50 fantastic games on one cassette" - remains notorious for its craptastic quality almost 30 years after its release - virtually all those "fantastic" games were very poor sub-type-in-quality affairs written in BASIC. In their defense, the games were solicited via newspaper ads and often written by teenagers paid ludicrously small amounts (e.g. £10 for a game that took 12 hours to write or £65 for 10). The tape itself sold for £10, around the cost of two regular games at the time, so it's likely the blame can be placed on overselling adverts meeting the unfairly raised expectations of penniless schoolkids for its unhappy reputation. Still, it's generally considered so bad that it has inspired present-day "crap game" competitions.
  • Castle Assault, a budget game for the BBC Micro and Amstrad CPC, is a pathetically simpleminded Platform Game even by the low standards of its time, with bad jumping controls and minimal animation. The obstacles are limited to monsters that jump up and down from pits and platforms that move forward and backward, in a sequence that starts repeating midway through the first single-screen level, which repeats endlessly for anyone who cares to beat it.
  • The fact that EastEnders for the ZX Spectrum is based on a soap opera is the least of its worries. First and foremost, it used a WASD control scheme, which doesn't sound bad on PC, but is a nightmare for anyone playing on the ZX Spectrum, because the buttons are so distant from each other on the keyboard that it requires a lot of finger gymnastics to input your commands. This all goes to waste for a game that is in actuality very boring: all you do is look after plants and cut them so that they don't grow too high, do the laundry, checking your mailbox for mail you can't even view, feeding your baby, buying food in a supermarket, and drinking alcohol. Interaction is limited and doesn't try in the least to make it entertaining, and you do these actions on a forever tightening time limit and increasing high-score that should exist to challenge the player, but instead makes it come across as more and more frustrating. All in all, you get something that magazines call the worst ZX Spectrum game of 1987 and possibly the worst ZX Spectrum game of all time.
  • Kit Williams' 1979 book Masquerade features a ludicrously difficult puzzle whose solution reveals the location of a Jeweled Golden Hare. In March 1982, Williams finally received a correct solution from "Ken Thomas" (real name Dugald Thompson), who appeared to have stumbled on the location not by solving the puzzle but by a lucky guess, later discovered to be the result of a series of personal connections. Thompson and his business partner John Guardnote  used the resulting publicity to found a company called "Haresoft" which put on another treasure hunt for the Hare. They did this in the form of a "game" called Hareraiser, which was a puzzle where the winner would get £30,000. It was released on just about every computer platform that had been popular in the United Kingdom at the time in two different parts, titled Prelude and Finale. Each part cost £8.95 at a time when the most technically advanced games were about £7. But where Masquerade had given even readers who couldn't make head or tail of the puzzle fifteen lavishly detailed illustrations to look at, Hareraiser only offered a handful of screens with bog-standard graphics, cryptic pieces of text, and zero interactivity. Both parts of the game were effectively identical; the only difference is that Finale adds some poorly-drawn spiders that crawl along certain screens. Prelude was slammed by magazines, who gave it extremely negative reviews, and they were swarmed by letters from confused or pissed off buyers as well as a few obvious developer sockpuppets. Finale bombed as a result, making it extremely rare, and Haresoft was forced into liquidation, resulting in the Golden Hare being sold at Sotheby's. The puzzle still hasn't been solved to this day, and it is widely believed that there wasn't a real puzzle and the whole thing was just a giant scam. Stuart Ashen goes into the convoluted history of it here.
  • Karate for the Atari 2600 was a near-unplayable Fighting Game with extremely unresponsive controls and almost no chance to win. There's only so much you can do with a digital joystick and a single button, and Atari's first-party joysticks were fragile, so unresponsive controls often led to shredded controllers. Some even consider this, and not E.T., the worst Atari 2600 game. The AVGN took a quick look into this game in his Atari Sports review. Aqualung's Game Reviews also tore it apart.
  • Sssnake at first glance looks like a standard Atari 2600 game (you play as a circle and try to shoot different animals, while avoiding snakes), until you realise that the snakes always follow one pattern and are extremely easy to avoid. This makes the game completely devoid of challenge and any satisfaction from scoring points.Classic Game Room's review.
  • SQIJ! was released on the Commodore 16, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. The former two versions are bad on their own, but the ZX Spectrum version cranks the shittiness up to eleven. While "unplayable" is mostly used as a figure of speech, SQIJ! for ZX Spectrum is one of the few cases where this is literally true. Due to a programming bug regarding caps locknote , the game can't register the player's input; in order to play the game, the player must break into the Spectrum's memory and run a POKE command to turn caps keys off. Should the player be knowledgeable enough to do this, they will still be confronted with further unplayability: even when working, controls are massively unresponsive, with considerable input delay; the game runs at an abysmal framerate, which doesn't help the already deficient controls; collision detection is fidgety and alternates between not working at all and detecting objects not even remotely close as colliding; the graphics are hideously drawn and animated and experience constant stuttering, colouring and tearing glitches; and finally, the game itself is prone to crashing randomly at times for no adequate reason. Very few dared to play it properly, so much that the fact that the game has more than one room only became public knowledge in 2016, because you could only escape by shooting every enemy with your (invisible) lasers.
    • SQIJ! was one of the first Spectrum games to attain true infamy for its low quality in the Usenet days. In his book, Stuart Ashen mentions it as the worst game he has ever played, and the comp.sys.sinclair Usenet group named its annual Stylistic Suck competition after it. It's currently the lowest rated game on the World of Spectrum Bottom 100, with nary a word of praise to be seen.
    • As a side note, the game itself is technically illegal to own or distribute - it's written not in machine code (as Spectrum programmers were expected to), but in a commercial game engine called Laser BASIC that compiled into machine code and had many shortcuts regarding graphics and audio. The game was distributed uncompiled at a £2 price tag, with a copy of the entirety of Laser BASIC (a £65 utility) still in it!
    • And to top it off, the song on the cassette's B-side is utterly dreadful.
  • Video Chess on the Atari 2600. A first-party Chess game that on the surface is fine, but then you move a piece. Most chess games have an animation to show when the opponent is "thinking" of its next move, and this is no exception. The problem is, the animation that this game chose is to cover the entire screen in randomly-flashing colors, each only for a single frame each, as long as the opponent's move was still processing. This happened every single turn. And due to the low power of the system, it often did take a long time to do that, especially if playing on a higher difficulty level. This is not a game to play if you're prone to seizures or headaches.
  • Voyage Into The Unknown on the ZX Spectrum. Released by Mastertronic in 1984, its failure is exacerbated by the many milestones in gaming history on that year alone. Programmed in BASIC of all things, with risible graphics, worse sound, nonsensical references to "time warp chuck out"s and "buke"s, and ludicrously hard space combat sequences that took place on about 10% of the screen. To add insult to injury, the game gave no clue as to how to even start playing; unless you guessed the correct sequence of keys (Engine, Power, Ignition) to take off you couldn't even start the game proper (such as it was). Contemporary magazines slammed the game, with Crash giving it an overall score of 9% with 2% for playability.

    Third Generation (1983-1994) 
  • 20 em 1 (20 in 1) is a Brazil only collection of games for the Sega Master System. Unfortunately, none of the games are any good. Some of the games are recycled (Game 15 and Game 20 are the same ball bouncing game with different graphics), the same simple repetitive tune plays throughout all games, the start button on the console is to go back to the title screen, the graphics are simplistic for the Master System, winning just starts the game again but with less time, the side-scrolling games and collecting games can be beaten with just holding right and pressing 1 button, the 4th game has very unresponsive and confusing controls, and getting hit too much does nothing but make you lose points. Some people have considered it the Brazilian Action 52. LGR reviews it here.
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends for the NES. It has annoying music and the graphics are primitively designed, especially for a late 1992 release. Most enemies are Demonic Spiders and are capable of depleting your entire energy bar thanks to a lack of Mercy Invincibility. You'll spend more time fighting the unresponsive controls and navigating the terribly designed levels (a good example of this is Level 4, where you have to cross a pond with the game's awful jump precision). Beat the game, and "YOU WIN!" is your only reward. The Angry Video Game Nerd takes a good look into this title during his "12 Days of Shitsmas" series.
  • Six years before the horrible Amiga adaptation (listed under Fourth Generation), AKIRA received a Famicom adaptation by Taito. While the art style of the anime movie was faithfully recreated, the game was, in essence, a very crappy visual novel where any random choice can result in a Game Over, necessitating a walkthrough just to make it to the end: an exercise in frustration that will make you want to discard the game and just watch the movie instead.
  • Aladdin on the NES was a port of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Amiga, and PC versions of the game only released in Europe, and was horribly butchered. There are much fewer levels than even the Game Boy version, the gameplay is choppy as hell, and the graphics are hideously-colored & poorly-scaled copies from the GB port, which is inexcusable seeing as how this came out in 1994, during the system's twilight years. It's really telling when a pirated version is comparatively better than an officially licensed game.
