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The dirtiest cells have all been reserved for EA executives.
"I think the best way to look at this show is: you know how some street people in cities start screaming and preaching at everyone about the end of the world or UFOs or something? They don't even care if anyone is listening or not? Well, if you think of me like that, then you shouldn't be disappointed with this show."
Ross Scott in the first episode

Ross's Game Dungeon is a review show created by Ross Scott, best known as the creator of Freeman's Mind and Civil Protection. The series mainly covers and analyzes obscure games and occasionally more recent games as well, with the humor taking a more deadpan approach in comparison to other review shows.

A playlist of all episodes in order can be found here, while new episodes are announced on his website Accursed Farms.

List of Episodes

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  • Strife
  • Percy the Potty Pigeon
  • Helious (includes Helious II)
  • Arcade America (4th of July episode, 3-part episode)
  • Revenant (2-part episode)
  • The Last Stand (Halloween episode, includes the entire series except for the third game due to technical issues)
  • Polaris Snocross (Christmas episode)



  • Baldies
  • Maabus
  • Follow-up Episode #2 (Follows up on CarnEvil and Eternam again, all episodes from Potty Pigeon to Polaris Snocross, and the Cyril Cyberpunk episodes of Moon Gaming)
  • Armed & Delirious (a.k.a. Dementia in Europe, or Granny in Germany; two-part episode)
  • Hinterland
  • Life Is Strange
  • The Black Mirror (Halloween episode)
  • Captain Zzap (a.k.a. Flash Gordon in our universe) (Christmas episode)


  • Die Höhlenwelt-Saga: Der Leuchtende Kristall, a.k.a. The Cave World Saga: The Glowing Crystal
  • TrackMania2 (Canyon and Valley)
  • Veil of Darkness (Halloween episode)
  • Phantasmagoria 2 (Second, age-restricted Halloween episode)
  • Harry Buster (Thanksgiving episode)
  • Messiah (featuring Christmasville and Santa Claus in Trouble, Christmas episode)



  • Mage Knight Apocalypse
  • Conquest Earth: First Encounter
  • Killing Time (Halloween episode)
  • TrickStyle
  • Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy, Christmas episode)


Ross's Game Dungeon provides and discusses examples of:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Notably defied. Although it's called the "Game Dungeon", and most of the games showcased have failed to reach cultural prominence due to various and sometimes horrendous flaws, Ross does his level best to find the good in anything he reviews, and even if he admits a game is a waste of time and an insult to the sensibilities and intellect of any prospective players, he still believes it should be protected from extinction because it's a part of gaming's cultural history and can still have something to offer for future gamers and/or game developers.
    Ross: You never know what's going to influence someone. Maybe an artist really likes how some of these plants look, and they're going to come up with their own ideas based on that. Maybe another designer wants a tortoise-shaped force field containing fragments of a destroyed homeworld orbiting space station platforms in their game.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Ross finds FreakOut: Extreme Freeride's name too hard to remember, referring to it instead as "That Ski Game".
    Ross: If it was up to me, I would name it Slopes 2007 or something. Keep it easy.
  • Achievement System: Starting with the Quarantine episode, Ross gives each game he reviews 3 awards at the end of the episode, with some exceptions:
    • Sometimes a game will only get one emphatic award, if it would be funnier that way.
    • In late 2016 Ross started producing "light" episodes in which he outsourced some of the editing work to other people; some of these don't feature awards.
    • Maabus was so bizarre that Ross ended up giving it four awards.
    • Hinterland pulled a Bait-and-Switch where Ross only gave it two awards, then gave it a third in The Stinger.
    • For some unexplained reason, Quadralien really did get only two awards.
    • The Crew got four awards, simply because Ross had a lot to say about the game (the episode is just under 50 minutes long).
    • Requital received a record-breaking five awards.
  • Achilles' Heel: The Trope Namer is depicted in the image for Ross's "Fatal Flaw" award.
  • Affably Evil: The demonic voice welcoming Ross to Hell in Hellgate London is quite chipper and happy to have a willing visitor. It even pretends shock at Ross trying to cheat his way through the game only to teasingly note that it's not the first time somebody's tried to cheat Hell.
  • After the End:
    • Ross originally assumed that Spiderbot took place on an alien planet, given the bizarre creatures that inhabit it. However, the presence of the "God Fist" has caused him to suspect that it's actually a post-apocalyptic Earth untold millennia in the future, where the bizarre creatures are simply what evolved to replace present-day life after it was all wiped out, and the titular Spiderbot is simply a relic of humanity that obliviously continues to follow its programming like nothing ever happened.
    • Ross pieced together a "story" for TrackMania in his head out of various details he noticed as he played: An Eccentric Billionaire commissioned the construction all of the crazy tracks in the game so he could watch AI-controlled cars drive on them for his own amusement. Then the apocalypse happened and wiped out humanity, and like Spiderbot, the AI cars just obliviously keep doing what they are programmed to do. The reason Ross dislikes the Stadium expansion is because it ruins his apocalypse theory by having visible drivers in the cars (although several commenters pointed out that these could simply be dummies or robots and thus Ross's theory could still apply).
  • All Just a Dream: Realms of the Haunting possibly ends with this, much to Ross's displeasure.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In-universe, Ross points out that the FBI having a department of puzzles, as shown in Puzzle Agent, is not as ridiculous as it sounds, not just because the FBI is a Vast Bureaucracy, but also because their most highly sought job qualification is accountancy and they work mostly on white-collar crimes. A Badass Bookworm like Tethers would fit in pretty well.
  • invokedAlternate Character Interpretation:
    • Ross realizes that the bizarre demonic creatures found in the park of Bozo's Night Out are probably just Bozo's drunken hallucinations, but he prefers the idea that an actual demonic invasion is going on and Bozo simply doesn't care.
      Ross: The genius of this game is that this is the side story. Any other game, this would be the main event, but in Bozo's world, his only concern is to get completely shitfaced all night every night. Even though the entire Earth is bound to be enveloped by demonic forces, for the here and now, all they mean to Bozo is just another obstacle in between him and his drinking.
    • In the Still Life episode, after commenting on how the game does not reveal the killer's identity, Ross mentions that he created a profile of the killer while playing through the game the first time (before the sequel came out, which does reveal who the killer is), and the only one who managed to both fit the profile and not have an alibi for when the killer broke into the morgue at the police station was Victoria's dad. That, or the killer is a vampire.
    • He jokes about the wizard in Revenant being obsessed with his beard.
    • Due to him finding the actual story generic and uninteresting, Ross decides to interpret the main character of Dungeon Siege as a simple farmer who is only fighting monsters because they attacked his farm, and he really wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.
    • Ross also thinks that the composer of Zany Golf is bipolar, that the band Point Defiance consists of time travellers who sacrificed one of their own band members, and that the art directors of Need for Speed World are vampires because their daylight lighting looks so terrible in comparison to the sunrise/sunset and night lighting that they're probably completely unfamiliar with actual daytime.
    • Ross thinks the developer of Potty Pigeon must be dyslexic and possibly also left-handed for two reasons, because the joystick controls only work properly if it's plugged into the Player 2 port, and all the cars in the game drive on the right side of the road despite the game being set in England and the developer himself being English.
    • Rather than deride the protagonist of Realms of the Haunting as being poorly acted, Ross wonders if the reason he barely reacts at all to any of the bizarre supernatural events in the plot is because he's in shock, and is forcing himself to not think too deeply about whatever is happening so that he doesn't Go Mad from the Revelation.
    • He considers that the backstory of TrackMania2 is that an Eccentric Billionaire spent their entire fortune on a self-sustaining Eighth Wonder of the World racing circuit that self-driving cars would drive along, and that they completed it shortly before the human race got wiped out. However, he admits that the presence of apparently human drivers in the Stadium expansion puts a hole in this idea.
    • In Daemonica Ross speculates that the village herbalist making prophecies of doom is actually talking about the player character putting her out of business by picking all the herbs in the area for himself.
    • In his review of Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh, during Bob's murder scene, he interperates the killer as a pissed off manager chewing him out for wiping Curtis's hard drive as part of his petty bullying routine, since such an act would cost the company a lot of money since a small office in the 90s wouldn't have backups for the files.
  • Ambiguous Situation: There are several points in Armed & Delirious where Granny attacks someone and it's unclear if she killed them or merely knocked them unconscious, although given the nature of the game and Granny, it's probably safest to assume the worst.
  • April Fools' Day: The review of Wolfenstein (2009) — released on April Fools Day of 2015 — was a perfectly normal episode, except that every character in the game had their head replaced by a pumpkin. Ross did not acknowledge this at all, except for a comment about the game having extremely satisfying headshots for some reason he couldn't quite put his finger on, and a moment where Ross freaks out at a cart full of pumpkins. The video even includes a Bait-and-Switch where he finally admits that he was playing a joke on everyone... that joke being that he knew all the requests he received to review "Wolfenstein" were actually referring to Wolfenstein 3-D, he followed the requests literally instead. The pumpkin heads still never get mentioned, and Ross even played dumb in the comments section.
  • Arch-Enemy: Electronic Arts shows up a lot in a negative light. Ross made a point that EA crossed the line from simple asshole corporate moves to being outright evil in the first episode it was brought up (Zany Golf), and any EA-related games in future episodes involved games that had been, or were being, screwed over by the company.
  • Artifact of Doom: Subverted when a fan, Joe Larson, 3d-printed a copy of the token from CarnEvil for Ross; he wanted to include something genuinely evil inside the artifact, but the closest thing he could find was a 100-year-old letter written by a teenage girl bitching out her mom.
    Joe: So, while I can't promise actual evil, if you get a sense of antiquated teenage angst while holding this, that's me going the extra mile for you.
    [Ross stares at the token and then into the camera with a very worried expression]
  • Audience-Alienating Premiseinvoked: Ross was afraid the Potty Pigeon episode was going to drive away fans... or worse, do the opposite and attract a whole new breed of fans he doesn't particularly want.
    Ross: Like, a newcomer might be watching and think "Oh great, another video game show about shitting on things. Thanks, internet." So, not only could this episode drive off the people who are eating right now, but worse, I might start getting unexpected fans who start getting pissed when the next episode does not talk about shit. Because I know somebody is watching this right now and saying "Ross, this is nothing. What you need to be playing is Shit Flinger 5000."
  • Author Appeal:
    • Vampires are a recurring topic, with Ross often speculating that certain characters are vampires (such as the killer in Still Life), and sometimes talks about their folklore, with Veil of Darkness having him express some mild confusion at some of the rules in place for Kairn (such as having to know a vampire's real name to weaken them).
    • Ross is a big fan of metal music and will be even more enthusiastic to talk about the music if it is in the genre.
    • The Black Mirror episode really brings out Ross's inner aristrocrat; he spends a considerable part of the episode gushing about the game's admittedly-gorgeous gothic mansions. He even gives the game the "Best Gothic Mansions" award, and voices his desire to see more such buildings in gaming.
  • Author Tract: Several episodes lead into extended sections in which Ross discusses at length some social problem to which the game in question is related, or in some way illustrates. These can, in some cases, be longer than the actual review, but generally appear at the end of the video. The tracts have something to do with the gaming industry like the morality of piracy, Electronic Arts' evil business practices, and Ross's personal bugbear, companies killing games that are no longer making money or even deliberately designing them to have a limited lifespans by adding an online-only requirement. And the rants are still funny. The most broad-reaching of these is in the review of Deus Ex, where Ross discusses the military-industrial complex and the increasing corporatization of everyday life.
