Horrifically bad: worst horror games

There are plenty of articles dedicated to the best horrors in honour of Halloween. But what about those at the other end of the scale: releases so toe-curlingly bad that, rather than covering your eyes in fright they have you laughing at the screen in disbelief?

As if making ourselves watch the trailers for the worst-rated games on Steam earlier this year wasn’t painful enough, my other-half and I recently decided to subject our minds to a special extended Halloween edition. Read on to find out about the worst-rated titles with a ‘horror’ tag currently on the platform and our reactions to them. Prepare to be scared… or probably not.

10.   Bunker 58

Steam rating:   Negative (0%)
Example review:   What the game description on the store page should be: ‘After playing this game, you will question yourself how much the devs value their reputation, and how far will they go to pursue their dreams.’

Kim:   “Oh look. Zombies, now there’s a surprise. Hang on a minute – did that zombie just run through a wall?”

Pete:   “Yeah. This looks absolutely terrible.”

Kim:   “It just seems really boring, like the same thing over and over again.”

Pete:   “I wouldn’t play it even if it was free.”

Kim:   “What, no jump-scare ending?”

Pete:   “Now I’m really disappointed.”

9.   SECTOR

Steam rating:   Very Negative (19%)
Example review:   I’d rather have someone squeeze my nipples until they lactated than ever even look in this game’s general direction ever again.

 

SECTOR, video game, box art, spaceship

Kim:   “Ok, I can’t seem to find a trailer for this game anywhere so you’ll just need to look at the description and screenshots for this one. *Reads description out loud*

Pete:   “If you’re not going to have a trailer and are going to rely on your write-up, you’re going to need to come up with a better description than that. I’ve not even seen the screenshots yet and I already don’t want to play the game.”

Kim:   “And now for the screenshots!”

Pete:   “I don’t really want to see them.”

Kim:   “Tough. *Shows screenshots*

Pete:   “I still don’t want to play it.”

8.   VIGIL: Blood Bitterness

Steam rating:   Very Negative (17%)
Example review:   No other game quite has the gameplay or graphical stylings that this does. However it soon becomes apparent WHY no other game has these.

Pete:   “Well he looks about as evil as my arse. I’m sure Frank Miller appreciates the Sin City rip-off but the rest of us aren’t so bothered.”

Kim:   “I kind of like the way it looks though. I wonder why the reviews are so bad?”

Pete:   “Because it’s quite obviously s**t.”

Kim:   “Ok, it seems as if the majority of people on Steam are complaining about technical issues. They’re reporting a lot of bugs.”

Pete:   “I suppose ‘buggy as hell’ sounds about right for a horror game.”

Kim:   “Maybe we’ll skip over this one too then.”

7.   The Tower

Steam rating:   Very Negative (16%)
Example review:   This isn’t a game, it’s a poorly designed chore. An actual chore wouldn’t have you bumping into invisible walls the entire time.

Pete:   “Well that doesn’t look that bad, compared to the other ones anyway.”

Kim:   “Considering all these games come up under a search for ‘horror’ on Steam, I’m really surprised at the lack of jump-scares we’ve had so far.”

Pete:   “The developers were just trying to build the atmosphere with that trailer.”

Kim:   “Sounds as if you’re contemplating buying it then.”

Pete:   “No. No I’m not.”

Kim:   “Let’s move onto the next one then, shall we?”

6.   VERGE:Lost Chapter

Steam rating:   Very Negative (16%)
Example review:   One of those games that even if they paid you to play would be considered a horrible waste of time.

Pete:   “Surely if you had several dismembered bodies hanging from chains from the ceilings, the floor wouldn’t be spotless would it?”

Kim:   “Maybe they cleaned up before we arrived.”

Pete:   “What is this game? A zombie-type thing?”

Kim:   “*Reads description out loud*… but is it really abandoned? ”

Pete:   “Well apart from the monsters and the cleaner, obviously not.”

Kim:   “I hope they get paid well.”

5.   Age of Survival

Steam rating:   Very Negative (15%)
Example review:   [insert negative review here]

Pete:   “A dude threw sticks at an elephant.”

Kim:   “I can’t believe we’ve just watched a trailer where some guy takes ages to craft a beating stick, which then just turns out to be a branch.”

Pete:   “It’s quite obvious that the person who did the backgrounds isn’t the same person who drew the sticks.”

