Tag Archives: Bad games

Robot Vs. Birds Zombies Review


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But not every imitator is looking to be a complement. Throughout the history of the video game hobby there have always been imitators. The thing is, the good ones were also innovators. When it came out, Mortal Kombat was often called a Street Fighter clone. But it went in a new direction with digitized graphics, and gore. Great Giana Sisters is thought of as a Super Mario Bros clone. But it added a plethora of new power ups, had its own physics, and cool characters.

But this game is one of the worst kinds of clones. A clone that not only replicates something popular, but does it badly. A clone that feels cynical every time you try to pick it up. Like Action Girlz Racing, and other DDI Wii games. The kind of game that shrugs at you, and asks “Who cares? Somebody’s going to play it anyway.”

PROS: It’s only a dollar, so you’re not out that much.

CONS: Almost everything else.

ALSO: There are many better things you could do with that dollar.

If you couldn’t tell by the terrible title, and opening screen shot this is an Angry Birds clone. For the five of you who don’t know what Angry Birds is, it’s a puzzle game where you shoot birds into contraptions to squash cartoon pigs. You use a slingshot to do it. The game started life on cell phones before moving onto nearly everything else. While it’s a popular game for people to hate, it was a legitimately good mobile game. It was nothing Earth shattering, but it was solid. It used touch controls very well, and gave players a lot of puzzles to solve.

It took the mechanics of Gorilla Basic (Man am I dating myself with that reference.), and made them work in a new, and different style of game. Angry Birds became so popular that it spawned several sequels, a ton of merchandise, and tie-ins. Unfortunately for Rovio none of the sequels were all that different enough, and they haven’t really come up with any entirely new games. At least nothing that has captivated anyone the way Angry Birds did.


But we’re talking about a clone here, and while one might feel Angry Birds isn’t for them, Robots Vs. Birds Zombies isn’t made for anybody. It dresses itself up as a parody of Angry Birds. Likely in the hopes that when you find out it sucks, it can rely on being a parody, as a thinly veiled excuse for being bad. “I’m not supposed to be good, because I’m making fun of something that was popular! So it’s okay!”

When you first fire the game up you’ll be greeted with a configuration menu. Basically you can set your resolution, a one word quality setting, and whichever monitor you want to use in the event you have more than one. The title screen has no options whatsoever. After around 60 seconds of screaming “WHAT DO I DO?!?!” You’ll notice blue arrows of lightbulbs on the side of the screen. One on the upper right, one on the lower right. Clicking one gets you to a screen of circuit boards. Clicking an arrow of bulbs next to the boards takes you to the next set of boards. Each of the circuit boards is a stage.


If you start the lower run of boards you’ll get the obvious experience of using a slingshot. You’ll pull back the band using the mouse instead of your finger. But the idea is the same. Try to destroy undead birds, by using rocks to cause Rube Goldberg style chaos to have things fall on them, and squash them. If you start the upper run of boards, you’ll get a different experience. This one involves using missiles. You place tracker markers about the level so that when you fire your missiles, they’ll follow the path to make objects explode, and fall on the targets.

The thing is, in neither case does anything work the way it is supposed to. The slingshot stages never seem to line an arc up properly when you pull back, and fire. The actual slingshot itself, will many times reverse itself, get jittery, and shift above your character oddly. Even when the game works competently, there are bugs. There were several times objects that should have squished a bird didn’t. There were times where a bird would shake around violently in between two or more obstacles, unable to decide if it should count it as a kill or not.


But the game doesn’t fare much better in the other mode. It has some of the worst physics this side of Bad Ratz. It also has a very specific way it wants you to solve the puzzles. But even when you comply you’ll be fighting the game the entire time. Place a path point for your missile, and watch as the missile goes just outside the line enough to hit a wall, forcing another continue. In the slingshot rounds, a tracer appears after you shoot. You might think “Great! I was off a hair. I can use this as a guide, and see a success!” But you’d be wrong. Moving a hair suddenly makes your stone miss by an even wider margin.

The game functions. It hasn’t crashed on me. But it doesn’t make it fun. It’s just bad. It isn’t even the kind of bad you can play with your pals to laugh at. It fails as a parody, a clone, and an all around game. Even if you come into it with the expectation that it could make for a good gag gift, it doesn’t. Moreover, for the same dollar there are far better games you could give to someone as a joke. Some of them surprisingly pretty good. Some of them admittedly terrible, but entertainingly so.


Spend the dollar on one of those games instead. Or a great vintage game in a yard sale. Or a can of your favorite cola. Or a candy bar. Or a bridge toll on your next road trip vacation. Don’t spend it on this drivel. This game actually has Steam cards too. Don’t spend any money on those either. Put them as well as this game out of sight, and mind.

Final Score: 2 out of 10

Reposted Review: Action Girlz Racing


(I originally wrote this for the now defunct Retro Retreat in 2012. It’s been updated.)

It’s been suggested that there are certain pieces of pop culture that are so horrible they’ve actually had a hand in creating the angry review shows we’ve come to know, and love.  Action Girlz *shudder* Racing  is the video game equivalent of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.  

PROS: There is nothing positive about this game whatsoever.

CONS: Broken controls. Broken graphics. Broken grammar. Broken everything.

WTF?: The title screen music is eerily similar to Hanson’s Mmm bop song.

