Yesterday, I wrote about my ten favorite games of the year. None of those games were perfect, and I had some minor complaints about each of them. I felt like I was maybe complaining a bit too much, though, and not focusing enough on the positives of those games. So to remind myself of how good those games are, I decided to take a look back at some games that are the opposite of good.
As a streamer and as a game developer, I frequently look through all of the new releases on Steam to see what people are putting out. Sometimes, I’ll find a game that looks truly terrible, and I’ll buy it just to stream it and see how bad it is. Other times, I don’t even have to buy anything, because one of my Steam friends has gifted some awful game to me to stream. What this means is that I’ve played a lot of really, really bad games this year. Here’s my Ten Worst:
Honorable Mention: Drift Legends
Drift Legends is the worst non-Steam game I played this year (I played the Switch version, although it is on Steam). It is one of the worst racing games I have ever played. The menus are unresponsive and confusing. The drifting physics are bizarre, and don’t feel good at all. The speedometer being hilariously inaccurate doesn’t help things. It’ll say I’m doing 100 mph when I’m clearly barely going 20. I’m pretty sure most of the car models are ripped directly from various Forza Motorsport games, and I’m definitely sure the event start sound effect is straight from Gran Turismo. At least it was only $5, which is cheap for a Switch game.
10. XBall Champion
Can somebody say Rocket League ripoff? To be fair, it’s not identical to that game: You become the ball when you come in contact with it, and you can dash forward to hit other players (who are also balls, and you’re a ball too). There’s no boosting or jumping. But it doesn’t feel good. The controls feel wishy-washy; my ball feels like it’s been covered with soap. The computer-controlled balls move on rails, magnetically attracted to whichever ball currently has the ball. The graphics aren’t great either.
9. Tyde Pod Challenge
It’s a game about eating Tide Pods! Just what society needed. You can also drive a police car and do sick drifts, because that’s what people who eat Tide Pods do, apparently. (Un?)Fortunately, this game was removed from Steam.
8. Super Lula Escape from Prison
This is definitely the most baffling game I played all year. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do, or what’s going on. I think it has something to do with Brazilian politics? It’s a side-scrolling shooter, but my character takes up half the screen so I can’t avoid anything. This game was made by Manic Mind Game Lab, creators of the infamous Miner Ultra Adventures, and Mineirinho himself appears in the main menu. This won’t be the last time you see that developer in this list. Somehow, this game has mostly positive reviews on Steam.
7. Hentai tentacle bicycle race
I think a lot of my friends questioned my decision to buy this game, but I’m going to defend my purchase here. First, there isn’t any actual porn in the game from what I can tell. You’re just an anime girl riding a bike, collecting coins, and avoiding some tentacle monster. You use the coins to buy gallery images, but the ones I unlocked were only suggestive at worst. Second, I was sold by the soundtrack that played throughout the trailer and the game itself: a surprisingly good 8-bit rendition of “Take On Me” by A-ha, which was stolen from here.
I opened the game the other day to stream it, only to find that the game had permanently broken and wouldn’t spawn any coins or the tentacle monster, even after reinstalling it. Then I opened the game today to make a screenshot, and it worked fine again. I have no idea why that happened. Like Tyde Pod Challenge, this game has also been removed from Steam.
I got this game in a bundle for a few dollars, and it has a number of problems.
The logo is terrible. The game is 10 GB when it has no reason to be. It runs poorly. It’s an online-only game, which means nobody is playing it. Its full price is $20. That’s not a typo.
Does the game play well? I don’t know, because nobody’s online so I can’t find out how well the shooting works. I just simply cannot understand why the price hasn’t been reduced at some point. It’s inexcusable. Even $1 would be a tough sell for an online-only game that nobody plays.
5. Police Patrol
In this game, you’re a police officer catching a criminal in a car chase. Each level can be beaten in five to ten seconds. There are four levels in the game. To make matters worse, the game map is stolen directly from Need For Speed World. During the first level I played, a traffic car flipped upside down and accelerated on its roof until it crashed into a wall.
4. Elections Simulator 2018
Probably the most empty game I have ever played. The main menu is 90% empty space, foreshadowing the amount of content featured in the game itself. You can look at some baskets with voting ballots in them. You can throw a basketball! That’s about it. Apparently it also supports VR, for some reason.
Manic Mind Game Lab returns with their take on Tetris. Here are some things FanTris gets wrong: the board is eight columns wide instead of ten, you can’t hold pieces, you can’t fast drop pieces, you can’t hold left or right to make the piece go all the way to the left or right side, you can’t see what the next piece is until you get it, the colors of the pieces are random, and the pieces you get are completely random (which is actually bad in Tetris). Compared to Tetris Effect, it’s virtually unplayable, and topping out due to not getting the piece you need is almost inevitable. I‘m pretty decent at Tetris, and I can’t beat the fourth level out of 15 in FanTris. The “story” involves defeating the haters by clearing lines, which reveals pictures of Miner Ultra Adventures fan art.
It’s FanTris, but with hentai.
While probably not the game with the least effort put into it this year, it’s definitely the worst one I played. You play as a guy named Pear, and you collect apples (obviously). Clicking on a menu option takes five seconds for it to actually do anything, because the camera has to slowly move around to some other part of the background that doesn’t actually have anything to do with the menus themselves. There’s a bunch of very badly translated dialogue, which is always a plus. The graphics are terrible, and the audio is utterly forgettable.
What makes this game so bad — the worst I’ve played all year — is the movement. This game has the worst movement of any game I have ever played. Moving straight is literally impossible. You can’t do it. You constantly sway left and right when walking forward, which I think is supposed to simulate how people sway slightly when walking, even though they don’t really sway like that. It makes playing the game infuriating, and arguably impossible. You can run, but running only intensifies the swaying, making instant death almost guaranteed on narrow platforms. Each time you die, a motivational message pops up for five seconds, which doesn’t help. Sometimes you can get stuck on the side of a platform, which usually means death is inevitable. It’s the type of game you would speedrun if you were feeling particularly masochistic that day.
I found out about The Adventures of Mr. Bobley almost three years ago. It is undoubtedly the most hilariously broken game I have ever played, to the point that I legitimately recommend that everybody should play it. Since then, I’ve been searching for the next “Bobley-tier” platformer that’s so disastrously bad, it transcends awfulness and becomes a must-play experience. After so long, I’ve only found two other games that come close to reaching that tier: Miner Ultra Adventures, and this one.
Maybe next year I won’t play quite as many bad games. I said that at the start of this year too, though, and look how that turned out.