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World's Most Boring Video Games

Sep. 6 2009, Published 7:00 a.m. ET

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In the 35 years since Pong first bounced onto the scene, videogames have routinely made masters out of the meek. But some games are still just a waste o’ time.

Like which ones? has turned to bestselling videogame pioneer Jeff Rovin to scour through the many systems and choose what he believes are the World’s Most Boring Videogames. He assures us he could've picked ten dozen, but here are the lamest twelve:

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12. Dr. Seuss' Fix-Up the Mix-Up Puzzler, ColecoVision, 1984: Illustrating that early game makers were strapped for new ideas, this electronic sliding puzzle featured scrambled Dr. Seuss characters that players had to rearrange in order to complete. Regardless of the basic mental challenge it gave kids, this cat should have been kept in the hat, stuffed in a bag, and never let out.11. Fishing Derby, Atari, 1981: This early 1980s attempt by Activision let two players fish-off from the comfort of their couch. Using the joystick as a fishing rod, players raised and lowered their lines through rows of fish until either angler had caught 99 pounds worth (without being eaten by a shark).10. Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus, SNES, 1995: Just imagine that dinosaurs weren’t choked out by a meteorite, but instead invented a wind machine to clear the air of dust and smoke. Then dispatch your inhaler-toting dino to keep the air clean and you’ve pretty much got this one. Presumably for kids with asthma, ‘Bronkie’ definitely helped us breathe better… every time we yawned.9. Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu, NES, 1990: A challenge to get through (but not because it’s difficult), punch and jump kick your way past frogs, birds, rats, and even flying nunchucks, while collecting cakes and orbs to help Jackie save the princess – a poor Mario knockoff with ear-numbing music.8. Jaws, NES, 1989: As the game itself wisely notes, “This time there’s no escape.” Based off the popular killer shark film series, players must captain a boat, steering either left or right, above an arbitrary cast of underwater animals. And from time to time, Jaws will appear for you to drop bombs on. Bombs like this game?7. Pink Goes to Hollywood, Genesis, 1993: Pink, as in – the Pink Panther? Yup, and that’s not all the game makers forgot to mention. Pink gets chased by Inspector Clouseau while en route to a Hollywood audition. Going from movie set to movie set, Pink must side-scroll through random locales avoiding capture by ducking and jumping over scores of objects. Like the famous Pink Panther theme song suggests: dumb-dumb, dumb-dumb…6. Kasumi Ninja, Jaguar, 1994: Just like the 2-player combat predecessors Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, except without any fun. Although the game was given an enticing “mature” age rating, parents had to first unlock all the gory elements… making it the worst fighting game ever sold to kids.5. Dennis Miller: That’s News to Me!, 3DO, 1994: Choose a date, pick a topic, and Dennis Miller talks about it. With news, sports, politics, and show biz as your limited options, even Mr. Miller had very little to say on the matter. The challenge is to try not to doze off.Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Wolf, Genesis, 1993: Take over the world as Genghis Khan by stabilizing trade, the economy and the populace, finding wives, raising heirs, arranging marriages, promoting militia, assembling armies, thwarting disease and weather, and squelching revolts. One turn at a time! (Caution: It took Genghis less time to actually take over the world).3. Kuon, PS2, 2004: Use your powers of meditation to survive the horrors of ancient Japan. Based on the classic Kwaidan fable, players lurk through hours of silence before hoping to be scared a couple times. And the faster you move the more health you lose. A traditional recipe for sleep!2. Rescue: The Embassy Mission, NES, 1988: Also known as Hostages (for a very good reason), this game pits players against terrorists who have taken over a government building. Painstakingly snuffing out predictable bad guys, searching monotonous structures, and freeing annoying hostages is all in a years work in this premature first-person type shooter. A great example of art taking life.1. Flicky, Sega, 1991: Flicky the bird must save all the other birds from Tiger the pet cat. Players must maneuver Flicky to gather up all the birds and lead them out before Tiger, and later Iggy the iguana, exterminates them. With over 250 blinding rounds in the game, you’d expect more than a “congrats” upon completion.



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