    • Slightly more subtle, but Ross seems to devote more attention than usual to the depiction of criminals and law enforcement. His Cult Tycoon video is a 17-minute lesson in the infrastructure and operations of cults, his Puzzle Agent video contains a side tract about how if you want to join the FBI you'd be better off having a degree in accounting than experience in military special forces or police forensics, and his Deus Ex: Human Revolution video has a 6-minute tract where he goes on about how, unlike the SWAT officers in-game, no cop in the world would fault Adam Jensen for killing the Purity First terrorists, as they had automatic weapons, a bomb, and hostages, and had already killed a hostage and shot at the police. Nor would a hardened SWAT officer behave as Haas does about a questionable shoot two years ago. In one of his video chats, Ross stated that he has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and considered going into law enforcement at one point, which helps explain it.
    • Ross is also big on our over reliance on oil and global warming. He expects to be a major recession at some point when oil is all spent. He also mocks himself about it a little in the Cult Tycoon video by stating that his "research" proves the need to join a cult.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In his Realms of the Haunting review, Ross admits that he was reluctant to play the infamously scary game because he was too afraid. But not for the reason you might expect...
    Ross: Now, I'm not an easily scared person. I'm not afraid of the dark. I'm willing to face unnatural horrors from beyond. But what's this? This is a First-Person Shooter... with KEYBOARD AIMING! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
  • Ballistic Discount: Discussed with Armed & Delirious: when Granny gets mugged inside a gun store (for no plot-related reason, as she immediately steals the stuff back), Ross notes you should never try this in real life. Unless you're a Terminator.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: In the Cave World Saga video, Ross talks about how he was always annoyed at the example of this in The Empire Strikes Back when the heroes step out of the Millennium Falcon wearing breathing masks when they should be exposed to the vacuum of space. In the game, the main character can similarly walk around in a toxic atmosphere as long as he puts on a breathing mask, his space trucker vest and short sleeved shirt is enough protection for his exposed skin, eyes and ears.
    Ross: What's the point of setting things in space if it's not space?!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: For Hellgate London Ross said he wanted to visit Hell in this Hell-themed video games. Soon though he realized the endlessly repeating drab sewers, maintenance tunnels, and copy-paste Hell Portals that were slowly driving him insane was his video game equivalent of literally being in Hell.
  • Beard of Evil: According to Ross, the evil sorcerer in Revenant controls the kingdom by the wicked majesty of his beard.
  • Berserk Button: In addition to various aspects of lazy or incompetent game design (see Scrappy Mechanic), Ross gets frustrated with several issues that permeate the gaming industry as a whole:
    • Anything that can kill a game. As in, it's impossible for anyone to play it anymore (or at least anyone who doesn't already have a copy). Examples include always-online DRM that requires the game to connect to a central server, because the server will inevitably shut down someday (discussed in the Last Stand, Battleforge, and Darkspore episodes), and companies getting Abandonware downloads taken down (discussed in the Test Drive 3 episode).
    • Ross can't stand whenever news sites, gaming or otherwise, copy each other without fact-checking.
    • Poor backward compatibility, whether because a game developer cut corners, for instance by tying the game speed to the processor or putting in arbitrary resolution limits, or because modern systems just can't can't handle older games without a plethora of random issues, some of which can make the game unplayable.
    • Poor writing, specifically characters who don't behave like real people, and especially in games that otherwise attempt to be realistic (he's fine with it when the game is meant to be cartoonishly absurd, e.g. Puzzle Agent). He first brings this up in Wolfenstein (2009), noting the protagonist's underwhelmed reaction to seeing an ancient talisman instantly vaporize a literal boatload of Nazis, or explosives that turn off gravity when they detonate. It becomes a major issue in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where all of the side characters are implausibly concerned with the protagonist and his exploits, commenting elaborately on his failures yet being desperate for his and his love interest's approval.
    • Respawning Enemies, depending on how frequent or intrusive they are, Ross won't fail to remind you he prefers his enemies to stay dead.
    • Faulty or nonexistent anti-aliasing is something he very much notices, and is permanently annoyed by. He theorizes it triggers the part of his brain usually responsible for warning him there's bugs flying around, so it's a constant bother that irritates him as soon as it begins.
  • Bias Steamroller: Ross admits to not being a fan of turn-based combat, and accordingly tries to avoid reviewing games that feature it unless he feels that it has something interesting enough to warrant it.
  • Black Comedy: As shown by Freeman's Mind, Ross loves this.
  • Blatant Lies: Ross gives a survivor in The Last Stand these when he runs away to convince him to come back.
    Ross: We got this.
  • Blessed with Suck: Ross was excited to hear that The Crew had a story, because driving games typically don't, so even if the story isn't very good, he figured it would still be better than nothing. He ended up finding the story so incredibly bland — especially the protagonist, who was so bland Ross couldn't even remember his name — that he came away wishing that the game just didn't have a story at all and that they spent the time and money they spent on the story improving other aspects of the game instead.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: In Follow-up Episode #1, Ross noted that he received an email from a fan whose profile picture made him look almost exactly like the tour guide from Tyrian, with a similar pose, facial expression, and sunglasses. When Ross mentioned this to him, he said it was unintentional, but that being a tour guide actually sounds like something he'd enjoy doing. Ross concludes that he was unfortunately born 18 millenia too soon.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Ross borrows Macil's catchphrase at the end of the Strife video.
    Ross: Fight for The Front and freedom! Move out!
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • In Test Drive III:
      Ross: The acceleration and braking are good, the physics are great for the year it came out, and the steering is probably the worst I've ever seen in any driving game I've played in my life.
    • His reaction to Bip Bop 2's dark turn:
      Ross: Ok, now we crossed a line, I'm getting assaulted by the background, the ball speed is noticeably faster and of course we have a close up of a screaming woman with blood on her.
    • His checklist for what makes a good Sonic game:
      Ross: There's only three things I'm looking for in a Sonic game: great music, exotic environments, and going really, really fast. If they have all that I'm good. Oh, wait, no, there's another one: not having horrendous, crippling problems.
  • Breather Episode: After the somewhat depressing Reality Subtext of the Deus Ex franchise, and before the spooky Halloween episode, Ross promises something more cheerful, which turns out to be Contraption Zack, a whimsical, if frustrating, puzzle game.
    • Hinterland was a breather episode after Armed and Delirious. Ross had even gotten messages saying the latter's bizarre nature had affected some of his fans' dreams.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Strife, Ross mentions that looking up in a certain area reveals a minor spoiler, and at the end of the video he starts to look at the said spoiler.
    • In Revenant, Ross creates an Alternate Character Interpretation of the wizard as being obsessed with his beard. This is brought up again, during his death scene.
    • In Follow-up Episode #3, Ross expresses surprise that Joe Larson, the fan who 3D-printed him a replica of the token from CarnEvil, has a cameo appearance in Bitejacker, and wonders where he'll show up next. The Stinger to the episode begins as normal, with Ross commenting over game footage... only for it to cut to Joe recording the commentary while speaking in Ross's voice. He then notices the camera filming him and hastily tries to cover it up.
  • Broken Aesop: He notes how in The Division, the cutscenes play out like blatant pro-military/police propaganda, but the gameplay and subtext muddles the messaging a lot, as it seems that most of the "rioters" and "looters" he's shooting up were most likely driven to desperation by the quarantine, which the SHD is simply enforcing like an automaton. The only time he notes that the SHD actually feel like the good guys is when some of the survivors become cartoonishly villainous; i.e., when they start roaming around the streets torching everything with flamethrowers.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: Ross gives each game in the Last Stand series a rating based on Halloween candy:
    • The first game got a rating of "candy corn".
    • invokedThe Last Stand 2 got a rating of "Reese's Peanut Butter Cups" for being an Even Better Sequel.
    • The Last Stand: Union City got a rating of "a box of liquor-flavoured truffles, except the box is empty. There's nothing inside it. Somebody opened it and I can't find the truffles". Ross thought it looked like a pretty good game, but he refuses to play it because it can only be played in a browser and lacks a full-screen option, meaning there is a big white background surrounding the game that ruined the immersion for him. Not to mention he despises it when a game requires an online connection to play.
      • In Follow-up Episode #2, he reveals that he was finally able to get the game working to his tastes, and will do an episode on it eventually. However, he later mentioned during one of his live video chats that it didn't give him enough material for a full episode so he'll talk about it in a follow-up episode instead.
    • Finally, The Last Stand: Dead Zone got a rating of "apples with razor blades inside" for being an Allegedly Free Game that requires multiple $100 microtransactions for the player to make any significant progress in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the Nyet III episode, Ross mentions in The Stinger that he can't read German, and in the CarnEvil episode, he mentions that he still can't speak German.
      • In the Darkspore episode stinger, he shows a clip of a German let's play video and wonders whether the game's plot would be better in German.
    • When talking about the music in the Polaris Snocross episode, which functioned as a Christmas Episode, he calls back to the Christmas-themed section of CarnEvil that he despised by saying "I've got some good Christmas music for you this time!"
    • In the Construction Bob episode, he calls back to his complaint in the Strife episode about two games having the same name.
    • In The Chosen: Well of Souls, Ross dies in a cave and imitates the "whining man" death sound from Nyet III.
    • The Freak Out: Extreme Freeride episode uses the same credits music as the Polaris Snocross episode (a Point Defiance song, naturally). Both are Christmas episodes operating under the logic of "snow equals Christmas".
    • A subtle one occurs in the Maabus episode when Ross is unable to find a manual for the complicated HUD, but notes it must be possible to figure out because the game isn't on the Commodore 64, a reference back to Potty Pigeon's incomprehensible control scheme and Spiderbot's incomprehensible everything.
    • In the Armed & Delirious episode, Ross describes how he had trouble with compatibility for the game, showing a Windows 98 desktop which features an icon for Arcade America. Also, both videos contain rather nightmarish scenes where Ross idly comments "I hope everyone sleeps well tonight". Lastly, the episodes that came directly after each of these episodes both open with Ross saying that viewers had contacted him and said that the episodes made them feel strangely ill.
    • In the Armed and Delirious episode, Ross proposes the idea of overhauling the prison system so that convicts must earn their freedom by beating difficult games with added Self-Imposed Challenge instead of being automatically released after a certain amount of time. This may be a call back to the Nyet III episode, where Ross says he isn't willing to put in the time and effort it would take to beat it, but he would be if he was in prison and had nothing better to do.
    • In the Hinterland episode, Ross compares the game's poor implementation of widescreen to "that ski game", calling back to the Freak Out: Extreme Freeride episode where he mentioned that he calls the game that because he can never remember its actual name.
    • In the Black Mirror episode, Ross suggests that a more satisfying ending than Samuel killing himself to stop the family curse would be to deliberately cause a demonic invasion of Earth, which could tie into Bozo's Night Out, a game set a couple of years later in the same country that features (what Ross interprets as) a demonic invasion.
    • In his coverage of The Crew, Ross decides to follow the same route used by Joey in Arcade America, which was the last 4th of July episode and which also featured a drive across the United States. Over the course of the video, there are also several comparisons to Test Drive 3, particularly around Cape Cod, which is where Test Drive 3's expansion takes place.
    • In Halloween Sampler #1, Ross plays Halloween Harry and ends up not liking it, saying it doesn't live up to its title. He previously expressed his love of the title in the Quadralien episode, and was furious that it was changed to Alien Carnage.
