I’m a giant fan of “elevated” video video games designed with critical intent—assume Papers, Please or This Warfare of Mine—however typically I would like the other. Generally I wish to play a sport that’s as dumb as potential, a sport so humorous and ridiculous, it turns into actually unattainable to consider something whereas taking part in it. (It’s disassociation time!)
The 14 video games right here match that invoice. They received’t make you alter your worldview or expertise emotional catharsis. As an alternative, they’ll make you shake your head, snort, chuckle, and perhaps mutter “what the precise fuck?” beneath your breath. Which is what all of us want proper now: Meaningless incredulity, to distract us from all of the issues that deserve our incredulity.
Trombone Champ (2022)
The world didn’t understand how badly it wanted a Guitar Hero-style sport about taking part in the trombone till Trombone Champ was launched. This video games takes a traditional comedy premise—humorous noises are humorous—and builds a sport round it. Thanktotally, the sport is definitely good, and whenever you add in hilarious in-jokes about gaming itself, lovely muppet-like avatars, and one million “boner” and “toot” puns, you find yourself with a traditional of inconsiderate digital comedy.
Don’t Sh*t Your Pants (2009)
From the deepest depth of the Flash game era comes Don’t Shit Your Pants: A Survival Horror Game. As you might expect from the title, the goal of this text-adventure/puzzle game is to avoid soiling yourself. Sounds easy, until you try it. And it is best to strive it. It’s hilarious. There are a number of endings to unlock, and the sport rewards out-of-the-box pondering. (Try typing “shit my pants” on the first immediate.)
Katamari Damacy (2004)
No checklist of “what the hell?” video games could be full with out Japanese import Katamari Damacy. On this actually one-of-a-kind sport, you’re the Prince of the Cosmos, attempting to rebuild the photo voltaic system by rolling an adhesive ball across the Earth. The ball grows bigger and bigger till you’re selecting up vehicles, buildings, and mountains, gathering sufficient mass to make new galaxies. It’s addictive, colourful, and so rattling enjoyable—a real traditional. (Even when you don’t play it, mellow out to the soundtrack.)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Microsoft Home windows
Who’s Your Daddy? (2015)
On this informal on-line sport, gamers are both devoted, loving fathers or malevolent infants. Dads attempt to defend infants, whereas infants attempt to discover the deadliest factor in the home they’ll contact, swim in, or eat. So it’s just about like an actual parenting. Who’s your Daddy is hilarious, and a welcome change from gaming’s traditional fixation on taking pictures every little thing.
Platforms: Home windows, MacOS, Linux
Cho Chabudai Gaeshi (2010)
I’ve by no means performed this sport—it’s solely in arcades, and isn’t quite common within the U.S.—however it’s so unusual I needed to point out it. Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, or “Tremendous Desk Flip” in English, is performed with a table-shaped controller. You watch a scene unfold and bang the desk as your character grows increasingly offended. Earlier than lengthy, when you possibly can’t take it any extra, you flip the desk, sending plates, cups, and every little thing else flying. It’s bizarre that somebody turned a meme into an elaborate arcade sport, but when there’s something extra mindlessly enjoyable than flipping over a loaded desk, I can’t consider it.
You’ve in all probability been strolling for years, however do you actually understand how strolling works? QWOP illustrates how badly it could go when you needed to consciously management your leg muscle tissues. It’s so simple as potential: There are 4 buttons, and the purpose is just to stroll/run ahead for 100 meters, however it’s maddeningly, hilariously troublesome to not pitch ahead onto your face, fall backwards, or in any other case fail. Possibly it’s extra enjoyable to watch different individuals turn into enraged by QWOP than to play it your self, although.