  • ALF for the Sega Master System takes The Problem with Licensed Games beyond the norm. What would otherwise be a short adventure game (20 minutes at most) can take well over an hour due to Fake Difficulty by means of convoluted controls, bad programming, and Goddamned Bats which become Demonic Spiders due to Alf being able to take only one hit. The game consists almost entirely of Trial-and-Error Gameplay, both by mistake and by design - the game features a lot of unfair traps, including shop items that exist solely to make you too poor to buy the items you actually need and one, ALF Book, which restarts the game after triggering an Info Dump that ends by informing the player of such, the only time that it is so much as hinted at. The writing is simply atrocious, loaded with exposition whose existence tears gaping holes in what little of a plot there is, and terrible jokes that aren't even So Unfunny, It's Funny. Here's a review by a former Alf fan who lists even more faults with this game, and here's a complete playthrough by someone who despite having received tips from the game's lead programmer was still forced to use save states due to how utterly broken the game is. The Angry Video Game Nerd also took a look at it as a part of the Twelve Days of Shitsmas. VGJunk also endured it here. Were they taking lessons from Taito's Takeshi's Challenge?
  • Bad Cat, also published in the US as Street Cat, is ostensibly a Track & Field-style Sports Game starring a Totally Radical Funny Animal, but actually plays as a series of five minigames, most of which are practically unplayable due to excruciatingly unresponsible movement and jumping controls. The onscreen contextual messages don't deserve to be called hints. The only reason most players even get past the first stage is that there's no way to get a Game Over, no matter how badly you fail. Here's VGJunk's hot take on this ''game''.
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure is a godawful mess of a game where the main gameplay consists of randomly jumping into things like bushes/rocks/fences/etc. in order to find objects to return to people in their proper time. There's no map to help you (unless you've got Nintendo Power, and even then it's kind of vague) figure out where they are, so you can easily spend an hour jumping into stuff and not find a damn thing. To top it off, the controls are shit - the game is in an isometric perspective, ambitious for an NES game admittedly but executed dreadfully. You can't walk on grass (most of the time) so you have to follow a path, and you can only go faster with this awkward jump; if you get stuck on grass (easy to do since the path has so many turns), it's tedious to get back off, and throwing weapons at enemies is terribly awkward. Plus, in order to even begin a level, you have to go through a tedious process: first, flip the page of the phone book to the famous historical person's phone number, then manually dial the number, then go to a time circuit, which is completely pointless, not to mention confusing, as dialing the last number in most circuits is a major Guide Dang It! in itself which most players would never guess. The Angry Video Game Nerd, who's reviewed many crappy LJN/Acclaim licensed games, opined in his review that Bill & Ted is easily the worst of them all. Even the LJN Defender couldn't really defend this game, despite trying his hardest.
  • BMX Ninja contains no actual ninja or any gameplay worth the budget price it was sold for. It's a pathetic excuse for an urban Beat 'em Up with incredibly clunky controls and no Life Meter. The game's levels are repetitive, each one requiring the player to defeat the same number of enemies on a static screen until the progress bar fills up, with the only real change when you reach a new level being the backdrop. The graphics reek of utter laziness, even taking into account the limitations of the systems at the time: the first background's most distinctive feature is a billboard saying "GRAFIX", and one of the most common enemy types looks indistinguishable from the player character.
  • Color a Dinosaur is an example of a "game" unlikely to have much appeal for its stated target audience of 3-to-6-year-olds. All it has are 16 static pictures of dinosaurs which can be colored with up to three colors. There's not even a save feature. Though the NES isn't really a good platform for a virtual coloring book, comparing Color a Dinosaur to Kid Pix shows how little effort was put into the former. The one remotely good thing that can be said about this "game" was that it helped launch the career of musician Tommy Tallarico. James & Mike from Cinemassacre take a good look into this one here.
  • Dian Shi Ma Li (aka Mario Lottery) is a Chinese bootleg game for the NES starring a Mario ripoff (nicknamed Fortran because of the "F" on his cap) with vague slot machine-ish gameplay. The aim of the game is to get as many credits as possible, but credits are a currency that can only be used for gambling, and the only way to end the game naturally is to run out of them. The minigames don't make any sense, which is unsurprising because the main game doesn't make much sense. The only reason to play it is to PUSH START TO RICH. The gameplay seems to be based on these gambling machines, and they're no less confusing. Oddly, they're only referred to as "Mario Slot Machines" or just "Mario", even if they aren't Mario-themed. The only redeeming factor of this bootleg is that its Mario ripoff design would eventually give us Grand Dad.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the NES has slow, plodding gameplay and controls; Everything Trying to Kill You to a ludicrous extent; a completely ineffective weapon as Jekyll and useful-if-you-could-hit-anything weapons as Hyde; and a gimmick whereby you can lose within seconds of turning into Hyde without a chance to save yourself note  - these all make for a game that no person can play without feeling like less of a person thereafter. The Angry Video Game Nerd considers it probably the worst game he's ever played (except for Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, and other games that he think shouldn't even be considered games, yet are), and the seriousness of his videos on the matter confirms it. BrainScratch Commentaries played this game for their Bad NES Extravaganza. Egoraptor mentioned this game in his Sequelitis series on Mega Man X, saying that anyone who wants to get into game design should play it as an example of what not to do.
    • Players eventually discovered that Jekyll's seemingly useless attack is actually intended for swatting bugs and deflecting the bombs that passersby drop randomly near him and are near impossible to run away from since they explode too fast. It's still really hard to hit them.
  • Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo is one of the first Dragon Ball games to be released, and let's just say we have come a long way before the days of Dragon Ball Fighter Z. Brought to the States under the title of Dragon Power, the game suffers from an unfair dose of Nintendo Hard, as the player's health bar also doubles as their time limit (meaning the more damage a player takes, the quicker their time goes down). This wouldn't be a problem if enemies didn't shave off chunks of the player's health with each hit. To make matters worse, there are no lives nor saves, so the player would automatically go back to the title screen after they die. Each level begins with a cutscene that is slower than molasses. You can skip them by pressing Select, but good luck finding that out. The music is very repetitive, and will restart every time the player comes into another room. It's even possible to encounter a Game-Breaking Bug during the Boss Rabbit level: if the player walks into a room with a carrot, accidentally walks out, and comes back in, the carrot is lost and the player has to reset. That's not even going into the infamous localization - because Dragon Ball was virtually unknown at the time in the United States, rather than just simply not bring it over, they changed the names of the characters, and in some cases like Goku and Master Roshi, altered their sprites. Goku (who oddly enough kept his original name) was changed to look like a generic martial artist, and Roshi (simply called "Hermit") was changed to look like a wizard. The final half of the game was removed for no explained reason (the original version adapted both the Pilaf and 21st Tenkaichi Budokai Arcs). There were some really awkward edits, like with Master Roshi's perverted behavior. His advances towards Bulma were changed to him wanting her sandwich, but it's very clear that Roshi was talking about something perverted. You can watch Team Four Star play it here, where they actually resort to using cheat codes because the game's difficulty was so crushing, and yet still had to Rage Quit due to the aforementioned Game-Breaking Bug.
  • Though Dragon's Lair received a decent entry (not so much a straight port of the Laserdisc classic as a completely different game) for the Game Boy Color, the same cannot be said of the NES iteration. The only thing good is the fluidity of the graphics. The play control is unresponsive — there's a delay between the button press and Dirk's action (B jumps in this game). Dirk is rather large, which makes simple jumps difficult. Though Dirk does have a health bar, almost everything kills him in one hit. There's also an elevator shaft that's intended to make winding through the castle seem like one, but it merely makes the game even harder than it needs to be. Adding to the already insane artificial difficulty are Death Traps everywhere, so extra precautions are necessary for basically the whole game. Add to that an insane final boss fight and a meager "Congratulations" ending, and you have the NES equivalent of a game rage-fueled nightmare. The European version was at least given some additional polish, like adding splash screens between levels and introducing an entirely new boss, though this came with the cost of making the game even more unplayably difficult than it was to begin with. It was also reviewed by VGJunk, the AVGN and Aqualung Game Reviews, the latter of whom also called it the worst NES game of all time.
  • Felix the Cat by Dragon Co. (aka Felix the Cat 3, despite there not being a Felix 1 or 2) is an unlicensed NES game created and released by obscure Chinese game company Dragon Co in 1998 (several years after the NES had been discontinued), and an utterly atrocious platformer. While it's thematically similar to the very good 1992 licensed game made by Hudson Soft, it manages to get every aspect of what made it fun wrong. Like many bootleg games, it's very hard, but for all the wrong reasons; for starters, Felix can only see a couple feet ahead of him, and many levels have bottomless pits or platforms with enemies on them just offscreen with few or any chances to prepare yourself for them except by memorization. Felix's default form has a barely-functional, very short range boxing attack with a useless charge attack that'll lock Felix in place for a few seconds and have him charge up a bigger punch if you try to punch while moving, which leaves him a sitting duck for enemy attacks. To make matters worse, the game flat out hates Felix if he doesn't collect power-ups — he's a One-Hit-Point Wonder in his default form, and even if he does collect power-ups, he has no Mercy Invincibility, and certain enemies and the two boss fights can exploit this by trapping Felix in place, whittling down his power-ups until he dies, and you lose all of your power-ups if you fall into a pit anyway. On top of that, Felix has very stiff jumping controls (he has a very short jump that you have to use while walking or it'll be just too short to cross certain chasms), and if you so much as walk off a platform without jumping, Felix will sink like a rock and you lose any mid-air control over him (which is a bad thing in a game with lots of Bottomless Pits, too), and the terrible level designs are not conductive to this or any of the other control or design problems - the first world is unreasonably difficult due to the clunky controls and nasty enemy and platform placement, and the sixth is probably the worst, mainly because of the sheer amount of times it can blindside you due to obscuring enemies offscreen and making you take many blind jumps to reach the right platform, often leading you plunging into a pit. The game even has the nerve to use milk bottles to guide you to a platform offscreen, but they'll often be platforms with offscreen enemies on them too (which have bigger hitboxes than their sprites let on). To top it all off, you get an absolutely pathetic final boss who tries to attack you solely with Collision Damage, and he can be killed in seconds if you have power-ups on hand, with a Kaizo Trap pit directly after your fight with him added (just before the exit, in fact) to rub salt in the wound. And besides the utter lack of effort put into the gameplay, the graphics are jerky and ugly, and the music ranges from bland to obnoxious. Oh, and your reward for beating the game? A screen of Felix hugging his friend Goldie Goose, with the words "The End" hanging over them.