    • In the Cave World Saga review, Ross points out that waiting for the fan-made translation software to give him English text from the German game is like talking to someone on the moon, and says he's used to that, referencing the short-lived "Moon Gaming" series.
  • Caustic Critic: Averted. Ross fairly reviews both the good and bad aspects of the game in question and only ever bashes things that genuinely frustrate him.
    • Defied on his "Big Game List", where he refuses to give games "bad" ratings— rather, if he finds that a game on his list is actually bad, he purges it from the list (the point of the list is to find hidden gems that people might not know about, and "People don't search through garbage to find garbage."). He even admits that some game types are not his preference (like games with turn-based combat), and feels that he shouldn't review them because he's biased against them, unless they have something unique that uplifts them.
  • Chainsaw Good: Ross takes a liking to the chainsaws in The Last Stand and The Secret World.
    Ross: I find this very calming. I wish I could solve all my problems like this.
  • Character Catchphrase: Ross says "Let's talk about the music" nearly Once per Episode. At least as often, he says "Back to the game" after one of his Derailed Train of Thought moments.
  • invokedThe Chris Carter Effect: His review of Realms of the Haunting claims the game's story falls under this.
    Ross: So far, the game's presentation style reminds me a lot of Lost. For those that never saw the show, the style of Lost was to raise questions and mysterious events, then move onto something new unexplained and mysterious, and occasionally answer some minor questions from earlier. While I love intrigue and wondering what's happening, at some point you have to give your audience some answers. Well, Lost wasn't very good at that part. Realms of the Haunting I have a little more hope for because it was released as a completed game, not Season One. So I hope they're going to tie all this together, but I'm starting to get concerned here. What does anything mean in this intro? Why is this series of suspended islands called "The Tower"? What did my dad do to get damned? Why are there designated dead rat rooms and a trail of dead rats? Why are the statues talking and what are they referring to? Why is there another dimension in the basement? I know nothing about any of the characters besides their moral alignment. It's like everybody is a weird placeholder! RAAAAAGH!
  • Christmas Creep: Ross's main complaint about CarnEvil is that one of its four levels is Christmas-themed in what is otherwise a definitely Halloween-themed game. He does like having The Krampus as a level boss, though.
  • Christmas Episode: Has one every year since 2014, with the first one being the winter-themed Polaris Snocross, admitting the "snow, therefore Christmas" connection is weak at best. When he reuses the reasoning for his 2016 Christmas episode, Freak Out: Extreme Freeride, he admits he's using this logic simply because there otherwise aren't many Christmas-themed games worth covering, many either being one-note minigames or holiday-themed versions of normal games. By 2017, he had to resort to a game he had gotten for Christmas when he was a child. The first (and for a long time only) actual "Christmas" game he reviewed was Still Life in 2015, which is a puzzle/adventure game where the main character stays with her father and bakes cookies for him on Christmas Eve. And does absolutely nothing else. In 2018, he briefly covered a handful of indie Christmas games, but quickly gave up due to their poor quality, and resorted to something more akin to a Halloween game on the tenuous basis that it involved Christian themes (adding "Christ" to "Christmas" in his words). He does the exact same thing for 2019, starting with another handful of explicitly-Christmas-themed games he didn't take to, before resorting to an even more intensely Christian-themed game for the rest of the episode (with the bonus that parts of the plot resembled It's a Wonderful Life). In 2020, he did the impossible and managed to find a second actual Christmas game to cover that was not so terrible that it made him want to kill himself after 2 minutes of playing it, and remarked that such a thing may never happen again. In 2021, he covered The Division, initially just because it was set during winter and had snow, only to be pleasantly surprised when he saw Christmas decorations around the city, therefore making it a genuine Christmas game.
  • Close to Home:
    • Ross admits that one reason he doesn't want to bother beating Nyet III himself is because the required method of rationing your extremely limited supply of money as expertly as possible mirrored previous events in his own life too closely. Although, he does admit that if he was ever in prison or a similar situation where he'd have nothing better to do all day, then he'd absolutely try to beat it.
    • Any game with extremely strict Timed Missions such as Quarantine brings back bad memories of when he worked at a call center doing tech support. Being timed to the second on each call was what he considered the worst part of the job by far, even worse than the dumb callers.
    • The parts of Uncanny Valley where the player works as a security guard reminds Ross of his own time in the same vocation, but it doesn't bother him much because the character in the game has things to actually do, rather than simply standing in one place as a "human scarecrow". In fact, what bothers him (though not to the point of being a Berserk Button) is that the game gives him a rather short time limit for each shift to achieve so much, while in real life, being a guard means having absolutely nothing to do to pass the time for hours on end.
    • Being buffeted around by other cars in Quarantine (1994) gives Ross the same feeling of rage combined with helplessness that he would often get when driving to class, when he along with dozens of other cars would be held up by one slow-ass driver on a narrow road with no passing allowed.
    • In The Last Stand, he claims that the gameplay is reminiscent of his own life.
      Ross: I can really relate to this game. This is what life is like. Except, instead of zombies, you have problems. Some are going to stagger towards you slowly, so slowly you hope someone else will take care of them; but others are going to run at you, relentless and screaming, trying to tear down your tiny junk fort that's not much, but is the only sanctuary you have against the unending madness that is outside. And these zombies stack up. I mean, early on, if you're good enough, you can take them all out before they even reach your fort. But later, it's a certainty that they are going to start tearing apart everything you have, and you just have to pray that you can shoot them dead before they can get in, and just make it through the night! OH GOD! YOU NEED MORE TIME! YOU JUST NEED MORE TIME! [crying]
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Ross fires one of these in response to companies killing games in BattleForge.
  • Collector of the Strange: Ross is very skilled at hunting down bizarre games that nobody's ever heard of before to play. The biggest examples of this are Bip Bop and Bip Bop III. The second game was readily available online as shareware, but not the other two. Ross had to track down the original developer, who unfortunately did not have the source code anymore but did still have some leftover retail copies on floppy disk lying around, which was a huge gamble since floppy disks are notoriously prone to just crapping out for no reason, and these were at least 20 years old. Not to mention that Ross doesn't even have a floppy drive to read the disks. He had to get them mailed to his dad instead and have him rip the game files. Miraculously, the disks still worked, and now the first and third games are avilable for download on the Accursed Farms website, with the developer's permission. Ross is 100% convinced that these games would have completely vanished off the face of the Earth if he hadn't pulled this off, and he's most likely right.
  • Color Wash: One of Ross's Berserk Buttons is when games ruin perfectly good graphics by putting a tint filter over everything, saying that developers should use lighting to create their desired mood and atmosphere instead. He complains about tinting every time he reviews a game that does it. So far, the list contains:
    • Wolfenstein (2009): The game has Dual-World Gameplay with BJ using a magic artifact to swap between the living world and the Spirit World at will, and when in the spirit world, the game tints everything teal. Ross notes that the entire game industry seems to have unanimously decided that the spirit world must be teal, and lists several other games which do the same thing.
    • Need for Speed World: The game has a very gloomy, depressing tint more suitable for a spooky horror game than a high-speed racing game. It's actually possible to turn off this filter... by setting the graphics quality to Low, which kind of ruins the point. Ross wonders if he's just the one weirdo who doesn't like tinting when everyone else loves it, since there must be some reason games keep doing it. Also mentioned is Need for Speed: Most Wanted and its "nasty, nicotine-yellow" tint filter, which can thankfully be (mostly) turned off without hassle, but Ross is still baffled that they included it at all.
      Ross: This looks like if you left your camera lens lying around in a smokers' lounge for a few months. And not a classy lounge with fancy people smoking cigars, but some run-down slum where people are missing teeth, there are stains on the wall... I don't get it. I honestly do not get it. Why you would purposefully do this to your game is beyond me.
    • Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The game has either a yellow or a grey tint depending on whether you're playing the original or the Director's Cut edition. Also mentioned is Fable: Anniversary Edition, which has the same grey tint that Ross thinks makes the game look worse than the original despite the actual graphics quality being better.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Ross accuses Polaris Snocross of this for its aggressive rubber-band AI that makes races almost impossible to win, even with fully upgraded sleds. It gets to the point where he was forced to edit the text files to cripple the AI-controlled racers and the computer would still try to cheat him out of a win.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The aforementioned idea to make convicts play and beat unfairly-hard games in order to earn their release.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ross has complained at length about the evil business practices of Electronic Arts. Also, part of the reason he was convinced that Bip Bop II was The Most Dangerous Video Game is that the developer has worked for EA at some point.
  • Couch Gag: The show has a standard intro sequence, with pixel art depicting the exterior and interior of a castle, but sometimes the images are embellished to reflect the episode, such as having jack o'lanterns outside the castle on Halloween episodes, or depicting the exterior of the castle as a seedy bar with the interior having empty beer cans and bottles strewn about for Bozo's Night Out, a game about drinking massive amounts of beer. Ross pondered removing it in the first Halloween Sampler because it was "the same thing over and over" and wanted something a little different every time, which he was frequently unable to provide. However he decided to keep it in the second one due to the fans being adamant (and alarmed) in keeping it in, on the condition that the fans submit their own artwork for the Dungeon itself so he can use it; from then on, the image used has been done by a different artist every time.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In A New Beginning to bypass waiting for a medical inspection, a puzzle requires using vials of blood in place of ink for a stamp.
  • Credits Gag: Frequently.
    • The credits for the Revenant episode have a magenta shadow under the text, like all of the text in the game (which was due to a bug).
    • The credits for the The Last Stand episode claim that the episode was dedicated to Officer Mario Nelson. Mario Nelson was the preset name of Ross's character in The Last Stand: Union City, which Ross didn't bother changing, and police officer was the career Ross had picked for him.
    • The credits for the Polaris Snocross episode includes a credit for a Lobster Sled Mechanic, and a disclaimer that "Racers were definitely harmed in the making of this video".
    • The credits for the Super Cult Tycoon episode includes an apology to the Children of Restoration and a disclaimer that Ross does not know if Father James "Jim" Hager II intends to summon the mothership. The Children of Restoration is supposedly the name of a real-life group that Ross borrowed to name his cult in the game, and Hager is (presumably) its leader.
    • The credits for the Quadralien episode includes an almost blink-and-you'll-miss-it slide that reads "Guest starring the Quadralien Mother as herself", likely included as a parody of how the game was so proud of this fact that they included it as a bullet point on the back of the game box.
  • Crossover: The Boppin' episode teams Ross with Tom White, host of the YouTube show Weird Video Games. Scott and White had previously done Moon Gaming, a concept pilot for a Two Gamers on a Couch-style review show that never took off due to low popularity.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: In the Sonic Heroes episode, Ross questions why Eggman bothers with trying to conquer the world through violence when he would have a much easier time doing it legally. His access to unlimited free robot labor would allow him to monopolize almost every industry in the world because he could afford to simply price his competition out of business, and there's not a damn thing anyone could do to stop him. In fact, it would be illegal to stop him.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: For games that are merely tedious, mediocre, and simply not awful to play, Ross often says that he'd play them if he was in prison with nothing else to do.
  • Dancing Bearinvoked:
    • Ross opines that The Crew falls under this, as basically every criticism one can have, while being entirely valid, can still be answered with "You can drive all across the United States"; it's such a praiseworthy point all of its own that the game remains perfectly good.
