Video games are a growing commodity in this world, and understandably, what with the growth in the e-sports scene. Now a person can quit their day job and become a pro gamer where they can earn money for essentially being massive gaming geeks. Of course, with coding becoming an increasingly growing skill, there are quite literally thousands of people who fancy themselves as game developers- I can’t help but feel that Steam is at least partly responsible for this. Because whilst Steam is brilliant for gamers to get hold of the latest releases, it is also a place where amateur gamers can release their titles in the hope of financial success. That means that some games appear on the market that are not so much games as they are gigantic steaming turds that offend the very definition. Here are six of the most ridiculous games, some of which are so terrible that they’ve sold thousands under the ‘so-bad-its-good’ excuse.
After the success of Simulator games became an unfathomable fact of life, it was only a matter of time until some game developers starting cashing in on this idea in the most obscure way. The most absurd of these ‘simulator’ games is Goat simulator which, alongside being graphically shoddy, is also largely unplayable.
Basically, the game isn’t so much a simulator in the ‘realistic’ sense, and more so an arcade simulator where you play as a goat (inexplicably whilst walking around a poorly rendered 3D town) who can jump impossible distances and head-butt people hard enough that they are sent flying through the air. Admittedly, the goat can barely stand up, and it falls over all of the time, and it does look like it probably has something physically (and most likely mentally) wrong with it. Bizarrely, you also get points for anything and everything you achieve, and by anything I do mean anything. That means that walking up to a car and head-butting it earns you points, but the points don’t mean anything, and you don’t have any objectives to complete. There also isn’t a time limit, so achieving one billion points doesn’t actually feel like a positive step, because you likely took hours to get that score in a game where there isn’t actually any reward to your hard work.
Not that there’s even any hard work involved in scoring there points. You can be the worst gamer in the world, with literally no idea how a game works, and you can be a high scoring elite player at this game…because literally everything is a way to win. The game has bizarre rag doll physics, and everything is so over the top that, for five minutes at least, this game is both bizarre and hilarious in equal amounts. Sending the goat falling from a tall building as you smash randomly through a window is quite funny…the first time you do it. But after perhaps an hour- if you’ve lasted that long- it becomes tedious, and the game’s pathetic attempt to be funny actually make you feel sorry for the people who made the game. But then you realise that you’ve already paid money to download the game and the only person you feel sympathy for is yourself.
I Am Bread
Throughout gaming history, there have been some strange ideas for game characters- hedgehogs, Italian plumbers, bandicoots. But perhaps the most unpredictable form of titular character is a slice of bread. Although I Am Bread is a thoroughly enjoyable game, and it is one of the reasons why Steam should continue to exist- because nowhere else could you find a game like this.
In the game, you play as a slice of bread who, when it falls away from the loaf, begins an epic adventure across the kitchen. The aim, of course, is to become toast. But the game is very creative. As a slice of bread, you can only sort of flop, and by using a combination of keys and mouse you can move across the kitchen (and later levels which include a living room and a bedroom) to reach the toast (or a means of ‘toasting’ yourself). You can’t spend too long on the floor, because you become dirty and dusty, and therefore inedible. And obviously the ‘cleaner’ you are upon being toasted, the better the final score you get upon completion of the level. And, also, like a sort of food-based Lara Croft, you can climb up surfaces…although you only get a certain amount of time before your grip meter runs out. Fail to climb a table leg quickly enough, and your grip will run out and you’ll tumble onto the carpet. It’s a surprisingly addictive and challenging game.
Furthermore is the game’s sense of humour, which remains firmly tongue in cheek throughout. The game regularly allows you to read the diary of a local psychiatric doctor, who has taken notes on one of his patients- the man who owns the house which is full of living bread. He consistently tells the doctor about his certainty that the bread is coming to life, and that makes you laugh, because although you can see why a man would be considered a crackpot for saying such a thing, you also know he’s telling the truth. You have, after all, been playing as the aforementioned living bread.
Again, you have to be thankful to Steam, because if it wasn’t for its existence, a game like this would never have been played by so many people. And never again will you have emotionally invested so much into the epic journey of a piece of white bread.
Who’s Your Daddy
Not every game that comes via Steam is terrible. As I have already covered, some of them are absurd but in such a brilliant way to to make you smile. Who’s Your Daddy is a game that falls somewhere in the middle. If you’re a parent, you’ll hate this game, but if you’re a younger person (or a parent who really just does not give a damn) then you’ll find something funny within the very concept of the game.
The game is a lot of fun if played by two friends, although the only real expectation is that you play with another person. One person takes on the role of the ‘daddy’ and the other takes on the role of the ‘baby’. The baby’s role is to wander about the house and try to cause as much harm to themselves as possible, with objects such as ovens, poison chemicals and smashed glass shards lying randomly around the house. The daddy, meanwhile, has to try and make the house hazard-free, partly by anticipating what the baby will do next and partly by charging crazily about the house making every single potential danger safe. But yes, if you really want to, you can allow the other player to climb into the over and turn it on. Because doing these sort of things in games somehow makes it feel a lot more acceptable. Right? RIGHT?
