8 Most Mind-Numbing Video Games Of All Time
Think about all the time you’ve wasted playing video games. Now, think about everything you could have done with that time. You could have learned a foreign language, completed med school, or made your mother proud – instead, you chose to sit in a bean bag chair and squander your youth. Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy to squander one’s youth playing video games if the games in question are exciting. The ones on this list, however, are not. I defy you to play any of these for more than fifteen soul-crushing minutes at a time.
Where’s Waldo? for NES
Imagine staring at a page for hours, trying to find an ostentatiously dressed rock climber. Are your eyes glazing over yet? Now, imagine that same experience, but way more pixelated. Actually, don’t imagine it. You may permanently lose sentience.
Superman for Nintendo 64
To call this game “super” would be a super huge mistake (see what I did there?). Widely acknowledged as one of the worst video games of all time, this exercise in tedium is hard to play and even harder to continue playing. Every level is a monotonous bore, and nine times out of ten the controls are impossible to…uh…control. As Amazon.com reviewer “A Customer” so eloquently puts it, “This game is so bad it doesn't deserve 1 star. It is like a self root canal kit. The only purpose for this game is as a way to kill yourself when you burn this in a fireplace and inhale the fumes from the plastic.” Amen, brother.
Fishing Derby for Atari 2600
“OK, so here’s the pitch: It’s a video game about America’s favorite past time…fishing. Basically, two fishermen sit across from each other the entire game; the object is to be the one who reels 99 pounds of fish in first. Your only predator is a shark below the surface, who occasionally tries to eat your fish. What do you think?” *Gets kicked out of EA headquarters*
Custer’s Revenge for Atari 2600
Surely you’ve heard of Custer’s Revenge – it’s one of, if not the most controversial video games in history. I don’t get what the big deal is, though – sure, the goal is to have forcible sex with a Native American woman tied to a cactus, but before you get to do that, all you do is wander aimlessly through the desert with an erection. SNOOZE. And this was controversial…why? (Oh, wait – the racism, sexism, historical inaccuracies, etc.)
Waterworld for Nintendo Virtual Boy
If you don’t remember Waterworld the movie, you’re not alone – it’s one of the hugest flops of the 90’s. Bearing this in mind, the Virtual Boy adaptation of it is a fitting tribute to its namesake’s crapulence. No options are given after the title screen – you’re just thrown straight in to the worst “3D adventure” you’ll ever experience. Basically all you do is travel along a completely black "ocean" towards a setting sun in the horizon. Occasionally, you’re expected to swim up to your enemies and pray the controls work enough to smite 'em. SPOILER ALERT: They usually don’t.
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial for Atari 2600
OK, so this game is a legendary failure; putting it in any list of mediocre video games is like shooting fish in a barrel. Let it be known, however, that I am not above shooting fish in barrels. 99% of the gameplay involved jumping into pits in order to look for parts of E.T.’s telephone (so he could “phone home…get it?); when said pits inevitably didn't have said parts in them, the player needed to: A) Slowly float back up to the sidewalk and B) Stop floating once he or she reached the “sweet spot,” otherwise they'd fall back into the pit. It was borderline impossible to not fall back into the pit. Four million copies were made but less than 40% sold, which lead to Atari's bankruptcy. Speaking of pits, the millions of unsold and returned games were dumped into a pit in New Mexico, never to be played again (thank God).
Zork for Atari/Commodore/PC
Games don’t get any more old school (or tiresome) than Zork. This text-based bore was created in 1977 – a handful of versions have been released for Atari, Commodore and PCs since then (as a matter of fact, it’s still inexplicably popular amongst über dweebs). By playing, all you’re expected to do is write things like “take lamp” and “look north” over and over and fight dragons you can’t see (it’s original name was actually "Dungeon," but it was changed to Zork after the D&D people threatened to sue them).
Desert Bus for Sega CD
This minigame from Sega CD’s unreleased “Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors” is, hands down, the most mind-numbing video game of all time. That makes sense, though, because it was designed that way. The object of the game is to drive a bus from Tuscon, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada – you can’t go over 45mph, and you can’t pause it, which means you must play the game for eight continuous hours in order to “win.” There’s no one on the bus, no scenery to look at, and no traffic. Just eight hours of driving through the desert. And once you reach Las Vegas, you’re expected to turn around and drive back to Tuscon. It’s brilliantly banal!
What other video games have made you lose your ability to feel? Let me know in the comments, or tell me @Bornferal!