One of the biggest television shows since television began is that funny yellow family we all know and love, The Simpsons. They have just recently been renewed for 2 new seasons taking it up to season 32. Through all the seasons we have had a multitude of merch that stems from alarm clocks, soaps (on a rope sometimes), figures, foods, drinks, doormats and even actual real life Duff beer!
Not all of it was good however, especially in the interactive form! Join me on a journey as we go through The Worst Simpsons Video Games!
The Simpsons Skateboarding (PS2, 2002)
EA make a lot of questionable business decisions when it comes video game creation and publishing. From the opening of The Simpsons Skateboarding, which plays a bastardised version of show theme, you can tell you are in for a bad time.
If you are wondering why characters like Homer, Marge & Krusty are skateboarding, the only story structure you receive is from the blurb: “The Annual Skate Tour has come to Springfield! Bart, Homer, Otto, and other Simpsons characters have their eyes on the $$Mega-bucks$$ prize of $99.”
I mean a whole 99 dollars! Hilarious! Safe to say this will not be remembered for its storytelling.
In a time where Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater exists it is sad to see a video game as bad as The Simpsons Skateboarding. Here you will find a badly handling, badly designed video game with repetitive voice clips, limited skateboarding tricks and just an all around bad time. If you are a Simpsons Mega-Fan, this will even test your patience. Not only is it the worst Simpsons video game, but it may be up for one of the worst video games in history.
The Simpsons Wrestling (PS1, 2001)
The year before we received The Simpsons Wrestling, we were given two professional wrestling games - the WWF Smackdown series by Yuke’s. These were not exactly the best of wrestling games but it was still a fun time together with friends. The Simpsons Wrestling isn’t the best wrestling game to grace our gamepads and that’s ok, no one expected it to be, unlike the WWF games however it is not fun to play with friends either.
Twelve playable Simpsons characters and the only game to feature an unlockable Bumblebee Man! Locations feature the Simpsons' house & the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, not that it matters much as you just see an oversized ring with badly animated characters looking like a shell of their former selves. The gameplay consists of a simple stamina and health system, but you will find yourself button mashing more often than not as you can win a match by spamming the same button over and over.
Critically panned for being an ugly mess on the PS1 with choppy graphics, not holding any proper wrestling cache and being a bit of a button masher. Just like The Simpsons Skateboarding, it is regarded as one of the worst video games of all time. So whilst E.T may be the real “worst video game of all” its nice to know that everyone's favourite yellow family has two strong contenders to rival it.
Bart’s House of Weirdness (MS-DOS, 1992)
A release only available on MS-DOS. Not a lot of people have played this Konami published game maybe because it has such a generically forgetful name (seriously Bart’s House of Weirdness is a bad name).
For it’s time the art style is something to behold, the game looks impressive despite not being faithful to the Groening style that we have all come to admire, and the sound design was praised when it was released. The problem wherein the game falls apart however is its ridiculous difficulty (back then and even more so now). Objectives are not made clear and from the word go you do not know what you should be doing. There is always something going on(some may say too much going on!), and the busy screen will confuse your senses more than overwhelm.
Upon entering the kitchen you’ll find butcher’s knives falling from the cupboard and bombs rolling across the floor which detonate when you try to avoid them. This will cause you so much frustration you may not even notice that Scratchy is above you with an oversized mallet ready to pounce on your freshly exploded corpse!
Bart vs The World (Multiple Systems, 1991)
It is weird going back in time and seeing how much emphasis the creators had pushing Bart to the forefront before the shift to Homer being the main lead of the show. Perhaps if Homer was the lead all along then we may have been spared some bad video games.
Another bad game featuring Bart, sees him travel the world whilst Mr. Burns’ agents try to hunt them down and murder him (with cameos from the family of course).
This is an 8-bit platformer in which Bart travels across the world to places like China & the North Pole. Each stage has a final boss based upon that location, for example Fu Manchu Burns in China. Yes it is as cringy as it sounds.
The biggest problem with Bart Vs The World is that it’s just quite basic. The simple controls see you throwing things at creatures, collecting squishees to restore health and occasionally grabbing a cape to turn into Bartman and flying for a short time which fails to keep it interesting. Additionally, just look at the sprite of Bartman. You tell me that belongs to a good game.
Bart & The Beanstalk (Game Boy, 1994)
The Game Boy was a glorious machine! It brought us classics like Tetris, Super Mario Land and of course Bart & The Beanstalk. This carries on the tradition of games with Bart’s name in the title being bad. The premise is simple: a parody of Jack & The Beanstalk with a Simpsons twist, Bart being Jack and Homer being the giant (unsurprisingly).
In this single player Game Boy game you control Bart making his way up the beanstalk. You can fend off enemies by using the trusty slingshot or choose to turn Bart into a murderer by using the dynamite which kills everything on the screen at once.
Much like Bart’s House of Weirdness the game is just too hard, frustratingly so. Enemies appear out of nowhere and help you die quickly because of the cramped screen, and the poor design of the slingshot does not help matters. It feels like a basic action game with the Simpsons slapped on top of it. For a game about a boy and his beanstalk you feel like you are having more of a frustrating time then a fairytail time.
So there you have it the worst video games featuring The Simpsons. If you are sharp eyed you may have noticed that these games were released within the first 13 seasons of the show. The irony here of course is that some people believe it was around this time the show started to decline in quality whilst the video games improved in quality. Come back in a few weeks time when we will be looking at the better games featuring The Simpsons here at Upside Down Shark.