Everyone loves a classic. There are games, movies and other pieces of pop culture that have stood the test of time and have been enjoyed and cherished by many a generation.
Just the same, there is a strange kind of enjoyment that can be derived from watching a movie or playing a game that is just a failure on several fronts. In a weird way, some games are so bad that they’re good.
Over the years, we’ve enjoyed many a game that makes you throw up your hands and ask yourself “Why? Why did they do it like this? What were the developers thinking?” Let's have some fun and point out some of the huge turds from the NES Library. Let us begin.
King of Kings
This game really exemplifies the premise of this article in that it is difficult to understand who this game is meant to serve. Is it supposed to be edutainment? A fun introduction to lore and religious teachings?
It consists of three minigames – The Wise Men, Jesus & The Temple and The Flight to Egypt.
All three feature atrocious controls and uninspired level design. You’ll be riding a donkey through a lacklustre map with a floaty attack move or trying to make your camel spit on enemies or avoid them altogether. There’s also a polar bear in here somewhere.
Wisdom Tree was an infamously sub-par developer and this game is a real testament to their ‘skill’.
Golf Grand Slam
To be honest, Golf Grand Slam is a decent game except for one bizarre mechanic that landed it on this list.
So, a large part of the game is a serviceable golf sim. You can choose to get some training or on-court action or enter a tournament mode where you’ll have to rise through a bracket of contenders.
When you’re playing a golf match, you will be presented with a bevvy of options you can control and use to make decisions – your stance, direction, wind markers etc. This is all fine until you move on to the next phase where a mini screen pops up with a rotating golf ball inside a larger golf ball. And while this ball is darting around at a breakneck speed and you have to press A and time which part of the ball you hit, which is as difficult as it sounds and entirely invalidates the whole sim aspect of the game.
is a fun basketball game if your idea of fun is getting completely owned by enemies over and over even on the lowest difficulty setting. You’ll quickly get used to the unfairness of life as enemy players steal the ball from you like candy from a baby. Did we mention that all this action unfolds in a palette that features bland purples and more bland purples?
As a matter of fact, if you’re not playing as the Globetrotters you will require some monk-like patience to get through a game that is designed with the old school Nintendo philosophy of making games incredibly difficult in lieu of making them fun.
cool action game needs a cool action hero. And what’s a good action hero without a catchy, manly name like Jimbo Baby McGibbits?
You didn’t misread that – it is actually what the protagonist in this game is named. A sign of things to come.
From the outset, there are two types of missions you can play – helicopter missions and spy/espionage missions. Flying an actual helicopter might be somewhat easier than trying to handle one in Infiltrator because although there’s a lot of dials and things on the screen you’re never really told what any of them do so clearly.
After you inevitably give up on the flying missions and move on to the spy sections, things get a little bit better. And by a little bit better we mean that searching enemy desks for random documents and secrets, as bland as it sounds, is still more fun than whatever the helicopter gameplay is supposed to be.
you remember those NES cartridges that had badass artwork and got you all hyped up only to find that the game is a 5-year old’s version of the premise? Well, Flying Warriors is a game that will rekindle all those fond memories of a disappointment for you.
What’s frustrating about Flying Warriors is that it has some good ideas – the tutorial guides you through a somewhat sophisticated fighting system only for the game to basically abandon the complexity if you play on the standard difficulty setting.
It also has some exploration and NPC interaction elements but for some reason, the developers didn’t include basic mechanics like a diagonal jump and instead want you to jump up and then control your character mid-air like a trapeze artist. There’s a good combat game hidden in here somewhere if only you didn’t have to slog through several cumbersome sections to get to it.
That concludes our retrospective on some of the worst NES games that we’ve encountered. Let us know which games you think deserve to be on this list for their general awfulness or unintentional hilarity.
Until next time, happy gaming!
Did You Know: In 1990 game, Golden Axe from SEGA was voiced entirely by prisoners on death row.