Want to kill some time, but tired of playing good games? We feel you. We recently decided it would be fun to try and come up with a list of the seven worst free games on the internet. However, we quickly discovered that trying to make a list of the worst anything on the internet is sort of like trying to make a list of the worlds largest numbers. That is to say, there’s an infinite amount of terribleness on the internet.
So, since we decided that coming up with a list of the worst games was too enormous a task for just us to handle, Maximum PC EIC Will Smith used his Twitter account to ask for help. Naturally, the MaxPC faithful delivered in spades. We received a whole bunch of seriously awful submissions, tried them out for ourselves, and had an office-wide vote to pick the most truly, hilariously bad games of the bunch. Now, we get to share them with you.
Honestly, we feel a little bad about including this game on the list. Why? Well, for one, it’s got nostalgia on its side; this game’s been around for a long time, and we remember playing it back when playing games in your browser was still a novel concept. Also, the game itself is actually pretty fun. After all, it combines the fast-paced thrill-ride that is “Pong” with adrenaline-fueled 3D graphics… How could it go wrong?
Well, the main problem is that the game’s creator seems to subscribe to the “Battletoads” school of game design, wherein the goal is to slowly erode the player’s will to live via incredibly difficult, unfair gameplay. You see, your opponent, the menacingly-named DATOR (the game switches between English and ALL CAPS SWEDISH seemingly at random), possesses the reflexes of, well, a computer. And even if you do manage to raise your game to the level of a cold, unfeeling machine, 3DPong’s creator has for some reason decided that the DATOR deserves to earn twice as many POÄNG as you every time it scores, so you have to absolutely dominate just to get to the “you win” screen. Good luck with that.
If you liked the crippling difficulty of 3DPong, but didn't care much for that whole "gameplay" element, we think you'll like Every Second. Here's how it works: there is a button, and a target time displayed on the screen. Your mission, should you for some reason choose to accept it, is to hold the button down for the time displayed. If you manage to get within .1 seconds of the target time, you’re rewarded with another nauseatingly boring game of Every Second.
The important thing to consider here is that someone, somewhere, thought to himself “I’m going to invest some non-negligible amount of time making a flash game… What kind of game do people want to play? Hmm, I know! I’ll make a game about holding a button down for a very specific amount of time, over and over again!”
This game, which doesn’t have a title so we’re calling it “Arrow and Balloon,” involves firing an arrow at a balloon. Beyond that, the game also involves a totally-rad “BANG!” graphic that flashes on the screen for exactly one frame every time you pop a balloon (which we, heroically, managed to get a screenshot of). And that’s about it.
Sounds pretty sweet, right? What could be the problem? Well, the game’s actually just completely horrible in every way. In fact, it looks like it’s probably some kid’s midterm project for 3rd-period computer class, but we didn’t specify that these had to be professional games, and we’re not going to pretend to be above ridiculing a kid who may or may not be developmentally disabled. So take that, maker of Arrow and Balloon, we hope you feel bad about yourself.
Speaking of professional games, here’s a game hosted by the city of Cleveland called “Cleveland Snow Baseball.” Before you click on that link and before you check out the screenshots, let’s play a little game of our own. Look closely at the name of the game and the URL, and ask yourself “What kind of game am I about to play?” Think long and hard about your answer, and when you’re ready, read on.
If you thought “A game about baseball,” you’ve made an understandable guess, but you’re wrong. If you guessed “A game about snowballs” then you’re a little bit whimsical, and we like that about you, but you’re still wrong. If you answered “A tarp simulator” then you’re a dirty, lying cheater and you already clicked the link.
QWOP (pronounced, we assume, like a man with a hilarious lisp trying to say “crap”) is on the surface a game about running in a race. After all, you control a guy dressed up like a runner, in front of a background that looks vaguely like some sort of track-meet, and the start screen says something about the Olympics. However, there’s a deeper, more sinister story to QWOP, which we’ll help you uncover.
You see, in QWOP, you actually take on the roll of a disgraced ex-Olympian who shattered both of his legs in a drug-fueled motorcycle crash. Now, in some sort of bizarre run-before-you-can-walk physical rehabilitation program, deranged doctors have dressed your fallen sprinter up in a cruel mockery of his former glory and are forcing him to attempt to run down a track as hundreds of spectators laugh mercilessly. It’s your job to press the Q,W,O, and P keys completely at random, in order to make your runner pump his useless legs spasmodically and perform abortive backflips for the jeering crowd.
Trust us; the game’s much more fun if you play it this way.
One thing we really appreciate about all these godawful games is that they’re very descriptively named (except for QWOP, of course, unless you consider it an onomatopoeia for facepalming). May Cause Seizures is no exception. Seriously, if you’re epileptic you should probably avoid playing this game.
If you don’t have any longstanding neurological disorders, and are not averse to developing one, go ahead and click the link. You’ll be treated to some of the most balls-trippingly colorful gameplay this side of Geometry Wars. Although calling it “gameplay” might be pushing it a little bit, as all you do is look for the words “click me” hidden in the flashing Flash and click them.
How much do you love alphabetical order? How aroused does the Dewey Decimal system make you? If you answered “lots” and “very aroused” then oh boy, have we got a game for you. The Library Filing Game, which won (lost?) our vote for worst game of all, is one of those rare gems which manages to take something which is genuinely boring to begin with, such as organizing books on a shelf, and somehow elevates it into an experience of such profound monotony as to very nearly deprive life of all meaning.
And if you weren’t satisfied with a game that’s merely “very, very, boring,” the Library Filing Game kicks it up a notch to “incredibly obnoxious” by adding a loud buzzer that plays when you misfile something, as well as a set of one-liners spoken by a guy who sounds like probably the biggest tool on Earth.
So good job, library filing game, you’re truly the worst of the worst.
Feel like we missed something? Want to be involved next time we make a list like this? Subscribe to Will’s Twitter feed and you’ll never miss another opportunity. If you want to sound off about this list, or just want to brag that you actually beat 3DPong, hit the comments.