15 Promotional Video Games That Didn't Need to Exist

Coca-Cola made a “Space Invaders” clone where you shoot the letters P-E-P-S-I, because they live for drama.
15 Promotional Video Games That Didn't Need to Exist

When a video game is known for changing the world, that sounds like what every video game developer is trying to achieve. Unfortunately for 1982’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” the effect that it had on the world was not a positive one. Cited as one of the most important video games for the sheer magnitude of its suckage, it is the earliest known example of a terrible movie-video game tie-in. But it would far from be the last. 

Not all branded video games are bad, though. Take “Chex Quest,” which on paper had everything working against it; it was a clone of another game (“Doom”) based on and sold with boxes of a pretty bland cereal. However, somehow, “Chex Quest” lives in that lofty area of collective nostalgia - something that, say, another Doom-clone, “Taco Bell: Tasty Temple Challenge,” does not.

And then there are games that are not trying to sell you sugary confections, or trying to ride the wave of popularity off a hit film, but are desperately trying to lie to young male gamers about the reality of actual war - like “America’s Army,” thanks to the US government, which enjoyed years of sequels. Read below for the good, the bad, and the “Hooters Road Trip.”

Insulin prices are the real enemy in Captain Novolin

Captain Novolin RELEASED ON: SUPER NINTENDO CRACKED.COM Funded by insulin maker Novolin, the side-scroller stars the titular (and diabetic) hero as he tries to save Pineville's (also) diabetic mayor, who only has 48 hours worth of insulin. This makes the stakes of the game distressingly realistic.

Wired / Wikipedia 

Domino’s let the Noid loose on video games

Yo! Noid RELEASED ON: NES CRACKED.COM In this game, the mayor of New York needs help stopping evil creatures that are overrunning his city - so of course he calls upon the spastic Domino's gremlin.


Chex entered a respectable Doom-clone into the video game library

Chex Quest RELEASED ON: MS-DOS 112% 123% CRACKED.COM This Doom-clone features a humanoid piece of cereal fighting against... goo aliens? As weird as it is, it had no right being this good.

Giant Bomb 

E.T. set the bar low for all other games

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial RELEASED ON: ATARI 2600 E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL 9546 CRACKED.COM This infamous movie tie-in, considered the worst game ever made, was rushed out the door in 6 weeks by one guy, with no time to play test - and it shows.

NPR / Wikipedia 

Colgate made a game for Dutch gamers with bad breath

Harald Hardtooth: Fight of the Clean Teeth 000000 1UP RELEASED ON: COMMODORE 64 CRACKED.COM Released in Denmark, this is Colgate's answer to the question where is an anthropomorphic tooth to fight bacteria in the ramshack town that is my diseased mouth?

Strategy Wiki

The 7 Up Spot had a video game, even though Connect Four was right there

Spot: The Video Game RELEASED ON: TOO GODDAMN MANY THINGS ZUP PROOD PRESENTS SP T 17004 THE VIDEO GAMIN THA GAME GRITICS SAY CRACKED. COM TWO THUMBS UP What's lamer than making the circle in your logo your mascot? Making a video game with that mascot that is just a 2,500 year old Chinese board game.

Hardcore Gaming 101 

Axe gave smelly teens a chance to woo the ladies without even using the cologne

Mojo Master RELEASED ON: PC Lotpsou how sounsport بلم Ice CRACKED.COM Axe Body Spray leaned hard into the appeal to horned-up teenage boys marketing strategy with this seduction game that is just a glorified PG peep show.


Drill for oil around the globe

Quest For Oil DEPA Horthum RELEASED ON: WEB $2152K HFT 649 RPM Distance to oil 3893 2113m Alinea Estamyout adidas TITTE I specing Date - Limestone HARD Main GRACKED.COM You chose locations on the globe to plunder for resources, advised by the first result under brunette in business attire on your stock photo account of choice, for Maersk.


Japan reigns supreme and brings their mascot A-game to the video game world

Pepsiman RELEASED ON: PLAYSTATION TOTAL DRINK! CRACKED.COM Pepsi's Japanese superhero mascot got his own game at the end of the '90s, in the form of an action endless-runner, which is more fondly remembered than the carbonated high fructose corn syrup it's named after.

IGN / Wikipedia 

The Taco Bell challenge was more than just trying to make it to the bathroom in time

Taco Bell: Tasty Temple Challenge RELEASED ON: MS-DOS Gasty Temple challenge ©2000 Taco Bell Corp. CRACKED COM Despite being released in 2000, the Taco Bell advergame Doom-clone came out for a 19-year-old (at the time) operating system.

Dos Games / YT 

Hooters Road Trip was like trying to watch the Spice channel and flipping to NASCAR when you heard footsteps

Hooters Road Trip RELEASED ON: PLAYSTATION - 02 FINISH OOTES CRACKED.COM Disappointingly, this titillating title is a rally racer that relegates the titular Hooters girls into being sparsely used, grainy .MOVs that compliment your driving prowess.

Game Zone / YT 

Darkened Skye almost got rid of the Skittles influence, and they would have been better for it

Darkened Skye RELEASED ON: PC AND GAMECUBE CRACKED.COM This fantasy-adventure RPG seems pretty boilerplate overall, leaning on typical fantasy cliches, until suddenly it's Skittles of all things that are revealed to be the source of magic.

CG Online / YT 

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