Friday, August 19, 2005

The Worst Video Game of ALL TIME!

I am a video game junkie. This isn’t a new epiphany particularly to those that know me. What I have realized is that it’s been the entertainment medium that has always been with me. Even though I wasn’t allowed to see movies, or listen to rock music, I always had video games. The one person I have to thank for that is my Dad. Pong, Atari, all the Nintendos, Sega Genesis, Turbografx 16, and on we had it all. Many a weekend my Dad would take my brother and me to the video arcade to spend a good two hours dropping tokens. I am telling you all this to say that I believe I have a firm grasp of video games. So when I say that Swordquest:Earthworld is the worst video game ever made, you better damn well know it’s true.

Now, I’m sure there are a few of you who are going to doubt me. You’ll start rattling off E.T., that awful Superman game, or the endless supply of Pokemon games. You’re right those were terrible games. None of them though reached the magnitude of suckage that the Swordquest series reached. It was an epic failure and more than just an awful game.

The game was developed to be used with a comic book. You wandered around these rooms, taking and leaving certain objects that you would collect. If you left the right thing in the right room then you got a clue that gave you a page and panel number in the comic book. In that panel was a hidden word. Below is a page from the comic book. Look at the last panel. Do I really need to play the crappy video game to figure that out?But, once you found all the words they would create a sentence. You would then send the sentence to Atari and have a chance to compete in the finals and win a prize. The prize for the Earthworld game was a Talisman made of 18K solid gold, with 12 diamonds and the birthstones of the twelve Zodiac signs embedded in it, as well as a small sword made of white gold attached to the front. The winners of the four game contests would go on to a final competition where they would compete for a sword valued at $50,000. Atari only got as far as the third game, and then canceled the whole thing. Someone did win the Earthworld prize though. I think he melted it down to pay for college or something.

The thing is $50,000 dollars wasn’t even enticing enough to keep playing this crapfest of a game. First of all, I lost the comic book. Secondly, the puzzles were so random and pointless that you were left wandering around dropping one thing and picking up the other thing. If a code didn’t come up, then you swapped out another item. I don’t mind puzzles in my video games, but please have the puzzles work around some sort of logic. Give me a method to the madness. To make things even more frustrating, there were mini-games that you needed to complete in order to access some rooms.
This is supposed to be a waterfall

These mini-games were simple Frogger rip-offs that required jumping on or dodging things to get to the other side. Once getting to the other side, if you placed the wrong item in that room, you had to go back through the mini-game again. Yipeee! There were some items that helped you beat the mini-games or even see the mini-game.
You guessed it: Spears!

Swordquest failed not just as a game series, but as a publicity stunt/contest as well. This and the E.T. game pretty much kicked off the video game market crash of 1983. It wouldn’t be till Nintendo came along, that the home market started up again.


bobby said...

I've never heard of this video game, but I thank it for giving me my new favorite expletive: "By the seven hells!"

PotentialLunchWinner said...

I had this game, and yeah, it sucked balls. Yet at the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever, even though I had no idea what the fuck was going on.

I remember Fireworld coming outbut don't remember anything after that. Was the third game Waterworld or Airworld?

Bradford said...

I believe Waterworld was first and Airworld was the last installment planned but never made.