Kim:   “So this is a horror game about sticks then?”

Pete:   “And elephants. And there was a helicopter.”

Kim:   “Nope. Still not getting it.”

4.   The Culling 2

Steam rating:   Very Negative (15%)
Example review:   If you for some reason bought this game, remember that it is possible to get a refund.

Pete:   “Yet another battle royale game. It wasn’t really horror though, was it?”

Kim:   “Yes it was. It’s an example of how horrifying it is that developers want to continue ripping off Fortnite.”

Pete:   “Still wasn’t horror though, was it? Although I suppose any game where you’re shooting someone is now classified as a horror. I expect more from the genre.”

Kim:   “Can we go back to Bunker 58? At least that game had zombies.”

Pete:   “Would you really want to go back?”

Kim:   “On second thought, maybe not.”

3.   Skyscraper Simulator

Steam rating:   Very Negative (6%)
Steam rating:   Very fun, if you like watching paint dry.

Pete:   “Another one. How is this horror?”

Kim:   “Either the Steam tags are screwed or the reviewers have been having a bit of a joke.”

Pete:   “I don’t know what’s worse: the game itself, or the fact they’ve marked it as a horror. Someone call Trading Standards and get that sorted out.”

Kim:   “The game is so bad, that even the backing track sounds like a death march.”

Pete:   “It just wasn’t a horror. I don’t understand. Why is it in the horror category? Why is it there? And why would building a skyscraper be entertaining in a video game anyway?”

Kim:   “Sweetheart, I think you just need to let this one go.”

2.   GASP

Steam rating:   Overwhelmingly Negative (19%)
Example review:   The only good thing about this game is that after the insufferable torture that is GASP, they were kind enough to plant a massive tumor in my head to end my misery.

Pete:   “What was that that just hit his head?”

Kim:   “*Laughs hysterically*

Pete:   “He must be the unluckiest astronaut alive.”

Kim:   “*More hysterical laughing*

Pete:   “*Joins in with hysterical laughing*

Kim:   “That has to be the funniest thing I’ve watched in a very long time.”

1.   Flatout 3: Chaos & Destruction

Steam rating:   Overwhelmingly Negative (12%)
Example review:   After playing this game, buying a noose seems like a great idea.

Pete:   “Hang on, didn’t this one come up the last time we looked at bad games on Steam? The one with the really bad physics.”

Kim:   “Yes, this is the one. Still got dem physics.”

Pete:   “Apparently it’s one of the best driving games of the year according to the trailer.”

Kim:   “But notice how that’s not even a quote – the line isn’t attributed to anybody. The developers just slapped the text in there.”

Pete:   “And also notice how it’s still not a horror game.”

Kim:   “So much for a great Halloween post.”

That’s all we can take for now – we’re going to lie down in a dark room for a while and recover. If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations on making it through and have a excellent Halloween!

Creeped out: spookiest video game moments

As discussed in my Question of the Month response last week, it’s often the strangest things that scare us. We all have those gaming moments that have stuck with us, the memory of which only surfaces during the dark of night, scratching at the corner of our brains and making our hair stand on end…

In honour of Halloween and all things eerie, Brandon over at That Green Dude posed a question to the community recently: what is your spookiest video game moment? Below is the list of my own, which includes a few expected horror titles; but there are also a few less obvious releases that may just surprise you.

Warning: some spoilers are included below so if you haven’t played a title, you may wish to skip forward to the next entry!

1993: Myst

Myst, video game, Achenar, bedroom, Mechanical Age, tiles, poison, cage, torture chamber

Since receiving my keys from the Kickstarter campaign, I’ve been working my way through the Myst games recently. Replaying the original not only reminded me how much I loved it but also how much Sirrus and Achenar made my skin crawl. Reaching the Mechanical Age and finding their bedrooms revealed more about the brothers but it was Achenar’s space that I found particularly disturbing when I was younger: a hidden door to a secret torture chamber exposes an electric chair, bottles of poison and even a rotting head. These siblings are twisted.

1995: Shivers

Shivers, video game, ghost, spirit, water, Ixupi, river, boat

This was the title I chose for my Halloween QotM answer recently. It looks somewhat laughable now but as a teenager with an overactive imagination, left with a small group of friends alone one day, our first encounter with the evil Water Ixupi while navigating our boat on the underground river into Professor Windlenot’s Museum of the Strange and Unusual brought us all out in screams. Although we laughed it off, that night I went around our house turning every single light on and was extremely relieved once my parents arrived home.

