The Top 7... Secret shame games

4. Stretch Panic

What the hell is this? A game about interactive geometry. It was supposed to be an action/platform game, but that didn't seem to work out.

Whose fault is it? Treasure, the folks behind stuff like Gunstar Heroes and Ikaruga.

What happened? Treasure's output has had its ups and downs, but out of everything they've done, only Stretch Panic is the only game that can be considered truly bad - and boy, is it ever a stinker. The game's premise involved a girl with a demonically possessed scarf that could grab and pluck at things in the world, stretching and warping them in various ways. It looked like a quirky, innovative gameplay system, and the game received generally good press and even a few awards when it was first shown at E3. Sadly, the final product's gameplay never improved past what was initially shown in the demo. The play mechanics were clunky and unpolished, the stages and bosses were dull, and the whole thing was much too short. Stretch Panic, despite all of its potential, wound up being a playable tech demo rather than a game.

Aftermath: The game was a debacle for everyone involved - Treasure suffered a blow to its reputation, and publisher Conspiracy Entertainment took a huge hit when the game flopped horribly. Treasure eventually recovered, Conspiracy hasn't seemed to. Also of note: too-hardcore-for-you-sheeple startup mag GameGO! featured Stretch Panic on the cover of its first issue. And, as it turned out, its only issue. Coincidence?