Fun ‘n’ Games

The real sign of failure here is that nobody even took the opportunity to cram in one of their own game ideas.  They just ripped off an easy classic.  Nobody even cared.
The real sign of failure here is that nobody even took the opportunity to cram in one of their own game ideas. They just ripped off an easy classic. Nobody even cared.

Raise your hand if, upon seeing the title of this game, you thought it would actually be a fun game.

If you are sitting there with your hand up, congratulations! You’re now stupid for two reasons.

Fun ‘n’ Games is a “suite” of functions, in the same way that a bacterium is an “animal.”

It has four sections:

“Paint” is, well, a shitty version of Paint that struggles to load when you fill with the paintcan, and is unable to fill at all in a row where there are already coloured pixels.

“Games” includes a terrible version of Pac Man with mice and cheese, and a first person space shooter where you are fixed in position and can only rotate to shoot your foes – floating green orbs which mysteriously damage you by moving around and never ever altering their distance from you.

“Music” is perhaps the only aspect of the cartridge that would actually be engaging if you were a kid at the time of its release.  You can, through its clunky and torturous interface, pick instrument synths and place them on a staff to produce music.  It would take you about four hours to make a decent song, though.

“Style” is…I am at a loss here.  There are two sub-sections, one where you choose the clothing and hair for a woman, one where you scroll between heads, torsos and legs to mix and match some kind of horrid gestalt entity whose sections are clearly delineated from each other.  But the most bizarre thing is that, for the first one, every time you scroll to a new item of clothing it will play a random sound file, including things like “grody,” wacky,” “rad,” “hip,” “gross,” etc.  They are completely random, and are in no way related to the item you are selecting.

Absurd things like the above, and other obvious failures of design (like the fact that the game struggles to render your cursor as it moves) make this the worst “game” I’ve seen yet.

Full Throttle Racing

Even when it sucks working for a video game company (and believe me, that’s often), sometimes it’s kind of great.

I’ve spent about a year now working QA jobs. I, and people I know, have ended up doing some pretty decidedly non-QA stuff over the years. Since you’re at the bottom rung of the video game ladder, anything that doesn’t require much training is essentially your work. In the past 6 months, I have done copyediting, video editing and transcription, project leading, and, perhaps most interestingly, voice acting.

That’s right: they pulled me in because my voice is loud and I get paid peanuts. I had no qualms, because, hell, it’s hilarious. So, if you ever play Press Your Luck on the Wii, listen carefully to the contestant’s when they yell “BIG BUCKS!”, because it might just be me yelling. A coworker of mine did part of the voice work for one of my favourite games of all time: Jagged Alliance 2. It was made in Quebec, they had a Quebecois character (La Malice), and they didn’t want to pay for a proper voice actor, so by coworker did his voice (or… part of it, maybe. I think he may have been many French voices in one).

Full Throttle Racing has that strapped-for-cash feel to it, but perhaps nowhere thna the “rivals” it presents you with:

One of these was not actually in the game. Hint: it's "Hammer."
One of these was not actually in the game. Hint: it's HAMMER.

Yep. There you go, marketing department: you’re in a game now. I wonder if one of those guys is QA. I mean, on one hand, you got to be in a game, and that’s cool. On the other hand, your name is in the credits for doing QA work on a game that does this:

This is not, sadly, a Tim Schaefer game. It is, however, a glitchy one. The water's over THERE, grass sea-doo guy!
This is not, sadly, a Tim Schaefer game. It is, however, a glitchy one. The water's over THERE, grass sea-doo guy!

Bittersweet.