  • Fist of the North Star received a NES adaptation, released a few years after the much better Master System version. It was based on the second TV series. (The just as bad prequel stayed in Japan.) It fares little better than its predecessor: the graphics are quite ugly, the sound design is similarly lame (the NES could not do any justice to Kenshiro's "ATATATATA" battle cry, even forgiving that utilizing the sound chip's dedicated DPCM channel (i.e., digitized samples) was expensive at the time and would take up a fair bit of the ROM), and Fake Difficulty abounds with frustrating puzzle stages and bosses that are too hard to defeat. The one thing going for this game is its localization in the west; surprisingly for the era, the game was released overseas with its title and setting intact, and Kenshiro is even referred to accurately as "Ken", making this one of the earliest glimpses westerners got to Fist of the North Star before Viz's English version of the manga (and a fair sight more faithful than the localization of the Sega Genesis game, also known as Last Battle), but even that hardly justifies playing this game.
  • Ghostbusters is a classic for the ages, but the port of the Commodore 64 game on the Nintendo Entertainment System is an utter disaster. It is a dull, frustrating experience that mostly involves driving around the map and to whichever destination you choose (while avoiding apparently drunk drivers, catching ghosts if you have a ghost vacuum, and collecting barrels to avoid running out of fuel), buying stuff from the shop and capturing ghosts. The music is literally the Ghostbusters theme on loop for the entire game, the graphics are ugly, it doesn't use Ghostbusters characters well, and the ghosts used are stock ghosts that don't resemble anything from the movie. Once you finally get inside the "Zuul building" (a task that requires $15,000 by the way), you'll find an extremely difficult segment where you move three of the Ghostbusters by tapping either A or B (or holding down a turbo equivalent to spare your poor thumb) and try to avoid the four ghosts that move slowly and randomly around the map. After that is a 2D shooter-like segment where you have to drain Gozer's health before the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man gets to the top of the building. And your reward for going through that is a plaintext ending in absolutely horrendous English (and a statement of "you have completed a great game"). Plain and simple, the game is an absolutely terrible addition to an otherwise awesome franchise that's about as fun as watching paint dry. As expected, The Angry Video Game Nerd covered this game over two videos. BrainScratch Commentaries also played this game for their Bad NES Extravaganza.
  • Gilligan's Island, of all properties, got an NES game. If you were wondering whether or not they'd capture the show's magic of having an incompetent boob follow you around everywhere and disrupt your efforts, then never fear, because they totally nailed it; the entire game is one long, grueling Escort Mission where you constantly have to babysit Gilligan and backtrack to find him each time he gets lost or caught in an obstacle. Enemies tend to dive bomb you quickly and without warning, which is especially bad when your player character is the Skipper, who isn't exactly light on his feet. The graphics and animation are both blandly simplistic, the music and sound effects are annoying and repetitive, and the gameplay relies heavily on Button Mashing to get out of various pitfalls, shallow combat with incredibly poor hit detection, and bumbling around the confusing levels (there's at least a map to help with this) figuring out the proper order of completion for each objective (no such luck here). Oh, there's also a time limit on each stage, which drops dramatically whenever you get separated from Gilligan. The AVGN reviewed it as part of one of Pat the NES Punk's NES marathon here WIRED elaborated it further here, while Hardcore Gaming 101 offers a similar take here.
  • Heavy Shreddin' is a terrible snowboarding game for the NES with slow controls, bland graphics, music and sound effects that cause your ears to bleed, frustrating difficulty, and your "reward" for completing a level (a full-screen photo-realistic image of some lady) is more Nightmare Fuel than a reward. Watch Aqualung's review of it here.
  • Human Killing Machine for the Atari ST and other 8-bit and early 16-bit computers was a rip-off of the first Street Fighter game made by Tiertex, the same company who (poorly) ported the same Street Fighter game and the arcade version of Strider to those systems. The game lacks special moves, two-player mode (which is bad in a Fighting Game, a genre that thrives on one-on-one competition), and scrolling. The fighters are all miscellaneous god-awful ethnic stereotypes with occasional cruelty to animals. Also, if you start off badly, the game makes it harder for you to win the next fight. Furthermore, the developers made it so all of a given character's frames of animation could be shoehorned into a single screen's worth of space, which has the unfortunate consequence of the Final Boss having only six frames of animation (two walking, two falling, one punching, one kicking). What's worse is that the final boss in the Amiga port has its tiles glitched up, which makes you wonder just how the programmers overlooked this mistake. Ashens reviewed the Atari ST port here, while Vinny of Vinesauce takes a look at the MS-DOS version here (at 5:55).
  • The adventure game Hydlide was a huge hit in Japan. It debuted on a microcomputer in 1984, was released on multiple systems there, and eventually landed on the Famicom/NES in 1989. Unfortunately, regardless of whether the game was any good on the earlier systems, it was borderline unplayable on the NES, complete with hints of Porting Disaster. The graphics were bland, and the music was an annoying loop that sounded like a dumbed-down Indiana Jones theme. The battle mechanics were practically non-existent - they amounted to just running into monsters while holding the "Attack" button. There were no clues anywhere of what to do or where to go. Choosing the Save option only saves the player's most recent password; since the cartridge had no battery, the password is wiped from its memory when the game is turned off. Two separate negative video reviews were posted by The Angry Video Game Nerd and ProJared, while LordKat's video offers a more balanced discussion of the game's history, along with a little defense.
  • Ikari III: The Rescue was a nigh-unplayable mess in its original arcade form, as SNK de-emphasized the run-and-gun nature of the first two Ikari Warriors games (essentially turning the third game into a beat-'em-up) but kept the rotary controls, making it extremely hard for attacks to connect. Oddly enough, the NES version of Ikari III was better than the NES Porting Disasters of the first two games, as it was a somewhat-decent game on its own. It helps that the NES port didn't bother to simulate the arcade games' rotary controls.
  • Intergalactic Cage Match for the Commodore 64 and other systems of the time. Billed as a wrestling game with a Cage Match gimmick, the game had poor graphics, extremely poor (to the point of being near-unusable) controls, and one major fatal flaw in the design - you couldn't knock anyone off the the wall of the cage once they'd started climbing. As a result, you had a fighting game where somehow actually fighting was less effective than just running to the nearest wall and climbing it. Professional reviews (where they actually existed) were terrible, with scores of about 10-15% out of 100. Stuart Ashen rips it apart here.
  • Karting Grand Prix for the Atari ST is possibly the slowest racing game in existance. It's also one of the glitchiest: the game freaks out when a car goes under the bridge and corrupts when a car rides on grass or under shadows. And as a bonus the sound effect for an engine is one of the most annoying sounds in the world. In conclusion you have a game that rivals Big Rigs for the title of worst racing game in existance. Ashens demonstrates this game here and quits after playing it for two minutes.
  • Just like Aladdin (see above), The Lion King is a well-regarded game of the 16-bit era. Its port to the NES? Not so much. It was released in 1995 in Europe only, and is essentially a worse version of the Game Boy port that preceded it. There are only about half the levels of the other versions, and you never get to play the levels where Simba is an adult, something that even the Game Boy version included. As a result, the game suddenly ends at the "Hakuna Matata" level with the gorilla boss. No opportunity to avenge the death of your father or anything, which is the whole point of the story. On top of that, the graphics are tiny and washed out, feeling more appropriate for a game released at launch, not something from when the system is essentially dead by this point. Like before, the pirated version of this is comparatively better.
  • While Plants vs. Zombies is a well-loved game, this NES bootleg version of it is horrendous. The first problem with it is the music, which is bad even for bootleg standards. Once you actually get into the game, you'll notice that the sprites are very Off-Model (Peashooter and Repeater outright don't have any color, simply blending into the color of the tile they're placed on), and none of the plants move at all. The game is also extremely difficult to the point of cheapness, where a zombie appears before you can even place a Sunflower down, and the Potato Mine, which is meant to help you start a round, is just as expensive as a Peashooter, making it entirely useless. But the worst part is that it seems that only half the sprites load most of the time, as the original game wasn't made for consoles with sprite limits. This game completely destroys all of the enjoyability the original had, and isn't even fun if you're looking for Bile Fascination.