    • Slightly downplayed in two cases Ross even compares with each other, in Dungeon Siege and Hinterland. Both are competent, with a bit of jank to them, both have null story, and both have a set of mechanics he finds immensely enjoyable that he wishes was done more often and more competently in further games, but unfortunately hasn't. Respectively, the former's "beatdown crew" where you can recruit a crapton of characters at once to charge across the game beating the piss out of everything, with the characters continuing to fight by themselves once begun, and the latter having a very good blend of city-building and hack-and-slash, such that if you're not good at one, you can focus on the other and still advance (which he compares to having a mayor that will not rest until he's made sure your house is paid for, no matter how many monster asses he has to kick).
  • Deadpan Snarker: A large part of Ross's comedic style is his ability to say bizarre, hilarious things with a completely straight face. He's much more on the deadpan side of things, though.
  • Derailed Train of Thought: At least Once per Episode Ross goes off on a tangent about something that is at best only loosely related to the game. The weirdest was probably him talking for five minutes about the antics of a crazy Louisiana governor merely because the game he was discussing, Arcade America, mentioned Louisiana in passing. A more epic and serious example was the video on Zany Golf, a 15-minute episode of which more than half consisted of Ross bashing EA for their evil business practices, a theme he would return to several times later.
  • Difficulty by Region: After suffering through the absolutely hellish difficulty of The Chosen: Well of Souls, Ross discovers that the European version of the game is a lot easier, but isn't willing to subject himself to another playthrough since he figures it's probably still a bad game anyway. It's not clear if the game's Polish developers intentionally made the American version harder for whatever reason or if both versions were like that originally but the European version was the only one they cared about fixing. The European version was also the one that they eventually released for free on their website, so it's also possible that they only fixed the difficulty after the fact and didn't see much point in fixing the other versions since people could just go and get the fixed game for free.
  • Difficulty Spike: invoked Lampshaded by Ross during The Chosen: Well of Souls. The game gets way too difficult way too suddenly. At the beginning of the third level, he encounters a type of enemy that takes him over 100 hits to kill and can kill him in only one hit, when all the other enemies take him 1-3 hits to kill. Every group of enemies in the first section of level has at least one of these bastards too.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: Discussed. Ross views piracy as a necessary evil in certain situations. He only endorses it if the game is not widely available and the developers have no chance of receiving any new revenue. Ross compares piracy to bacteria in his Darkspore review, as while a lot of it is harmful, some of it is necessary to keep certain games alive.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The image for Ross's "Depends on a Central Server" award depicts a man smiling and giving a thumbs up while being hanged.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Ross becomes quite aggravated during Wolfenstein (2009) when he's told partway through the game that the Rebel Leader still doesn't completely trust BJ Blazkowicz, the man who killed Hitler to be 100% on the side of the rebels fighting the Nazis.
    Ross: What does she want?! Does she need me to kill two Hitlers?!
  • Dull Surprise:
    • Ross notes that the protagonist of Realms of the Haunting doesn't really react to being surrounded by demons, magic and gateways to other dimensions.
    • Ross also comments on the commander in Maabus not showing any emotions when discussing, say, the discovery of an alien spacecraft, to say nothing of the general peril of the mission, which destroys the Earth if failed.
  • Dummied Out: In the first follow-up episode, Ross receives map data from Test Drive 3 and is surprised to find that the scenery in the background of the main menu has its own map which is as large as any other level in the game, but unplayable.invoked
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Almost all of the games featured in the show's Christmas episodes are chosen purely on the basis that they feature plenty of snow, since Ross can't find any actual Christmas games worth discussing. The only exceptions to this are Still Life, which takes place during Christmas but is a gruesome murder mystery that doesn't exactly put one in the holiday spirit, and Captain Zzap, which is a game that Ross got for Christmas when he was a kid. Since 2018 he seemingly ran out of even these, having to resort to putting Christ in Christmas and using games with heavy Christian religious themes.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Compare the more reluctant to speak Ross from the very first episode to the now more upbeat and outgoing Ross in later episodes.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ross is surprised that Kyrandia merely imprisoned Malcolm the Jester for killing the King, because he can't think of any other Kingdom where regicide wouldn't be punished with execution.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: Ross is firmly on the dwarves' side in this conflict, wasting no opportunity to praise dwarves and/or insult elves.
    • In Dungeon Siege, he wishes it was possible to make an entire party out of dwarves. Likewise, he is annoyed by the abundance of elves in Dungeon Siege II, especially since the first game had no elves at all.
    • In Hinterland, he pretty much says that all other character choices might as well not even be in the game for him if "Dwarf Warrior" is an option, because there's no way he's going to pick anything else, except maybe the Dwarf Foreman. Still, he admits that all of the character choices are good... except the elf.
    • While playing The Black Mirror he is quick to blame elves for murder.
      Ross: The Doctor just says what we already know: it wasn't wolves, it was an elf blade. Well okay, he doesn't say that, but he says it's definitely not wolves.
    • At the beginning of Clans, even though he admits that the Barbarian is probably the better choice of character due to his higher HP, he still insists on playing as the Dwarf anyway. He does, however, come to regret this late in the game when he discovers that despite the Dwarf having both the highest Axe stat and the lowest Sword stat in the game, he still does more damage with swords than axes, plus swords swing faster. At that point he advises the viewer to not do what he did and pick the Barbarian or Warrior instead if the game is going to favor swords so heavily (assuming the stats even do anything in the first place; Ross considers the possibility that they're merely a placebo). There is also an Elf, but since he's a Squishy Wizard and you have to wait around for his mana to regenerate after every encounter if you don't want to die quickly, Ross does not recommend playing as him.
    • In Mage Knight Apocalypse, he once again immediately picks the dwarf without even considering his other options. Unfortunately, to his great disappointment, he ended up finding the dwarf's overheating mechanic too frustrating to deal with, and to his even greater disappointment, after trying out every other character, the one he found the least annoying to play as was the elf. However, when the game quickly became too tedious for Ross to suffer through without using cheats, he switched back to the dwarf since one of the cheats let him turn off the overheating entirely.
      Ross: Now, while this is an interesting roster—DWARF. Begin.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Gameinvoked: Ross states that the writing of Puzzle Agent is one of its very best aspects, and says that even if you aren't interested in the gameplay, it might be worthwhile to at least watch a playthrough.
  • Ensemble Dark Horseinvoked:
    • Ross really liked the character of Joey from Arcade America and wishes he could have been in a better game — or a Saturday-morning cartoon, which is what the game obviously wanted to be.
    • In the CarnEvil episode he expresses great fondness for Umlaut, the demonic jester, who he says reminds him of a friend of his.
    • He mentions that he likes an Illuminati reverend in The Secret World, for being of the old-school, puzzle-loving, mystical style of Illuminati rather than the more "corporate conspiracy" flavor the game goes for.
  • Every Episode Ending: Most episodes end with with Ross hinting at what game will be reviewed next. The hints are deliberately vague and at times very strange, to make it more difficult for the viewers to guess the game. Some people got annoyed when he straight-up said "The next episode is Deus Ex" instead of giving a hint.
    Ross: Stay tuned for the Halloween Episode, if you wanna see a clown get shot in the face!
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: In his playthrough of CarnEvil, Ross notices that the mimes don't actually attack the player, and concludes that the developers assumed every player would immediately kill all mimes on sight, therefore going through all the trouble of programming an attack for them was unnecessary.
  • Evil Old Folks:
    • In the CarnEvil episode, Ross says he hopes his retirement involves owning a similar Amusement Park of Doom where he gets to watch his victims run around on the security monitors like Tökkentäkker does.
    • Granny from Armed & Delirious. She does too many cruel things over the course of the game (possibility including multiple murders) for her behavior to be written off as dementia. The fact that her family are animal torturers doesn't help her case.
  • Exact Words: Ross knew full well that all those requests he got to do an episode on "Wolfenstein" were really for Wolfenstein 3-D, but decided to pull an April Fools joke by taking their requests literally and doing Wolfenstein (2009) instead. Which was totally the only April Fools joke he pulled with that video.
  • Executive Meddling: invokedRoss was furious to learn that this was the entire reason the soundtrack of SiN Episodes: Emergence was generic and forgettable compared to the awesome soundtrack of the first game, as well as the reason Blade didn't talk very much. He was even more furious to learn that this only applied to Episode 1, and that the executives actually planned to stop meddling in future episodes. The music composer would have been allowed to do whatever he wanted and Blade would have talked more. However, those episodes never got made.
    Ross: So there you go. If you ever wonder why music sounds bland in a lot of modern games, in this case it was the suits putting their hands in the soup thinking they were chefs.
  • Fan Disservice: Ross finds the curvy, scantily-clad zombie queen from Mage Knight Apocalypse to be a turn off since she's, well, a zombie. Though he guesses that anyone crazy enough to play that far without cheats might enjoy her.
  • Fake Nationalityinvoked: In the Wolfenstein (2009) episode, he complains that the German accents in the game are obviously fake (some more than others), and suggests the developers could have worked with a German studio to get voice work from actors with authentic accents.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the Test Drive 3 episode when Ross is discussing about his obsession of video game maps, a map of Paso Robles to Monterey is shown briefly.
    • One of the things "that triggers the obvious threat areas of the primal part of [his] brain" in the first follow-up episode is a Teletubby.
    • During one of the credits of The Secret World episode there's barely readable text on the bottom which says "I'm not giving you candy, sorry".
    • In the Boppin' episode, Ross saves his game and all of his save files are shown for a split second.
      EP1 2
  • invokedGame-Breaker: Ross typically shows these off when he discovers them in the games he reviews.
    • The necromancer in Hinterland. Their summoned skeletons have no level cap and can easily beat the game for you if you just order the necromancer to power up their skeletons and then leave the game idle for a couple of hours.
    • The Bear Spear in Requital was able to One-Hit Kill every enemy Ross encountered after finding it, except for the really tough enemies which took a whopping two hits to kill. It was even able to hurt undead enemies which not every weapon in the game could do. It was so strong that Ross gave the game an award just for it: "Pointy Stick of Destiny". However, it didn't work on the True Final Boss, who was only vulnerable to the Sword of Plot Advancement.
  • Gaslighting: He's had a few games glitch out in ways that made him question his own memories, only to look back at his own recordings to find proof it was the game's fault. He's called this "gamer dementia" and accused the game of "trying to make [him] think [he's] crazy."
  • Genre Mashup: Ross approves of Hinterland's combination of city builder and Action RPG mechanics, and wishes more games had the initiative to try out such unconventional combinations.
  • Giftedly Bad: One of the very few things Ross seems to admire about The Chosen: Well of Souls is that, despite being a bad game and a budget title, it was clear that someone really cared about it. He compares it to the films created by Ed Wood. Like Ed, the development team obviously had a great love and passion for their work, but a total lack of competence.
  • Girly Run: Ross declares that Gus McPherson of Still Life has the most effeminate running animation he has ever seen in a game.
  • God-Karting with Beelzebub: In Go to Hell, Ross talks about the time he and a co-worker of his known as "Metal Dave" made soul contracts, and had people sell their souls to the two of them in exchange for candy. Ross notes that it must have been quite a sight to see a guy looking like Jesus sitting next to a Satanic-looking metalhead, with both of them offering to buy your soul off you.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Ross started playing Hellgate London because he wanted to see Hell. Well, he got it. The game turned out to be so horribly tedious with its endless procedurally-generated maintenance tunnel and subway levels that Ross considers it to be literal Hell in video game form.
    Ross: Despite grinding through everything except that last subway, I'm still underleveled. So that can only mean the game wants me to go back and grind even more through those levels that have repeated ten times already! I'm in Hell! This is Hell!
    Satan: Oh no!
    Ross: What am I— What am I gonna do?!
