Video games have long since crossed the threshold from living room toy to being record-smashing interactive entertainment. Games like Grand Theft Auto V earn more money than major blockbuster movies and bring in rave reviews for engaging stories, game play, soundtracks, you name it. You can see every dollar and day of effort put into games like that. Thankfully, like every good thing, there’s a dark, seedy underworld of bad games and trash entertainment. Bad movies can be fun; bad games make you break things. Here’s 9 of the worst:
1. Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis
Aquaman got the short end of the stick for years. The Superfriends cartoon made him washed up, and public perception never really recovered. In recent years, to change him up, his writers have given him a hook hand, made him into a deep sea Conan the Barbarian, and refocused on his role as King of Atlantis. This game makes him into a flailing mess floating through molasses. Like a fish out of water, ideas in this game are just flop after flop.
2. Ninjabread Man
When a clever name pun is your game’s best asset, you are in deep trouble. Like the protagonist, every thing in Ninjabread Man is a cookie cutter and flat. Poor level design, lack of personality, and a general sense of apathy and poor planning permeate the game at every step. You’re better off taking your real gingerbread men and pretending they’re G.I. (Ginger Infused) Joe toys.
3. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
The Walking Dead is a media phenomenon, no doubt about that. It’s garnered huge ratings and huge followings of fans. Zombies went from eek, to geek, to chic. For those in search of brains, however, this is not the game for you. Contrasted to the previous Walking Dead game from developers Telltale, this is a pale cousin of that kind of effort. Survival instinct shows every seem of it’s short development time, rushed planning, and general nature as a cash grab.
4. Dragonball Evolution
A great illustration of bad movie vs. bad game. Dragonball Evolution, the underseen and mostly forgotten adaptation of the classic series Dragonball, came and went with little fanfare. It was an awful film and kind of fun to watch because of it. It requires no effort to watch it screw up. The game, however, requires your input to crash & burn, and that’s what makes it bad. A fighting game with no sense of control or any reason to care, based on an embarrassment. It’s safe to call this a mess.
5. Duke Nukem Forever
Machismo and a bag of swag can’t get you as far as they used to. Duke Nukem was a hit in the 90s for playing up the 80s, but come the 2010s that didn’t play as well. Duke Nukem Forever was in development that lasted almost as long as its title implies. It went from team to team, engine to engine, until it became a joke unto itself. It was almost an urban legend. When it finally came out, it showed every year of its age, with uninspired and tedious gameplay and all the charisma of the middle aged man with the gold chains in a night club. It should be renamed Fluke Duped ‘Em.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Our man Sonic is similar to a band that hit its excess 20 years ago. No one can argue how great the output was. WAS. With the changing times, they just kind of… lost it. Poor speedy Sonic couldn’t always keep up. His forays into 3D, party games, guest spots, and gritty games with guns all tended to flounder. Rock bottom was 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog. In an effort to be new and cool, he failed on all fronts. The leap to the new generation was poorly planned, with weak controls, a story that seemed made to spite the player, and worst of all, lack of momentum. In recent years he’s gotten better, but keep an eye out, or he might start feeling… blue.
7. Universal Studios: Theme Park Adventure
If you’ve ever wanted to live through a pale and cynical imitation of a beloved movie’s ideas, this is the game for you. It manages to take all the love and good feelings you have for classic Universal properties, and turn it against you in the worst way. It’s a series of minigames with no depth or challenge. Imagine if someone took a photocopied movie case and placed it over bag with an old sandwich. Games based on other properties have a bad reputation, and games like this make it stick.
8. Pong Toss
If you take the drinking out of a drinking game, it’s no longer fun. If you digitize the neutered game for parties, you’re just asking to make enemies. Pong Toss is beer pong with no beer. Add in the fact that it has controls like it had been playing a game of “drink mercury” and losing. This game is an exercise in the futility of trends and how maybe some people should never try to be hip. Definitely worth being ranked within 9 of the Worst Games EVER.
9. The Guy Game
The Guy Game is a disgrace to guys and games alike. IF you want cheap nudity, there’s at least a dozen websites. If you want it to be earned behind layers of trivia and arbitrary challenges, then this is the game for you, you odd person. If you want to objectify women as prizes while competing with friends to see who can do it the fastest, then you’re in luck. There’s no serious reason to play this game. It exists as a reminder that really, any dream can come true, even if it shouldn’t. If you’re ever in doubt of yourself, remember that someone had the perseverance to make The Guy Game, so there’s that.