What makes the game so fun is that there are so many ways to kill the baby, and although the game has a ‘sick’ sense of humour, you never quite feel like its taking itself that seriously. That’s good, of course, because this is a game that is essentially dealing with child abuse or, if not that, then certainly severe child neglect. One of those moments that causes you to laugh guiltily is when the baby first climbs into the bath and turns on the taps. As the ‘daddy’, you can turn the taps off, but part of you will want to let the baby be killed just to see what happens. The game’s graphical weaknesses are also its strength, because making the baby look up causes you to see it as a hideous demon child (when playing as the daddy and somehow, that just makes the game even more ridiculous.
Ever wanted to play as a single-celled organism? Well, if your answer is ‘no’, then chances are this game isn’t going to appeal to you. If you answered ‘yes’, though, then you should give this game a chance, if only to appease your overwhelming curiosity.
Agar.io is absolutely free to play, what with being a server game. Simply type the game’s name into an internet search bar and you can being you game, simply naming you amorphous blob and joining the game. Basically, the aim of the game is to become the biggest cell you can, and you manage that by absorbing other blobs and avoiding bigger blobs before they do the same to you. The controls are simple: simply move your mouse to move the blob around the area. Find smaller blobs, often controlled by other human players (although some of them are A.I) and suck them up, and in turn you will become larger.
However, also floating about this area are bigger blobs, and they’re often so big that there isn’t much you can do to avoid them. Getting bigger slows your blob down, and although you can ‘break apart’ and fire smaller blobs from yourself to attack an opposing one, it largely isn’t a problem. You will eventually get so big that you will develop your own gravitational force and smaller blobs will end up becoming a part of you just by getting too close. Its a stupidly simple game that actually works really well. Also, you can name your blob and customise it, meaning that you can name your little blob ‘local cornershop’ and laugh ironically as the bigger ‘TESCO’ blob destroys you mercilessly. This game is a strange metaphor for life despite the fact it isn’t actually that deep. But, go on, log onto the site and play the game. I can guarantee that ‘just five minutes’ will turn into ‘a few hours’ or ‘until I am the biggest blob there is and have conquered all before me’.
OMSI Bus Simulator
God bless you, Steam. Every now and again, a game like this comes along that should be terrible, but somehow falls somewhere in the middle. It feels like it shouldn’t be a good game and yet somehow you can’t stop playing it. The game, essentially, is a bus simulator, and although its a German-made game that hasn’t been completely translated into English (some of the in-game instructions remain in German no matter what language you choose to play the game in), it is strangely addictive in its simplicity. I think the first thing to say in this game’s defence is that it has been designed with a certain type of gamer in mind. Your console, FPS-loving teenager brother will get nothing from this. But the game is incredibly easy to play, nonetheless.
Although, despite how easy it is to play, it also has a strange level of detail over the least important things. As you drive your bus around the virtual town (which is either teeming with signs of life or reminiscent of that opening scene in 28 Days Later), making stops to transport passengers (which is lot more enjoyable than it sounds), you can change the radio station you are listening to. You can also take a peek at the bus schedule hung up in your cab, and although it has no relevance to the actual route you have to take, it has lots of scrawled information on it that is actually real writing. That’s an absurd level of detail that doesn’t add anything to the game. Also, the game’s engine is stupidly broken at times, and although it largely doesn’t detract from the playability, there are occasions when doing something like driving into a shoddily rendered building will send you bus pinging across the map.
Essentially, this game is a bus simulator in the most perfect way. In true simulator fashion, you have to carry out tedious and repetitive tasks, much like an actual bus driver, and it isn’t long until the game starts feeling more like an actual interactive documentary into the daily grind of a bus drive than a game. Again, that makes it a true simulator.
But there’s something strangely calming about driving a bus around a town that looks a little like its rebuilding itself after an all-out nuclear exchange.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Do you remember Myst? Well, there’s a reason why that game has never been copied- that’s because it managed to get everything right. It was mysterious, but it still made you intrigued enough to keep discovering more, and what you uncovered as you went along turned into an enjoyable and engaging story.
And then there’s this game, which is based on a strange radio show. Now, you may notice that there’s a key word there, and that word is, of course, ‘radio’. A non-visual form of entertainment. You can get away with lots of dialogue because people who are listening to a radio show don’t expect lots of engaging visuals. The game’s plot, actually, would make a perfect television series- an entire village disappears apart from one person, and she has to uncover what happened and whether her own actions made her partly responsible for it. However, this doesn’t work as a game, because the pace is just slow…very, very slow.
Although it’s not all bad. The game is visually very stunning, and the actual village that you randomly wander around is gorgeous to look at it…it’s just that nothing really happens for the entire game. And it’s not even like the exploration element is particularly strong, because unlike Myst, which forced you to work out for yourself where to go next, this game assumes you are a toddler and takes you by the hand and shows you where to go. If you stray from the path, an ‘aura’ guides you in the direction to go, and from there all that really happens is a lot of talking, which apparently helps you uncover the mystery. There really isn’t anything to do other than wander the streets, open doors and explore houses that look almost identical in furnishings and layout, and then wander the streets some more. The only real audience this game has is people who like mystery games, and it immediately alienates them by giving them a linear path to follow. There’s nothing to discover for yourself, as a gamer, if you’re constantly being told what happens next and where to go. It plays out more like a movie than it does a game.
And that’s the problem. There’s a decent plot there, and it really is quite charming in the way that it focusses on the lives of the now-disappeared villagers, but there’s just nothing that suggests you’re playing a game. This is a story that would’ve been much better portrayed as a book, series or even a movie. Although it would’ve been the slowest paced movie in the entire history of cinema.