Opening up Steam Greenlight is like upturning a log in the forest and gazing upon the rancid ecosystem that had been left to fester beneath, the dredges of the insect world hissing at the sudden incursion of light as they scuttle hither and thither.
Here’s five of the worst Greenlight releases this week.
I’m of the belief that the best video game titles are simplistic and get to the heart of the game. Still, Wood Ball is perhaps pushing it a bit, especially considering that the ball doesn’t even look like it’s made of wood. That’s a particularly unfortunate case of falling at the first hurdle. I’m sure the fanatical group of ‘People who like wooden balls and despise all other balls’ will be sickened.
Inexplicably, this isn’t the first release in the Wood Ball saga.
You know what, fair play. It takes a lot to look at a piece of work and accept that it isn’t up to scratch. Still, if Wood Ball 2.0 is the improved version, one can only imagine how outrageously abysmal the original incarnation was. Also, not to labour the point, but you’ve had two whole attempts at this and yet still haven’t managed to make the ball wooden? For shame.
4) What a Night!
[Edit: What a Night! was, to no-one’s great surprise, taken down shortly after I put this up. This therefore stands as a historical document of what might have been.]
What a Night! doesn’t have a gameplay trailer. It does, however, have that fantastic description, which I will now deconstruct in painstaking detail.
It’s a strong start, as the game claims it will have me confused and laughing at the randomness while also having me scared. Astonishing. That’s three whole entirely separate emotions that this game can make me experience simultaneously! Forget recreational drug use, this game can expand your horizons purely through the application of sustained ‘randomness’.
So what’s the hilarious set-up to this joyride of unbridled frivolity? Oh, yeah, your mother’s missing and your uncle’s possessed. I’m sorry, but if I were in an improv class and I set someone up with the line “Mummy, where are you? Uncle, why do you laugh so?”, then not only would they not be able to make the situation funny but they’d also punch me square in my unhelpful face.
The comedy really kicks into gear when your possessed uncle, who has probably killed your mother lest we forget, sends you on, and I quote, “missions that includes the most radomness stuff.”
“Hey Billy, go and fetch the penguin-themed spork! Oh ho ho, aren’t I just wackiest Billy?! STOP CRYING BILLY AND GRAB THE FUCKING SPORK.”
3) Animal Farm
You know, when Orwell sat down to write his scathing allegorical indictment of Stalinism, I think it’s fair to say that in the back of his mind he hoped that, one day, someone might come along and make a stupid pachinko game about collecting animals using the same title.
We really are, as a medium, lacking for political satire. TV got The Daily Show, movies got Dr. Strangelove, and video games? We get Stump the Trump.
So you’re Hillary Clinton and you shoot out lasers as Trump appears around the screen.
Well, if this isn’t the knockout blow to Trump’s campaign, I don’t know what is.
1) MATH PUZZLE
In a move so banal no-one could have seen it coming, someone has made MATH PUZZLE. It’s Math: The Game!
If I were Pythagoras, I’d sue.
I mean, there’s some confetti that falls in the background in what I presume is an ironic gesture given how much of a complete non-event this all is, but in terms of content, that’s your lot. Math and confetti.
I’d say you’d get just as much out of a calculator, but that would be a lie; you’d get far more out of the calculator because MATH PUZZLE limits what expressions you can use, introducing new operators after each level. This works in conventional games as a means to introduce new mechanics that the player might not be accustomed to. The same can not be said, however, for mathematical expressions. No-one will begin playing MATH PUZZLE and go “Oh, what’s that sign that looks like a hyphen? The game hasn’t built me up to that particular symbol, this is bullshit!”