The Worst Video Game Ever Made
Well, we already know what the best video game ever made is, ‘cause we already talked about it. But what about its opposite? Well, it’s hard to pin down the worst video game ever made. What defines a terrible game, after all? In my case, it comes down to simple unplayability, combined with a existential sense of malaise. It’s not enough that the game itself sucks; you must actually start to hate yourself for actually playing it.
Some people claim that “ET: The Extraterrestrial” is the worst game ever made, and they have a point there. After all, it was such a bad game that the company responsible for it had to bury millions of unsold cartridges in a landfill, in order to hide their shame. But I have a far worse game for your consideration. And that game is… “Oink!” So, let’s discuss that.
THE WORST VIDEO GAME… EVER MADE
Who? “Oink!” Released in 1982 for the Atari 2600.
What? Yes, it’s a video game based on the story of the Three Little Pigs. You play the pigs, and the computer plays the wolf. (The wolf’s official name in the video game: Bigelow B. Wolf. Whatever.) In a rare move for an Atari game, there is actually a two-player mode, in which one person gets to be the wolf and one gets to the be the pig. But considering how the game is set up, this is the equivalent of letting one player play as the United States and the other player as Bangladesh. Or, if you prefer your references to be somewhat more geeky: letting one player play as Darth Vader and the other as Jar-Jar.
Why? Well, it’s not entirely clear. This is really less of a game, and more of a brief essay on the futility of all human endeavor. YOU WILL LOSE! As the pig, you press the button to pick up bricks, and drop them into the gaps that the wolf creates in your wall. The more bricks you use, the faster the wolf will “huff and puff,” and the more holes will appear. (Thus, judiciously deciding when to repair certain holes constitutes the game’s only element of “strategy.”) It’s not fun, and it’s not fun because — (1) Pressing a button to drop a brick into a hole is not fun, and (2) You’ll die really quickly no matter what.
So? So nothing. As Pig Number One (Pig o’ Straw), you will quickly die, sucked down into the wolf’s waiting maw via his tractor-beam-like breath. Successive attempts with Pig o’ Wood and Pig o’ Bricks will yield no different result. You’ll be sucked down to the wolf, and he’ll either devour you raw, while you’re still alive and screaming — or take you back to his house, hang you by your legs, slit your belly open, and commence the butchering process. Luckily, this game doesn’t feature “cut-scenes,” so it’s not clear which. Thanks for having the good taste not to show us, Atari!
Why bother? I’m not sure. Would you take the effort to repair your house, knowing that no matter how hard you try, you’ll be horribly murdered within the next few minutes? I wouldn’t. As mentioned before, this game does feature a two-player mode, so you can play as the wolf, and kill your friend’s pigs. I used to try this as a kid, but my friends would generally stand up and go home. Maybe you’ll have better luck, though. Still, to the best of my knowledge, this is the only game in the world featuring pig-death as a probable result. So maybe go check it out.
How do I play it? You can’t. I mean, there are probably Atari 2600 emulators, but that sounds like a bad idea. You can play some Atari games online here though. I highly recommend “Yar’s Revenge.”
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