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Camp/"So Bad It's Good"

Recommendations by Ivanr

It might seem strange that a video game, which relies on consistent and effortful coding in order to deliver any kind of experience, could be "so bad it's good" in the way that an Ed Wood movie is. But it can happen! There's a lot of fun to be had sitting down with the best(/worst) of Rybread Celsius, for example.

Deliberate "badness" is arguably not badness at all, but camp. On the other hand, I'm not really interested in any kind of authorial authenticity in general, but purely the aesthetic experience. If deliberate goofiness and slapdashery can create an experience enjoyable in the same *way* as a genuinely "bad" game, that's good enough for me.

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1. Acid Whiplash, by Ryan Stevens and Cody Sandifer (1998)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)
Ivanr says:

Rybread Celsius's masterpiece. Retrospective, introspective, and "trippy", arguably - but not like a trip on any drug that exists.

2. Stupid Kittens, by Marc Valhara (2000)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
Ivanr says:

Not a Rybread Celsius game, but it displays a similar sensibility to Acid Whiplash. Enormously fun. Valhara's other works have a similar tenor, but Stupid Kittens is the least coherent of all and one of my favorites.

3. The Fat Lardo and the Rubber Ducky
by Anonymous
Average member rating: (14 ratings)

Ivanr says:

This game is neither trippy nor confusing nor even badly implemented - it's just crude, ugly, and profane. And utterly pointless. Surprisingly polished, given the cruelty and vulgarity of the actual "content".

4. Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die, by Rob Noyes (1996)
Average member rating: (87 ratings)
Ivanr says:

Definitely further on the "camp" or "troll game" end of the spectrum, but a seminal classic. Does, as they say, what it says on the tin.

5. Detective, by Matt Barringer (1993)
Average member rating: (14 ratings)
Ivanr says:

The guileless ineptitude of Detective is charming and hilarious.

6. When I Was Shot By Elephants III, by Ray (2012)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)
Ivanr says:

I regret that I arrived too late to experience the (reportedly inane) series of games to which this game is an homage, but WIWSBE III is a delight in itself. The nice, Inform-competent handling of think/remember commands is a delightful contrast to the actual content. At least two interesting endings!

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