  • Robobolt for the Commodore 64 is one of the most notably bad games for the system. People that have played it cite amongst its flaws the bad presentation, bad sound effects, very sluggish controls (the bullets that you shoot move so slowly that they can not kill the enemies on screen) and the fact that there is only one enemy sprite in the entire game. Commodore magazine Zzap!64 gave the game a 3%, the lowest score in the magazine's history (matched only by The Further Adventures of Alice In Videoland) and a reviewer for the Commodore 64 review site Lemon 64 gave the game a zero, the only game reviewed on the site to score lower than a 1 out of 10.
  • Scramble Eggs for the MSX is a cheap knockoff of Scramble where you can't move horizontally or drop bombs and the enemies and terrain are boringly designed. The graphics look primitive, but the sound and music are worse.
  • Pirated video games tend to be horrible for many given reasons, and while Hummer Team usually averts this, Somari falls squarely in it. This game could have been So Bad, It's Good given that it's an unofficial Famicom port of Sonic the Hedgehog starring Mario for no discernible reason, but the poor controls and physics, coupled with Fake Difficulty make it a barely playable mess and the soundtrack makes Sonic Genesis (see the Sixth Generation folder for more details) sound good in comparison.
  • Super Maruo is one of the first unlicensed NES games and one of the rarest, but that doesn't mean it's the holy grail. It's actually a pornographic game that has nothing to do with Mario. The gameplay consists of one screen, where our titular character needs to catch a woman while avoiding the dog that blocks the way, each time he does that, the woman is stripped down until both of you are nude with very crude sex scenes occurring. The reason for the original cartridge version being so rare is that Nintendo of Japan supposedly shut the makers down to prevent it from being released on the Famicom. Given to that this is at the time when Nintendo had some very draconian practices on how developers should release their games on the system, it's safe to say that Super Maruo is one of the reasons why they enforced these methods, especially since Nintendo of Japan themselves refuses to allow pornographic games on their consoles in fear it'll taint their image.
  • Super Monkey Daibouken is an RPG based on Journey to the West in which Sun Wukong and his party make an agonizingly slow journey from China to India through a confusingly designed overworld with blotchy graphics and invisible exits. It has side-scrolling combat sequences like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but worse in practically every way. Hardcore Gaming 101 rips the game apart here.
  • Super Pitfall was an attempt to update Activision's classic hit Pitfall for the NES... but they didn't update the right things. The gameplay was sluggish and not enjoyable because of unforgiving amounts of Fake Difficulty stemming from terrible stage design, Trial-and-Error Gameplay that gives zero clue as to what to do, and logic-defying ways of moving between areas (for example, at one point you must jump into a bird enemy that looks no different than any other bird mook in the game). Your character (who looks a bit too much like Luigi) remains a One-Hit-Point Wonder and, while he does have a gun, it's near useless until the final level because most of the enemies are waist-high in height and you can't shoot while you duck! The graphics were awful, full of sickening strobing, slowdown, flickering, and bland sprites (waterfalls look like avalanches of blue garbage). The music is the same annoying loop played over and over again until the final level (where it got replaced by another annoying loop). The company that anonymously developed the game, Micronics, was also responsible for the NES Porting Disasters of Athena and Ikari Warriors. The game was a failure when it was released and is considered among the worst games available for the NES. (The obscure PC-88 version of Super Pitfall was not so bad; it included a life bar, the ability to shoot while ducking, and Dungeon Shops that made gold useful besides for Scoring Points.) If you're still not convinced, check out Aqualung's full walkthrough of the game or The Angry Video Game Nerd's review.
  • A Week of Garfield, a piss-poor platformer developed by Mars and released by Towa Chiki. The graphics are ugly, with backgrounds often consisting of simple rectangles barely representing what they're supposed to and sprites that look like a failed attempt to capture the comic strip's style. The enemies are uninspired, consisting of things like mice, birds, baseballs, spiders, and worms. The sound effects are primitive. It's packed to the brim with Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders. There's no Mercy Invincibility, so the aforementioned goddamned bats and demonic spiders can take out all your health in less than a second, made even worse by the game only giving you one life and no continues. Topping all that, in a completely boneheaded move of game design all the items are invisible until you walk past them. This especially becomes a pain at several points when the gameplay grinds to a halt and you're left jumping around the screen like an idiot looking for a key to open the giant door in front of you. This happens multiple times throughout all the stages. It was only released in Japan, and it's a good thing it stayed there. The only positive thing about this game is the graphics' use in the Garfield parody comic Square Root of Minus Garfield. See NecroVMX take a look at it here.
  • Where's Waldo? for the NES. The appalling graphics are inexcusable because the point of the game is to see where Waldo is. To add insult to injury, the real Waldo is sometimes wearing different colors. The levels that don't consist of finding Waldo are just as terrible, especially the subway level. In it, you had to reach Waldo by entering through tunnels. The board is randomly generated, meaning that sometimes, the whole level becomes Unwinnable by Mistake.
  • While Winter Games is a classic on other systems, the NES version is an infamously bad Porting Disaster. The game has a terrible and bare-bones menu, the graphics are crap, and the music is ear-grating. The game only lets the player compete in four events (Hot Dog Aerials, Speed Skating, The Bobsled and Figure Skating) compared to the seven offered by even the Atari 2600 version. The gameplay is sluggish to the point of being unplayable due to its unforgiving amounts of Fake Difficulty stemming from Trial-and-Error Gameplay that gives zero clue as to what to do, and counter-intuitive controls. Worst of all, the game wasn't even developed by Epyx themselves, but sub-contracted to a small Japanese developer called Atelier Double. This version was a failure and was panned by both critics and players upon release, and is considered among the worst games available for the NES. It's little wonder why The Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed the game for his Christmas episode in 2009 and even destroyed the game cartridge with fire.

    Fourth Generation (1987-1999) 
  • 3D Ballz for the SNES and Sega Genesis. The setting of the game is pure gibberish with nonsensical phrases and weird photos, but what clinches this game is the controls — it's so slow, slippery, and unplayable that you'll have no idea how to control your fighter. The AI, however, has no problem controlling its fighters and will wipe the floor with you. The music and sounds are strange, almost erotic, with girls moaning and guys grunting. See Yungtown & Caddicarus review the game here.
  • The Adventures of Ninja Nanny & Sherrloch Sheltie can be easily described as an edutainmant game on drugs that hilariously failed at being educational. The graphics are very crude and look like they're drawn by a bored kid on MS Paint and Power Point, the sound design is badly compressed and loud beyond belief, the "scenes" happen via annoyingly small pop-up windows with blurry AVI files, the interactivity is similar to early interactive encyclopedias, which poorly fits the type of game, and features voiceover that sounds like it's recorded in one take and with a cheap mic. The story makes no sense whatsoever, changing setting every second, and whatever expalation to the story is exposed with walls of text. Apparently, this is one of two games developed by Silicon Alley, which vanished from existence after making this broken mess.
    • The "game" was presumably made by people who know very little about programming: In fact, there is a separate launcher for every single part of the game, with the first one titled "BEGIN HERE". LGR reviews this, and even he is baffled by its sheer nonsense. Vinesauce also streamed it here, and he considered it to be a huge mistake on his end.
  • The Amiga adaptation of AKIRA is a heavy contender with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the title of "worst licensed video game of all time", and is certainly one of the worst Amiga games of all time, if not one of the worst games of all time, period. Players alternate between side-scrolling motorcycle segments and platforming levels with either Kaneda or Tetsuo. The first level of the game, a motorcycle segment, has even less margin for error than the speedbike segments of Battletoads: rumors have it the publisher had to give passwords to reviewers because they couldn't beat the first level. Not that the platforming segments are any better: enemies are damage sponges while the player is about as fragile as wet tissue paper, the third stage requires players to find keycards to progress which are a chore to find, and the fourth stage is Unwinnable by Mistake due to a platform you need to traverse across being out of reach.
    • The circumstances behind the game's development makes how bad it is more understandable: one person tried to track down the development team, and almost everyone involved wanted to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the development company ICE Software. According to what testimony was given, ICE Software made the infamous sweatshop conditions of Konami look like Club Med in comparison. Attempts to contact the heads of the company (which went belly-up not long after AKIRA's release) were met with profanity-laden resistance. At the end of the day, it's little wonder how AKIRA for the Amiga wound up being so godawful.
  • Awesome Possum Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt by Tengen was a flaccid attempt at cashing in on Sonic the Hedgehog's popularity, and is one of the worst Sega Genesis platformers ever. The presentation and design is awful; a half-assed attempt to copy Sonic's speed mixed with sloppy level design that can't handle it. The main character spins like Sonic but can only damage enemies by landing directly on top of them missing the whole point of Sonic's spin attack (to kill enemies from any direction while maintaining his speed). Because of this, it's extremely easy to blindly run into enemies, and power-ups to increase your speed or jumping make the game even harder to control. Levels have grainy backgrounds while characters have garish color schemes and choppy animation that looks like something off of MS Paint. There is an inexplicable, heavy-handed environmental theme throughout the game, going as far as giving you pointless trivia questions in-between levels—and the ending is a literal interpretation of the game's title. On top of all that is a completely unlikable, ugly protagonist who often spouts grating digitized catchphrases such as "I'm Awesome!". ScrewAttack did a video on the Top 10 Worst Mascots, and the possum was right at the bottom of the barrel. The HG101 crew gave it the inevitable "Your Weekly Kusoge" treatment. Urinating Tree also noted the hypocrisy of this game and its relation to what it was trying to accomplish.
