The Worst Game on Steam
Andrew Hodkinson
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The way things are going with Greenlight, the worst game is yet to come.

This was my summer project of 2015. And although it was a lot of fun, I'm not sure it would be safe to do this in dreary November or cabin-fever winter.

I tried a lot of bottom feeders and couldnt break this 5-way tie.

Thanks to everyone who recommended games and especially those gave me free games. They were terrible, but each in its own special way. And I think 3 of those gifts made the final cut.

Feel free to add your own worst Steam game ....

or tell me which one of my choices should have been the clear loser.


Edit: Seeing as this is still VGG's Birthday celebratory period, I've decided to make this into a contest.

Game with the most thumbs = 100 bag
Game with second-most thumbs = 30 bag
Game with the third most thumbs = 10 bag
All new game entries = 1


I'm not winning any gold here, so if any of my five selections get the most thumbs, I will select a thumber at random to win the gold using Scraimer's thumb tool.

The Geekgold winners are:

Hirocon for Journey of the Light with 12 thumbs. In August 2015, our community has chosen this as the worst game on Steam, which explains why Steam is currently giving out refunds -- which they rarely do.

There is a three-way tie for 2nd/3rd, so the 40 GG is split three ways between
Andy for Unturned with 9 thumbs.
Pieter for Stranded with 9 thumbs.
frumpish for thumbing Bad Rats which also had 9 thumbs.
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1. Video Game: Despair [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Despair
Andrew Hodkinson
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Aptly named, in Despair you awaken on a crashed subway train and wander for hours around miles of underground tracks, corridors, and vents.

Video Game: Despair

You can barely see anything (even after getting a lame flashlight) but you hear scary sounds.

Then, at some point, you realize that no one is chasing you and you've been going from one monotonous room to another for no reason.
Finally you meet a scary little child and flee by getting back on a train.
That's it.

It sold for 9 cents for quite a while, and since it generated cards, it was hard not to turn a profit.

This game has some of the best Steam comments:

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Pathetic even by Unity made horror game standards.
Quote:
Steam Greenlight/Crowdfunding strikes again! Thanks idiots!
Quote:
The only horror in this game is the end, when it says: "To be continued"
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Next time i'll try it when my day is ruined already
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My friend gave me this i think he hates me
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2. Video Game: Paradigm Shift [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Paradigm Shift
Andrew Hodkinson
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Video Game: Paradigm Shift
See the axe near the bottom right? No?
Video Game: Paradigm Shift

The graphics in Paradigm Shift are grainy and dark.
No big deal, until you realize that you're playing a point-and-click game with hidden items.
And most of the branches for the story line and even key-sounding items (like a shotgun) are completely irrelevant to finishing the story line.

And there's a timer that unleashes a zombie attacker that will kill you.

And if you click too many times in one scene, yes, a zombie attacker will kill you.

And there are no save points! That takes some gall, but may explain why a game that I can now complete in less than 5 minutes took over an hour of frustration.

Still, unlike these other games, there is no Steam card cash grab, just a lot of poor game design decisions. And it loses points from mimicking the title of Thomas Kuhn's book.

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3. Video Game: Kick-Ass 2 [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Kick-Ass 2
Andrew Hodkinson
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A movie spin-off sounds safe. There are guaranteed sales from a fan of the movie who is also a video game player -- and there are lots of those. So the game can start off with a steep purchase price to capture those interests (Kick-Ass 2 list price on Steam is currently 21.99).

On this list of worst Steam games, this game certainly has the highest price and some of its aspects don't sound so bad.

Sure it has arrows to mark where you go all the way through, but I don't mind that, I get confused seeing the same opponents over and over.

There are decent graphics but they are more than a little buggy.

Video Game: Kick-Ass 2


The voice acting is strange with Kick-Ass having a Latin American accent(some stereotype on his wrestling costume?). The music is repetitive and the story narration is annoying , but you can turn the sound off to avoid that.
Well, except for the on-screen text, which just seems to emphasize the unevenness of the dialogue.

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But the thing that pushes it into the Stratosphere of Worst Games is that it doesn't matter which buttons you push during combat.
That's right, the crucial aspect of a Super-hero, beat-'em-up, action game, the combat controls don't matter. Just hit the buttons in any combination and the result is the same.

