Thursday, 11 April 2013

J - Jokes & Japery! My Top 10 Comical Games

We all like to have a good laugh now and then, so it stands to reason that  having the odd giggle at a video game is no exception. They may not be designed to be intentionally funny, or maybe the humour just happens by accident, but one things for sure it does brighten a game up with a bit of throwaway slapstick, a near-the-knuckle reference or a clever quip. These are my top 10 of games that have made me smile, or at times laugh like a drain. Most of these games are actually not brilliant, or highly praised, but they do have an element of comic genius that is hard not to at least raise a slight grin. Without further ado, Let's go!
The queue for the Demon barbers was always hell
#10 Lemmings - A game that many have played and been engrossed by, the puzzle/platform jaunt of rescuing chronically depressed rodents is amusing enough. Add to this the variety of comic and fantasy settings, death traps, the ability to make them explode and the look of the little blighters themselves; blue jumpsuits with a shocking mop of bright green hair. Crazy, barmy and funny, especially when you get bored and deliberately set them up to die en-mass, just for some twisted thrill. Oh no!

#9 The Simpson's Road Rage - Let's be honest here, most licensed Simpsons game are pretty poor, Bart's Nightmare and The Simpsons Wrestling to name but two examples. However, Road Rage was a little bit better, was actually playable and, like the show in it's early days, funny. With some excellent comical show-references for the fans, authentic voicing and some mad sequences and objectives, this was the best Simpsons title since the original arcade game. Not a brilliant game, but full of trademark Groaning humour.

#8 How to Be a Complete Bastard - Based off a book written by Ade Edmondson, which he in turn based the primary 'Bastard' character off the role of Vyvyan from his hit comedy show The Young Ones, this is a really shit game. Literally in some cases. Hollow and simplistic gamplay, rubbish graphics and poor SFX, the one redeeming feature it had was it's totally bad taste brand of comedy. Whether it be farting to clear a room, poisoning the party guests with laxative or putting cling film on the toilet, it was full of black humour and fecal based slapstick acts. It did make me laugh a lot whilst suffering the torturous task of trying to play the game, so can be remembered for that at least.

#7 Leisure Suit Larry - Ha, the soft-porn movie of video games if you will. You get to play as Larry Laffer, the coarse, chauvinistic, jerky middle aged man with the sole purpose to find some good sinful times with women way above his station. His seduction methods usually end with joyful failure. Including adult dialogue full of sexual references, depiction and suggestion of saucy deeds and some coarse language, the humour content and subject matter of the game became infamous. Seedy rib-tickling at it's finest.

Not caring about the warping tunnel,
Dirk just realised He'd left the iron on
#6 Dragon's Lair - A unique game upon conception, this was basically a medieval fantasy cartoon that you controlled, later morphing into a platform title, but still containing the signature style of eccentric humour and sexual suggestions. The main source of fun comes from our hero, Dirk the Daring. He has an odd look for a knight on a quest to save his outrageously voluptuous princess. With a skinny build, clumsy stance and fighting style, manic over-the-top reactions to monsters and dangers, he's the Mr Bean of brave sword wielding knights. Lots of silly death instances too. Hi-Lair-ious!

#5 Worms - A classic Playstation war strategy game; the very idea of worms fighting to the death with a vast stock of heavy weaponry is funny to begin with, but there are so many tiny morsels of laughter contained. The pre-game cut scenes are great, the weapons are devastatingly amusing as are the sneaky references to other titles, such as a dragon punch from Street Fighter 2, and the cleverly comical but minuscule animation routines of the worms themselves. It's also excellent to play as a party game too. Kamikaze!

#4 Portal - Featuring the most unstable and surreal sentient computer since HAL, the combination of a dark-humored plot, the sometimes amusing consequences of using the portal gun and of course, the mish-mash of false compliments, mind-games and puerile insults chucked in your direction by our nemesis GlaDOS makes an intelligently witty game. Sinister, but side-splitting, and finished off by a fittingly warped but fun sing-song.

#3 Earthworm Jim - A robotic super-suit plus an average earthworm equals the craziest superhero ever, with some of the finest comedic grace ever to roam the 16-bit platforms. With the ability to use himself as a whip, shoot the maddest and baddest laser weapons and fight the likes of (get this!) Bob the Killer Goldfish and Professor Monkey-for-a-Head, this is a cracking can of worms to open and gorge gleefully on the laughs. I actually found this genuinely hilarious, and a pretty snazzy game as well.

#2 Point Blank 1, 2 & 3 - This threesome of gallery shooting games has the timid and tame comedy brand  inspired by The Muppets and similar material, but I always find myself smiling from ear to ear with the excellent cartoon design, wildly exaggerated characters and the shrieks and shouts of your hosts Dr Dan and Dr Don. This fun element takes away the serious gun shooting nature of the game and makes it a friendly and approachable series for the youngest of gamers. Some really marvellous highlights too, like the doc getting shot in the head or running manically from the cannibals flaming torches. 

Conker politely addressed the Houses of Parliament
#1 Conker's Bad Fur Day - Crammed full of eyebrow-raising bent humour, sarcasm, surrealism, slapstick and plagiarisms, the titular heavy drinking foul-mouthed money-grabbing squirrel is about to have a day from hell, and it's F**king funny! Some of the stuff included in this N64 cult classic are very near the mark, like the Tediz fundamentalists and the antagonists' name, Professor Von Kriplespac. Oh, and did I forget? A giant opera-singing turd as a boss character! However, even with all the coarseness and vulgarity you still find yourself warming to the little pissed-up nut collector, especially at the end. Not surprising that the remake felt the slice of the editors knife. Killjoys!

Phew, that was fun, some good memories writing that. So much so, I may be off to replay one of these titles imminently. Apologies for some of the bad language in this list, but hey, you've read it now so it's too late. Hope it at least made you smirk a little, and hopefully instantly search YouTube to find out if my number 1 pick really is as rude as I say it is. Tomorrow I bring you  the joys of death, sorrow and dismay with my top 10 deaths in video games. But it's the letter K you say? Well duh, K is for Killed!

Bug... 'Out!


  1. Ah the marvellous Worms... The only game in history to make a bazooka its bog-standard weapon ;)

  2. Hell yeah for Conker! Portal 1/2 are really funny I agree, some great lines :P

  3. I used to watch the Earth Worm Jim cartoon. The cartoon and games were equally hilarious.

  4. Ha! I'd never heard of most of these. Now I feel the need to check them out. :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

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  6. I didn't even know these *were* games! athey sound so silly and fun. I think I've actually seen that earthworm game. So cute!