AGR is one of the worst console experiences you will ever have should you have the misfortune of playing it. It would be easy to simply point out that one look at the box should send you screaming in the other direction. From the Bratz doll knockoff mascots on the cover, to the fact it beckons Lewis Lovhaug’s “Because poor literacy is kewl” meme be printed on it’s cover as a subtitle. But the biggest thing to do this should be the fact that it was put out by Conspiracy Entertainment, and Data Design Interactive. Back when the Wii was first coming out Nintendo would relax it’s seal of quality restrictions so that more third parties might put out some material on the console. DDI would take full advantage of this, spearheading the shovelware situation that plagued the system in it’s launch year. Not content to simply push out cheaply rushed titles, DDI actually reskinned a handful of games several times over, and sold them as entirely different ones. For example,  Anubis 2 (There was never an Anubis so figure that one out), is pretty much Ninjabread Man.

Anyway, AGR continues this trend of awful. I don’t like to have things compartmentalized to the point of bullet points. But this game pretty much requires it.


Starting with the graphics, (as they’re the first thing you’ll notice right away) the game has a penchant for stretched out low resolution textures. Even the title screen is a mess. The actual graphics of the gameplay don’t fare much better. when selecting a racer you’ll notice the character cards look nothing like the freakish Bratz doll knockoffs presented on the title screen. Once a race begins you will see visuals that are actually worse than a bottom rung N64 or PS1 title. That isn’t hyperbole. The models are insanely blocky, without any of the charm of Minecraft or Cubivore. Games where the intentional low fi visuals fit into a creative tapestry. These models instead reek of assembly line intent. Colored polygons slapped together to make characters with barely any artwork skinned to them. The textures that are there are very grainy, and washed out. Track designs aren’t very well put together either. they’re comprised of dead ends, out of nowhere 90 degree turns, and out of place hairpin turns. Coupled with the game’s other issues races are barely playable let alone winnable. There are also a lot of graphical glitches from inexplicable texture pop in, to geometry you will clip through.


Definitely not the worst part of the game, but certainly not very good either. A mild retooling of Hanson’s Mmm bop plays on the title (Changed BARELY enough to avoid infringement apparently) screen, and terrible background tunes accompany the races. Sometimes it’s the title screen music. Sound effects range from horrible to passable. From the car sounds to power up chimes, sound effects are forgettable at best. There are also  quips you’ll hear from your Action Girl of choice. They never reach the level of offensiveness, but they will make you give yourself pause. You’ll find yourself wondering why they would include them, or what audience they were intended for.


AGR essentially has 3 main modes, with the option to have up to four profiles. There are single races, time trials, and  a championship run. It steals from Mario Kart by making you go through 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc runs. But then it also has the audacity to make three difficulty levels within each. Doing this in turn unlocks other  tracks provided of course you win. Which you won’t. Because EVERYTHING in this thing is broken. Steering is done much like in Excitetruck. Holding the controller horizontally, buttons facing yourself you tilt it left corner up for right turns, and vice versa. 1, and 2 buttons are your gas, and reverse. The A button is supposed to use the weapons you run over. NONE of this works properly at all. All of the characters oversteer to the point of either flipping the car over, and rolling, or leading you to weave back, and forth until the car loses control, and crashes. Crash you will too. Right into geometry that you will likely clip through, and fall under the map before being respawned back into place. And don’t even think about trying to use weapons because most of the time they won’t work. When they do you’ll find they don’t have the place shuffling gravity of Mario Kart, Blur, or even Crash Team Racing.

The only thing that helps a little, (but still not enough to make things playable) is the fact that you can press the D pad to go to a car bumper camera. Thus, making wobbling back, and forth ever so slightly more manageable. Other characters are unlocked by collecting a ton of flower icons by driving over them. None of the extra characters are fun to use or very interesting. They all have the same soulless look to them, and spout off similar insufferable quips. Time Trials, and Single Race are pretty much useless modes unless you can find someone masochistic enough to play this drivel with you. Like most racers you can time trial to beat your own times but you really, really won’t want to waste your time on it when there are so many better games you could be playing. Again, the problems will impede any ability you have at doing so. Yes this horribly broken title includes split screen multiplayer. You, and up to 3 victims can convulse your terrifying dolls through a glitch filled wonderland if you’re out of forks to jam in each other’s eyes.  If by some miracle you can get past the initial cup in championship mode by coming in first my hats off to you. That said, it probably means Action Girlz Racing is the only game you own, and for that you also have my condolences.

Fun Factor.

Normally glitch filled, rushed games at least give the guilty pleasure feeling of  “This game is so horrible, and yet it is so much fun to mock it for all of it’s stupendously grand failures.”. This game’s only reward is pain. Any success you do find in it, is quickly replaced with more anguish. Take the worst film you’ve ever seen. Granted it’s a subjective question, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. (Although I’d have to question the sanity of any man, woman, or child who found enjoyment upon playing this travesty, and I don’t say that lightly.) Ask yourself to remember how many minutes it took you to walk out of the theatre. If you didn’t walk out of the theatre try to remember how you felt not only emotionally, but physically. Action Girlz Racing will double those feelings without breaking a sweat.

AGR is one of the worst titles I’ve ever played if not THE worst game I’ve ever suffered through. It is THAT BAD. “But Deviot!” You may exclaim. “You reviewed Scene It?: Twilight Edition! Surely, it can’t be worse than that game!” Oh but it can. Quite simply it is. Granted, S.I.T.E. was a poorly executed trivia game, but it still had SOMETHING for fans of it’s license. AGR is a train wreck in every sense of the euphemism. Avoid this like the plague, and if you see someone contemplating it as a gift for their child or grandchild you slap them on the wrist, and exclaim “NO!”. Avoid Action Girlz Racing at all costs.

Final Score: 0 out of 10 (Perish the thought!)