1996: Resident Evil

Resident Evil, video game, dogs, window, hallway, corridor, broken glass

The original Resident Evil has appeared on numerous lists across the internet this Halloween, including Bandicoot Warrior’s own QotM response. It was the first real horror I played as a teenager and the bit I’ll always remember is the scene that sticks with most gamers: that moment when the mutant dogs come crashing through the window, splintering the glass and snapping at your heels. As well as genuinely terrifying the hell out of me and taking a few years off my life, it showed that horror games can be just as frightening as films.

1998: Sanitarium

Sanitarium, video game, Innocent Abandoned, statue, angel, man, child

This point-and-click isn’t exactly a horror, but its atmosphere is incredibly unsettling and I remember feeling constantly on edge while playing it. As if putting the player into the bandages of a man who wakes up in a derelict asylum with no memory of how he got there wasn’t creepy enough, the Innocent Abandoned scene with its ruined playground full of horribly-disfigured children who keep talking about ‘Mother’ is unnerving. The backwards clock and haunting music just add to the sense that everything is ‘off’ and you need to get out of there as soon as possible.

2008: Dead Space

Dead Space, video game, necromorph, alien, blood, spacesuit, astronaut, gun

Come on, admit it: you screamed too when that first ‘dead’ necromorph jumped up and started attacking you on board the Ishimura. After reading Fitzy’s recent post about Dead Space over on Game Time, I know I’m not the only one who started cautiously approaching the corpses throughout the dark corridors from that point onwards. I love the way Dead Space manages to capture a perfect feeling of dread, isolation and claustrophobia, and it’s the title that started my fondness for space sci-fi. As Fitzy said: “Once bitten, twitchy and paranoid forever.”

2015: STASIS

STASIS, video game, man, John, surgery, spine, blood, computer

Time for another space science-fiction now: how would you feel if you had to perform dangerous surgery on yourself while still awake, in order to remove a chip that’s wrapped around your spine? Utterly petrified, that’s how. This particular scene in STASIS had me squirming in my seat and looking away because it’s very uncomfortable to watch. It’s gory but not overly gratuitous –well-handled in terms of both timing and how it fits in with the title’s storyline – but it’s some pretty-messed-up-stuff that will stick with you.

2015: SOMA

SOMA, video game, chair, robot, body

SOMA leaves the player questioning what it is that makes us human through a storyline about scanning human intelligence. Say the body you’re currently in is failing and you’re offered the opportunity to be copied into a new one. Which version of you then takes precedence? Should the old version be terminated? If both copies should be allowed to live, how do you come to terms with there being multiple versions of yourself in the same space? And how would you feel if you found out you were the copy? These thoughts are far scarier than any blood and gore.

2017: Stories Untold

Stories Untold, video game, House Abandon, text adventure, monitor, lamp, desk, keyboard

When I played text adventures as a kid, there was always that feeling that if you looked up from the screen you’d start to see elements of the game in the real world. This is exactly what Stories Untold recreates. I had to resist the urge to look over my shoulder as I played through The House Abandon episode and found it difficult to stop myself expecting my phone to ring when the handset does in-game. For a simple and unassuming release, it creates an awful lot of atmosphere through a number of very clever moments that I won’t spoil by saying more.

So there you have it: eight moments from both horror games and other genres that left me spooked. Let us know which gaming scenes sent a shiver down your spine in the comments below.

Shivers down your spine (a QotM answer)

October’s Question of the Month is brought to you by Ian from A Geeky Gal: long-time blogger, video game player, anime watcher and all round lovely lady. To find out more about him and his site, as well as how you can get involved, take a look at this post.

It’s often the strangest things that scare you, and what frightens one person won’t affect another in the slightest. This has been proven by October’s QotM thanks to some curious responses: rather than give typical blood-splattered horror answers, many people have mentioned releases outside this expected genre when talking about the video games which have made the hairs stand up on the back of their necks.

