We’ve written our fair share of articles loaded with niche PC games, yet have somehow almost completely overlooked Harvester, a forgotten horror title that dared to use live-action characters in 1996 – a time when we all knew better.
Above: But this is pretty funny
Despite its rudimentary point-and-click gameplay, Harvester was still legitimately creepy, especially if you’re frightened of closed-in small towns with miniscule populations that speak in hushed tones. The game begins with “Steve” waking up in said town, scared out of his mind and arranged to be married to a woman he’s never met. He’s then asked to clean up all the eyeballs in the skin pit.
Above: Wait, what?
Above: And then there’s this guy
Above: This isn’t helping
If you can stomach this type of game in 2009, it’s worth hunting down for the “huh?” appeal alone. Added bonus: there are sphincter doorways.
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix
The Fortune series has always pushed its ridiculous violence as a selling point, a smart move when you’re on a console clogged with decent-to-amazing shooters. Double Helix failed to make a big impression when pitted against the likes of Halo, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Rainbow Six, but as advertised, its subtle, you-might-miss-it dismemberment is among the most intense we’ve ever seen.
Above: So you’ve got this dead guy ready for mutilatin’
Above: Blast his face away, revealing a bit of brain and a lot of blood
Above: Or take this guy, freshly killed…
Above: …and blow off every appendage on his body
What’s really strange is that you have to know about the appropriately named GHOUL engine to even get these results. Blasting enemies in the head and hands, while alive, usually doesn’t do anything. Once they’re down though, they’re unwilling patients for your surgical bullet ballet.
Nintendo of America freely swung the ban hammer throughout the ‘80s, so it’s fairly easy to find fiercely violent, Japan-only titles from that time period. Then there are games like Abadox that managed to avoid NOA’s gore/sex/religion radar altogether.
Above: Brought to you by Candy Land, Connect Four and Yahtzee
You control a man, maybe a robot man, as he descends “into the belly of the beast,” which in this case is a living planet with innards made of lasers.
Above: In we go!
Above: Ugh, that’s a tongue, we suppose
Above: Some kind of throat gore, perhaps?
Above: Pretty sure that’s a butt with eyeballs and teeth
It may be light on blood, but it was overflowing with graphic imagery that was unprecedented on the platform. And given that we’ve barely seen or heard anything about this game since its initial run on the NES, we’re gonna guess most of you never knew it existed until right… now.