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Terrible Games From A Terrible Year

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the newspeak dept.

Games 54

1up is running an article written by the ever amusing SeanBaby, wherein he write about some of the worst games from the worst year in gaming. The year was 1984, and the U.S. videogaming industry was close to non-existence. What was released, then, left a lot to be desired. From the article: "Snacks N' Jackson - In this game, you play the part of a clown's head attached to a 4-foot tentacle neck. Your nose detaches itself from your face, and it's the rest of your clown face's job to keep it from bouncing through the window behind you. Also, you have to tentacle your head around to eat levitating breakfast foods. The strange name Snacks N' Jackson was a last-minute replacement of the original title, What Hitler Sees When He Closes His Eyes."

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Wow (3, Funny)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206583)

That is quite possibly the most disturbing game concept i've ever seen...

Re:Wow (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206956)

More disturbin than a game about a giant rolling ball of debris gathering up all the matter in the world in order to turn it into stars?

Re:Wow (1)

6ame633k (921453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208575)

If "Sean Baby" spent as much time researching and playing games as he did trying to be funny he might actually have something interesting to say. He hates everything - that's his MO One thing that comes to mind is his coverage of "That's so Raven GBA" WHY is he even reviewing children's game? Does he fancy himself an 8 year old girl? Does he like 8 year girls??? ***shudder*** That is the equivalent of an 8 year old girl commenting on HALO or DOOM - Shouldn't he just be reviewing the kind of games he would play?? At any rate - just go to and you'll see his site is covered in PORNO ads - this guy is just about ratings - can we all just IGNORE him now? He's not funny and has nothing original say.

Re:Wow (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208970)

I don't know... I'm not ready to say that human experience is qualitatively different enough between people that no one is right to critique the games intended for another.

I will say that there are Atari 2600 games I'd rather play than some GBA titles. Seanbaby's essays on the matter may be a bit overly rancorous, but I don't think he's entirely off-base.

Re:Wow (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207214)

I agree. Slashdot promoting the fat-chicks-in-party-hats dude from Portland is very disturbing. What a dork.

Re:Wow (1)

Microangelo (883480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208008)

The original arcade version was pretty fun. It was the video equivalent of bouncing a rubber ball on a wooden paddle (the clown's face) in slow motion and trying to grab popcorn out of the air with the paddle before the ball comes back down and needs to be hit up again. It used a trackball to control the clown's head which was on an elastic cord. The basic design is odd as all get out, but original and fun. The designers took chances with the concepts and control scheme.

Re:Wow (1)

Wandering Idiot (563842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211545)

I've known about this game for years, thanks to Mystery Videogame Theater 3000 [] . I can't read Seanbaby's review at the moment due to being at work, but my guess is the one just linked is better.

It's pretty hilarious. Then again, Mario 2 featured a transexual dinosaur who ejected eggs from its snout which you then threw back at ver, so I suppose Snacks'n Jaxson isn't all that beyond the pale for videogame weirdness.

Re:Wow (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212329)

I've played Snax'n' Jackson. It's not bad. Similar to pong or breakout. Weird concept, but decent gameplay. It's no Burger Time...but what is?

Uhhh Link? (4, Informative)

Minced (871651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206585)

Just a heads up about the link not working properly, takes you back to your own account Journal page.

Re:Uhhh Link? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14209179)

Yet more evidence that the Slashdot Editors aren't even bothering to check articles anymore. I'm starting to believe in the Random Story Submission Selection System now.

Re:Uhhh Link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14209367)

You're describing the game in question, I presume

All for the better, I say (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14209564)

Atleast my own account journal page was mildly entertaining, whereas the original article is an insult to the very words it was written in. Only one word would have been enough to replace the entire article "boring".

link (1)

dave sanderman (786476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206589)

either zonk spazzed on the link, or seanbaby's writing style has changed dramatically.

Re:link (2, Funny)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206756)

Damn, and I thought the article was about my excellent karma along with a summary of my last 24 of 334 beautifully-written comments! :(

Woot! (1)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206593)

Go Go Broken Link!

M'kay? (2, Funny)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206603)

Drugs are bad, kids. There's proof of it.

Re:M'kay? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206694)

Snacks N' Jackson or the broken link?

Re:M'kay? (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207792)

A little bit of both.

Well (2, Funny)

jsantos (113796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206612)

At least the link isn't slasdoted, let's try this one [] .

Up 'N Down (2, Interesting)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206669)

For the record, I had that game originally. The game itself was fun and a decent port of the arcade game... But the article's correct, the graphics were just awful. After the crash/shakeout/term-of-the-week, most third party games were just junk, but ironically, some of Atari's own last titles finally caught up to Activision quality, like Solaris, Midnight Magic, and Jr. Pac Man. By that time, the NES was established and that was all she wrote.

