From the days of Flash with child friendly websites like Cartoon Network's or Nickelodeon's (or the days of Newgrounds' highs if you were older), to the era of dedicated game websites such as Kongregate, web games have the goal of fulfilling entertainment under a limited amount of space fitting an entire web page. The best ones manage to hold your attention well and have you playing for a good, long time like any other video game would. However, the worst ones make you wish you never went online for them in the first place, especially if they were in a website dedicated to these games. These games almost make us regret spending our time online with them.
- The Arise series is known for consisting of not particularly well-made Point And Click Games, what with the bland aesthetics, abrupt and random Jump Scares, and Moon Logic Puzzles. However, Arise 4 can't even be considered So Bad, It's Good. The game forces you to navigate around a confusing hedge maze with screens that look very similar that is made even more confusing because you may not be facing the direction you might be led to believe upon clicking to move in a particular direction. It has such aggravating design idiosyncrasies such as drawers embedded right in the middle of a hedge, stolen music from Resident Evil, and puzzles that either pose zero challenge (finding a key code requires solving first-grade math problems) or are infuriatingly cheap, such as requiring you to click on a specific book in a bookshelf to find a key. The book lights up when you put your mouse on it, but it's hard to notice, and there's nothing to draw your eye to the book, and to add insult to injury, there's no hint that the bookcase contains a second item (since you already found one item on the bookcase).
The most frustrating gameplay feature is one where various monster faces fade in and have to be shot at before they reach the player and trigger a game over that forces you to start from the very beginning of the game. Not only is switching between normal clicking and the gun designed in such a way that you might accidentally click out of the game, the game also includes the previous Jump Scares so that you have a hard time distinguishing between those and the faces that you actually have to shoot. And then there's the final boss (yes, there's actually a final boss) of Arise 4, which is essentially just a Jump Scare .jpeg that takes about fifty shots to kill and functions almost identically to the normal enemies — except that it's weaker than the normal enemies that kill you in one hit.
Watch Slowbeef and Diabetus suffer through it here. The intro to the game has text reading, "I see you are surviving quite well. My next installment will make you want to DIE." As Slowbeef puts it, "It's about as accurate as it can get."
- GameMaker's official website has a buttload of crappy games. Going by the length of the "featured games" list, less than 1% of games are considered So Cool, It's Awesome by the Game Maker staff or at least awesome enough that drawing attention to them is a good thing. Anything considered So Bad It's Horrible against this backdrop is... well, you get the idea. Just to give you an idea of the scale involved, YoYo Games has ~400 featured games, taken from a library of 116,000 games.
- Dodge the Viruses. The game only consists of the main character jumping around while dodging the viruses bouncing around. The creator believes that all criticism is "horrible comments".
- Smiley 2__Save the World. The game has absolutely no challenge whatsoever. It has a smiley face going back and forth, and another one controlled by the player. If the player hits the space, the game displays "Smiley save the world".
- Lowtax's Youtube channel features Let's Plays showcasing many poor Game Maker games, which show a general pattern: ripping off actual games or licenses, poor texture usage, bad graphics, bad sound design, and simplistic gameplay, if the gameplay works at all.
- Even among the games reviewed by Lowtax, Dontrel Dolphin is often regarded as the absolute worst, and definitely the weirdest. In short, it's a platformer with all-around terrible level design, an art style that resembles Yoshi's Island on crack, Loads and Loads of Loading, and music that's pure Nightmare Fuel. Not to be deterred, the creator made a sequel... which has worse graphics, worse music, an intro narration that sounds like it was read by someone reading from cue cards while on valium, and 3D boss battles which are prone to crashing after a few seconds explanation . A third game was later on made and released, and while it does admittedly contain some improvements from the first two games (such as backgrounds that are more appealing to the eyes and the music being a bit more bearable to listen to this time around), it still contains plenty of faults that were found in the sequel, including some of the aforementioned music being cut at the most inopportune of times, 3D movement looking very stilted and uncanny at points note , and a particularly cheap attack for the 2D segments that makes losing almost impossible to do. Vinny from Vinesauce covers this game here.