    Satan: Oh, what's the matter, Ross? You don't like Hell? You said you wanted to see Hell, didn't you? You see, it wasn't enough to simply see Hell. No, you needed to experience it. You needed to go deeper, and deeper still, until you were finally here. Now, you understand. You understand that these levels are just going to repeat forever. You understand that your minions are going to become infinitely weaker. You understand the false hope of better gear. You understand that your only companions to provide you comfort are these mannequin-looking fuckers that say things like you would expect from an AI. Welcome to Hell.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Ross and Tom take this approach to their Boppin' review, with Ross being uncharacteristically positive, still pointing out the game's flaws but not dwelling on them, while Tom rants that everything is terrible and the game wants to kill you.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Ross could not find the English manual for Eternam anywhere online, but he did find the Spanish one, and asked his Spanish-speaking fans to translate it for him. Two different translations came back, and they were so bizarre Ross claims to have lost some sanity points after reading them. Someone eventually sent him scans of the actual English version. It was only slightly less bizarre than the translations.
  • Grammar Correction Gag:
    • In the Quarantine episode, Ross isn't happy to find that the only website that has the correct final password note  misspells "city" as "sity". He gives them points for effort, at least.
    • This seems to be one of Ross's pet peeves, as the episode on the Construction Bob games zooms in on every misspelling, and he pronounces the words as written in his voice-over.
    • Ross was on the receiving end of this from self-proclaimed Grammar Nazis saying the title of the show should be "Ross' Game Dungeon" and not "Ross's Game Dungeon". In Follow-Up Episode #1 he gives them a Take That! where he cites two grammar books that both agree his spelling is actually the correct one.
      Ross: Well, let me tell you, Grammar Nazis: The Grammar SS would have had you sent to the Grammar Russian Front for overstepping your authority. [...] See, this is why the Grammar Nazis lost Grammar World War II.
    • While reading the synopsis of Armed and Delirious, he corrects a few grammar and syntax mistakes.
    • In the A New Beginning episode, he points out the item that has been mislabeled as a "refirgerator".
  • Grammar Nazi: Since the beginning of the series, Ross has been plagued by Grammar Nazis saying that the series title should be "Ross' Game Dungeon", whom he believes should be sent to the Grammar Eastern Front, and are the reason why the Grammar Nazis lost Grammar World War II.note 
  • G-Rated Sex: Discussed with Baldies: In the DOS version of the game, Baldies set to breed will be shown jumping on a bed. Apparently even that was considered too risqué, as the Windows version just shows them exercising and watching TV, with the manual pointing out that breeders get up to more than this, but they can't show it.
  • Grew a Spine: In The Cave World Saga, Eric MacDoughan travels to the titular cave world to find his girlfriend Maomi who went missing a year before the story began. They meet when Eric helps her escape from slavery, but in all her scenes Maomi is cold and aloof to Eric and makes it clear she isn't concerned for his safety. When she implies to Eric's face that she cheated on him with Gusmar, one of the dialogue options — the one Ross chose — is to break up with her then and there. After choosing that, Eric won't look at or even acknowledge Maomi for the rest of the scene.
    Eric: Fine. Have fun. I'm going to liberate the cave world now...
    Ross: [after Maomi praises Eric for giving the crystal to Cal] What do you care? Didn't you just dump me? Why are you talking to me? Talk to the hand!
  • The Grim Reaper: Appears as the image for Ross's "Doesn't Respect Your Time" award.
  • Guide Dang It!: Ross notes that the most readily available walkthrough for Armed & Delirious was written by the lead tester of the game, which means it's possible that literally nobody has beaten the game without it.
  • Hand Behind Head: Discussed as part of his rant on unrealistic body language in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where Bill Taggart does a "bashful anime schoolboy" gesture despite being a middle-aged politician.
  • Halloween Episode: At least one per year since the show began; 2015 held a record with four episodes of varying lengths, which Ross admitted later burned him out a little bit.
  • A Hell of a Time: Go to Hell's ending depicts this, to Ross's great approval.
  • Hellgate: In the Hellgate London episode, Ross comes to believe the game itself is a literal Hellgate, as the game's endlessly copypasted sewer and maintenance tunnel dungeons, Hell Portals that all lead to the exact same location populated with different enemies, and the fact that you are required to grind the copypasted dungeons multiple times or else be underleveled for what comes next all combine to form Ross's own personal, literal Hell.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Siding with the True Final Boss in Requital causes her to let out an absolutely grating shriek that Ross immediately mutes for the viewer's sake.
  • Hilarious in Hindsightinvoked: Ross concludes that one of the things that makes Arcade America so interesting is that it presents a highly exaggerated and cartoonish view of America that has become more true-to-life since the game came out.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Ross pokes fun at Requital for having the characters flap their lips madly when speaking, comparing it to Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). He gives the game an award when he chooses to have the main character "remain silent" as a dialogue option and he still flaps his lips despite not saying anything.
  • Humble Pie: In the Rama episode, Ross profiles every crew member to determine whether they are physically and mentally capable to be chosen as astronauts for a mission as important as making first contact. He declares Michael O'Toole "too old and fat for space" and fails him immediately. By Follow-up Episode #3, Ross is forced to eat crow, as he had finished reading the books the game was based on, where Michael ends up being the only crew member still alive by the end. By Ross's estimate, he would have to be somewhere between 140-180 years old, and although he does have some cybernetics by this point, Ross implies they wouldn't have had a significant effect on his lifespan.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Ross points out one in The Secret World.
  • Hypocrisy Nod:
    • Ross admits in Polaris Snocross that, even though he called out graphic snobs in Tyrian, he's a bit of one himself.
      Ross: The difference is, the stuff I'm critical of, we've had solved for at least 10 or 12 years.
    • Ross doesn't offer a justification for his playing The Secret World, an online-only game published by EA, both of which he has railed against before, just saying "I did my best." He does, however, make sure to mention that he bought it when it was heavily discounted during a Steam sale.
    • Ross resorts to a trainer to make playing Mage Knight: Apocalypse tolerable, while acknowledging how risky it is, especially considering it's outside of his level of computer literacy, and even more so due to the specific trainer he uses throwing up all sorts of antivirus red flags. He makes clear to viewers that they should never do this unless they know exactly what they're doing.
  • I Hit You, You Hit The Ground: During Requital, when Ross uses the invokedgame-breakingly powerful Bear Spear against a boss:
    Ross: BOOM! Three hits! Me hitting you twice and you hitting the ground!
  • I Knew It!invoked: In the Nyet 3 episode, Ross talks about how there is no footage of the game's ending anywhere, and wonders what it could be, joking that for all anybody knows it could be "the weird guy sailing off on a Tetris-shaped yacht full of topless women while he's showered in all the money you gave him for supplies". He then asks the audience to try and beat the game and send him footage of the ending, because he's much too frustrated with its difficulty to try it himself. In the first follow-up video, he shows the ending, which shows several more of the weird guy's vacation photos, one of which has him on a regular yacht full of Tetris pieces. Sadly, there are no topless women present and he's not showering himself in money.
  • In Name Only: Ross took issue with Deus Ex: Human Revolution for being this. As he felt the game wanted to do its own thing or be an installment for another cyberpunk IP rather than serving as a prequel for Deus Ex.
  • Intermission: The Armed & Delirious episode is split into two parts, with the break happening as Ross calls an intermission as a break from all the insanity. To boot, the second part starts with him playing a different game just for variety before he goes back to the review.
  • invokedKeep Circulating the Tapes: A lot of the games Ross reviews are Abandonware and only exist because of players emulating or hacking them and making them available online. He does however note that this is not a reliable method, especially with more modern games.
  • Jumping the Sharkinvoked: Ross thinks Realms of the Haunting collapses about the time you have to put on a Medieval gauntlet to cross a squeaky floor so you won't wake up the napping demon. If not, then certainly by the time you combine snow and flint-and-steel to make amber.
    • He considers that Fahrenheit does a full-on cartwheel over the shark when, after hours of being a realistic police procedural with subtle supernatural elements, the main character abruptly busts out some full-on superpowers to escape the police.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: The image for Ross's "Love & Hate" award shows these, as a reference to the Trope Codifier.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Ross has a lot of these as he plays through Arcade America.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Ross spoils the ending of Resident Evil in The Last Stand, and justifies it by saying that the game has been out for 18 years.
  • Large Ham: Ross clearly is having fun voicing various characters in the games he plays. When voicing the Ruler of the Entire Universe in Bip Bop II and III, he's practically a whole pig.
  • Long List:
    • Ross is prone to giving long lists of interesting scenery in the games he plays, such as in Test Drive 3, Eternam, Quarantine, and Revenant.
    • Armed & Delirious, features so many common 90's adventure game Scrappy Mechanics, and even manages to invent a few of its own that aren't seen in any other game, that Ross has to compile them all into a big list.
    • In the Life is Strange episode, after being instantly repulsed by Max's musical tastes, he rattles off a good dozen or so bands/artists that he feels would be much cooler for her to listen to instead.
      Ross: Off the top of my head, for some artsy girl, I might start with something a little lighter, like Garbage, Curve... hell, Chumbawamba. If she wanted to turn up the intensity some, she could move on to Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, or hey, as seen in Deus Ex 2, Kidneythieves. Snake River Conspiracy is another good one. Now, I was listening to Metallica, some Marilyn Manson, this album of Offspring since they got weaker after that, Rob Zombie... But maybe she wants to go more of a raver route: John Digweed, Ian van Dahl, Paul van Dyk...
    • Ross's list of changes needed to make The Crew a long-term favorite takes up a whole screen; the first item, "Ability to play the game after the servers are permanently shut down", is in red.
  • Meaningful Name: From the Last Stand episode, after playing the Allegedly Free fourth game in the series, Dead Zone:
    Ross: You know what this means? It means the Last Stand series is a long con. This is what they were leading up to! They try to hook you on the early games, force you to play online later, then move in for the kill with Dead Zone. Man... I admit, when I saw this was made by "Con Artists Productions", I thought they were just being stylish. I didn't suspect this game was literally made by con artists. Like, my homepage is "Accursed Farms", but that's just a name I made up. I don't actually live on a farm with fallow earth, and possessed cows, and a sentient scarecrow like in that one scary stories book. Not yet, anyway.
  • Metaphorgotten: At least once an episode in most cases. These usually happen when Ross tries to explain a game's stranger mechanics through an analogy that gets more and more out of hand until he completely forgets what the original point was. Here's a mild example from Strife:
    Ross: Now, this game isn't really a Doom clone. It's more like Doom's cousin that lives far away, where he visited once but you forgot what he's doing, and really, anything could have happened to him.
  • Misplaced Accent: In CarnEvil, Ross identifies Tökkentäkker's accent as French, though he's obviously meant to be German.
  • Motor Mouth: Ross's advice on how to beat Nyet III is said very fast. Except for when he slows down to say "chances of success", admitting he finds it difficult to say fast.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In The Crew, the single landmark that gets the most hype from Ross is the world's biggest Holstein cow statue, which he approaches with great reverence and fanfare.
    Ross: AMERICA, everyone.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ross references a joke he made in Freeman's Mind in the Tyrian episode.
    • In The Stinger for the Test Drive 3 video, he shows a faceless sprite of a construction worker while he makes the same sound Freeman used to try to communicate with a Houndeye.
    • Ross compares another video he made to the opening of The Last Stand Union City.