I understand where they’re coming from. I’ve been creeped out when entering dark rooms in the Greenbriars’ house in Gone Home; on edge while dealing with Sirrus and Achenar in Myst despite them being safely trapped away in Linking Books; and shocked by the unexpected foes found in the mines of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. In-your-face frights are scary and will certainly have you screaming, but it’s often those more subtle things which will stay in your mind afterwards and haunt your dreams…

After convincing my parents I had far too much coursework to go to a family party, I’d been left home alone one evening in the mid-90s. But rather than getting out the books, I invited a small group of friends over to keep me company and we ended up playing a video game after they saw the stack of boxes piled up next to the CRT monitor. I’d visited the gaming stall at our local market just a few days before to pick up something to see me through the summer holidays, so now was a good time to start it.

We huddled around the screen to see where this adventure would take us, the sun slowly setting through the window turning the room gradually darker. Shivers‘ story started when our teenaged character was dared by their friends to spend the night in the grounds of Professor Windlenot’s Museum of the Strange and Unusual. The fact that the place was considered to be haunted ever since its creator’s mysterious disappearance 15 years earlier wasn’t a deterrent, and after solving a few puzzles we found ourselves standing inside the grand building.

Unfortunately for us however, we weren’t alone. In 1980 two ‘nerds’ had broken into the museum themselves and accidentally released ten Ixupi from a set of ancient ceramic vessels from the Moche Valley. These evil spirits were lurking within chemical elements such as sand, metal, wood and electricity, and were intent of sucking the Ka (life-force) out of anyone they came into contact with. You can probably now figure out what happened to the Professor and the nerds…

As we solved puzzles to get further into the building, everyone in my own group was trying to keep their cool. We had to hunt down each vessel and its corresponding cover then use them to trap the correct Ixupi before sunrise, without them lashing out and stealing away our limited amount of Ka. We all let out a scream the first time we encountered one of the spirits at the underground river and it attacked us – before trying to cover it off and laugh it off because the game was ‘stupid’. You know how it is with teenagers.

Shivers, video game, ghost, spirit, water, Ixupi, river, boat

The first thing I did after my friends left for the night was go around the house with the family dog in tow and turn on the light in every single room. The skin prickled on the back of my neck each time I heard an unexpected sound and my overactive imagination was certain there was somebody there with me. I sat in the living room freaking out and was kind of grateful when my parents and younger brother arrived home, even if my dad did tell me off about the lights and for wasting electricity.

When I watch videos of Shivers now, I find it laughable I could find something as silly-looking so scary back then. But the story played on my mind and I found excuses to not be left alone for a long time after that summer evening. Even now as an adult I have a recurring dream every once in a while, where I’m searching for something unknown through a large building full of hundreds of rooms while something is stalking me… could it be the Ixupi?

Just one question: who on earth thought it would be a good idea to imprison evil life-sucking spirits inside some incredibly-delicate and extremely-breakable vases?

Video game series: dealing with the Fallout

I got into a conversation with Bandicoot Warrior about Fallout at the summer blog party back in June because I haven’t played any of the games in full. I watched my other-half work his way through part of Fallout 4 when the title was released in 2015; and I tried to play the original shortly afterwards but couldn’t get it to run smoothly enough on my PC, so eventually gave up.

Our discussion led me to make a confession about a weird gaming habit I have. It sounds odd to a lot of people with my other-half teasing me about it occasionally, and it’s prohibitive in that it prevents me from playing well-loved titles such as Bethesda’s apocalyptic releases. But it’s something I’ve always done and just can’t seem to shake: I’m unable to play a game in a series unless I’ve played all previous instalments, even if they’re now unavailable or absolutely terrible.

I went into this in more detail during a post about Silence shortly after the blog party. I discovered about two hours into this adventure that it was actually a sequel – something the Steam page failed to mention. I had to stop my playthrough and switch to The Whispered World to cater to my quirk, and it ended up being a title I came close to hating thanks to the other game already giving away its final plot-twist (and the fact the protagonist had a voice and attitude so annoying it made me want to punch him).

The only exceptions I can ever recall making are for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Diablo III. On one hand I’m happy I was able to break my rule and play these releases, because I thoroughly enjoyed them and they’re great games everybody needs to experience. But on the other hand I feel almost a sense of ‘guilt’ that I didn’t make an effort to visit the previous instalments of each franchise first.

When I think of my favourite video games, those which immediately spring to mind are The Secret of Monkey Island, The Longest Journey and Fable II. And what is it these titles have in common? They’re all part of a series I’ve played through completely (although I haven’t yet managed to bring myself to reach the end of Dreamfall Chapters). Right now I’m working my way through the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection – and after receiving my keys from the Kickstarter campaign, I had to restart from the beginning at the original title.