Another good place for this sort of thing... (2, Informative)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206857)

If you're into really bad video games, or just poking fun at them, another place to check out is Something Awful's ROM Pit [] .

The reviews score the games in various categories (gameplay, sound, etc.) on a scale of -10 to -1, and the writeups are fantastic.

More in the same place! (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207346)

First, a suggestion: start with the older Rom Pit games. The new guy just can't keep up the pace.

Now that that's said, also don't forget their Game Reviews over on the left-hand bar--same sort of deal as the rom pit, but with modern games (and hentai, if you're not at work). Modern games usually don't have as much of the "WTF" factor, leaning more towards the "Broken half-assed crap" factor, largely thanks to cut-rate publishers/distributors/whatever. The movie reviews are good if you enjoy raw human failure, but unfortunately most of the old links to video clips are broken.

No, I don't work for SA, I'm just easily amused.

Re:More in the same place! (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14209871)

Not only that, some of the newer ROM pit reviews are for games that actually weren't bad, but either suck on a particular platform or the reviewer couldn't figure out how to play. I mean, Dark Castle and Captain Comic are in there. Sheesh.

Then again, so is Bird Week, and that makes it all worthwhile.


Anarcho-Goth (701004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14251352)

They didn't seem to have this particular game, but I am definately going to check some of those out.

Actually, I think some of them look cool, but I like obscure games no one has heard of.

Original game title (1)

cdrdude (904978) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206911)

I think the game would have been a big hit if they kept the name "What Hitler sees when he closes his eyes"

review of the review (4, Interesting)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206919)

This might have been in an interesting article if Seanbaby actually stayed on topic. For the most part, it's him just trying to sound clever. Also, his analysis of the games is lot to be desired. For instance, in his review of the Gremlins game for the Atari 5200, he aims his frustrations at the manual instead of the actual game. And during his dissection of the manual, he spends the better part of the paragraph describing the fate of that ill fated tech writer. Advice to you, Seanbaby ... write the article first. Be funny second. If I wanted to laugh, I'd ask you to drop your trousers.

And one other thing ... Snacks N' Jackson sounds pretty out there, but it sounds like the developers were trying to do something new as opposed rehash another rehash. I didn't read one gripe about the gameplay, just the concept. I once played an import game called "Switch" for the Sega CD and the only thing you did was press buttons. If you pressed the wrong button, boobs would appear all over your character or an easter island statue would fall on him. It was the weirdest game I ever played, but it made for a great party game. My long winded point, sometimes the good things don't come in boxes.

Re:review of the review (1)

Mr. Grimm (599800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207116)

Holy hell, I haven't seen anyone miss the point of a story that much since Bush tried to read the dictionary.

Note: This is a joke. I'm not attacking anyone's personal political leanings. It was funny though, so I said it. Deal with it.

Re:review of the review (1)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207891)

Then tell me the point ... right now, it reads like shameless self-promotion. I've never read this guy, and after this article, I never want to.

Re:review of the review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14210313)

Turns out the zebra did it.

Re:review of the review (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207866)

That's pretty much exactly what Seanbaby does in all his articles. Have you not read him before?

90% of them are about crappy old video games, also. 5% are about the Superfriends, and what remains is about terrible Indian versions of US movies and TV shows.

Re:review of the review (1)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211365)

"Snacks N' Jackson sounds pretty out there, but it sounds like the developers were trying to do something new as opposed rehash another rehash."

Hey! Come on! This WAS 1984 you know. A remarkably high percentage of the games we played in those days were new, because most of the ideas for video games that we play today hadn't even been thought up yet. The dross of those days was good, honest, this-game-sucks-but-at-least-I-tried-to-make-somet hing-fun dross, not the marketing-is-doing-a-deal-with-universal-studios-t hey-want-it-to-be-like-tomb-raider-meets-tetris-me ets-half-life-and-we-can-get-mark-hamill-for-a-voi ceover dross that we're stuck with these days.

The business tactic of spamming the market with hordes of games that were just clones of the smash-hit of two years ago stuck with a film license was really in it's infancy, and wasn't working out too well at the time (E.T. anyone?)

Anyways, I quite liked the games I played in 1984, but that was because I was a European with a Sinclair Spectrum (or Timex something-or-other). Or because I was young and knew no better, one of the two...

