Those who frequent Twitter may have come across @SEGACDGames, a rapidly growing account featuring spoof box art for SEGA’s ill-fated add-on.
The choice of format is a stroke of genius – the SEGA CD (aka the Mega CD) had a rather eccentric library, comprising of low budget FMV games, platformers starring quintessentially ‘90s heroes, terrible movie tie-ins, and numerous games with endorsements from long-forgotten celebrities.
Many of these never made it to Europe, which only makes the SEGA CD’s line-up even more intriguing. Today we’re looking at five of the weirdest games the system had to offer.
Known as Switch in Japan, Panic! was billed as a point ‘n click adventure. That was pushing the definition somewhat – like many of the FMV games of the era, the whole thing was nothing more than a trial and error memory test.
After being sucked into their TV, Slap and his dog Stick had to find their way out by interacting with numerous everyday objects. Each button press generated a different animation, with some Monty Python-esque humour on display. Statues would flap their arms and fly away, elevators would grow and shrink and size, while messing around with a vacuum cleaner prompted it to suck up the backdrop, leaving nothing but a white screen.
Pressing buttons in a correct order was the only way to progress; there was no inventory, puzzles, or anything of the sort. A point ‘n clicker in the loosest sense.
US magazine GamePlayers wheeled out the good old “The developers must have been on drugs!” line for this one. Generally, though, critics found it to be rather pointless.
3 Ninjas Kick Back
The movie on which this platformer is based was a critical and commercial failure, making only $11m back on its budget of $20m. The game itself didn’t fare too well either. It wasn’t terrible; just an incredibly bland 2D platformer that offered nothing new.
Knowing that they had a possible flop on their hands, Sony Imagesoft (the Japanese giant had a small presence in the industry prior to launching the PlayStation) even made the decision to throw in fellow movie tie-in Hook to sweeten the deal.
Now here’s the weird part. Occasionally the action came to a standstill and Grandpa Mori Shintaro – the franchise’s equivalent of Mr Miyagi – popped up in the corner of the screen to explain objectives. He appears utterly confused by the whole thing. Bewildered, even. Think along the lines of Patrick Moore on GamesMaster after being asked yet another question about Zelda III.
Shame there wasn’t a cheat code to make Shintaro randomly pop up and yell “Toasty!”