The story of the world's worst videogame


I tried really hard to finish it but never figured out what was going on. It did get me enthused about programming games - I thought “surely I could do better than this, drunk”.


Remember in the movie when E.T. fell into all those pits?

Yeah, me neither.


That was actually a really fun game


It wasn’t in the original, but it was in the sequel: ET Meets Lassie.


PaRappa the Rapper?
Leisure Suit Larry?

How are these “world’s worst videogame” contenders?

PaRappa the Rapper was a popular a well liked and early rhythm game. It’s fun, quirky, and oozes charm. It was recently announced that it’s getting a remaster for PS4.

Leisure Suit Larry was also a pretty great P&C adventure series although with a misogynistic and sometimes racist undercurrent, not to mention some very dated humor I admit it hasn’t aged terribly well. That said, it’s still a classic. There were the terrible Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust games that came out in the early/mid aughts, but Al Lowe had nothing to do with them and they are pretty much universally reviled.

Even ET wasn’t really that bad dispite it’s reputation. It’s a fairly impressive technical feat given how quickly HSW had to crank this out. @SteampunkBanana beat me to posting the link of fascinating analysis and bug fix work that was done on the game as well.

Yeah, it’s a pretty bad game – but really, it’s no worse than much of the shovelware that was coming out for the 2600 at that time. It was just a particularly high profile screw up.


I figured in this day and age, and among this crowd, Leisure Suit Larry would be considered the worst video game ever, and in some aspects downright horrifying and embarrassing.





I guess this also depends on what makes something a “worst game”. Is it the gameplay, the content, or both?

With regard to the LSL series, speaking purely to their merits as P&C games, there’s nothing particularly bad about them. They play just as well as their Sierra contemporaries.

Debating the content, well that’s a different story. Yes, there are misogynistic, sexist, racist, homophobic, and so on aspects of the LSL series (which I pointed out in my previous post). Al Lowe has even said as much when describing his games; he also said that these were presented as coming from Larry’s POV as a sex-obsessed and immature simpleton. It was in many ways meant to subvert the very world it was presenting. That’s not to say there wasn’t plenty of poor taste or cringe-worthy humor because there definitely was.

Taking off the nostalgia-tinted glasses, was it this great and wonderful game series? Not really. But it’s far from being “worst game” material even with its many caveats.

Leigh Alexander had an interesting take on LSL a while back that speaks to the series’ controversial aspects much more elloquently than I ever could:

… and yes, it harkens the age-old debate on taking things at face value as a product of their time vis-a-vis today’s sensibilities.


Here I was, thinking acknowledging sexism and trying to subvert it was just as bad as pussy grabbing :confused: :wink:


It’s definitely not the worst video game ever, but it might well be the worst video game with the highest expectations that tanked the most. Nobody ever expected Big Rigs Racing or Ride to Hell: Retribution to be any good in the first place. And Star Citizen is still in open alphabetawhatever.


Just one of many mentioned here.


No, that’s Custer’s Revenge. It’s got zero redeeming anythings.


It’s interesting to understand that ET was also basically written and designed by one guy, Howard Scott Warshaw in less than six weeks starting in September of 1982 for a Christmas release… In 1982. That’s just mind boggling. There were actually many innovations in the game that had never been done before. It was so rushed it never had any audience testing.

Warshaw was no hack either, he was a very good game maker.


It’s only redeeming as a punchline and cautionary tale.


This seems like a good enough excuse to post this music video.


E.T. for the 2600 taught me about K-holes more than a decade before I actually knew what that was…


WHAT?!?! Oh my goodness, LSL is a cult classic!