It takes a special kind of failure to make it into this list. A game has to be more than boring or poorly executed. To become one of the 10 Worst, it starts as a bad idea and ends by actually lowering the quality of life of people who have played it.
10. Club Drive (Jaguar)
Club Drive has all types of gameplay, but most of missions have you driving an RC car around a badly-rendered living room to collect glowing balls of string. What makes this unique from other string-collecting driving games is that the game doesn’t care if you decide to drive directly through chair legs or walls. Not that the game cares if you hurry, but this can save you time. The only problem I found was that walls sometimes decided to behave like walls, and most of my games ended with my car driving through one side of the couch and somehow becoming trapped inside it for all eternity. I think they might have stole their programming code from Dolphin Adventures in Tuna Nets.
Running into things, when the game notices that you have, shows off Club Drive’s most unique failure: physics. For example, if you nose dive a remote control car into the ground from the top of a table, you might expect it to break or at least bounce or something. Not in this game. Club Drive has invented its own bizarre set of rules where a high impact causes your car to levitate into the air, fly around for a little bit, flip over onto its wheels and gently float back down to the floor. It’s hard to say whether it’s a glimpse into the future of driving or just someone being an idiot.
Since no matter where you are it’s a featureless landscape of flat color, there’s no way to tell which you’re supposed to go. All it takes is one crash or yank of the wheel to disorient you enough that you drive twenty minutes in the wrong direction. Video games are supposed to take liberties with physics to keep them fun. No gameplayer wants realistic physics where running down stairs makes his boobs jiggle and your pork-fed heart to palpitate. So I’m not saying the game would be any more fun if the cars acted like real cars, but it looks like the people who were in charge of Club Drive’s physics haven’t even heard of two things running into each other.
9. Irritating Stick
While it’s refreshingly honest that the game actually tells you that it’s irritating before you buy it, as a name, it’s terrible. It’s so bad, in fact, that we bought a copy about five years ago and haven’t opened it because we don’t want to. Because it’s irritating .
8. Super Columbine Massacre RPG (Danny Ledonne, 2005)
Do violent video games inspire horrific, violent acts in the real world? No one really knows for sure. Do horrific, violent acts in the real world inspire violent video games? Absolutely.
One of the most recent, Super Columbine Massacre RPG (or SCMRPG), re-created Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, from the perspective of the two disturbed teenagers. Deriving the game’s content largely from video footage of the events, the pair’s diaries, and quotes from various media figures, creator Danny Ledonne strove for a certain level of verisimilitude–though the part of the game where Harris and Klebold find themselves embarking on further adventures in Hell after their suicides is, presumably, conjecture.
Like the developers of JFK Reloaded, another re-creation of a historic murder, the creator of SCMRPG claimed lofty aims. On his Web site–whose illegible look (blue and red text on a black background) is some sort of crime against good design itself–Ledonne says the game “asks more of its audience than rudimentary button-pushing and map navigation; it implores introspection.” The site also links to press coverage of the game (typical example: the Denver Post‘s “Columbine Game Makes Us Ill”) and a forum for discussion of the game and the actual shootings. Whether Ledonne’s site has any constructive value whatsoever is still up in the air. But as a game, Super Columbine Massacre RPG is appalling.
7. Pac-Man (Atari 2600)
No we are not talking of iconic arcade version here, this is the ill fated Atari version. Like the original arcade version, the player controls the titular character with a joystick. The object is to traverse a maze, consuming all the wafers within while avoiding four ghosts.
The game was programmed by Tod Frye, who was given a limited time frame by Atari to complete the project. The technical differences between the Atari 2600 console and the original’s arcade hardware—particularly the amount of available memory—presented several challenges to Frye. Given the popularity of the property, Atari produced 12 million units, anticipating a high number of sales. While the port sold 7 million copies and is the best-selling Atari 2600 title, it was critically panned. Critics focused on the gameplay and audio-visual differences from the arcade version. Customers returned the game in large quantities. Initially, the port boosted the video game industry’s presence in retail, but has since been cited as a contributing factor to the North American video game crash of 1983. It was followed by Atari 2600 ports of Pac-Man‘s arcade sequels.
6. RoboCop (2003)
It is a 2003 scrolling shooter released for the sixth generation home consoles and the Game Boy Advance. The only North American version available was released for the Xbox while the PAL region versions were released on all consoles except for Game Boy Advance.
The game allows the player to play as RoboCop and to uncover a sinister plot involving OCP, local gangsters dealing a deadly new synthetic drug and a powerful cyborg known only as MIND. As a last hope, RoboCop must capture, destroy, or arrest hostile characters in a desperate search for clues and evidence.
The game received mostly negative reviews by critics; Gamespot rated it 2.2/10, GamerFeed gave it a 2/5, XBN Magazine gave 2/10, and NTSC UK, rated it 3/10. In the Scandinavian magazine Gamereactor, it received 1/10 and was called “the worst video game since Superman 64”.