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The Top 7… weirdest music games ever

5. Prince Interactive

1994 (Windows)

The Adventure Game formally known as Myst was a really influential title, with its prerendered backdrops, full-motion video actors and the ability to turn an hour’s worth of content into a six-hour headache with its unintuitive puzzles.

One emulator of Myst’s style was Prince (or o(+>, if you’re being technical). Playing like a guided tour around the artist’s massive ego... we mean mansion, you stare at his Oscar, read about his backstory, rummage through his wardrobe and listen to celebrities describe Prince much like one would the Messiah.

We’re not really sure what happened to interactive tours of people’s careers in the form of a fictional mansion. Maybe they’ll factor that into Web 3.0.


4. Devo Presents: Adventures of the Smart Patrol

1996 (Windows)

Written and produced by the weird band themselves, Devo’s “comedy” shines through in this Myst-like adventure.

What Wikipedia describes as “kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humour, and mordantly satirical social commentary” actually appears as an evil mutant Turkey Monkey who wishes to unleash a virus over Spudland. It’s probably a brutal social commentary on our dependence on technology, but we’re only guessing.

While it might provide a few laughs for Devo-obsessed weirdos, it’s almost unplayable, with its strict time limit and situations that are dependent on being in the right place at the right time. It’ll take you at least 10 attempts to have a chance at beating it.


3. Frankie Goes to Hollywood

1985 (Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum)

So we’ve had games based on artists’ legacies, their twisted senses of humour and even their lyrics, but when Ocean snatched up the Frankie license, they based it on nothing less than the band’s logo: a silhouette of a man.

You play this soulless dude on a quest to become more human, and halfway through, you encounter a murder and then you play a mini-game where Reagan and Gorbachev spit at each other. Maybe it’s based on that feeling you get watching a Frankie music video, we just don’t know.

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Top 7

21 comments

  • scythedd7 - January 24, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    what? No Gitaroo Man on the PS2? I'm pretty sure that's the weirdest (and one of the most awesome) music based games I've ever played. Battling people with music by shooting lightning out of a guitar and then literary dodging and blocking the other players music is pretty weird.
  • FALLINGINFIRE - October 13, 2009 8:31 p.m.

    I LOVE ETERNAL SONATA ReCAPTCHA: wassails worsching
  • twishart - October 8, 2009 9:33 p.m.

    I was hoping to see Journey Escape here - only because I've got such weird memories of that game. One of those things that, at four years old, you were kind of freaked out at but still couldn't look away from. "Don't Stop Believin'" is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I figure it's because it was permanently etched into my memory through this game. Also it's fucking awesome.
  • DanAmrich - October 8, 2009 7:42 p.m.

    I love that the Journey arcade game somehow got a pass. Everything here is certifiably weirder.
  • Spybreak8 - October 8, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    wow, lol.
  • toastedmilk - October 6, 2009 11:41 p.m.

    "To make matters worse, Number 9 wasn’t concerned with confusing the crap out of you by replacing “you can’t do that” style messages with a cryptic “Goo Goo G’Joob?,”" rather ironic considering "you can't do that" is actually the name of a beatles song from a hard day's night.
  • TheGiaour - October 6, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    Love that last swipe at people who point out the most irrelevant points in an article. Nice work.
  • Heyexclamationpoint - October 6, 2009 4:04 a.m.

    Not even a passing mention of Revolution X? I cry.
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 6, 2009 3:42 a.m.

    Cool article about auditory stimulating video simulations! Of all the ones I've read, this one is the most comprehensive.
  • RatPuncher - October 5, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    A game based on Beatles lyrics sounds awesome on paper. "It's like Yellow Submarine - but interactive!"
  • lovinmyps3 - October 5, 2009 11:07 p.m.

    I thought Brett would be the one writing this, but I guess this is "music games" and not "video game music". Haha
  • Auron - October 5, 2009 10:38 p.m.

    Eternal Sonata was a beautiful game, sound-wise and graphic-wise with a deep storyline and even though it did have long cutscenes I believe that Tri-Crescendo did a wonderful job on this game.
  • waynski1457 - October 5, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    2 things: Eternal Sonata was great, and now I really want to drive a car that's been clamped in GTA, Simpsons style.
  • skyguy343 - October 5, 2009 9:22 p.m.

    still waiting for guitar hero: queen done a la rock band: beatles
  • Cyberninja - October 5, 2009 8:48 p.m.

    i dont think any on the last page are all that weird
  • crumbdunky - October 5, 2009 7:14 p.m.

    The Regan/Grby spitting mini game is just a reference to the "2 tribes" video surely and therefore possibly the only thing in the game NOT worthy of GR's ridicule, no? A mate once tried to convince me to play the Devo game and I lasted two minutes before wanting to break it inot tiny pieces! Annoying doesn't cover it yet my friend still thinks it's a lost classic of modern popular culture. He does REALLY like him some Devo though. Eternal Sonata, on the other hand, I remember purely for amazing my issus earlier this year. She'd never even seen a normal jrpg in her life so I can imagine exactly how odd it must have seemed to her on top of all the imagned death bed idiocy. She loves it now, though, and judges every jrpg that comes into the house by using it as a yardstick! She doesn't rate any others btw.
  • Romination - October 5, 2009 4:28 p.m.

    christ almighty, a frankie goes to hollywood game...what...
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - October 5, 2009 1:05 p.m.

    What about the music games of the future?
  • Unoriginal - October 5, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    Apart from Nr. 1 Ive not heard of any of theese. Wonder how much they sold? A musical text adventure. They were missing the point.
  • rxb - October 5, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    I really like Eternal Sonata. It was a fun little RPG. The musical system made it different and interesting.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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