So why do I continue allowing my weird habit to affect my gaming preferences in this way? I’ve thought about it a lot but I’m still not entirely sure. Part of it is that I don’t want to miss out on anything a franchise has to offer, or have plot-twists and secrets revealed to me in an untimely manner similar to what happened with Silence. I also want to show respect for a series in a way; I want to understand its origins and its history, and see the direction the developer has decided to take it in throughout its life.

While this could be considered commendable on some levels, I get that it’s also somewhat stupid and even hypocritical. I talk about showing respect to video games in the paragraph above but am I really doing that if I’m purposefully missing out on what’s potentially a developers’ greatest work, the culmination of all their efforts over the years, due to some silly habit? This is something I’m going to have to give more consideration to and come up with a plan of action.

There are so many games I’d love to play if it wasn’t for my annoying quirk: the Metal Gear titles and God of War for example, and of course Fallout 4. Maybe it’s time to put some more effort into getting the original Fallout working on my PC.

GameBlast19: we need your help!

Here’s the latest on our plans for GameBlast19, an annual gaming marathon for SpecialEffect. This amazing charity puts fun and inclusion back into the lives of those with physical difficulties by helping them to play video games using a range of technology, making a positive impact on confidence and rehabilitation. Take a look at this update on the SpecialEffect website or click on the link to see all Later Levels’ posts about the event.

Following on from our first GameBlast19 update in September, I’m afraid to report we’ve already run into a couple of ‘technical difficulties’ for next year’s event. It’s officially scheduled to take place on 22-24 February 2019 which just so happens to be the same weekend as Ben’s wife’s birthday; and Nathan is expecting the arrival of his son in just a few weeks so he’ll be tied up with nappy changes. This cuts our dream-stream-team in half to just myself and Pete so we need to start thinking creatively.

He’s convinced we’ll be able to manage another non-stop 24-hour gaming session and, while I’m not so sure myself, I’m wiling to step up to the challenge and give it a go. But it just wouldn’t be the same without the presence of our partners-in-crime and so we’ve therefore been considering ways for them to be involved remotely. We’d also like to get some audience participation going and think we’ve come up with a solution – so we’d like to ask you guys for your help!

It’s time for…

🎮   The GameBlast Genre Generator   🎮

Can you think of a video game perfect for a stream because it supports cooperative play or encourages plenty of discussion in Twitch chat? Whether it’s an action title that multiple players can join in with or a puzzler where everybody can help figure out the solutions in chat, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Help shape our GameBlast19 stream by suggesting suitable PlayStation and PC games in the following genre categories. Get creative for the community section and pick anything you wish; this is your chance to see us play your favourite release, work our way through something we’ve never heard of or suffer something difficult after almost an entire day without sleep.

  1.    Adventure
  2.    Platformer
  3.    RPG
  4.    Virtual reality
  5.    Action
  6.    Horror
  7.    Shooter
  8.    Community choice

Submit your suggestions using the comments at the end of this post or contact me directly using any of the Later Levels social media channels. We’ll then combine everyone’s ideas into a poll for our next GameBlast19 update towards the end of November, and you’ll have the opportunity to vote on the game you’d like to see played during each section of the stream.

We’re both excited and a little scared to see what you guys come up with because our streaming fate in your hands. More news coming next month!

Video game items that need to exist in real life

I may have already written a response post to a very kind Sunshine Blogger Award from Ian over at Adventure Rules in response to his question about endings and beginnings. But he asked another one of his nominees that deserves some consideration: which magical item or technological marvel from a video game would you use for completely selfish purposes in real life?

Ian himself said he’d choose the Ocarina of Time from The Legend of Zelda for several very good reasons. He’d be able to teleport to work so he could sleep in then make the day go faster to get home sooner; and as I’m sure many other parents could appreciate, hold the ability to instantly put his son to sleep whenever he needed a nap. This got me wondering which items other bloggers would pick – so it’s time for a little collaboration article!

