Sometimes it seems that the video game community is obsessed only with the “best” of things. Browse any popular gaming website or magazine and you’ll find countless lists full of what people call the best games, best consoles, best characters, etc. But what about all of the games that don’t generate the excitement of many of their more popular counterparts? Do they not deserve at least some media attention as well?
Thankfully, I, a kind-hearted soul, am willing to give a few of the lesser-appreciated games a second shot at popularity, and have compiled a list of some of the most undervalued videogames of all time. Keep in mind these titles are obscure, but all one hundred percent real.
“Endangered Species Hunter”
Ever wanted to snipe a black rhino or Siberian tiger without the jail time? Then this game’s for you! Not only can you hunt endangered animals in this wild and exciting game, you are expected to exterminate them! Players hop from continent to continent, enforcing Darwin’s famed law of “survival of the fittest.” Shoot enough elephants in the Serengeti and you can unlock the “Panda Exterminator” mode. In this mode you are given a 50-caliber machine gun mounted on a low-flying helicopter in order to do to pandas what natural selection will inevitably achieve in the coming years. This game was top notch, and I’ve never fully understood why this addicting title never achieved mainstream popularity.
“Mall Cop: The Segway Chronicles”
Inspired by Paul Blart’s smash-hit movie “Mall Cop,” players are thrown into the chaos that is a busy day at the mall with nothing but a can of mace, a flashlight and a two-way radio. Whether you’re patrolling the food court for troublesome hooligans, checking for perverts in the girls’ bathroom or idling by the Victoria’s Secret store, this game is full of non-stop action. Catch enough shoplifters and mall rats and you’ll unlock the famed mall cop Segway, allowing you to enforce the law across long stretches of mall property with ease.
“Tax Evader 4”
The sequel to the famed “Tax Evader 3,” this installment of “Tax Evader” never got the credit it deserved. This game is all about fudging the numbers. Players take the place of a rich company owner and do their best to stay one step ahead of the government in order to avoid paying egregious taxes. On stack after stack of paperwork, you will undervalue your company and misreport your income. But be careful – one slip-up and the IRS will come knocking, putting an end to your noncompliance and ending the game.
This undervalued gem was quite literally one of the greatest and most challenging games I’ve ever played. The game has several levels in which you become various mistreated zoo animals who are plotting desperate escape attempts. The first few levels are easy enough, since you start off as several smarter primates, all of which have the luxury of opposable thumbs. The difficulty quickly increases, however: By the end of the game you’ll be screaming with frustration as you attempt to scale a giant, electrified fence as an aging ostrich with nothing more than a small strip of rope and some bobby pins to aid in your escape.
“Herpes II: The Outbreak”
This game, marked mature for obvious reasons, lost a lot of money for its developers. Players are tasked with discovering the source of a vicious herpes outbreak that is taking a small and poorly educated town by storm. By following redness, inflammation and itchiness from one sexual partner to another, you must bring the repeat offender to justice in order to stop the viral madness that has gripped the small community with fear. Be careful to practice safe investigating, or you’ll end up as one of the victims! Although the game has its moments of fun, it gets preachy, and after every successful case of herpes is tracked down, a message promoting the “Joys of Abstinence” flashes on your screen.
So if you’re looking for a break from those “bests,” give these more obscure games a google. And then remind yourself you can never tire of the best.