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The Ten Worst Games I’ve Played (and Reviewed)

I sometimes like to look at my staff profile and scan through all the games that I’ve reviewed. It’s a long list. As a staff member of Thunderbolt Games for the past five years I’ve penned (as of writing) 191 gaming reviews across nearly every platform released in that time span. It’s surprising sometimes by how unmemorable some of the games are that were reviewed, oftentimes I’ll find myself reading an article not knowing that it’s one of my own. But there are some games that I’ve reviewed over my career here that I will never forget, the bottom-of-the-barrel of video games, the worst of the worst, the type that live on in infamy. Let’s take a look back on the ten most terrible games that I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across.

10. Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventure (DS)
Score: 3/10

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I try to be friendly and understanding to kid’s games. Of course I’m not going to be as immersed. I’m not the target audience. But that doesn’t excuse sloppy game design, repetitive levels, and severely poor touch-screen controls. There are some positives – the colorful graphics are appropriate and the levels are quite large in size. It’s just too bad you will want the levels to be smaller so the game will end sooner. Save your siblings the trouble and only buy this for them if you hate them.

9. Monster Trucks (DS)
Score: 3/10

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This was an interesting product. The makers actually made two games, Monster Trucks DS and ATV Quad Frenzy and basically, they were the same exact product, just with different vehicles and levels. Graphics, controls, handling, menus, HUD, they’re all the same – and they’re all terrible. Pop-up abounds as you bounce across the levels thanks to the piss-poor controls. The only thing that saves this game are some sweet jumps and that monster trucks are quite cool.

8. Prey (Xbox 360)
Score: 3/10

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This is one I’ll probably get flak for, but here’s my case: stupid storyline, poor implementation of the gravity gimmick, mindless “puzzles” and no real reason to play the game seriously thanks to a very, very silly death system. While the graphics were top-notch and the weapons were cool, few games have ever let me down so much.

7. Crazy Frog Racer (DS)
Score: 2/10

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Sometimes I look back on the games that I have reviewed and think that maybe my score was a little off, or that I was a little harsh. Crazy Frog Racer might just deserve a 3/10. But don’t think that means you should go out and play this. Crazy Frog Racer is a game based on a license for a cell-phone noise and the noise is barely featured in it. The graphics engine has terrible draw distance, the weapons have very little purpose, and the game is ridiculously easy. Not worth your time.

6. Devastation (PC)
Score: 2/10

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Devastation could have been number 3 or 4 on this list, but while the game was full of bugs, poor dialogue, a throw-away plot and a main character that looks disturbingly similar to the rapper Eminem, at least I laughed a few times. In one particularly memorable session of Devastation, one of my AI-controlled partners got stuck in the middle of a ladder and I had to reload the game. What saves Devastation – but just barely – from a lower ranking is that you could use remote-operated rat bombs.

5. Will Rock (PC)
Score: 2/10

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Take Serious Sam and change the setting and you have Will Rock. Sorry guys, but I want more from my FPS games than running around and simply shooting, shooting, shooting across boring levels at hundreds of enemies. There’s no real entertainment there. No challenge. I want to think. My brain cried after I played through this mindless, lifeless shooter.

4. Major League Baseball 2K7 (DS)
Score: 2/10

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Here’s a good idea gone wrong. Lacking any serious modes, such as franchise or career modes, this clunky DS game was nearly impossible to play. It took me almost two games just to get a single hit. The core problem: a 3D engine that makes it nearly impossible to time the pitch coming at you. The other problems: fielding, pitching, and baserunning. So, basically everything important in a baseball game.

3. Soldier of Fortune: Payback (PC)
Score: 2/10

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Take a profitable, highly regarded license. Piss on it. Now you’ve got Soldier of Fortune: Payback. I played quite a bit of the first 2 Soldier of Fortune games, so I had some expectations. They weren’t met. While the brutality and the gore were still in full-swing, you won’t get any satisfaction out of killing these brain-dead, repetitive enemies. I mean, come on developers, at the very least don’t put two guys with the same character model in the same room with each other! There can’t be that many twin villains!

2. Virtua Tennis (N-Gage)
Score: 2/10

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Slow. That was the first thing that came to mind when I thought about this game. I’ve never been so frustrated. Your player moves across the screen as if caught in some sort of invisible sludge or snot. The ball also seems caught in the sludge, and so does the opponent. The fast-paced gameplay of the console version of Virtua Tennis is lost and you’re left with glacial volleys that aren’t at all interesting, challenging, or entertaining. Plus, you’re playing it on an N-Gage, which is, without a doubt, the worst gaming system I have ever had the displeasure of playing.

1. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (PC)
Score: 1/10

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Big Rigs stands proud as the only game I have given a 1/10 to. Every time I come across a real, real bad game, I have to ask myself “is this game as bad as Big Rigs.” Big Rigs is as bad as you’ve heard it is. The opponent vehicles don’t move. You can go infinite speeds. You can drive through any “obstacle” in the environment unscathed. The graphics are poor. Typos abound (You’re winner!).

The game is flat-out terrible. The only other game that I’ve heard is legitimately as bad is FBI: Hostage Rescue (also for PC). While I had a copy, I somehow managed to lose the disc. Until I rescue it, Big Rigs will likely remain the worst game I have ever played. I’ll make sure to update this after I write my next 191 reviews….

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

Gentle persuasion

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