Without videogames, many of us would have lives, children and permanent jobs. They're terrific ways to forget that in real-life, like gardens, commitments require regular attention. They can't all be glorious, action-packed tours de force, however -- many videogames are nothing more than half-baked rejects, the 'D' students of the electronic world.
But these particular 30 dunces weren't merely bad -- they were never given a chance at success because they suffered epic fails from the moment their titles were conceived. A truly abysmal name might strangle a game's chances, but it's prime chuckle material and we've lassoed two-and-a-half dozen for your rib-tickling pleasure.
We begin our journey with game names that are...
Just Plain Wrong
Tongue of the Fatman
Commodore 64, DOS, Mega Drive - 1989
Premise: As an alien of your choice, fight your way through bad guys and ultimately face the Fatman -- a hard-ass who needs a healthy portion of defeat.
The tongues of fat men are indeed compelling. Why a series of games never spun off is beyond us -- Legs of the Fatman, Ear Canal of the Fatman and Failing Vital Organ of the Fatman all would have been huge winners.
Super Nintendo - 1991
Premise: Spanky is a monkey with balls. Throwing these balls is his way of attacking enemies, and at the end of each level there's a boss. All very traditional, all very entertaining.
But come on! Spanky the monkey? Japanese developer Natsume -- most famous now for its Harvest Moon titles -- was either disastrously fond of Western euphemisms, or simply terrible at picking innocent game names. Would you pick Spanky the monkey off the shelf for your kids?
Nintendo DS - 2005
Premise: More a tool than a game, Touch Dic is a dictionary and translation title for the Nintendo DS, using the console's touch-happy stylus.
We want to say this is a game-naming FAIL, but we just can't. It's from Korea and is now on the shelves as Touch Dictionary. But we'll never forget the day our pals at GameSpot first told us there was a game called Touch Dic... happy, happy times.
If It Moves, Shoot It!
Amiga, DOS - 1989
Premise: A top-down shooter, in which killing creatures from the depths of the cosmos is far more appealing than asking them to explain the mysteries of pi.
The title might be sound advice, but a more satisfying game of the same name would involve playing the role of a commando who watches over the sleeping body of Pete Doherty.
Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals
Amiga, DOS - 1989
Premise: In this third-person adult-themed adventure, horny dork Larry tries and fails to seduce women on an island resort, after his girlfriend leaves him for a cannibalistic lesbian slot-machine repairwoman.
The tongue-twistingly long title for this game does nothing but make us look back on 1989 with fond memories, and worry that we want the pixellated lady to remove her... is that a sweater? No, she might just be badly burned. Best leave her to her own devices, actually.