Pokéball from the Pokémon series

Chosen by Lucius P. Merriweather from A Most Agreeable Pastime

Pokémon, Let's Go, video game, Pokéball, stars

“The first item I thought of was the hidden blade from Assassin’s Creed for some reason. Probably just because it looks cool. But then I actually thought about what it would be like in real life and I quickly realised that having a hidden blade would be a terrible idea. I’m sure it would keep going off at inopportune moments. I could easily see myself spearing the toaster by accident while making breakfast, or gouging a hole in the sofa as I reached for a cup of tea.

“But then I thought of something that would be really useful – a Pokéball. Granted, there aren’t many Pokémon in Darlington, but the physics-defying properties of these seemingly magical balls would be useful in all sorts of other ways. I’m presuming that they’re able to suck in things other than Pokémon, in which case they could have all sorts of uses. Struggling to move house? No worries, just suck the sofa into a Pokéball and spit it out in your new house. Can’t afford two tickets to a concert? Easy, just capture your friend or spouse and then extrude them again once you’re safely inside the gig. The possibilities are endless.”

Radiant armour from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Chosen by Luke from Hundstrasse

The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, video game, Link, amour, glowing, skeleton, Radiant, rain

“… and up next we have a very special item; Link’s Radiant Armour from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Yes, this item has freshly been shipped into our warehouses directly from the Gerudo Town Secret Club and until this moment was exclusive to that location, but can now be yours for the low price of two-thousand, four hundred rupees and of course the nine luminous stones required to produce this dazzling and classy effect. So let’s take a look at it in action!

“As you can see this is clearly evening wear with the glowing skeleton motif being visible only in the hours of darkness. I guarantee that from the moment that you slide this form hugging ensemble on you will feel compelled to bring mischief and mayhem to any and all settlements on your route. The anonymity afforded from the hood and the playful yet far fetched visage of a glowing skeleton climbing over rooftops, looting chests, and cooking fried wild greens will undoubtedly aid you in remaining both anonymous and mythical. That’s not all, order now by calling the onscreen number and we will enchant the item to afford the wearer an extra level or stealth! So what are you waiting for, call in now for the finest costume available in the Hyrule region!”

Navigator Head from The Secret of Monkey Island

Chosen by PiecesOfKate from Musings of a nitpicking girl

The Secret of Monkey Island, video game, voodoo, dead, head, eyeballs, Navigator Head

“I would love my very own Navigator’s Head from The Secret of Monkey Island. Navigation isn’t my strong point, so I would find it very handy as my own, personal GPS system for getting around. Not sure what street to turn down? Simply check which way the head is pointing. No more relying on having a fully-charged phone with internet connection – as long as I’ve got my head, I’m sorted.

“Of course I’d have to carry it around in a Sainsbury’s bag or something, so not to alarm people. And when I’m not using it I’d display it in a cabinet and tell people it’s an artefact from pirate history. It’d make a nice alternative to a pumpkin at Halloween – and no, it’s not watching you as you walk down the driveway, you’ve just had too much punch.”

Chocobo from the Final Fantasy series

Chosen by Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie

Final Fantasy X, video game, Chocobo, bird, chicken

“If I could choose any item from a video game to have in real life it would have to be a Chocobo from the Final Fantasy series. Strictly speaking this is a bird, not an item, but I don’t just want it as a pet. They have practical uses too.

“As someone who doesn’t drive, having a Chocobo would allow me to get around town easily without wearing through shoes or getting squished using public transport. It would also allow me to travel out of town. I live pretty near some really beautiful places, but at the moment it is difficult to get to them because of things like rivers, mountains, lochs and other forms of wilderness. Some Chocobos however can cross rivers and climb mountains and even cross seas, which would really open up the world. Whilst out exploring they also have an uncanny ability to find treasure, so it would be good for my bank balance too.

“When travelling in these inhospitable environments it is possible that we might meet scary creatures like lions or bears, but a Chocobo would come in handy here too, as some of them will actually help you out in battle. Finally though, as I said at the start, they are not just items; they are also wonderful companion animals and if I had one I think it would be the start of a beautiful friendship.”

Plasmids from BioShock

Chosen by Nathan from Hurricane thought process

BioShock, video game, plasmid, fire, hands, palms

“The item I have chosen to bring into the real world would be the plasmids from BioShock. Not only would they make life a bit more fun, they would also have their uses. Just think about the fire and telekinesis powers, along with the swarm or bees! And as for the side-effects of going insane, well I think I’m already halfway there.”

