The Top 7... Least interactive games

3. Progress Quest

The game: An ambitious opus of a game, Progress Quest presents itself as the logical alternative to bloated, choice-heavy RPGs both online and single-player. Visionary programmer Eric Fredricksen's game provides a vision of the evolution of the RPG as we know it. One day, all games will be like Progress Quest.

Above: Progress Quest generates realistic character portraits on the greatest rendering engine of all: your imagination 

What could you do? Name your character and choose their race and class. No other input is demanded of the busy gamer-on-the-go.

Above: Things are heating up! 

What did the game do for you? Progress Quest automates the player's search for battles, removing the tiresome “talking to villagers about their lives” element everyone pretends to find charming in traditional RPGs. It also automates the battles themselves, because who has time for all that attack-selecting and dice roll-watching? It then automates the leveling-up process, enabling battles with bigger and more exciting monsters… all of which are also automated.

Above: Bask in the glory of Progress well Quested

Seriously, this is less interactive than... Working out how long you'll need to “play” to get to the next level. Is Progress Quest a brutal streamlining of the traditional RPG structure, or cheeky commentary on how much agency players are ever really given? Download the game yourself and get back to us on that.

2. Microcosm

The game: “Is it a movie packed with furiously addictive gameplay, or a game with visuals to match anything Hollywood can produce?” asked the packaging. Creators Psygnosis also billed Microcosm as “the ultimate CD-ROM game,” which would suggest they'd sewn that one up fairly quickly. Not so fast, guys. Are you sure we can't call this a movie as well?

Above: Yeah, let's stick with “game” 

What could you do? Man the guns on your blood-cell-sized spacecraft, injected into a billionaire's bloodstream, charged with eradicating the artificial virus implanted therein by his corporate rivals, all while listening to an original soundtrack by caped prog-rocker Rick Wakeman. Let nobody say Microcosm wasn't high-concept.

What did the game do for you? The manual provided not only a War and Peace-rivaling swath of backstory propelling your craft, but also a working guide to the human body through which you would be moving. Through FMV sequences and CGI overload, the space-shooter play offered by Microcosm was elevated to epic proportions. Stripped of its fancy trappings, however, you had a game so bereft of choice or user input that you could get halfway through it without looking at the screen.

Above: Look away? And miss these lunch-relinquishing vistas? 

Seriously, this is less interactive than… Watching Fantastic Voyage and Innerspace back to back while playing Galaxian.


Top 7


  • miasma - March 18, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    I remember Microcosm, these games suck.
  • DagDabreemie - March 17, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    If you all thought those 'least interactive' games were bad, then what about Star Trek: BORG ? Especially if you got one of the first copies that wouldn't play and needed the patch from Simon & Schuster.
  • IIIIIACEIIIII - March 16, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    For some reason I expected a joke about Sonic games playing themselves (the new ones of course, not the old ones). Incidentally, I picked up Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the master system for 50p today. I already had it, but now I have the case.
  • FoxdenRacing - March 16, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    I'm disappointed that failed experiment in hologram-tech games didn't make the list..."TimeTraveler", I think it was called. Granted, it was similar enough to Dragon's Lair to be considered a spiritual successor. Watch a FMV, push a couple buttons, lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Xeacons - March 16, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    When I bought Indigo Prophecy, everyone said to pick up the Strategy Guide, "You'll need it." So I did; I beat the game, and I still haven't opened the book. Considering how long it took to make the game (6 years) I was expecting more. Dragon's Lair: Just released on DSiWare. Not a 5 star game, but a must have for ANY historian!
  • philipshaw - March 16, 2010 2:35 p.m.

    Dragon's Lair had to be number 1, Indigo Prophecy shouldn't be on the list for the reasons mentioned in the article
  • jmcgrotty - March 16, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    You got a lot of damn nerve adding Dragons Lair to this. That game is legitimately kick-ass. And still being made. I own it on Blu-Ray. (Actually I screwed up my order and own two copies of it.) That being said, does it speak bad to me that I own 4 of the games on this list? Though, I don't like the other 3 I own. But Dragons Lair kicks the Llamas ass.
  • Irishranger - March 16, 2010 3:13 a.m.

    For years I wanted a way to be able to play the old laserdisc arcade version of Dragon's Lair again. Now, the older I get....not so much.
  • ScruffMoney - March 16, 2010 3:01 a.m.

    Holy Snappin' fox crap, I can't believe you didn't put Heavy Rain on the list, but I'm glad you didn't. All the shots the site's been taking at it since it's launch I figured for sure that it would be on here.
  • MetalGearFlaccid - March 16, 2010 2:54 a.m.

    Thank you GamesRadar, for not making an FFXIII joke. There has been too many jabs at the game lately, and I'm glad to see you are better than that.
  • Embolado - March 16, 2010 1:23 a.m.

    There is a warm spart in my heart for Revolution X. The only game where instead of bombs for a special you shot out CDs.
  • OneEyedGoon - March 16, 2010 1:14 a.m.

    If you want to see non-interactive gaming at its horrific worst, check out Plumbers Don't Wear Ties for 3D0. The AVGN has a video review of it, I believe.
  • gatornation1254 - March 15, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    Dragon's Lair for the NES means business. It's a bitch to play.
  • mEgAzD - March 15, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    @gilgamesh: the point of the joke was that although a DVD player can play Dragon's Lair, don't expect it to play MW2
  • sofaku - March 15, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    heavy rain?
  • gilgamesh310 - March 15, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    What was that last comment all about "Don't hold your breath for a modern warfare 2 conversion"?
  • JizzyB - March 15, 2010 10:39 p.m.

    Indigo Prophecy was a let-down for me. I was psyched after playing the demo but the full game seriously was a giant QTE. I felt like I missed the action because I was looking at the button prompts. The most interactivity I had with it was picking it up and throwing it in the trash!
  • ventanger - March 15, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    I actually bought Indigo Prophecy on XBL, I had to put the controller down once the hero was tormented by giant spectral fleas. Still haven't beaten it. recaptcha: doggone families YEAH! Damn families.
  • bonerachieved - March 15, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    OPERATION WOLF>!>!> holy bawls i havent seen that game in ages.
  • GrrSnort - March 15, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    Final Fantasy 12 didn't make this list? Ridiculous. That was the only game I've EVER owned that literally played itself.

Showing 1-20 of 37 comments

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