    • In the Cave World Saga episode, Ross comments that the German-to-English translation software he's using causes large lags in dialog, similar to trying to communicate with someone on the moon. He then says he's used to that, referencing his "Moon Gaming" series.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Ross states that his favorite holiday is Halloween and a few games reviewed (such as CarnEvil and The Uncanny Valley) skew heavily on the horror side of the scale. If a game features lots of Gothic or macabre imagery, he will tend to gush at length about it, and for a man who tends to keep to a similar production schedule as the developers of the game that made him internet famous, rest assured that Ross will get out at least one, usually several, Halloween episodes in time for the holiday every year even if it kills him.
  • invokedNo Problem with Licensed Games: Ross mentions in Requital that he typically doesn't like games based on movies, since they're usually rushed and limited on what they can do based on their source material. The one exception he cites is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, which he felt perfectly captured the tone of the films while telling its own unique story.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Ross was baffled to discover that Requital is actually based on the movie The Wolfhound, since the title doesn't reference the movie in any way. Since he normally avoids movie-based games, he assumes it was a deliberate trick to get people like him to buy it (it's not, the game was actually based on the book).
    • The titular "cave world" in which most of The Cave World Saga is set looks like a normal, surface-based environment complete with sunlight instead of a subterranean one. Ross's confusion over this gives the game its first award: "Where is the sun?"
  • Non Sequitur: Ross will frequently cut to these, then either cut back to what he was previously talking about, or cut to his next topic of discussion.
    Ross: [from Tyrian] I have a ship that's a carrot...
  • Noodle Incident: In the Armed & Delirious episode, Ross explains that he had to switch Windows versions partway through the review because of compatibility issues, and also that he had to switch to the European version of the game, Dementia, because one of his discs for the American version was damaged in "a stairway accident."
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • In Rama Ross points out that Nicole des Jardins is supposed to be French and African, whereas her actress just uses an American accent, but he accepts that that's a difficult accent to get right.
    • In Life Is Strange, after slamming the game for casting a middle-aged white guy to voice a black teenager, he admits he would be okay with such a decision as long as the white guy in question could convincingly sound like a black teenager. Don McManus, however, cannot.
      Ross: You know, I like Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, but I don't like seeing them pretend to be Russians.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • During the Armed and Delirious episode Ross notes - several times, especially during the ending - that he is not cutting any context or relevant dialogue. It really is this bizarre and nonsensical.
    • In his review of ''CarnEvil, Ross compares mixing Halloween and Christmas together to adding bacon to ice cream, and shows a picture to illustrate his point. He then adds that he didn't photoshop the image in any way, as Burger King really did sell a bacon sundae at one point.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Ross sums up the ending in Revenant as this where you save the princess (who is the reincarnation of the main character's wife), only for her to be killed by the wizard for no reason other than to troll the main character because he didn't sacrifice his wife ten thousand years ago like he was supposed to. The main character then sends the wizard plummeting to his death. Ross is not amused and is left very confused, especially after all the bullshit he had to endure before deciding to skip to the ending.
    Ross: It's not that I can't handle a sad ending, but give it some meaning, huh?! This is just "Bwa ha ha! I'll kill you! WAAAAHHHH!" I would expect this sort of thing from Wario. With some goofy hijinx to go along with it.
  • Obfuscated Interface: In general Ross hates how dull and lifeless the Windows Desktop looks, its unwillingness to be customized in any capacity. He dreads the prospect of being forced to use the even-more homogenized Windows 10 when support for older systems is inevitably discontinued.
  • Only in Florida: Ross describes a house being flooded in green light as being unusual, even for Florida.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During Ross's Zany Golf episode, he briefly goes off on a tangent on how Electronic Arts is an evil company. He immediately shuts down anyone thinking of saying, "Well of course they're evil! Everyone knows that!" by explaining how EA is actually evil; Ross doesn't consider stuff like microtransactions, high prices, or Day 1 DLC to be evil; that kind of stuff just makes them assholes. What Ross considers genuinely evil are actions that intentionally cause harm to others. An example of an evil act by EA that he gave is how they worked with Bethesda in the 80s to make a football game, didn't publish it, and stole the source code to make the game themselves. Said game was the first game in the extremely successful Madden franchise. Ross spends the entire second half of the episode further explaining how evil EA is and despite never changing the tone in his voice, you can tell that Ross is, at the very least, disturbed by EA's shady business practices.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Ross has a long spiel about vampires during Veil of Darkness, and does take the time to award the game for having an Elder Vampire that was not suddenly made into a wimp or taken out anticlimactically. No, this vampire was both clever and extremely powerful, and needed one hell of a Rasputinian Death to keep him down at last.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Two in Revenant: The "vice president's secretary" retreating, and him spouting clichéd villain lines.
    • The repeated All Just a Dream reveals in Uncanny Valley.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Many of the awards for various games fall into this territory. For example, Maabus got an award for "Best Exit Screen Slot Machine". Ross has never seen an exit screen slot machine in any other game before, therefore Maabus wins by default.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Discussed the issue about setting an Assassin's Creed game during the French Revolution. No matter the assassination performed by the player, it can't top the Third Estate breaking into the castle and beheading the king.
  • Painting the Medium: In Sonic Heroes, whenever Hang Castle's gravity is inverted, the commentary switches over to Tom White, and switches back to Ross whenever gravity returns to normal. When Team Sonic is running up/down the side of a tower, making it impossible to tell which way the gravity is, Ross and Tom both give the commentary simultaneously. The episode never acknowledges this, treating it like it's just Ross by himself the whole time as usual.
  • Perspective Flip: Ross considers the Black Mirror episode (a game where rich people are the protagonists) to be this since it comes directly after the Life Is Strange episode (a game where rich people are the antagonists). It's especially justified since both Samuel Gordon and Nathan Prescott are murderers (although Samuel at least has the excuse of Demonic Possession).
  • Power-Up Letdown: Ross hypes up the pumpkin bombs throughout the Hinterland episode, and finally tries them out in The Stinger, only to be massively disappointed when they turn out to be nothing more than a weak fireball spell under a different name. The Player Character doesn't even visibly hold the pumpkin in their hand (although for some reason their shadow does).
  • Precision F-Strike: Ross has said he refrains from using the stronger swear words in the episodes so that when he does use one, it has more impact.
  • Previously on…: Parodied in the review for Deus Ex: Invisible War, which came immediately after his review of the original Deus Ex. Ross offers a look back to that episode for anyone who missed it, then shows a random three-second clip with no context and which doesn't explain anything. He does it again in his review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which came directly after the Invisible War review and features a nonsense clip from each of the two previous videos.
  • invokedThe Problem with Licensed Games: Ross discusses his personal problems with movie-based games in the Requital episode, which is itself based on the Russian movie The Wolfhound. His biggest problem is the fact that they are movie-based games in the first place, and he sees little point in playing a game when he already knows what happens in it from watching the movie, even if the game is good.
    Ross: For me to be interested in a movie-based game, it would have to be an original side adventure that doesn't follow the movie, and I would have to love that movie so much I'd rather play it over a more original game, and the movie would have to translate well to being a game, and the game would have to be great also.
  • Properly Paranoid: During the episode on TrackMania2, Ross mentions feeling like something was wrong about Canyon's graphics compared to how he remembered them, suspecting that there must have been some sort of update that made things worse. And lo and behold, one of the game's updates had indeed made major graphical changes, some of which weren't positive. In particular, Ross's belief that the shadows in the game had been downgraded was proven entirely correct - as Ross shows using a cracked copy of the older version, the game used to have a "Very High" setting for shadow quality which was straight-up removed in the update.
  • Prop Recycling: invoked The Crew has Ross get annoyed at its misuse within forests; it's something you inevitably have to do, but it has to be done well if you don't want samey scenarios that aren't interesting at all to explore. Wide-Open Sandbox games can't afford to copy and paste assets excessively, otherwise the whole point of the Sandbox is lost.
  • Protection from Editorsinvoked: Ross's biggest criticism of Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy regards its eclectic tone, with much of it being a police procedural mystery with supernatural elements before Lucas starts using over-the-top kung fu and flying, leading to Ross state that he believes David Cage is talented (and admits that he enjoyed much of the game), but due to having nobody to rein him in during development, the story became a mess as a result.
  • Pumpkin Person: In the Wolfenstein episode (which was released on April Fool's Day), Ross replaces the head of every NPC with a pumpkin.
  • invokedQuestionable Casting: Ross is flabbergasted by the casting of 52-year-old white actor Don McManus as preppy black teenager Hayden in Life Is Strange.
  • Rage Quit:
    • Ross rage quits in The Stinger of The Last Stand, after a zombie kills two of his allies at the same time.
      Ross: TWO AT ONCE?! Are you kidding me?! Well, that's it. The zombies won. The zombies. Won.
    • Ross rage quits Revenant after checking a walkthrough to see how close he was to the end of the game, only to find that he still had seven huge mazes left to slog through. However he does at least summarize the rest of the plot and show the ending cutscene.
  • A Rare Sentence: Armed and Delirious causes a lot of these.
    Ross: You have to throw darts at the right colors to open the giant microwave. This episode has so many quotes you can take out of context, it must be stacking up by now.
  • Real Is Brown: Having complained that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is way too yellow in its palette, Ross isn't impressed that the director's cut replaces it with gray instead.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: When finding out the goal of Bozo's Night Out was to down 60 pints of beer in one night, Ross believed nobody could drink that much without killing themselves and was going to slam the game for its lack of realism... until he did some research and discovered that André the Giant is hailed "The Greatest Drunk on Earth" for drinking a record-setting 116 12-ounce beers (about 90 pints) in only six hours. After doing some calculations based on a reasonable estimate of Bozo's weight (and his obviously quite high level of experience at drinking), Ross concluded that 60 pints was a perfectly plausible amount for Bozo to be able to drink.
  • Reality Subtextinvoked: Ross regards Deus Ex as possibly the most important video game ever because it uses a somewhat hackneyed sci-fi plot about future terrorism to illustrate real-life issues in politics, the economy and the military-industrial complex. Although Ross admits that the Illuminati probably aren't running things in real life.
  • Recycled Title:
    • Ross complains about this trope in his Wolfenstein (2009) episode.
    • He brings it up again in The Black Mirror, a franchise which was poised to release a new game with the same name as the original (save for the omission of the "The"), saying that he wasn't planning on reviewing the game yet, but was forced to bump it up to the front of the line since the new game would be out in only a month and its nearly identical title would condemn the old game to obscurity, especially since Black Mirror the TV show had already done most of the work.
  • Relax-o-Vision: The review of Still Life is split into two parts. Part 1 is 5 minutes long and focuses entirely on a single puzzle involving the protagonist baking cookies for her father on Christmas Eve using her grandmother's overly cryptic cookie recipe. Part 2 is 19 minutes long and focuses on the rest of the game: a graphic murder mystery.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ross jokingly expresses a belief in the supernatural in several episodes.
    • If the game of the episode is made by a developer with an Alliterative Name (ex. Gremlin Graphics, Cowardly Creations), any time the developer is brought up, a Jump Cut will happen where Ross says the developer's name in a growling voice, followed by another jump cut back to the episode proper.
    • Whenever Ross mentions that he used to work as a security guard, there is a high chance that the video will cut to a shot of his hand holding up his old ID card from said job with him saying "Security" in a deep voice.
    • Whenever Ross mentions Barry Rowe, the fan who made a program to translate text on the fly in a game, an image of Barry Burton pops up.
  • Scenery Porn: Ross has stated on numerous occasions that evening light can make literally any game scenery look like this to him, regardless of the actual graphics quality or level of detail.
