The first nominee for Most Screwed Up Game is M.C. Kids. You can almost see 
how someone came up with the idea for this. Why not mix a game about 
hamburgers and hopping? Because it's fucking dumb. This game consists of you 
falling into a magic story book to get magic cards to save Ronald McDonald's 
magic bag. It was stolen by the wicked robble-robbling Hamburglar, and it's 
your job to journey through the land of excessive trademarked McDonald 
symbols to find it. You'd think after selling his 17 trillionth 
cheeseburger, Ronald could hire better help then a six year old kid.
Even most people's goldfish caught on that this game was a shameless 
McDonald's promotion, so few people enjoyed its madcap reverse gravity 
buttons and deadly gophers and snails. This game was also notably crazy 
since it was developed in America. That means it's genuinely screwed up and 
not just weird because of some cultural difference between us and Japan. 
However, the staff did hire foreigners to write the instruction manual. 
"Track the Hamburgler before he uses the Bag of Magic for his own use!"
I checked the manual to see if there was a warning about the dangers of M.C. 
Kids induced insanity, but the only thing I found was this: "Frogo: Distant 
relative to the Goforit, this creature is able to withstand the freezing 
cold! Hitting him just right is considered a Super-Shot!"
And as far as warnings of forthcoming ridiculousness are concerned, I'm 
pretty sure that counts.

The second nominee is Paper Boy. This was the exciting saga of a young boy 
on his paper route. It sounds like a normal idea for a game, and it almost 
was. Then they added the enemies. As you threw your papers through windows 
and against front lawn graves, you had to avoid break dancers, giant remote 
control cars, motorists that aimed for you, strangely intelligent rubber 
tires, and angry rampaging housewives. I don't know what kind of problems 
they might be having, but they must be pretty bad if they're taking out 
their marital frustrations on the paper boy. But a seemingly unmotivated 
attack by an old lady with a rolling pin is completely normal after you get 
further down the block. Then, standing in the middle of the sidewalk, is 
Death. Yes, the Grim Reaper is hanging out by the curb. And even though that 
is a monumentally weird thing for a paper boy to run into, Death doesn't do 
any more damage than an angry puppy running into your spokes.
It's no wonder the front page of the paper you're delivering has your face 
and an article entitled, "Amazing Paper Boy Delivers!" If my paper boy biked 
past Death, that would probably be more interesting than the president 
getting a blow job. Of course, if I get my paper, an article about how my 
paper was successfully delivered seems unnecessary. I sort of assume that 
some sort of amazing paper boy did have a part in its delivery since I 
haven't believed in the magic Daily Paper Fairy since I was 19.


The third nominee for Most Screwed Up NES Game is Bubble Bobble. In it, 
Bubby and Bobby get turned into magical bubble blowing dinosaurs after their 
girlfriends are stolen. To get them back, they put wind up toys and purple 
whales in bubbles and pop them to turn them into treats and prizes. This 
ends up teaching them the true magic of life, love, and friendship. 
Obviously, this game was released before the archeologist Brick Steinman 
disproved the "Dinosaurs Blew Magic Bubbles" theory.
My brother and I sued Taito since this was basically our life story with 
some dinosaurs, bubbles, prizes, and magic of love added. Our courtroom 
drama was made into a fascinating TV movie with a Casio Keyboard soundtrack 
by Seanbaby Reiley, age 10. It had cameos by most of the cast of Danger 
Island including Chango as the cuddly blue brontosaurus, Bobby. I don't want 
to spoil the ending, but the Taito lawyers had more experience in arguing 
cases than my 13 year old brother.


The next contender for the Most Screwed Up NES Game is A Boy and his Blob. 
This was a romantic adventure combining an amorphic jelly bean loving blob 
with Atari 2600 graphics. I remember thinking, "It's about god damn time."
Robert, the blob, is probably the best sidekick of all time. What other 
partner turns into a coconut if you feed them a coconut jelly bean? 
Actually, that doesn't seem as useful as I once thought. That must be why 
most sidekicks are pets in capes. It's hard to find a good application for 
turning your friend into a coconut.
There were other flavors of jelly beans that caused the thing to turn into 
ladders, trampolines, or holes, but I was always hoping he would turn into a 
game cartridge that was worth playing. He never did, and I usually threw him 
the nasty ketchup jelly bean and tried to find the "Kick Blob" button.


Zombie Nation. This is just what it looks like. It's a giant flying head 
saving a city by destroying most of its buildings with super fire breath. 
This is just one of the problems a city runs into when it's depending on a 
detached head for salvation. The other, of course, is neighboring cities 
making fun of you and your big stupid flying head.
I wonder if this idea for a game was intentional, or if there was some big 
mistake somewhere in the creative process. Did the graphic designer just 
make the head too big to allow for a body? Was it a normal game until 
somebody accidentally spell space-ship as "b-i-g f-l-o-a-t-i-n-g h-e-a-d?"
The sales pitch for this game must have been interesting. I'm assuming it 
was two guys who walked in out of the cold and thought it would be funny to 
pretend to be game designers. The thing that scares me the most is that none 
of my theories are probably right, and this game was carefully designed 
after committee meetings and market research. They thought it would do very 
well in demographics of people with no arms and legs. And they might have 
been right, but since Nintendo didn't release the groundbreaking Power 
Tongue Controller, quadraplegics never got a chance to enjoy the brilliant 
action of Zombie Nation. Or any other game, I guess. They just had to sit in 
their living room while bullies put dead birds on them.


After some frightening psychoanalysis of these games, we decided that we 
should stop trying to get inside the minds of anyone who conceptualized, 
designed, or has ever played any of these games. But after checking in "Bill 
Beckman's Hierarchy of How Fucked Up Stuff Is," we found that giant floating 
heads are more abnormal than bubble blowing dinosaurs, McDonalds, and 
shapechanging blobs put together. So Congratulation! to Zombie Nation for 
proving that deranged psychotics can still be effective game programmers. 
And now, as is well precedented, we get to hear from the demented star of 
the winning game.

for more


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