['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive game magazine collection.]
While thumbing through old video game magazines, it's inevitable to find ads for some games that you've never even heard of. But I have done one better: I have found ads for games that nobody has ever heard of. That's right; no human being living on Earth knows that these games exist (Don't even bother to challenge me, because I don't count undead zombies as "human beings living on Earth"). In fact, these games are so obscure that they don't even "exist" in a traditional sense -- they occupy a slippery, hazy nether region of space: half here, half there, phasing in and out of our reality and into worlds unknown. Which brings us to the all-important question: if a game falls in a forest, and nobody is there to play it, does it make a sound?
Absolutely Not Derivative in Any Way
Ok, so you're creating a new video game, but the "creating" part is just too hard. What should you do? Not to fear; you can pull a time-tested maneuver that game developers continue to use today: simply combine disparate elements of established pop culture and forcefully cram them into the most popular game genre of the time. Before you now lies only one result of that very popular practice: Socket. One part Plucky Duck from Tiny Toons, and one part Sonic the Hedgehog, Socket is a bad dude with a tude just itchin' to be rude. Did I mention that he's blue and can run really fast?
As far as ridiculous obscure games go, this one takes the cake, freezes it with liquid nitrogen, and smashes it with a sledgehammer. Then eats it.
Slip Slip Slippin' Through Tiieeeiiime
I have absolutely no idea what this game is about; I've never played it. But if I were to guess from the ad's imagery, it's probably about an insectoid alien robot with a gun who forces you to travel through time, blowing enemies away, to work off your intergalactic bar tab. Sounds kinda like Contra, but shitty.
Vasteely Dan: The Impossible Game
Just about every game for the TG-16 Turbo CD platform is obscure, mostly because only around 5-6 living, breathing, non-zombie humans own a Turbo CD unit. But this game (like the others, I might add), is not even listed on MobyGames -- that wonderful oracle of gaming knowledge -- so there's no telling what really goes on inside its twisted code. The very fact that this game purports to combine "arcade action" and "intense strategy" sounds a little suspicious to me. That's like combining the words "slow" and "fast" into a new unspeakably self-contradictory word that brings the universe to a halt and makes every atom in your body vaporize simultaneously. It's almost as if this "game" was a practical joke by the Japanese on the western video game market. "Ha ha! Lazy Americans will be so mind-boggled, their heads will explode!" Well...consider my head exploded.
But if what this ad says about the game is actually true, then humanity has a long way to go before we're ready to wield such awesome, concentrated power in a single video game. It's best to seal it away in a deep, lead-lined vault and mark it "Do Not Open 'Til 3264." Maybe then we'll finally be ready as a species to play the marvel of gaming that is Vasteel.
[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. He also loves tacos.]