  • Barney's Hide & Seek developed by Realtime Associates for the Sega Genesis. Even though it was aimed at the same two-year-olds who would be fans of the series, you would be lucky if they figured out how to work the game controller or system. Those that could get a "game" in only the most bland sense of the word. Barney can never be injured and he cannot lose a level even by failing to complete the objective of finding every kid! Even the sound design is annoying because Barney's words are fractured between nouns and verbs, and only his catchphrases were full sentences.
  • Batman Forever, a tie-in to the film of the same name, for the SNES from Acclaim Entertainment. The game has frequent loading screens despite being on a 16-bit cartridge. The graphics are so-so, and the music is terribly bland. Worst of all, this game was made with the Mortal Kombat engine even though it's barely a fighting game, and so the controls are completely counter-intuitive note . The Angry Video Game Nerd reviews it here, along with other Batman games both good and bad. BrainScratch Commentaries also played some of it for their Bad SNES Extravaganza marathon. If you want to see any more of the game, check out this playthrough by Some Call Me Johnny.
    • There was also a Sega Genesis version of this game, which does have some improvements, such as slightly better controls (that is if you have the six-button controller), no load times, and the ability to control the main villains in the VR simulation mode. The improvements end there as the game is just as bad as the SNES version. Urinating Tree (aka Schlasser) explains further.
    • The game was also released for the Game Boy and Game Gear, with more or less any and all redeeming qualities of either of the above versions being stripped away completely. The already-bland music translates horribly from 16-bit to 8-bit, and graphical limitations have caused much of the game's background detail to vanish, leaving you with an ugly-looking game that makes you feel as though you're in an empty building of nothing as you attempt to play it - and the Game Boy version's more limited color palette did it absolutely no favors, reducing large spaces of background to featureless white voids. The sprites are taken directly from the SNES version, leading to a Batman who barely resembles Batman (the sprite from the 1989 game looks closer by comparison). Finally, the controls, taken directly from the Game Boy port of Mortal Kombat, are a complete mystery to first time players — not even the manual tells you how to do essential moves, making almost every moment a case of Trial-and-Error Gameplay, and once you do figure out the controls they don't even work 90% of the time, which can lead your average player to not be able to make it past the first screen even if they consult a guide. Small wonder that Batman Forever is commonly listed as the worst portable Batman game of all time.
  • Battlecry, a 1991 arcade game by Home Data, is a mixture of Beat Em Up and Fighting Game, and happens to be horrible at being both. The first half of each level consists of an endless wave of random thugs, and your protagonist has to grab onto a helicopter ladder in order to get to the boss. This is easier said than done considering that sometimes the ladder is out of reach, while other times you're too busy fighting off thugs to jump (which require holding up and guard at the same time, as opposed to just up or even having its own button). The controls are so unresponsive, even doing something as basic as jumping forward is impossible. The boss fights simply consist of mashing buttons and hoping they don't pull off a random move that can take a third of your health. The graphics are ugly, and the protagonist on the title screen (a blonde muscular man in red sleeveless clothing) looks nothing like he does in the game (a green haired man in a blue Speedo). Home Data finished the game in 1989 (and the game would have been just as ugly and dated if released then) but didn't even bother to polish it or make it playable in those two years. VGJunk reviewed it here.
  • Bébé's Kids is notorious amongst the SNES crowd for terrible music, bland gameplay, and a confusing haunted house that acts like a maze. Hard to believe this was made by the same studio that went on to create [PROTOTYPE]. Watch The Nostalgia Critic tear it apart here, as well as LordKaT's guide to beat it.
  • Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball is an early SNES title with an interesting concept, but is undermined by sub-par AI, slow characters, and god-awful controls. You're more likely to spend time trying to figure out how to shoot rather than actually trying to win. Dshban manages to do pretty good at it, though. SCXCR did a Five Dollar Gaming review of this game, citing inconsistent game speed; the Atari 2600 control scheme on a system using a controller with multiple buttons; not following the rules of basketball; and other major flaws. It doesn't help that this game is just the Amiga game Future Basketball but with Bill Laimbeer's name and association with it.
  • Dark Castle was a groundbreaking game for Apple Macintosh computers (being one of the first games to use fully recorded sound effect samples), but it got a pair of terrible ports on the Sega Genesis and Philips CD-i by Electronic Arts and Three-Sixty Games—with the CD-i port being the worse of the two despite being on a more powerful console. The lack of mouse or keypad control in these ports make it difficult for your hero to properly aim his projectiles, and the bad controls are worsened by the hero's habit of stumbling and falling all over the place. It's possible to defeat the final boss without even exploring some of the rooms in the castlenote , making almost half of the game superfluous. You can see how much of a failure the game is in this review by Urinating Tree, as well as the Angry Video Game Nerd's review for the Genesis and CD-i versions. Caddicarus later commented that the Sega Genesis version of the game was the second-worst game he ever played (behind only the mostly movie-based video games released by Phoenix Games), beating out other serious contenders found not just here, but through some other generations' web pages as well.
  • Dark Tower (not to be confused with Stephen King's The Dark Tower series), an arcade game by The Game Room. The game plays like a shoddy version of Snow Bros, except instead of a snowman you are some sort of pantsless caveman or unkempt nerd hitting monsters with a bat. The graphics are stolen from Ghosts 'n Goblins and Black Tiger, and the music is the fourth stage music of Double Dragon on an endless loop. The game itself is lacking in any variety or challenge, as you simply fight the same four monsters (with the same basic boss every ten floors) throughout fifty levels. "Beating" the game presents you with no ending and sends you back to the first level, which isn't even any harder. Read an article that chews out the game over at Random Hoohaas.
  • The Turbografx-16 version of Darkwing Duck suffers terribly from sluggish and delayed controls, poor hit detection, and wonky physics. This makes boss fights harder than they ought to be, since the margin for error when it comes to jumping on them is practically microscopic. The platforming also suffers from an unseen time limit: don't take too long trying to make a tough jump, or else you'll have a safe dropped on you, killing you instantly. Do yourself a favor and just play Capcom's NES version, instead. If you're really curious of how bad it is, watch the Angry Video Game Nerd's review.
  • Deep Blue for the TurboGrafx-16 is often cited as not only one of the worst games on the system, but one of the worst shmups ever released. The graphics are drab, the music can lull you to sleep, the controls are sluggish, the levels are boring (nothing but wave after wave of annoying enemies with a boss at the end), and all three weapons are practically useless. While you can take multiple hits, enemies can still strip all your health away in swarms (getting hit even once strips you of all your speed powerups and reduces your current weapon to its basic level), and you only get one life and no continues to beat the game. The only two ways to replenish health are rare health pickups and Pause Scumming (and the latter may still not be enough). If you do manage to beat the game, all you get for your troubles is a screen that says "NEXT". Watch this review to see it in action.
  • Divine Sealing is an unlicensed hentai shmup for the Genesis that's notable for being extremely ugly, generic, and easy. Heck, even its main gimmick (anime chicks stripping themselves for no reason after you beat each level) is too limited (and too badly drawn) to be actually arousing. If you're not prone to motion sickness, check out this walkthrough (NSFW).
  • Dragon Bowl, a sprite hack of the arcade Ninja Gaiden allegedly based on Dragon Ball. It is notable for atrocious music, sound effects stolen from various sources (most notably Street Fighter II), graphics that look like they were drawn by children who'd picked up writing utensils for the first time, game breaking bugs that weren't in the original game and broken hit detection. It is pathetic when put up against the game it rips off, never mind other brawlers released the same year.
  • While the Sega Genesis was home to some of the most memorable Disney-licensed games, the video game adaptation of Fantasia was not one of them. With sloppy programming, awkward controls, and haphazard level design, it falls well below the standards of a typical Disney game, and its tinny music hardly does the film's soundtrack any justice. Jumping is floaty and unresponsive, your Goomba Stomp only works if you're holding down on the d-pad, your projectiles are too limited in supply and hard to aim to be of any use, enemies pop out of nowhere, and if you reach the end of a level without finding enough hidden musical notes, you are sent back to the start. To add insult to injury, Chernabog doesn't even appear as the Final Boss, rendering whatever motivation there was to complete this game moot. It ranked #6 on Mega's "10 Worst Mega Drive Games of All Time," and is reviled by Sega Genesis fans across the net; Urinating Tree sympathizes with them.