Re:review of the review (1)

easychord (671421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212749)

1984 was a fantastic year for games the UK. Atari gamers might have had a bad time but anyone from the UK who complains about it being a bad year is obviously overly influenced by american websites and generally faker than wrestling.

review of the review of the review (2, Insightful)

The-Bavis (855107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212830)

I watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" the other day to learn more about Arthurian legends. I came away thinking that the movie wasn't very informative and could have been done better. If you didn't think the article was funny, that's fine (I thought it was some of Seanbaby's worst), but don't criticise it for not being a well-written thesis on video game history.

Thank the Republicans... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14207455)

When wealthy corporate bigshots control the government, nothing good ever happens. There is no incentive to create new content because their corporations 0wnXorz us.

5200 gremlins (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207589)

Notice how the only thing bad he can say about it is a bad attempt at humor in the instructions. Who reads the freaking instructions? It's actually a pretty good game, sort of like Robotron on downers.

I agree with the people who think he should have tried to write something interesting instead of a bunch of tired heckling one-liners. The suck of 1984 is a topic that actually has enough substance to write a good article. So what does he do? He writes a sucky article full of lame pseudo-jokes instead of a good article about suckage.

Re:5200 gremlins (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14210031)

Personally, I think the suck of 1984 is horribly overrated. 1984 only sucked if you had an atari. For us C64 owners, it was a very good year.

Though crappy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208832)

...I should point out that Gremlins for the Atari 5200 is one of the hardest to find carts of that era, mainly because so many people threw theirs away. For the collector, this is a bad thing. For the know the saying: One man's trash...blah blah.

Whew... (1)

flamesrock (802165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208881)

In this game, you play the part of a clown's head attached to a 4-foot tentacle neck. Your nose detaches itself from your face, and it's the rest of your clown face's job to keep it from bouncing through the window behind you.

Whew! Imagine a beowulf cluster of clowns heads attached to... errr never mind :)

Whattdidyaexpect? (1)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208930)

It was 1984, those who wheren't scared off by the possibility of orwells book coming true (thank good they couldn't see into the future, they'd never let us live) where still living in an age where graphics like that was (on the lower end of the scale but still) acceptable.

This article seems like a lot of game bashing solely for the reason of bashing old games.

Nice work zonk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14209176)

One link and it's broken.

1985? (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14209837)

Tetris was released the following year. Maybe they were saving their gaming energy up for that.

His older stuff is better. (2, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14209937)

This article was kind of weak. Go check out [] for some of his funnier writings. His 10 worst video game ideas was one of the funniest things I've read in a while.

Re:His older stuff is better. (3, Interesting)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14210307)

Whoa, you need to read some funnier stuff. Good god man, this is the information age!

Get started at: [] [] []

If gaming articles are more your style and you've played Ultima 7: [] especially "Further drug experiments" []

Re:His older stuff is better. (1)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214011)

Why not cut to the chase, and go to The Best Page in the Universe [] (which also doubles as one of the funniest.)

Hooray! (1)

Sippan (932861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14210006)

I am glad to hear this. In the years following 1984, there was a great boost in really great, awesome games being made. (At least for the Mac, which I use. Sosumi. Banzai, Scarab of RA, Crystal Quest, Social Climber, Fool's Errand, Zero Gravity, Bird Race, Strategic Conquest and Dark Castle to name a few!)
Considering that there have only been two or three half-decent games released in the most recent few years and certainly not a single one in 2005, perhaps we can hope for a new boost of great games now? =]

Well, I can dream...

Re:Hooray! (1)

Sippan (932861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14210027)

(Oh, and I'd like to be the first to point out that this had nothing do with the fact that there were no Mac games at all before this since there were no Macs.)

Re:Hooray! (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14210424)

Crystal Quest still ranks higher than Tetris in my book. It *felt* right, was easy to learn, and like Tetris, utterly addicting. Many a copy of Word 5.0 was shut down so that the grad student who had unlimited access to the Mac lab at college could instead play CQ.

Very nice of 1up (0, Troll)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14210293)

to allow mentally handicapped people write articles. Seanbaby is retarded right?

Jackson is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211480)

detachable nosed clown waving his tentacle around during breakfast? is this an arcade game or the Michael Jackson trial?

Re:Jackson is right (1)

fishybell (516991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14213290)

It's both!

And for only 5 easy payments of $29.95!!!

Misleading header (1)

Lifelike (937107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212866)

When I read the header of the article, I thought for a second that the article referred to 2005! It sounds like 1984 wasn't a bad year for games, just a strange one. This year was bad for games. I can't think of a single game that has inspired me to play since WoW released in 2004. Psychonauts, maybe, but even that... At least the afforementioned computer game was ORIGINAL, and not a spin-off or franchise tie-in.

a better writeup (1)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14219691)

first hit on google, a better description of what Hitler sees when he closes his eyes... er, Snacks n' Jaxson: []
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