The Groovitron from the Ratchet & Clank series

Chosen by Chris from OverThinker Y

Ratchet & Clank, video game, Groovitron, disco, dance, robots

“I think it’s kind of heartening that, while Ratchet spends a lot of his time shooting aliens with a variety of shotguns, laser beams, flamethrowers, missiles, plasma whips, and, uh, beams that turn people into ducks or sheep, one of the most powerful tricks up his sleeve is the power of dance.

“The Groovitron is a recurring gadget in the Ratchet & Clank series, and it’s basically a portable disco: engage the device, and it’ll shoot out a floating disco ball complete with party lights and funky beats. Every enemy in the area will just be compelled to get their groove on, including a lot of bosses, which leaves you totally free to wail on them until they explode in a shower of funk. The fact that the Groovitron works on almost any enemy in the series, and will give them a unique dancing animation to boot, makes it one of the single most useful bits of kit in Ratchet’s arsenal, proving that sometimes you’ve just gotta take a break from blowing stuff up and have a bit of a boogie.”

Paraglider from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Chosen by Carla from Pop Culture Literary

The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, video game, Link, Hyrule, flying, trees, sky, hang-gliding, Paraglider

“If I were to choose one video game item to use in real life, it would probably have to be Link’s hang-glider from Breath of the Wild. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to fly, and jumping off of things and gliding is a very close second to this concept. Yes, I know there are real hang gliders that I can learn how to operate. However, based on video game logic, Link’s glider seems to collapse instantly into a pocket-sized item, and it pops open equally quickly. You can’t exactly make a quick escape out of a tall building and pull out a real-world hang glider to save your life mid fall!

“I would understand, however, if the powers-that-be wouldn’t grant me the glider due to popular demand. My second choice would have to be the pocket tool from the LittleBigPlanet games. Imagine having a closet in your pocket all the time? Sudden wardrobe changes for breakout musical numbers would never be a problem again. This tool also offers environment-enhancing decorations that would allow me to do any number of things, from beautifying my surroundings with baubles and stickers (hey, it’s not vandalism!) to manipulating the landscape to my advantage (I’d have a pop-up hiding place anywhere I went! And fences would no longer be an obstacle).”

Dubstep Gun from Saints Row

Chosen by Brandon from That Green Dude

Saints Row, Saints Row IV, dupstep gun, dancing, twerking

“I choose the Dubstep Gun from Saints Row IV. It allows you to defeat your enemies with the power of dubstep. It’s a really funny and cool weapon and even though you are just shooting music at people, it’s incredibly powerful.

“There is DLC that allows you to change the genre and I would choose rock and metal. If I could shoot people with the power of Jimi Hendrix’s music, Motörhead or Queen, I would be very happy.”

Pip-Boy from the Fallout series

Chosen by Edu from Random Select

Fallout 4, video game, Pip-Boy, computer, arm, screen

“I chose the Pip-Boy. The main reason is that with smartphones and wearable sensors today, it seems more likely than ever to have a device that monitors your vitals, can tell how you’re injured, and how much XP you’ve collected (based on age and other metrics like your job, marital status, etc).

I’d love to have the added functionality of managing my inventory: I’d like to know how I’m doing with groceries before having to reorder (or, you know, go scavenge at the local supermarket). Most of all, I’d love to be able to keep track of all places I’ve visited, see places nearby that may be interesting to visit, and of course FAST TRAVEL!!”

Save points from most video games

Chosen by Kim from Later Levels

Rise of the Tomb Raider, video game, Lara Croft, base camp, save point, fire

“They say you should never have regrets in life but we all have at least one. Whether it’s that time you called your teacher ‘mum’ in school in front of your friends, texted the worst possible message to the wrong person or walked out of the ladies with your skirt caught in your knickers, we all have an experience we look back on and feel embarrassed. You don’t have to worry about that any more however with your very own portable save point!

“Go back in time and correct those mistakes using this handy tool. A save point would allow you to record a ‘version’ of your life so if an event didn’t work out in quite the way you wanted it to, you could return to the past and make whatever corrections you needed to. And if there was a particularly awesome day you wanted to relive, you could experience it all over and over again providing you don’t save over your previous file. It’s like time-travel but without the messy space-time-continuum thing.”

So there you have it. I think we can all agree that there are some excellent items here, none of which could possibly cause any kind of accident or harm to life in the real world… ahem. Which video game object would you pick for yourself?