the Mouth of Madness:
By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
What's new this week in loonygames? As our loony editor.
ell, you figure, I've already done, "the most overrated games of all time" and, "the most underrated games of all time" and since I refuse to do a flat out, "best games of all time" list, the only thing left to do…is the weirdest games of all time. :)
Before we start, a disclaimer. The following games are very odd. Some are extremely obscure, while others were quite popular. Most of these are hardly considered classics…and for good reason in some cases. I'm sure there's a lot of people somewhere who wished some of these were never released at all.
Anyway, let's do this, shall we?
Custer's Revenge (Atari 2600)
I'm quite serious when I say that this may be the strangest game ever made. And of course…that's probably a good thing. Custer's Revenge is well…a 2600 cartridge for adults. Remember, that back in the early 80's nobody had any idea what the console market was ever going to be like, so Atari didn't put any restrictions on third party manufacturing. (Who knew anyone would actually want to make their own cartridges, anyway?) So, since the 2600 was the pet rock of the early 80's all kinds of weird games went into development. (Try to remember, that games back then were made by one or two people tops, and didn't take especially long to make.)
Custer's Revenge is the king of these games. No question.
Earthworm Jim (PC, Genesis, SNES)
Sorry South Park, but long before you came along, another cartoon character was doing strange things to Cows in a videogame…Earthworm Jim. Just about any game that Shiny's been involved in has been pretty damn weird…but the original Earthworm Jim takes the cake.
Aside from the whole bizarre concept of an earthworm getting its hands on a super suit and fighting crime for a princess whose name we never actually know is, the game has a lot more to it. Wait. Read that over again. That's right, the girl you're trying to save in Earthworm Jim is actually named…Princess What's Her Name. And that's actually her name. But cows are really what the game is all about. Launching them into orbit. And pigs. You do strange things to pigs.
Don't just trust me here…go out and play this game. Then go try all the post-Earthworm Jim games from Shiny (and the Neverhood as well, which is where EJ co-creator Doug TenNapel went off to). I think you'll agree that they were smoking some pretty funky stuff over there at Shiny when they made this stuff. Either that, or my theory about the water in California is right on the money.
Kato & Ken (Turbografix 16)
You have never played a game like this before. I guarantee it. :)
Kato & Ken is completely bizarre, because it's a fairly straight forward platform title (it's actually a clone of HudsonSoft's series of platform titles back in the day) but it's got a weird twist to it. While Mario has his cute little butt-stomp action (and quite a few platform games have it as well) Kato & Ken gives you well…the power to flatulate. That's right…you jump around, running across various enemies…and fart on them. The whole thing is based on the comedy stylings of two Japanese comedians apparently, and after playing this game I can honestly say that I have no real desire ever to see their act. This one was released stateside in a slightly toned-down version called, JJ & Jeff, but I'd suggest trying the Japanese version first. It may be all in Japanese…but jeez…do you really want to know what these guys are saying? I'd call this the game for people who really, really, really liked There's Something About Mary.
Credits: From the Mouth of Madness logo illustrated by and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. From the Mouth of Madness is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't do it...or we'll just forget about you. Let's see how you like it.