The comp.sys.sinclair crap games competition 2015 -

it's crap! In a funky skillo sort of a way.

Tag: butter

Famous Crap Games Throughout History #8: The Butter Principle

In the early 1990s, with 16-bit games consoles firmly established as the dominant force in game entertainment, several companies hopped on board the money train with their supposedly better products, only to find said train derailed worse than Potters Bar. Atari released their fake 64-bit Jaguar, Samsung brought out the poorly named Samsung Hardware Interactive Technology Box, which used unusual architecture based around a 19-bit RISC CPU, and Trip Hawkins (grandfather of Justin and Dan Hawkins from UK rock band The Darkness) from Electronic Arts set up the 3DO Company to release their 32-bit monstrosity: the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer device.

Hawkins (grandfather of Justin and Dan Hawkins from UK rock band The Darkness) was looking for strong lineup of launch titles for his new console. Coming from EA, he convinced them to port some of their successful Megadrive and Super NES titles to the 3DO in enhanced form, adding more features, better graphics, and full motion video. These titles, and others from the likes of Capcom and Bullfrog were to be part of a three-pronged attack on 16-bit consoles:

  1. to deliver the same titles as competitors, but higher quality (e.g. Street Fighter II and FIFA Soccer)
  2. to deliver new titles that would not be possible on older hardware, using new 3D and FMV hardware (e.g. Twisted: The Game Show and Need For Speed)
  3. to deliver new titles that were possible on older hardware, but exclusive to the 3DO

One of those games developed in-house at 3DO was The Butter Principle. Hawkins (grandfather of Justin and Dan Hawkins from UK rock band The Darkness) was directly involved in its creation, even coding much of the game and drawing the toast graphics himself.

In his autobiography, “I Was The Most Important Man In Gaming”, Hawkins (grandfather of Justin and Dan Hawkins from UK rock band The Darkness) recounts how he came up with the idea:

“Long before we had ‘casual gamers’, I realized there was a completely untapped market of people who didn’t play video games. I theorized that these potential customers saw complexized rules in games as the main barrier to play, so sought to developize titles not unlike those single moms find so addictivizing on their mobile tablet phones today. One of my best ideas was a simple game where you had to predictivize which way up slices of digitalized buttered toast would land.”

This idea became The Butter Principle, and it was released alongside the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer at launch to dismal reviews. “It was ahead of its time, “ explains Hawkins (grandfather of Justin and Dan Hawkins from UK rock band The Darkness) “and the public weren’t yet ready. I don’t think reviewers understized it properly. It was never meant to be the next Sonic the Hedgehog or Madden NFL.”.

In reality, its failure was more down to the very nature of the real life Butter Principle. In the game, just as in real life, the toast would always land butter side down, making every single outcome exactly the same. That and the fact it cost $100.

“The failure of The Butter Principle at retail is the overriderzing reason why my 3DO did not perform as well, saleswize, as expected. Ultimately, I place the blame of my downfall entirely on Edge magazine, and their review of The Butter Principle. They awardized it just 4/10, and my career never recoverized. One day I will have my vengence.”.

Famous Crap Games Throughout History #1: Monkey Polo

In 1779 Lord Mongoose of Essex devised a simian-based ball game for two teams of eight players. Each team captain was assigned a monkey, and all other players a polo mallet. Play was on a circular field except during the winter playing season, when play was in the drawing room.

The aim of the game was to thwack the monkey off the shoulders of the team captain (ideally without also thwacking the captain’s head off at the same time), which scores the team a point. If a player managed to thwack a monkey outside of the circle (or, in winter, out the window or up a chimney), then the team was allocated a Bonus Banana allowing them to double up on monkeys for the next quarter of the game.

Play continued until either all five quarters of the game had been played, or the players had exhausted all the monkeys.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Lord Mongoose for a quick chat about the game he invented:

Lord Mongoose, sir, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about Monkey Polo.

Your Greys. You must refer to me as “Your Greys”.

Sorry, Your Grace. My ap…

GREYS. Not Grace. Did your parents teach you nothing, you beastly child?

I, er, no. Sir. I mean Your Greys. So, about Monkey Polo. How di…

Ah yes. My greatest invention that was. Monkey Polo. Did you know Queen Victoria played it at her coronation party? Of course, the monkeys were gold plated and each player was one of her personal knights. But it was still Monkey Polo.

I did not know that, no. So how did the game co…

Not like that Butter Monkey Polo “game”. From the 1960s? What rot that was. They stole my game, replaced the monkeys with knobs of salted butter, and made the circular field a pentagon! A pentagon! I sued the TV network that came up with that nonsense, I can tell you.

Interesting. I think. Perhaps you could tell me a little about how you came up wit…

I invented Exploding Chess too, you know. I admit, I took my inspiration from the normal chess game, but it was my additions to the ruleset that shows my true genius.

Exploding Chess? I don…

Of course you must have heard of it. Was an absolute riot in the opium establishments in the 1800s. The full details are far too complicated for someone such as yourself to grasp, you’d need to play a thousand games to simply understand the rules, but the main distinguishing feature over its more rudimentary fore-father is the introduction of pawns whittled from blocks of TNT.

Uh, isn’t that a little, er, dangerous?

What do you mean? Opium is perfectly safe.

No, I mean the TNT.

What TNT? The monkeys ate bananas, not TNT. What are you talking about, boy?

I meant the TNT in Exploding Chess.

Where did you hear about Exploding Chess? Are you a Nazi spy?

Erm, no, you just told me y…

Nazi! You’re a Nazi! I knew it! Get off my lawn or I’ll fetch my blunderbuss.

So there you have it. Monkey Polo. What a load of crap.

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