  • Scrappy Mechanicinvoked:
    • Most of the games reviewed have a lot of good points but are impossible for Ross to enjoy thoroughly because of one specific thing, if not several, that ruins the whole experience for him. Sometimes these are simply things Ross personally doesn't like but concedes that other people might, and other times these are things that would almost universally be considered terrible. Ross has said several times that his ideal games for the show are ones that could be great except for a few critical issues that could potentially be addressed.
    • The combination of Bullet Hell, dying in one hit, and a limited amount of lives is what he considers the Scrappy Mechanic of the entire vertical scrolling shooter genre. A big reason he enjoys Tyrian so much is because it lacks all three.
      Ross: GOOD GOD! It's almost like the designers of this game wanted you to play it and have fun!
    • For Nyet III, it's the fact that dying causes the entire game to quit. However, this was later discovered to only happen with the specific version Ross downloaded. Other downloads of the game do not quit on death.
    • For Eternam, it's the Moon Logic Puzzles that plague the graphic adventure game genre as a whole, as well as the Unexpected Shmup Level aspect that causes enemies to randomly appear and attack the player in the overworld sections for no reason, which Ross doesn't mind, but knows it means he can't recommend the game to people who prefer casual games with no arcade-reflex requirements.
    • For Test Drive 3, it's the game's terrible steering. To put it into words, there is no sense of gradual steering in any way, shape or form, and the only steering-related inputs the game registers are "none" and "violently swing the wheel in that direction like you're dodging a moose". The end result is that the car handles well until it has to turn, at which point it's impossible to not drive like you're drunk and on ice.
    • A general example first discussed in the Strife episode: Mazes and maze-like design in games, especially in First-Person Shooters. He feels they are one of the wrong extremes of the Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness, turning games into a tedious labor of wandering around in circles until he can find the way forward. Discussed again the Revenant episode, which combines maze-like level design with another one of his Scrappy Mechanics, which is...
    • In the Revenant and Dungeon Siege episodes, he professes his hatred for respawning enemies, at least in Diablo-style RPGs. He thinks it makes no sense, and that it diminishes the satisfaction of combat. In the Chosen: Well of Souls episode, he extends this hatred to the Mook Medics who keep reviving the enemies he kills.
      Ross: In a hack-and-slash, I like having a trail of bodies that I know are not going to get back up and come to life. Because why am I killing anything, then? Can it even be called "killing"? I always prefer static spawns in a game, where when you kill them, they stay dead. Infinite enemy spawning is shit.
    • Also from the Revenant episode, he professes his hatred for turn-based combat... which Revenant doesn't actually have, but Ross isn't known for always staying on topic.
      Ross: I can't stand turn-based combat. My brain refuses to accept it. I always want the characters to just run in there swinging, not stand around waiting for their damn turn like it's the DMV. Now, I'm not saying other people shouldn't play games with turn-based combat, but if we're talking about RPGs, I am biased to a fault. I can count the number of turn-based RPGs I've played to completion on one hand, and I'm amazed I even got through those. note 
    • In Polaris Snocross, it's the fact that The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard to the extreme. He had to edit a bunch of text files, crippling the AI-controlled racers' behavior until they started resembling the ones from Big Rigs, just to access the majority of the game's content. Even then, the computer would still pull some cheating bastardry on him every once in a while.
    • In Quarantine, it's the fact that you must do two normal taxi missions before each story mission, and failing at any point puts you back at the beginning of the sequence, making the game extremely tedious. Also, he feels that the time limit on a lot of missions is way too short.
    • In Construction Bob and the Bouncing Factory, it's the meanies, which are items that kill you when you collect them. His main complaints are that one, the game is hard enough as is and you will end up running into them every time because of how uncontrollable it is, and two, that if they're going to kill you so much they could at least use something that makes sense instead of a mismatched puzzle piece.
    • Another big one is time limits in games where there shouldn't be any such pressures, such as Uncanny Valley and Spiderbot, which both have lots to explore but a strict time limit imposed on the player giving them no time to enjoy said exploration.
      Ross: Open-ended exploration and timers go together like bread and motor oil.
    • In The Secret World, it's the combat, which he avoids discussing for as long as possible because he really likes practically everything else about the game but really hates the combat, since both you and the enemies do way too little damage to each other, making every fight take far too long (though he admits that this is partially because he's playing an MMO by himself). Also, he doesn't like that some of the puzzles in the game require you to go on the internet to search for clues. Ross thinks this ruins the whole point of having the puzzle in the first place, because if you have to use the internet anyway, you might as well just cut out the middleman and look up the answer directly.
    • In the Secret World and Darkspore episodes, he professes a dislike of cooldown timers.
      Ross: I don't like cooldowns. DON'T TELL ME TO COOL DOWN! [blows up nearby machine]
    • In Armed & Delirious, Ross actually has to compile a list of all the bad adventure game mechanics the game manages to include, noting that the game even goes the extra mile with a few of them: it not only includes Moon Logic Puzzles, but occasional puzzles that are basically impossible to figure out naturally because they require a combination of Pixel Hunting and split-second timing, all without any indication of being on the right track, to the point that even trial-and-error wouldn't work because the player would never think to try some of the stuff required.For example The worst was a combination lock near the end of the game with 512 possible combinations, and no hint in the game whatsoever as to what the combination is, requiring the player to literally try every possible combination until they get it. Ross was so astounded by this level of madness he had to go check multiple walkthroughs just to make sure there wasn't a hint to the combination somewhere in the game. One walkthrough said that an extremely unlucky player who had to exhaust every single combination before finding the correct one would "only" have to spend about 45 minutes on it.
    • The Crew had a few complaints, but one of the biggest was the game's completely awful night-time driving, as every car's headlights were so bad using a flashlight from the pilot seat would've been better. Ross had to make an entire time table of when he could play the game, because he considered playing it during in-game night-time to be functionally impossible.
    • Requital had several minor complaints, but the game's healing system is what really drew Ross's ire. As a tradeoff for having unlimited free healing, they made it an extremely tedious process of sitting through a long animation that slowly recovers health for its duration, which you will usually have to do several times in a row to get back to full health after a fight. You also have passive health regeneration, but that's even slower. There are health potions which work instantly, but they only provide you with temporary health that goes away at the end of combat. It was so bad that Ross dropped the difficulty down to Easy just so he would have to heal less, and also gave the game an award for its health potions that don't actually heal you.
    • Not really a mechanic, but this is probably the closest trope we have to label Ross's dislike of desert settings in games, since they don't make him angry enough to put under Berserk Button.
      Ross: I guess I should explain my anti-desert bias. I've heard that the environment you grow up in can determine what sort of places you feel comfortable in. Well, this is the part of the world I grew up in: [overhead shot of lush, green forest with majestic World of Warcraft music playing] So when I see desert, it's just like, "What the hell? How does anything live out here?" [in-game shot of vultures in the desert] Yeah. That's what's out here. Dead things.
    • The only thing that kept him from giving The Black Mirror an "All-time Favorite" award was the ending. Ross takes the time to comment that he has nothing but respect for the logic leading up to it, but the payoff is what kills it. Samuel delves into the ancient, long-lost catacombs under Black Mirror, arrives at the very room where Mordred Gordon once tried to open a portal to the underworld...and nobody is there, leaving Samuel free to conduct a ritual without any context. Not only does the game not elaborate on what Samuel's even supposed to be doing during the penultimate cutscene, he commits suicide not long after, without offering any explanation.
    • Mage Knight Apocalypse had unavoidable cooldowns for every character, which very quickly became tedious and only served to lengthen the game. After deciding that using a trainer to remove them would only improve the experience, he then got annoyed at how you had to loot everything for the chance of finding better weapons.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After struggling through the increasingly insane difficulty and maze-like dungeons of Revenant, thanks only to judicious use of cheat codes, Ross was almost to the final leg of the game when he was forced to look up a walkthrough and saw that there were seven more dungeons left, all with "Labyrinth" in their name. Ross simply gives up and declares the review over, giving a brief recap of the rest of the game and showing the final cutscene.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Ross's summary of the show, which doubles as the page quote.
    • In the Test Drive 3 episode, he describes his obsession with video game maps as "sad".
  • Sequel Episode: The follow-up episode(s).
  • Sequel Hook: The Cave World Saga ends on one. The lizard police arrest Cal while Eric, Maomi, and Gusmar escape with a smoke bomb. Ross looked, and the promised sequel never came.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Ross considers the herbalist in Daemonica to be his mortal enemy. Or rather, he considers himself to be her mortal enemy, since he keeps picking the village and surrounding area clean of all herbs, leaving none for her.
  • Shown Their Work: Ross vividly discusses how cults actually function in Super Cult Tycoon.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Ross makes his own scale in the Strife episode, shown here.
  • Snicket Warning Label: Ross's review of Still Life was a Christmas Episode and split into two parts. The first part was only five minutes long and covered a single puzzle where Victoria makes Christmas cookies for her dad. Ross waited until the second part to dive into the murder mystery at the heart of the game and warned viewers to skip it if they still wanted to remain in the festive spirit for the holidays.
  • Snuff Film: Ross accuses the creators of Bip Bop of making one, or at least taking a screencap from one that was already made.
  • So Bad, It's Goodinvoked: Ross's opinion of the narrator's voice acting in The Chosen: Well of Souls. The rest he considered irredeemable.
  • So Okay, It's Averageinvoked: A few of the games are doomed to be considered this, having been chosen for the show because they had a somewhat interesting concept, but were executed with such lack of effort that it's impossible to really like or particularly dislike them.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Ross comments on the illogical nature of many adventure game puzzles, but isn't significantly riled by them simply because they're so prevalent, especially for games from the '90s. Games that he finds especially noteworthy in their inanity include Eternam and Realms of the Haunting.
  • Space Compression: Pointed out more than once during The Crew. Fitting the entire USA in a game in perfect detail was obviously not going to be possible, but it still has results both amusing (like Nashville being reduced to a tiny two-block affair with a giant skyscraper) and annoying (like states he outright isn't sure if they're really there, which makes following the same route Arcade America had a bit more difficult).
  • Start My Own: Ross wants people to ignore the laws regarding piracy and make their own "internet law" and follow it instead. Said internet law was decided to be, "If the developer/publisher is no longer selling the game and the only way to get a legitimate copy is to buy a used one, then pirate away. Otherwise, buy it."
  • The Stinger: Every episode has a short clip after the Accursed Farms vanity plate, usually something completely random and silly.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Ross takes exception to the use of incoherent Story Branching in Life Is Strange, because despite the narration talking about choices being important, the game doesn't allow Ross to make the choices he wants to, like not taking a selfie in the middle of class for no reason, letting Nathan shoot Chloe because it would have several beneficial long-term effects on the school and town (plus he just doesn't like Chloe), or walking through the annoying sorority girls instead of constructing an elaborate trap to get them out of the way. Ironically, despite discussing this trope at length, Ross doesn't actually play far enough into the game to see any choice consequences due to hating all of the characters so much he gave up before finishing the first chapter. note 
  • Suddenly Voiced: If the game Ross is reviewing lacks voice acting, then he'll usually voice the characters himself in his commentary. If there are enough characters, he'll even get other people on board.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: While playing The Secret World for the purposes of reviewing it, Ross noticed "TSW" graffiti tags popping up around the are where he lives, and is convinced they are related to the game somehow, leading to this line:
    Ross: I mean, surely it's not just some dumbshit tagger putting his initials because he doesn't have any actual graffiti art talent, is it? We may never know...
    • In the Quadralien episode, Ross comments on how much the game resembles his own life, with a few small differences such as:
      Ross: "...And I've never seen aliens that look like this."
