The Top 7... Unfunny games

They tried to make us laugh. Instead, they just made us angry

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An actor on his deathbed once said, "Dying is easy; comedy is hard." Nowhere is that maxim more true than in videogames; you'll die a lot, and comedy can be really, really hard - to sit through, at least. Humor might be a subjective thing, but genuine laughs in games are rare no matter who you are. Lots of games try to crack occasional jokes, and a lot of them fail miserably. When they do, however, it's usually easy to just skip ahead and get back to whatever it was you were trying to do before the game decided to pull you aside for some groan-inducing hilarity.

Sometimes, though, a game will look funny or titillating enough that you might forget how awful in-game comedy tends to be, and give it a chance. We've all made that mistake. To help you avoid making it again, we've pulled together a list of the absolute worst "funny" games we've ever played, the ones that looked interesting on the store shelf, but in reality were only made to teach us the concept of buyer's remorse. To prove we're not just stuck-up comedy snobs, we've included videos to show you exactly what you can expect when you ignore our advice and buy these anyway. And we'll warn you now: none of them are funny.

(Note: you can assume that any game for the GBA or DS with a Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network logo slapped onto the box automatically ranks below #1. Trying to include those on this list would be like wading into a pit of quicksand to find the most slippery grain).

7. American McGee Presents Bad Day L.A.
2006 | PC

A big part of the problem with Bad Day L.A. was that it built our expectations up way too high. Before its release, the game was touted as a bold, smart satire that would expertly skewer our post-9/11 culture of fear and prove, once and for all, that games were a potent art form. But apparently, if you're game designer American McGee, "bold, smart satire" means "hero does a bad Dave Chappelle impression," and "a potent art form" means "poop jokes."

Above: This scene made us want to give up, too

Bad Day L.A. tries hard to be funny, but it doesn't really know how; the comic timing is way off, the voice-acting is horrible, the visual gags are poorly directed and the running jokes - which involve squirrels who give survival tips (funny because IT'S A TALKING SQUIRREL LOL) and a kid who pukes on himself - are so lame that calling them "lame" is actually kind of a compliment. Also, the main character, despite being a shallow black stereotype who says "bitch" and "honky" a lot, immediately loses his appeal when he takes a dump in public during in the game's opening movie.

Add to that a whole bunch of comic bits that must have sounded great on paper (like Mexican gardeners secretly being the vanguard of an invasion force), but fell apart in execution, and - oh yeah - the gameplay being a boring mess, and you've got one of the most disappointing comedy games in a long time. Not to mention one of the worst games of 2006.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.

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