  • Férias Frustradas do Pica-Pau (translates into Woody Woodpecker's Vexing Vacation), released by Tec Toy in Brazil in 1995, is an atrocious licensed game for the Sega Genesis and Sega Master System, both for its sloppy design and for being extremely hard for all the wrong reasons. The levels are poorly designed (sometimes blatantly copy and pasted) and absolutely relentless in enemy placement, but the real issue is the very stiff controls combined with some of the worst hit detection you'll ever find in a game—nine times out of ten, you'll get hurt by the enemies and boss fights more than you can dish it out on them with your nearly useless, short range peck attack. The graphics are abysmal and look like they were drawn in MS Paint, and the sound work is lazy and annoying (for example, the sound of Woody Woodpecker's laugh plays every time he grabs any item). Oh, and the Hard Mode makes the experience even more miserable, since Woody has no Mercy Invincibility in it.
  • Fight Fever (aka Wang Jung Wang) is a Korean-made Street Fighter II ripoff for the Neo Geo with ugly graphics, special moves that are impossible to pull off, and several assets recycled from the first Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting games. (The sounds were mostly taken from Art of Fighting, and the continue counter noise and end-of-round score screen graphics were taken from Fatal Fury.) VGJunk fought it here
  • Guardians of the 'Hood, a Beat 'em Up and Spiritual Successor to Pit-Fighter, features hideously grainy Digitized Sprites of people going at each other with bad hit detection, set to execrable synth music. The 5-button control scheme makes even basic moves pointlessly complicated. There is very little variation in enemy types, and the game is padded out with pointlessly hard one-on-one gym fights that aren't treated as Bonus Stages.
  • While the original arcade game of Hard Drivin' was a popular, technically impressive and fun racing sim, the Sega Genesis port simply could not do it justice in either factor. While the real-time polygon graphics were impressive for their time, especially for an early Genesis game (and no extra chips or processors used) the single-digit frame rate, combined with very sluggish controls, make it clear that the Genesis was in way over its head trying to accomplish such a game. Combine that with lousy physics (e.g. the giant loop-de-loop which is very hard to clear; when the car is sent flying in the air via ramp, it can crash just from not being in the precise position you are supposed to land the car in), handling akin to sliding on ice (it is very easy to crash into other scenery or cars heading in your direction), a car so fragile that one hit will total it and send you back to the start or a checkpoint, and a strict time limit, and the game is nearly unplayable.
  • Heavy Nova, a futuristic mecha action game for the Sega Genesis. The single-player campaign is mostly based around boss fights; the levels preceding them use the same game engine and controls as the fighting sections, and their brevity is perhaps for the better because they have some of the worst platforming ever committed to a 2D console. All of the on-screen enemies are a fraction the size of your character and are nearly impossible to hit because your moves are designed to strike enemies your own height. This means that you have one move that can strike anything in the single-player campaign — an awkward kick that requires you to be within pixels of whatever you're trying to strike as they rain Beam Spam down on you from all sides. The game's one-on-one fighting sections were no better — when you jump, all attacks pass through you, meaning you can make yourself completely invincible at will. This has implications for the multiplayer mode and some of the boss battles, with matches consisting of players spending most of their time jumping. Even without this stupid oversight, the different characters you can choose to fight with are completely imbalanced. Some have so few moves that they have unmapped buttons (on a Sega Genesis controller), while others can spam distance attacks and have full suites of super moves. To top it all off, the game is hideous; the graphics would have been a disappointment on the Sega Master System. The one good thing that can be said about the game is that it has a nice soundtrack (which sounds even better on the Japan-exclusive Sega CD version), but that hardly justifies playing this game. If you want to see more of this game, watch the Continueshow version of the game here.
  • Island Peril (not to be confused with Isle of the Dead), a 1995 First-Person Shooter developed for MS-DOS, is a shoddy, sleazy and buggy Doom clone that goes as far as to steal sprites from Doom; what isn't stolen is a wildly inconsistant mix of digitized actors and ugly MS Paint-like art. Basic gameplay is seriously harmed by control issues, with slippery and inconsistant player movement along with an archaic control scheme that cannot be rebound to different keys. Saving the game only saves what level you are currently on; you restart the level from scratch when you load a save, which is a serious issue when the game is prone to crashing. Other technical issues include enemies regularly walking into death traps, the player phasing out of the level boundaries, or being unable to hit enemies while aiming up or down. FMV cutscenes occasionally play during the game, most of which are bad attempts at humor that indulge in island stereotypes and sexual innuendo. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the only game that developer Electric Fantasies released. Brutal Moose did a review of the game, and Civvie 11 offers a deeper dive into its faults.
  • Isle of the Dead is a strong contender for the worst FPS of all time. Coming out the same year as Doom, its engine is more on the level of Wolfenstein 3D. Right from the start, the game offers enemies which can tear you to pieces in seconds and respawn right after you leave the room. The graphics and sound are horrible—with nothing to tell parts of the map apart, navigation becomes far too difficult. There are some static screens where you interact (similar to adventure games), but in these you are often clueless about what you are supposed to do, and can easily miss crucial items. To top it all off, quitting the game for whatever reason is referred to as "the coward's way out," and is greeted with a graphic depiction of a shotgun suicide. The sad part is that the game is supposed to have point-and-click adventure elements as well, which sounds like a great idea in theory. But the game could not decide which genre to pick thus making a complete mess of a game. For all your troubles to actually play through the game, all you get is a "The End... Or Is It?"-style ending. A Sequel Hook that will never come to life... no pun intended... Here's Brutalmoose's review of this game
  • While It Came From The Desert is generally considered a Cult Classic on other systems, the TurboGrafx CD port is an example of an infamously bad Porting Disaster, no thanks to the addition of FMVs that have little to do with the actual plot, changes to the story, and the system's own graphical limitations forcing a change in certain gameplay aspects and making it more repetitive and boring. There are frequent moments where the gameplay segments don't match up with the story at all note . The cutscenes feel like they're out of order, as there are points where back-to-back cutscenes will contradict each other. Not even traveling in the game works right; you'll sometimes pick a location to go to and end up in a completely different area. Watch Retsupurae riff it to pieces here.
  • Kang Fu, released for Amiga, is a platformer that was lost in the deep and forsaken depths of videogame history, had it not been found out by The Angry Video Game Nerd. It could be best described as a mish-mash of random assets taken from random sources (cartoony animals juxtaposed to realistic skulls and Roman statues on a photographic backdrop), there is no story to speak of, the controls are erratic and stiff, and upon Game Over the player is greeted by the photo of an actual decayed corpse of a kangaroo. Not only that, because of a programming bug with the Amiga CD32's boot sequence, the game would endlessy load or display an "Out of Memory" message if started on an Amiga CD32. The enclosed instruction manual actually tells the player how to work around the bug, by starting the game after the CD32 logo's music stops playing.
  • Land of the Unicorn is a short MS-DOS edutainment game that certainly fails on the "tainment" part. The game revolves around navigating a maze looking for a key to open a door while unscrambling synonyms and antonyms and avoiding trolls who ask for money, and then steal it anyway if you say you don't have enough. The game is extremely basic with bad controls and eye-searing visuals that look like they were drawn in MS Paint, and a simplistic ending featuring seizure inducing lights. About the only good thing that could be said is the music is catchy, if out of place. Lazy Game Reviews took a look at this game to cap off Edutainment Month 2013, and was not at all amused.
  • Last Battle (released in Japan as Fist of the North Star: New Legend of the Savior of Century's End) was one of the launch titles on the Genesis when it was released in the west, which makes it all the more unfortunate that it barely showed off the system's capabilities, and is a crappy and boring game besides. (It also received an Amiga port for no good reason.) Most stages are slow and trodding side-scrolling segments with enemies that are dumb as rocks and die in a single hit. The bosses are also too easy, once their patterns have been discerned. The labyrinth-style stages are particularly frustrating, being even longer than the normal stages and a nightmare to navigate (which, combined with the stages' time limit, makes things worse). The only things going for the game are decent-ish graphics and sound, plus the game's plot (which is an adaptation of the manga and anime's later post-Time Skip story arcs) being spoiled in the manual and Opening Scroll, potentially saving you the trouble of playing the game. Levi Buchanan's retrospective review on IGN shows that time has not been kind to this game.
  • Legend of Success Joe, a horrible excuse of a boxing game based on the legendary manga/anime Ashita no Joe. The gameplay alternates between very primitive Beat 'em Up segments in which Joe fights a few wimpy enemies that die in one punch before fighting a very long boss, and boxing matches based on famous battles of the series. The controls are clunky and unresponsive, and the music sounds like something out of an early NES game even though this game was produced for one of the most powerful systems of the early 1990s. The graphics are not much better — an ugly, overly bright color palette, non-existent animation, and hunchbacked character sprites. It was one of the few early Neo Geo titles that stayed in Japan, for good reason.
    • One year before Legend, there was an extremely rare arcade Punch-Out!! clone by the same developer, simply called Success Joe. It limits itself to the series' famous battles, but manages to be even worse. Alongside similarly clunky and unresponsive controls, the game features massive but poorly-drawn and choppily-animated sprites with anatomy and perspective issues, voice clips so scratchy that you can hear noise in the background, and music by someone who does not know how to write or program music. It tops off with a particularly bizarre case of Not His Sled applied to the most famous and frequently-referenced scene from the manga in that Joe survives his final match and marries his girlfriend, complete with one of the worst versions of Mendelssohn's Wedding March ever. It's safe to say that this game makes Legend look like a masterpiece by comparison. This one-credit playthrough of the Japanese version, recorded on the original hardware, should give you an idea of the game's "quality".