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4. Video Game: UnitZ [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Video Game: UnitZ
Andrew Hodkinson
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Here's the business plan:

(1) Buy some assets from the Unity store for $300
(2) Combine them into a game with a few tweaks here and there
(3) Spend $100 to put the game on Steam Greenlight
(4) Get friends and alt accounts to push it through Greenlight
(5) Make 5-7 Steam Cards for the game
(6) Sell the game on Steam for $2.19 during the first few weeks
(7) Try to get the game in as many indie bundles at low prices
(8) Reduce price of game on Steam for 96% off or 9 cents
(9) Post notices about game patches and guides
(10) Watch revenue come in with 9 cents per game sale, 1 cent per Market purchase of Steam cards, backgrounds, and items, and make 3 cents per foil purchase.

From this -- and this is only the Steam revenue -- a game makes about $3 each day, breaking even in about 3 months, and generating profit continually afterwards. Many people don't even play the game, just idle it for cards and go straight to the market.

The poster boy for these games is Uncrowded, as it has led to a spirited debate among VGG admins as to whether we should even call these as games since they are stitched-together assets. Is Uncrowded the worst asset flip? I havent played them all so there may be worse ones out there. Other asset 'games' include:

FieldZ (which never made it through Greenlight)

Slaughtering Fields (which is debatable as not an asset flip)

Devils Share (which may be a worse game as I can barely play it without it going glitch crazy)

One Bitten, Twice Dead (which we at VGG include as a UnitZ clone)

Journey of the Light

and more!

This issue will become a burning debate on Steam in the years to come. There is some game out there that will break this wide open but I'm not sure it will be Uncrowded.




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5. Video Game: Bad Rats: The Rats' Revenge [Average Rating:2.96 Overall Rank:7643]
Video Game: Bad Rats: The Rats' Revenge
Andrew Hodkinson
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If there is a classic in bad Steam games, this is it.

You arrange items and rats to achieve some result, like fire a gun or drop a weight. Yet Bad Rats combines this physics with imprecision: you can try exactly the same set-ups and get different results. Makes you wonder what the point is.

But there's more! The aim of your constructed Rube Goldberg device is to murder a cat in more and more graphic ways.

Video Game: Bad Rats: The Rats' Revenge
Video Game: Bad Rats: The Rats' Revenge


Someone thought this would be funny in some Itchy and Scratchy way.



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6. Video Game Genre: Adventure
Video Game Genre: Adventure
Pieter
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I nominate as worst game on Steam:

External image


It's so bad that no-one even bothered to give it an entry on VGG.

Here are some excerpts from my review of "Stranded" on Steam.

Humanity has given birth to a few very talented modern artists, whose works express deep ideas that arise from high originality rather than craftmanship. It has also given birth to a multitude of talentless hacks, who possess neither craftmanship nor originality, but who claim that people who do not appreciate their works just don't understand them. I have to share Stranded amongst the products of talentless hacks.

Stranded is minimalistic. It is based on pixel art. It has only about a dozen screens, a great many of which are rehashes of other screens in the same game. It has minimalistic music which gets boring after half a minute. It has virtually no gameplay - the only thing you can do is move a tiny astronaut around, and that is at such a slow pace that it becomes a chore really quickly. And even with that slowly moving astronaut, you play this "game" to the ending in less than 45 minutes. Because there is nothing to do, only moving, and once you have moved to the right places in the right order, the ending automatically plays.

I believe that the creation of originality in games should be encouraged. But the creation of games that try to get sold on the notion that they are "original" while they are actually a cheaply-produced attempt at a quick commercial success should be discouraged.

I could show you a screenshot, but that would already give away too much of the game. The 42-second trailer that is available on Steam actually shows everything there is to see and do in the game, except for the final image. And even at 42 seconds, you think "this is boring."

All in all, I agree that while Stranded is awful and can hardly be called a game, there are probably games on Steam of which the gameplay is even worse: games which are no more than standard Unity libraries thrown together, that are riddled with bugs and contain horrifying attempts at humor.

But the kicker is that the author has the audacity to ask $7 for Stranded. Seven bucks for a game that is worth no more than a dime or so. If you make the mistake of buying this game and try it out, you will feel disgusted and ripped-off.
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7. Video Game: Journey Of The Light [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
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8. Video Game: Unturned [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:7268]
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This Free to Play zombie survival game tries to be a cross between Minecraft and DayZ... It was "popular", for a little while, with some VGGers, and I joined in with a bunch of people for a session...

I can usually stick out most games if there's a good group of people playing, and there's a bit of banter... but that wasn't enough to salvage this game for me... It is the only time I've left a multiplayer game simply because I was not enjoying the game.
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9. Video Game: Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015 [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
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Perhaps Shower With Your Dad Simulator is in the mix for the worst game on Steam title?
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