Sick of advertisements in your video games? Well, once upon a time, the video games were the ads. A number of titles were produced from the ground-up to be nothing but a sales pitch--one you had to pay to see.
Luckily for mankind, this corporate cabal shot itself in the foot. Most of the games were so jaw-droppingly shitty that few have attempted it since (we're looking at you, Burger King).
How shitty were they? Behold:
10The California Raisins: The Grape Escape (Nintendo, 1991)
For those readers too young/senile to remember, these desiccated purple turds were the claymation spokesfruits for the California raisin industry. Like a carnival freak show, folks were intrigued by the Raisins overall grossness, and raisin sales initially shot up as people bought the product out of morbid curiosity. However, the Raisins popularity waned as consumers soon could not look at them without dry heaving.
Legendary game designer Capcom (Mega Man, Final Fight) produced The Grape Escape in the dying days of the Raisins' fame. Luckily for Capcom's reputation and the human condition, the game was never released. If you have a taste for sadomasochism and dried fruit, know that this monstrosity occasionally pops up on eBay.
Surprisingly enough, your raisin's primary weapon was not his own horrible shriveled face. No, it was a "Raisin Rifle" or a "Goop Gun" or a "Puree Peashooter" or whatever. Anyway, when you shot foes with raisin gunk, in actuality you were slinging your own bodily fluids around.
That's a Freudian quagmire we have zero interest marching into.
9Pepsi Invaders (Atari 2600, 1983)
During the "Cola Wars" of the 1980s, some wacky advertising execs at Coca-Cola took the term a little too literally and hired Atari to create Pepsi Invaders. The soft drink manufacturer released the game - a modified version of the arcade classic Space Invaders - for their 1983 sales convention. Atari produced only 125 copies of Pepsi Invaders, ostensibly to prevent their asses from getting sued off.
In retrospect, these labels are kind of unnecessary.
Pepsi Invaders has no plot, but we can infer this much from the gameplay - Pepsi (or a malevolent, Pepsi-loving alien race) is annihilating humanity. The Coca-Cola Company (which has somehow scored a sweet defense contract from the Reagan administration) now mans the Star Wars Defense System.
Once you crushed Pepsi's alphabet-shaped fleet, the words "COKE WINS" materialized in the heavens, the god of the video game world declaring to his creation the superiority of one can of high fructose corn syrup over another.
Pepsi Invaders made some really bold claims about Pepsi's corporate ethics. Blindfolded taste tests are one thing, but accusing your competitor of engineering global genocide? Look who's talking, Coke.