Sometimes, you play the game. But, other times, the game plays you. The team at Watch Mojo found 10 video games that are basically just ads, which are listed below.
1. Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension (1992)
What do you mean ‘product placement?’
Having been produced to try and rival Nintendo’s Mario and Sega’s Sonic, Zool was set to be Amiga’s icon, but the game became known more for its pretty extensive product placement by Chupa Chups.
2. M.C. Kids (1992)
Help! The Hamburglar has run off with my magical bag.
This platformer for the NES sees you play as one of two “hip-hop kids” – it is called M.C. Kids, after all – named Mick and Mack, heading off on a mission through McDonaldland to find Ronald McDonald’s “magic bag” that was stolen by the Hamburglar.
3. Yo! Noid (1990)
Avoid the Noid!
Even though it was marketed as “Affordable Fun”, Yo! Noid wasn’t really much of either, as the game wasn’t what you’d call affordable when you consider that it also wasn’t much fun.
If you were unfortunate enough to have played this game, you would have found yourself as the Noid that is trying to save New York from its evil twin brother, being rewarded with pizza. As most people would have discovered, it was best to avoid the Noid.
4. Darkened Skye (2002)
Taste the rainbow.
Really, what could be better than an adventure game set in a fantasy world that was inspired by Skittles. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly: this is a game about a young warrior shepherdess that uses the power of magical gems known as “Skittles” to defeat evil.
5. Chex Quest (1996)
Real, good food made with simple ingredients.
Using the same engine as The Ultimate Doom, Chex Quest did change the formula a little bit, swapping out the Space Marine that is battling demons from Hell for the Chex Warrior and its battle against some slime creatures called Flemoids.
Lucky for many, this game wasn’t purchased in the traditional sense, being found in boxes of Chex. It might not have been that bad, though, as two sequels were developed (but only one was officially released).
6. Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool (1992)
It ain’t easy bein’ cheesy.
As the mascot for Cheetos, you’d think that the snacks would have made an appearance in Too Cool to Fool, but that wasn’t the case. As it happens, there is absolutely no mention of Cheetos, period. In fact, the only Cheetos on the packaging would have been the greasy paw prints of the kids who ended up with it.
7. America’s Army (2002 –)
Be All You Can Be.
The game, which was designed to provide what was said to be an accurate portrayal of a soldier, was financed and developed by the United States government and available for free as a recruiting tool. So, in a way, you could say that America’s Army is almost a real-life The Last Starfighter.
8. Cool Spot (1993)
Just like Too Cool to Fool, there isn’t much in the way of blatant marketing, but the title character is “Cool Spot”, a mascot for 7 Up. In this single-player platformer, players controlled the titular character, who can jump and attack (by throwing soda bubbles), but the game still went flat quite quickly.
9. Sneak King (2006)
Have it your way.
Available with purchases of Burger King’s value meals, Sneak King is just what you would imagine: blatant advertising. It worked, though, as it got people talking and proved to be a popular purchase (with a reported 3.2 million copies being sold)/ Not only that, but it also helped Burger King increase its burger sales by 40 percent.
10. Pepsiman (1999)
With a theme song that easily became an earworm, the same can’t be said for this game, which didn’t catch the imagination of, well, anyone, when you consider how badly it sold. Basically, as Pepsiman, players would run around environments and quench the thirst of people who are in need of a drink.