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The Wii asked gamers a question: Would you like to work out while you play video games? And the answer was an overwhelming "Yes!" ...
... that lasted about two months, and was then followed by an even more overwhelming "Turns out we were wrong!"
It was a fine idea in theory: exercise in private, without risking injury or embarrassment. But if you're thinking it was all thrilling pro sports and kickboxing entertainment, you sorely overestimate the Wii's understanding of the term "fun." Meet Walk It Out, the reasonable stroll simulator.
You can tell by the way he does his walk, he's a woman's man. No time to talk.
Walk It Out is exactly what it sounds like: You walk about a small town in the guise of your custom Mii, more than likely hilariously designed to resemble a wang with a face. Ah, but Walk It Out was much, much more than walking ... what's that you say? Jumping?
Don't be ridiculous.
There was also city building! You, too, could explore all the thrills of a controlled mosey combined with all the excitement of basic city planning. Little bubbles dotted the landscape, allowing the player to build houses, statues, even the occasional road! Can you imagine, FULL walking access to residential neighborhoods AND roads?! All for less than $150?!
The $25 "Mild Knee Pain" DLC is intense.
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We understand the desire to simulate a new and exciting career that you're not able or willing to pursue in reality: a professional athlete, a race car driver, a space marine (we hear the benefits are terrible). With video games, you could be any of those things. Or you could give up on even digital ambitions and just be a metropolitan mid-level sanitation worker instead.
If you can figure out which item on the previous list doesn't belong, then you've already avoided the mistake that Excalibur Publishing made.
We truly wish we could say that was a satirical Photoshop.
Garbage Truck Simulator has you take on the role of an unassuming street grunt in command of your very own municipal beast of burden. You're tasked with cleaning up the streets -- only literally, of course; there's no Charles Bronson DLC for Garbage Truck Simulator. You receive fines for speeding or for crashing, but it's not like your lumbering garbage truck is really capable of "speeding" anyway.
You missed some hobo urine: 50 point penalty.
Staying with the theme of "simulating things people don't like doing even if they get paid to do them," Excalibur also released Street Cleaning Simulator. If you're wondering what happens if you decide to put the pedal to the floor and get the real action started, well ... so is the game. Your street cleaner tops out at around 10 mph. Hopefully they rendered the annoyed honking and obscenities screamed by other drivers who have been stuck behind you for the last 15 blocks.
Sneak'n Peek was a virtual game of hide and seek. Now, we know that sounds pathetic at first: Why simulate a game that easy to play in reality? There's no expensive barrier to entrance like golf or paragliding. Real hide and seek only requires two things to play:
1) another person and
Evidently played by the people on road signs.
But actually, we could see an ambitious, modern-day video game version of hide and seek doing quite well. Give the player an entire city to hide in! Or a moonbase, or the set of Tron -- wait, no, give everybody jet packs! But alas: Sneak'n Peek was very much an authentic hide and seek simulator. No superpowers. No exciting environments. Just an old, empty house and two unremarkable, pixelated player avatars.
"If a friend isn't available to play, the computer will be happy to hide from you." - A sentence clearly typed through tears.
Still, maybe it's for ... kids with disabilities? Kids in bad neighborhoods with tiny apartments? There's no answer to "Who is this game for?" that doesn't make us very sad inside. And even worse, Sneak'n Peek was an objectively terrible simulator. It turns out that, to play hide and seek well, one needs places to hide. Experienced hide and seekers posit that "hiding" may even be up to 50 percent of the game. And while it did the seeking part just fine, hiding was something Sneak'n Peek just couldn't pull off: Thanks to hardware limitations, the game featured "up to" 20 hiding places, total, scattered across four entire rooms! Rooms that looked like this:
Via Cemetery Games
Wait, that's a game?! We thought it was a photo!
Is he under the bed, or is he ... dead, I guess? Probably under the bed.
The game could also be played solo, but parents: If you ever catch your kid playing a solo game of virtual hide and seek, hock the Atari and get him into therapy immediately. That's a clinically verified sign of crippling depression.
For more bizarre video games, check out The 5 Most Pathetic Video Game Acting Performances. Or learn about 5 Famous Video Game Villains (Who Are Actually the Victim).
Related Reading: You know what would make this article WAY more depressing? Reading about incredible game ideas that will never be made. Next, restore your faith in the gaming industry with this list of terrible ideas that were cut out of video games at the last minute. The scream-based combat Legend of Zelda almost included would have made the world a much more irritating place. And if you'd like a reminder of just what things video games do better than any other form of art, click that last hyperlink.