- Then there's the really oddly named JOSH (AKA Josh.exe), something made to discuss the danger of gaming addiction... in a video game. There's also some terrible voice acting bordering on lines of Narm, and some rather out-of-nowhere moments with even MORE Narm. The graphics overlap when they shouldn't (a table holding a TV gets overlapped by the player character, for instance) and you can phase off the entire map's camera. The graphics are even worse, too, and the menu has a typo which makes the word "Dedication" spelled like "Deadication". The gameplay consists almost entirely of bland side-scrolling sequences with no challenge at all and top-down sequences where the player character is reduced to a bland oval. The only level with actual gameplay is a rather boring and easy maze. All the while, a rambling voiceover talks about how he got addicted to video games, yet never actually describes how he stopped. Watch Lowtax riff it here.
- Death Trap (no relation to the game on Steam or Atari ST) is a point-and-click horror game gone horribly wrong. Aside from the contrived plot, terrible voice acting and low-budget scares, the game has tons of rookie mistakes. The audio clips can overlap each other if you're playing the game really quickly, the backgrounds often clash with each other and ruin the atmosphere, and the fact that the game is extremely linear. The latter is not due to design choices, but rather the fact that the navigation buttons were programmed to use frame jumping commands. This not only explains why there's no exploration or puzzles involvednote and effectively killed the point of the game, it made the Flash file a lot bigger than necessary, and it takes a long time for the game to load even if you have a decent Internet connection. If you're curious on how much of a train-wreck it is, the incomparable Retsupurae go through the game here, or you can watch this Let's Play. If you look in the comments section of the latter video, you'll find that the author personally apologized for making the game.
- Neopets hosts hundreds of games, and usually fans are more forgiving of the weaker titles if they provide a decent amount of Neopoints. In some of the games that weren't liked, Kau Korral is notorious for being one of the worst-designed games ever hosted on the site, even from its early days. You use a Gelert to round up Kau into the barn (bringing into mind just how does that work in a world where all the Neopets are sentient) but the issue is that not only you have to be right on the mark to get the Kau to move were you want them to go, but the Kau spawn randomly and sometimes halfway off of the board, making the game impossible to beat. To rub salt in the wounds, calling the farmer causes you to lose control of the Gelert which often pushes the Kau off-screen rather than getting them into the barn. The Neopets Team quickly acknowledged how much the game was loathed and removed it from the site.Note They also went further to not just mock it in one of their plots where the villain makes their victims play it, but they replaced it with a new game with a similar concept called Extreme Herder, which is one of the site's more beloved titles.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy in "Kart Attack", from the Cartoon Network website. The graphics are rather crudely cobbled together, with various stock images of the characters from the show noticeably out of proportion (especially notable in the ending screen, with an incredibly short Johnny among the other kids). The actual gameplay revolves around driving a kart up a road, and your aim is to increase your "street cred" by running into obstacles, while avoiding certain ones such as oil slicks. The problem is that the titular kart goes so fast that the gameplay is reduced into blindly moving around while constantly bumping into things in hopes that you'll hit enough "good" obstacles to raise your score. The audio just consists of the (otherwise catchy) Ed, Edd n Eddy theme on repeat, along with Sarah yelling, "Get lost!" whenever you run into the grass. The game has even been known to crash the browser on older computers. See it in action here.
- Nocturnal Letters is a Newgrounds point-and-click whose main draw is that the backgrounds are real pictures taken of the author's family's home. They are...except not only were the pictures taken with a webcam, they're so hideously compressed that it's nigh-impossible to make anything out. Navigating around the areas is unnecessarily difficult as well, thanks to a confusing navigation system and the aforementioned terrible compression. The puzzles are barely there, and the story can't decide if it's a horror story or a BrotherSister Incest love story.
- Jeff the Killer is a series of jumpscares of Jeff's face, along with a spider for some reason. There is absolutely nothing else that's scary in the game. There's a couple of keys to use on doors, as well as a gun which is used once (on the spider), has terrible aiming, and has no place being in a Creepypasta-inspired game. Since you get a weapon, you have to have a health meter, which goes down whenever you look at the monsters, and losing all of your health causes the entire building to take off into space, leaving you behind with Jeff's face. Winning is pretty much A Winner Is You, and finding the real ending is hard due to the confusing level design and awful lighting (which is constantly flashing). Oh yeah, and all the music is Hell Is That Noise, just for maximum irritation. Admittedly, Jeff's face is pretty scary, but even that is ruined by its two-dimensional appearance, and that's all the game has going for it, believing that star power is all it really needs.
- Evil, a "game" by J.P.R., is a first-person game where the player is traveling through "Evil's" mind... except the game forgets to tell you that in-game. The main character moves at a snail's pace, the only challenge comes from the poorly-made jump puzzle segments, and what "scares" the game has are so cheesy or stolen that it ends up being Narm.