Goat Simulator (2014)
In Goat Simulator, you’re the world’s scariest chaos agent, an enraged goat, and your mission is go nuts and wreck every little thing. Whereas the sport’s artistic mayhem and exploration is absolutely enjoyable, my favourite aspect of Goat Simulator is how glitchy it’s. The developer deliberately left all method of physics and reality-destroying “errors” within the sport that solely add to its strangeness and comedic worth.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap, Xbox One, Android, Home windows, MacOS, Linux
Cow Clicker (2010)
Cow Clicker isn’t humorous to play; it’s humorous that it existed. Just like the social video games it parodies, you begin by giving the developer your private information on Fb in change for an opportunity to play. Then you definitely click on a digital cow. You’ll be able to solely click on as soon as each six hours, except you spend actual cash on “mooney” that allows you to skip the cooldown and customise your cow. Developer Ian Bogost created the sport as a pointed jab on the manipulative mechanics of social video games like FarmVille, however after all CowClicker truly grew to become well-liked, with over 50,000 individuals clicking cows. In 2011, Bogost responded with the “Cowpacolypse,” throughout which all gamers’ cows disappeared. So Cow Clicker grew to become a sport the place gamers click on an empty house the place a online game cow was. Devoted followers apparently stored clicking nothing till Cow Clicker disappeared in 2019.
Surgeon Simulator (2013)
For those who’re hoping for a practical approximation of medical procedures, you may be very upset in Surgeon Simulator. As an alternative, think about attempting to carry out exacting medical procedures like eradicating organs or repairing capillaries whereas carrying oven mitts. Plus, you’re drunk. It will get over-the-top gory and ridiculous very, in a short time.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap, Android, Home windows, MacOS, Linux
Human Fall Flat (2016)
On this puzzle/platform sport, as much as eight individuals play as rotund, rubbery dudes who waddle round fixing physics puzzles in ridiculous methods. The deliberately kludgy controls guarantee a lot of errors leading to hilarious mishaps and sudden chaos. It’s foolish, slapstick comedy with no redeeming social worth, like a digital model of the Three Stooges.
Platforms: Nintendo Swap, Android, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Collection X and S, MacOS, Home windows, Linux
Sneak King (2006)
You wouldn’t assume a sport made to promoting a quick meals chain could be so nice, however Sneak King is, in reality, so nice. It’s a stealth sport the place you play as Burger King’s mascot, a foppish, terrifying monarch. Your job is to sneak up on unsuspecting commoners, give them hamburgers, and entertain them with a foolish dance. It’s loopy enjoyable sport, nicely price far more than its authentic value of $3.99.
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox
Job Simulator (2016)
This digital actuality sport allows you to work at quite a lot of digital jobs. In contrast to your actual job, as a substitute of watching the clock, you’ll be inflicting insane quantities of chaos within the robot-run workplace. I do know I promised that every one the video games listed right here could be senseless, however I lied. Job Simulator’s abstraction of the duties and politics employment makes a refined level about how ridiculous most work is, however you don’t have to consider it, I promise. It’s in all probability finest not to consider it, truly.
Platforms: Oculus Quest, PlayStation 4, HTC Vive, Microsoft Home windows, Valve Index, Home windows Blended Actuality
Simply Die Already (2021)
If the thought of geriatrics going wild is humorous to you, try Simply Die Already, the place you play as an offended elder bent on destroying as a lot as potential as you seek for a colourful strategy to shuffle off this mortal coil. Like Goat Simulator, the enjoyable is within the physics, the cartoonish graphics, and the invention of novel methods wreck the world.
Platforms: Nintendo Swap, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Home windows
I Am Bread (2015)
In I Am Bread, you’re bread. You flop round in bread-like methods, traversing the landscapes of a small home and avoiding your pure enemies like water, ants, and mildew. Your purpose is to turn into toast in any manner you possibly can, from beginning fires to utilizing a hair dryer. This physics-based sport has bizarre controls (you’re bread, in spite of everything) and a very surreal premise that work collectively to make you overlook every little thing else however flopping to the rattling toaster already.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, Microsoft Home windows, iOS, macOS