  • Lord of the Rings: Book 1, Interplay's attempt at adapting The Fellowship of the Ring to the SNES, quickly and flagrantly broke all the rules established in the books. You Shall Not Pass!? Well, not if the player decides to beat the Big Bad elsewhere first... if the player managed to make it that far, since glitches would often cause the mere act of walking to the next area to be fatal. You could finish the game as two unnamed Hobbit children and Bill the pony. Before the advent of Game FAQs, if you lost the manual, then you were boned — it had all the layouts of the dungeons (which were at least fifty screens long) printed within. It doesn't end there. Cutscenes, even ones that are supposed to take place in castles, are composed of Walls of Text between people standing in some field. Sprites are poorly made — only cloak color differentiates the hobbits from each other, and no one but Gimli and Gandalf looks any different from the generic NPCs. The cities look like any other part of the world, except they have lazily designed houses in them. And at the end? You fight the Balrog, using the horrendous control scheme which causes you to either control every member of your party at once or let them wander around and die — not that it matters, as the fight is more or less Unwinnable anyway. There are noticeable loading times between areas despite this game being on the SNES. The game's sole redeeming point is its beautiful music... but it only has three tracks, and one of them is reserved for the title screen. Now here's Lost in the Warp Pipe and PeanutButterGamer to tell you about it.
  • The Make My Video series was produced to build up the Sega CD's Full Motion Video library quickly without having to shoot original footage. All three games involved "editing" three videos with filters and silly stock clips. Even for the time, it was ridiculously limited. Since the Sega CD had limited video capabilities, the resulting videos were grainy, had a limited color palette, and were displayed on a very small portion of the screen (especially bad since all three videos are played at the same time). The "Kris Kross" release is often cited as the single worst Sega CD game which, considering the amount of crap in the U.S. library for the Sega CD, is saying something. Spoony reviewed all three of the games for his "FMV Hell" series, as well as Power Factory featuring C+C Music Factory, another game made in the same style.
  • The Mario franchise was unfortunately prey to a bevy of educational games, many of which were mediocre at best. The absolute nadir, however, would have to be Mario's Early Years: Preschool Fun. It's ridiculously simplistic, beyond the point of enjoyability, with all the gameplay built around preschool-level teachings... It's clear every word of the voice acting is an individual clip, as each word is emphasized and separated by a brief pause, to unsettling effect. Frame-rate issues occasionally cause the music to randomly change tempo, and the graphics make everyone look... off.note  ProtonJon and Kelekin play through the entirety of the game here, as well as its other incarnation (Mario's Early Years: Fun With Letters) here.
    • The PC version of the game even featured a set of public domain sing-along songs with the Mario characters acting out the scenes. This wouldn't be so bad if the kids singing them weren't so tone-deaf and out of sync with the instrumentals, giving everything an oddly nightmarish quality akin to those poorly-animated videos of kids' songs littered throughout YouTube. Have a listen if you dare.
  • The DOS versions of Mega Man and Mega Man 3 had horrible controls and graphics (just look at the Robot Master/stage-select screen from the first game), non-existent music (to go with the frequently non-existent sound cards), and terrible level design (the introduction level in the first game is a short, flat path to the Robot Masters' domains where you flee from an invincible Goddamned Wolf who will get several hits in on you). In Mega Man 3, the Robot Masters are obvious edits of the bosses of the NES Mega Man 2 and 3. It makes you wonder why Capcom outsourced their mascot to an unknown shovelware studio. If you played it on a fast-for-the-time PC, then the first DOS Mega Man would run at uncontrollably fast speeds. Yes, many DOS games were programmed to use the PC's processor clock cycles as an internal timer without an upper limit; the faster the processor ran, the faster the game ran. Games like this that were programmed for an 80286 processor are unplayably fast on modern computers (which are 500 times faster than a baseline 286). But still, that's really not supposed to happen while the game is still on the shelves. The reason there is no DOS Mega Man 2 is because the developers were trying to cash in on the then-released Mega Man 3, to the point of making their own version of the robot master on the original NES cover (who's supposed to be Spark Man) to justify using the exact same cover. Check out Yuriofwind's Obscure Gaming on the first DOS Mega Man here, Vinny from Vinesauce streamed the first game here alongside some other awful DOS games, the AVGN covering both games here, or The D-Pad investigating and play them both here and here. To top it all off, the second game came with an unofficial subtitle: The Robots Are Revolting.
  • Metal Morph for SNES is a very rare entry for Origin (of Ultima fame) in the field of console action games, and playing it shows why. The game is about a being composed of living metal traveling into a wormhole and being captured by evil aliens who want to replicate his morphing ability to invade our universe. It's actually divided into platform sections, where the hero can turn into living metal a la T2 to avoid being hit and travel into pipes, and third-person space shooter sections making use of the SNES' Mode 7. As this article shows, the former are frustrating because of the convoluted level layouts, drab graphics, abundance of unlabeled switches and the uncanny ability of the enemies to shoot us the exact moment we're out of the mostly invincible living metal form (and we're also an One-Hit-Point Wonder). The latter are pretty much unplayable and feature headache-inducing flashing textures for the planets' sky and surfaces. The controls are bad, the music is bad, the graphics are bad and, if you somehow manage to complete it, the ending shows that some traitor sold the aliens the secret of the metal morphing, making all the rest of the game totally pointless.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie received excellent adaptations on the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and even the Game Gear. The Game Boy version, on the other hand, is marred by sloppy hit detection, dodgy jumping mechanics, and a few stages that are so punishingly hard as to border on being practically unbeatable. The Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed the game and was absolutely livid with how godawful it was.
  • The Game Boy port of the original Mortal Kombat was quite very bad, which is sad because the character models were rather photorealistic (for a Game Boy game). It suffered from sloppy animations and even more sloppy hit detection. All the special moves used inputs completely different from the rest of the games of the franchise, and there were no fatality cues.
  • Mortal Kombat 3 for the original Game Boy was a cheap bastardization of its console game counterparts, rendered nearly unplayable due to the limitations of the Game Boy, and had poor graphics even by that system's standards (especially when compared to the GB version of Mortal Kombat II). Also, the developers screwed up some of the fatalities — notable offenders are Sindel, whose scream somehow sets the opponent on fire, and Smoke, whose Fatality made absolutely no sense.
  • Nerves of Steel was made by the same studio behind the aforementioned Isle of the Dead, and somehow manages to out-suck its predecessor. Enemies can teleport, often through walls, as they shoot at you; the graphics are an ugly mess, consisting of muddy textures; level design is lazy and confusing due to the fact that the "doors" are little more than walls with no collision detection (which often resemble all of the other walls); the story is a rather childish and brain-dead "kill the leader of North Korea for MURRICA" affair; and even the main menu is a laggy, frustrating slog.
  • The Phantasy Star series is one of the most notable names in JRPGs, standing proudly alongside Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest as a trailblazer for the genre. Phantasy Star Gaiden for the Game Gear, sadly, does not live up to its console contemporaries (or even the other Game Gear game, Phantasy Star Adventure): the game would be short, beatable in only a couple hours, if not for the frequent random encounters that can occur after taking only one step in the overworld. Making matters worse, the grind is absolutely brutal, even in comparison to RPGs from the 80's: your stat growth so low that it will take forever to be able to even scratch many enemies (even though the Final Boss is so easy, Anti-Climax Boss is an understatement). What little story there is doesn't justify the torture you would need to endure just to make it to the end of the game. For a mercy, the game was never released outside of Japan.
  • Read-A-Rama is an obscure edutainment PC game from no-name developer Selena Studios and distributed by Maxis in 1995. One quick glance could tell you why it fell into obscurity for over 20 years afterwards. The game revolves around a genie enlisting your aid to find his lamp and the ensuing adventure plays out in a board game-like fashion with a few word-based activities each hosted by assorted characters. The problems are as follows; the gameplay is too linear and has the same activities more than once on the board and even then, the full extent of its educational content amounts to basic identifying and unscrambing words and such. Also, the overall setup is unappealing, with many a Flat Character present and accounted for given unimaginative names (e.g. "Thunder Drummer" and "Lightning Dude"), not to mention uncomfortably weird (a vibe especially apparent in the game's atrocious and downright creepy artwork). But before you can even experience it for yourself, you'll first have to sit through Selena Studio's excessively long intro (see the folder on "Vanity Plates" for further info). Lazy Game Reviews covered it here and had nothing nice to say about. In fact, he openly suspected a possibility that Maxis might not have actually published it (especially given he noted the game is nowhere to be mentioned in any of their product catalogs at the time) and Selena could've simply tacked the name onto the box to fool customers.
  • Revengers of Vengeance for the Sega CD (known in Japan simply as Battle Fantasy) sounds ridiculous from the title alone, but was otherwise a seemingly ambitious project: a 2D fighting game that combines elements of JRPGs and vertical shmups? That's something you don't see every day. Sadly, the game doesn't quite work out: it was developed by the same team behind the aforementioned Heavy Nova, and it shows. The core of the game, the 2D fighter, is horrendously glitchy and unbalanced. The RPG mechanics and shmup levels are very basic and lacking in depth. The only thing going for the game is that it looks nice, had decent cutscenes for a Sega CD game, and has good music, but those aren't quite enough to justify playing what is otherwise a very substandard game.
  • Rise of the Robots promised a soundtrack by Brian May of Queen... which consisted of a short title tune. The rest of the music was written in-house at Mirage because May didn't get his music in by the deadline. (The techno soundtrack by Richard Joseph was actually praised by a few reviewers — it just wasn't what the game advertised.) The graphics looked utterly astounding, but because the animations were so detailed that they were practically Full Motion Video there was little wiggle room for gameplay and only a few moves possible per character. Worse, you could plow through literally the entire game by spamming the same attack over and over again, completely eliminating the need for any strategy or even learning much beyond the basic controls. One of the first games, and one of the few from the 2D era, that got excellent reviews on its graphics but poor ratings on everything else. There are some versions of the game are better than others (the 3DO version actually does have music by Brian May, plus the techno soundtrack as an option), while some are worse off (the Amiga version has no music, and the Genesis version has worse graphics and sound quality). Play It Bogart takes a look at the the SNES version here. Kim Justice goes into the history of the game here.
  • Shaq Fu was made to capitalize on two things of the 1990s: the growing popularity of fighting games and Shaquille O'Neal's growing star power. The result has endured longer than Shaq's hip-hop career, and not for the reasons one would hope. The Excuse Plot is laughable even by the standards of fighting games, hit detection is dodgy, and the controls make fighting a complete and utter chore. While reviews tended to be mixed on release, opinions on the game have only grown more sour with the passage of time: Gametrailers ranked it among one of the worst games of all time, as did Nintendo Power. In more recent years, a strange civil war has broken out between two factions over this game: one side wants to destroy every copy of the game in existence, while their opposition wishes to preserve every copy of the game that they can for posterity.
  • Much like Dragon's Lair for the NES mentioned above, the SNES version of Space Ace was meant to translate every single level from the Laserdisc original into a platformer. The controls are sluggish and unresponsive; combined with poorly placed hit boxes and fast-scrolling screens, that makes for a frustrating time. It is almost impossible to land your jumps, and missing jumps kills you in most levels. If you want to shoot someone, good luck — there are two buttons to draw your gun, one for each direction. Then there's the Space Maze, painful padding sandwiched between every level; in these sections, you have to steer your impossibly fast ship through a bunch of narrow alleys while shooting obstacles. The graphics are ugly at times — the developers did include a few of the FMVs, but they're so grainy and disjointed that you have to wonder why they bothered. The result is a long, frustrating, poorly designed game. JonTron took a look at this game here.
  • Survival Arts is a fighting game that was published by Sammy Corporation (yes, the same Sammy that distributes the Guilty Gear arcade games) and developed by Scarab. It is one of a dime-a-dozen games that tried to capitalize on the Mortal Kombat hype by having digitized graphics. The playable characters are laughable: Gunner is supposed to be a police officer but looks more like a janitor; Viper looks like a poor-man's Ken from Street Fighter: The Movie; Mongo and Santana are horrifically broken while Tasha and Hanna are pitifully weak, and the resident SNK Boss has been likened to a cross between Will Ferrell and Richard Simmons pretending to be a hybrid combination of Shang Tsung and Amakusa. The game's large, detailed sprites and fluid animations actually work against it: Having such gigantic characters means little room to move, and the drawn-out animations allow the AI to block every single thing you throw at them except for a scant few moves they will always allow themselves to get hit by. Throw in a faulty weapon mechanic, a disgusting cacophony of drums and trombones passed off as background music, plus one of the worst cases of vertical sync you'd ever laid your eyes upon (jumping up and down causes the video to split apart), and you can see why it's no wonder Sammy Corp never mentioned this game ever since. Sick0Fant took a fiddle at it, and a commentary of this is also available.
  • While the Genesis and Master System versions of Taz-Mania are considered good, or at least passable, the Game Gear version is an atrocious wreck. The graphics are hideous and the controls sluggish and awkward, which only adds to the Fake Difficulty that's already present (the first level involves outrunning a boulder and requires absolute perfection and ends with a Leap of Faith, while the second requires you to know the exact route through a runaway mine cart level or else you'll hit a dead-end and die.) The only boss in the game is a serious case of Guide Dang It! (you have to jump up and hit hanging icicles with your spin attack, which for some reason causes fire to shoot out from the floor) and the sound and music...well, just have a listen for yourself.
  • Tattoo Assassins is what happened when some employees of Data East got the mistaken idea that they could compete with Mortal Kombat with half the budget and one-third of the development time of a typical arcade Fighting Game. The result was nearly unplayable, with poor moves, Artificial Stupidity, and an annoying parrot. The pointlessly hyped story (what with its loose connection to Bob Gale) fell flat. The game was also hyped to feature more Finishing Moves than in any other fighting game, but that was because management threw in every idea they could think of regardless of how bad they were. It never went past the beta phase because they couldn't find testers who could bear to play it. If you really want to, you can find more information about this game on I-Mockery or watch Retsupurae riff the arcade mode here and the fatalities here. For the record, Data East executive Joe Kaminkow defends the game, noting that people are still talking about it all these years later.
  • Top Banana, originally for the Archimedes in 1991 but ported to the Amiga and Atari ST one year later, is basically Rainbow Islands except purely awful in every aspect. The game is meant to have an environmental theme but it's only elaborated on in the manual, as the trippy intro explains nothing and several of the enemies are hard to interpret. The graphics are painfully ugly; backgrounds look like random tiles jumbled together and the protagonist looks like an ugly clown. The sound effects are either inappropriate or just plain creepy, such as an "mmm..." that sounds more like a disturbing moan when you pick up items. The controls are slippery, and there's no way to control your jump height, so it's easy to bump your head into an enemy (taking damage knocks you off the platform you were on). Other awful mechanics include needing to shoot power ups before you collect them (otherwise, you'll take damage) and a radiation mechanic that makes the already bad graphics and controls even worse. The worst part: you have only one life and no continues to beat this game, and all you get for your trouble if you manage to do so is an image.
  • Ultraman has not had a lot of exposure in the West compared to other Toku franchises like Super Sentai/Power Rangers or Kamen Rider, and the SNES game based on Ultraman: Towards the Future, which was a re-skinned version of a game based on the original Ultraman series, does it no favors. For a fighting game, the controls are too stiff, the hitboxes too dissonant, and the Difficulty Spike after the first few stages practically insurmountable, on top of an ending that will make no sense and feel like a smack in the face to anyone who had not seen the series the game was based on. The game's biggest problem is the idea of charging and waiting for your super meter to finish off the monster. While this sounds like a cool idea in theory, in practice, it means that if you fire your strongest finisher out too soon, you'll have no choice but to wait around while the enemy's health regenerates. If you fire a weak finisher at the end of the match, it'll have no effect on the monster, and you'll have to wait around yet again while the enemy's health regenerates.
  • On first glance The Wacky World of Miniature Golf with Eugene Levy looks at least decent. The graphics and animations are rather fun and Eugene Levy as the game's host gets the occasional laugh as well. So what propels the game from what could have been one of the few decent titles on the CD-i to horrible levels? Well, you know how in every golf game you rely on the power and aim of your swing and environment to reach the hole? Rather than a tried and true formula, the game is almost completely timing based with no options on the power of your swing or the like due to the game being based around FMV footage. Okay, so you just pay attention to the obstacles for when to swing, right? Nope, the outcome is almost completely random, even if what should have been the correct shot was made, the game arbitrarily decides when to let your ball pass. The game is almost entirely trial & error until you make the correct putt. It's completely mindless, frustrating and tedious gameplay with only 18 holes to play, though that might be a blessing in disguise. See the Game Grumps play it here with the normally optimistic and chill Danny going completely mental at the game.
  • Zelda's Adventure is one of the unholy trinity of Legend of Zelda CD-i games created from Nintendo's ill-fated partnership with Phillips, and unlike Link: Faces of Evil or Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, can't even be enjoyed as So Bad, It's Good: it is easily the worst game of the bunch. Unlike the other two games, this one is designed more like the first Legend of Zelda game and the other top-down games as opposed to the 2D side-scrolling style of Zelda II, but not even returning to the series's roots does this game any favors. The graphics are an ugly and blurry mess, the sound design is so poor that the game is incapable of playing music and sound effects together (not that either are any good), Loads and Loads of Loading abounds when traversing the world, the controls are uncooperative to the point of being practically rebellious against the player, and the only way to do well in the game is through trial and error to figure out what item works against which enemy. Perhaps worst of all, the cutscenes aren't even ironically enjoyable like the other Zelda CD-i games, being horrendously-acted live action scenes that wouldn't even pass muster for public access cable television. Danny Cowan of 1UP.com absolutely hated it, which speaks volumes since he actually had praise for the other Zelda CD-i titles. It also earned a dishonorable entry in Hardcore Gaming 101's "Your Weekly Kusoge" courtesy of John Sczepaniak, who tried his hardest to redeem its predecessors.
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