  • Take That!:
    • Towards Burger King's Bacon Sundae and Black Christmas (2006) in CarnEvil.
    • Ross complains about Adobe Flash and a few zombie movies in The Last Stand.
    • In his Strife review after noting that the game has a lot of optional areas, he says if it were made today, the areas would probably just be DLC that "cheapens the whole experience". He would later say the same thing about Smuggler's Den in Deus Ex.
    • In the Uncanny Valley episode, Ross briefly paused a rant about security guards to insult Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
    • After learning that you can cause Armed & Delirious to become Unwinnable without realizing it until later, Ross rants about how this is the biggfest sin any adventure game can commit and any developer that does it deserves to burn in Developer Hell. Then the Sierra logo briefly appears. He does cut the developers of Armed & Delirious a small amount of slack though, since the game is only rendered unwinnable because of bugs, so at least they didn't do it on purpose (unlike Sierra).
    • In the Veil of Darkness episode, he slams 30 Days of Night and Avatar for having all-powerful villains suddenly being easily defeated by something they logically shouldn't be, and in the latter's case, by something that had already been shown to not work on them earlier.
      Ross: In the comic/movie 30 Days of Night, this guy gets turned into a vampire, and in — I don't know, 10 minutes? Something like that? — he takes the head elder vampire down in a 1v1 fight? I hate crap like that. Vampirism only gets better with age. If you make a villain seemingly unstoppable, you have to be clever in how you take them down. And not just hit some switch and all of a sudden they're defeated by something that shouldn't defeat them? Or like in Avatar where the natives shoot arrows at space-age gunships, and they just bounce off because they're reinforced bulletproof glass? Then, later in the movie, they do the exact same thing while riding a giant bird, and now it works because we can't write?
    • In Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh, he talks about how if aliens are organic, they would likely need water to survive, and right after says that's why the movie Signs is "kind of stupid".
  • Take This Job and Shove It: In the Requital episode, Ross warns viewers who hate their jobs to make preparations for unemployment before watching The Wolfhound, since the scene where the protagonist escapes slavery may be so inspiring to them that they quit their jobs on the spot.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Discussed in various episodes. Ross frequently prefers games with vivid worlds, tangible atmosphere, realistic characters, and/or quirkiness. Games that are competently built but lack any personality or originality tend to be met with disdain, if not outright contempt.
  • That One Bossinvoked:
    • Ross didn't care for a mandatory boss fight in Revenant that strips the player of their weapons, requiring them to level up their skill at unarmed fighting to have any hope of winning — especially since this is the only time in the entire game where progression is gated behind a specific skill check. Ross was left wondering why he couldn't just take his sword (the type of weapon he was actually using and therefore was actually leveling up his skill in), slaughter the entire town, and get to the next area that way, rather than being forced to agree to fight in the town's Gladiator Games to be granted passage.
    • The third boss of Quarantine is where Ross gave up on the game originally, and he clearly had a lot of difficulty beating him for the episode. It doesn't help that looking at your map at all during this particular mission causes a Game-Breaking Bug that not only tells you the wrong location for the boss, but increases his health so high it's impossible to kill him within the time limit given.
    • Tom White had a lot of trouble with the bosses from Boppin', and goes on for several minutes venting about how frustrating they are.
  • That One Levelinvoked:
    • Ross got extremely pissed off at "Rickety Town" in CarnEvil, because the vast majority of the level has a Christmas theme, which he feels ruins the atmosphere of what he considers a perfect Halloween game.
    • invoked Level Three in The Chosen: Well of Souls. It opens with an Elite Mook that can not only One-Hit Kill you, but takes over 100 hits from even a fully-optimized character to bring down. It only gets worse from there, but that particular level is singled out as a Difficulty Spike big enough to build a space elevator on.
    • One level in Baldies has the player and the enemy faction starting right next to each other on a very small battlefield. The enemy starts with a slight population advantage, a Tier 5 breeding facility, and a research lab, while the player starts with pretty much nothing. Ross found this level much harder than even the endgame levels, and it took him forever to find a strategy that worked. Which he doesn't reveal since he wants to keep the challenge preserved for anyone in the audience who wants to attempt the level.
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: He suspects this about the Bip Bop trilogy, although it didn't stop him from hosting the games on his site with permission from the developer. Ross is presumably just that committed to preserving games and stopping them from being killed, even if they're evil. Although, since the developer supposedly told him that "the Harvest" was complete, it's possible he assumed the games were no longer dangerous.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!invoked: Ross notes that Puzzle Agent copied its gameplay directly from the Professor Layton games, which causes some people to slam the game for not being original. Ross argues that a game doesn't need original gameplay to be good, it just needs to offer a new experience.
    Ross: I mean, most Real-Time Strategy games are basically refinements of Dune II, and I don't know how many First-Person Shooters have similar gameplay.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plotinvoked: In Puzzle Agent, he briefly talks about Puzzle Agent 2, and says that while it's still pretty good, he wishes that the game didn't go back to Scoggins, feeling that the first game's story was closed off perfectly, and that Tethers should have been given a brand new case instead.
  • Thing-O-Meter: The first award for Veil of Darkness is "Prophecy-O-Meter", referencing how the game meticulously tracks your progress in fulfilling the heroic prophecy.
  • Time Travel:
    • Ross accuses the band Point Defiance of this, since their music appeared in the game Polaris Snocross a year before the band was officially formed, and the specific songs used in the game weren't released until even later. One of the two albums containing songs from the game didn't come out until six years after the game did.
      • Though Ross either didn't realize or ignored that the PC release of Polaris was released almost a year after the console version, and Point Defiance's music was not present in the console versions.
    • In the review for Battleforge, Ross claims he was able to make footage of the game despite it being dead by using a time machine. He then goes on to explain that he avoids using the time machine because it has several negative effects such as causing nosebleeds, tripping the circuit breaker, and being unable to travel back to the present if too many things in the past are changed.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Referenced when talking about a character in Strife who gives you a sidequest that renders the game Unwinnable by Design if you are foolish enough to do it.
    Ross: He's kind of like the friend that gets you into so much trouble — like, really serious trouble — that you start wondering if your friend is just more stupid than you thought, or if he knows he's going to end up in prison at some point and wants to bring you along with him for the company.
  • Twinkle Smile: In Veil of Darkness, Ross edits one in every time the protagonist (who Ross named "Chuck") introduces himself.
  • Uncertain Audience: invoked Ross spends a good chunk of the Harry Buster review wondering what demographic the game is aiming for. He points out how the opening sing-along and basic gameplay of throwing tomatoes at cartoon vultures seem to be marketed towards kids. But the central premise of saving the stock market wouldn't appeal to children, and the advertising for T-Online would only make sense for adult players who could actually afford the service.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: In the stinger of Baldies, Ross tries to grab a helicopter with his giant hand cursor. The blades chop off its fingers and make it unable to grab anything, leaving Ross totally stunned.
  • The Unreveal:
    • Ross chooses not to disclose the strategy he used to finally beat the seemingly-impossible level in Baldies so that the challenge is not ruined for any viewers who want to try beating it themselves.
    • Ross discusses how the ending of Still Life doesn't reveal who the killer is.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Pops up in many of his videos such as in The Secret World, where he finds some sinister-looking creature selling pumpkins and says that it doesn't seem like a good idea to buy any from her... they're a bit pricey. Or in the Revenant episode, where he claims that being suspended in Hell is merely a sign that summer is almost over.
  • Verbal Backspace: Ross praises The Crew as the biggest open-world driving game ever, then the box art of Fuel appears on screen, and he backspaces to "second-biggest".
  • Villain Protagonist: Granny from Armed & Delirious seems like your ordinary senile old person, but she's so relentlessly and pointlessly cruel to random strangers that Ross gradually has to conclude that she's genuinely a bad person. Her family are explicitly described as animal torturers, to boot. At the end of the game, Ross proposes a rap sheet of 11 counts of aggravated assault and 4 of murder.
  • Visual Pun:
    • When Ross starts editing files in order to cripple the cheating bastard AI in Polaris Snocross, one value he edits in the Bots.csv file is called "MaxCatchupSpeed". When he says this aloud, a bottle of ketchup zooms across the screen at high speed.
    • In the review for Uncanny Valley, when Ross describes how it falls between other games in terms of its experience a graph appears which shows the invoked Unintentional Uncanny Valley, with the game in the low point of said valley.
    • In his Messiah review, every time he mentions Father Prime, Optimus Prime pops up from the corner of the screen. When the game asks who's your pimp daddy, Ross responds with "Pimp daddy Prime" and has Optimus pop in again while wearing a pimp hat.
  • Voice of the Legion: Ross's performance as the Ruler of the Entire Universe from Bip Bop II and III.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: BJ vomits due to the screen bobbing in Wolfenstein.
  • invokedWhat Could Have Been: In the Potty Pigeon episode, Ross imagines a world where the game was a runaway success, became a multi-billion dollar franchise, and Percy became the iconic figure that Mario is now. In such a world, any stigma against video games would be entirely justified.

  • What Would X Do?: During his Life Is Strange review, Ross keeps referring to a quote by Napoleon, "Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake", using it as advice to ignore the Alpha Bitch's insult since it makes her look overly pretentious more than it actually insults you, and later to allow an evil rich kid to shoot and kill a girl since the resulting scandal would have several beneficial long-term effects on the school and town. Which ends up being very good advice since going back in time to let Nathan kill Chloe is how you get the good ending to the game in the final chapter.
    • This is also his response to a puzzle with 512 possible solutions. He couldn't accept there would be a developer willing to include such a puzzle with no hints until he scoured the game, manual, and three separate walkthroughs.
  • Win Your Freedom: In the Armed and Delirious episode, Ross proposes that instead of sentencing criminals to X number of years in prison, they should instead be made to stay in prison indefinitely until they beat a brutally difficult gaming challenge to earn their freedom. For instance, the punishment for assault would be to complete a no-death run of Super Meat Boy, and the punishment for murder would be to beat Armed and Delirious with no hints, which, given the game's utterly incomprehensible Moon Logic, would pretty much translate into a life sentence.
  • Would Rather Suffer:
    • Ross says that the Allegedly Free Game The Last Stand: Dead Zone is such a ripoff that even the Collector's Edition of the poorly-recieved Duke Nukem Forever gives you more value for your money.
    • Towards the end of his review of Quarantine (1994), Ross comments that he'd rather train to be an actual cab driver than have to suffer through any more of the game's taxi missions.
    • Ross describes The Chosen: Well of Souls as "the perfect game to play when you know you should be doing something else", as it will kill any desire you have to procrastinate and make you want to get back to work.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Ross expresses his amazement that Freak Out: Extreme Freeride actually spells "extreme" correctly in the title.
    Ross: If popular culture has taught us anything, it's that vowels are not extreme.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: One of the most heavily featured elements of The Legend of Kyrandia is the abundance of ways to kill off the protagonist. Ross notes that his naivete makes him prone to amusing death sequences, as he has a stunted sense of self-preservation, but that this trait also makes it easier for the player to care about keeping him alive.
  • Zerg Rush: Ross comments that the most consistently effective strategy in Baldies is to focus purely on breeding and arming as many soldiers as possible and overwhelming the enemy with sheer numbers. The only time it didn't work was in That One Level.



Video Example(s):


Across the US in The Crew

As Ross explains, The Crew is a mid-tier game, but its gimmick of letting you drive all across the United States makes it exceptional.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DancingBear

Media sources: