Let’s face it: most video games are pretty damn strange. Super Mario Bros. is about an apparently deranged plumber who runs around a psychedelic mushroom kingdom bashing his head on blocks. Sonic the Hedgehog is about a bright blue hedgehog with a serious amphetamine problem who bounces around like a pinball, collecting gold rings.
In some ways, we’ve come to expect a certain level of weirdness from video games. But then there are some which just take us by surprise and defy explanation. The following is a list of some of the weirdest games ever created. These games are not just weird but are also fun to play and are well worth trying out if you are after something a bit different.
15. Katamari Damacy
The Katamari series began its life on the PS2 with Katamari Damacy, but since then has had many sequels and spin offs, along with the recent remake Katamari Damacy Reroll for the Nintendo Switch.
Katamari Damacy was created by artist and sculptor turned game designer, Keita Takahashi. The story goes like this: The King of the Cosmos had a bit too much to drink one night and destroyed the universe (as you do). Now it falls on you (the Prince of the Cosmos) to gather up everything using a sort of adhesive ball called a Katamari and restore the universe. It starts out small as your Katamari picks up household objects such as thumbtacks and paperclips but then progresses to much larger, more ridiculous things including cows and entire houses.
Takahashi based the king’s physical appearance on Freddie Mercury and the game world he has created is both stylish and colourful. Combined with a catchy, upbeat and uniquely Japanese soundtrack, Katamari Damacy might be weird, but it is also one of the best gaming experiences on this list.
14. Golf Story
When you think of golf games, RPGs are not usually what first spring to mind, but this game from Australian indie developer Sidebar Games combines both genres and it’s actually a lot more fun than you would imagine.
In many ways Golf Story plays just like any other action RPG, but instead of worlds with different dungeons and towns to explore, there are golf courses with different terrains, other golfers to meet and side quests a plenty. Then there’s the combat: instead of fighting monsters with a sword (it’s dangerous to go alone!) or magic, you use a golf club. In fact, in the world of Golf Story there are very few problems which can’t be solved by hitting a golf ball at them.
At first Golf Story feels like you are playing Mario Golf with JRPG-esque side quests, but as the game progresses the quests get weirder and weirder and soon you find yourself digging up golf courses (with a golf club, of course; as if you’d use a shovel) to look for buried treasure. Or using your precision golf ball hitting skills to defeat an undead army.
It’s weird and quirky, but it actually makes an amusing and refreshing change from the action or turn based combat we have all come to expect from RPGs. Seriously, who knew golf could be so interesting?
13. Sneak King
The ultimate stealth game! Seriously, how many games are out there which combine stealth and fast food? For the unfamiliar, in some parts of the world Burger King has a mascot; a creepy looking character with a massive grinning head called “The King” (not that King). Believe it or not, The King got to star in not one, or two, but three video games for the Xbox. By far the most terrifying is 2006s Sneak King which was available for just $3.99 with any value meal.
You know that McDonald’s mascot “The Hamburglar” who sneaks up on unsuspecting people and steals their burgers? Well this is just like that, but in reverse. You play as The King and you must visit four different sites and sneak up on people to give them a delicious Burger King burger before they succumb to their hunger and collapse. Why the King must sneak up on people rather than just giving them the food is beyond anyone’s guess, but it is weird and a little creepy.
Strangely, this was not the only time that Whoppers and videogames collided. During the month when Sneak King was available, customers also had the choice of purchasing PocketBike Racer and Big Bumpin’ for the Xbox. Both of which involved The King racing (Mario Kart style) against several other Burger King mascots.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is actually the sequel to Octodad, a freeware game created for PC. Remember that film I Married A Monster from Outer Space? Well this is like that, except with an Octopus. Octodad is an octopus in human clothing who is trying to hide his true identity from his wife and children. You must try to control Octodad as he attempts to blend into the human world, completing every-day, mundane tasks such as walking across a room, going shopping or cooking a meal on the BBQ. To complicate matters, there’s a deranged sushi chef who knows Octodad’s true identity and wants to eat him. Taco yaki – Banzaii!
Trying to fit in with humans is made very challenging by the physics engine, which replicates Octodad not having a skeleton to support his limbs or enormous head. This is where most of the game’s challenges lie, as the games mechanics make these simple tasks feel somehow ‘slippery’ and you feel incredibly uncoordinated as you try to balance everything. It sounds straightforward enough but Octodad would be more frustrating than fun if it weren’t for the ridiculous storyline.
But if trying to play as an octopus isn’t enough of a challenge for you, why not get some friends involved? Or if you’re really brave, your significant other. Up to 4 people can cooperate to control Octodad simultaneously in certain versions of the game. But arguments are guaranteed as this can quickly become exasperating when neither Octodad’s limbs or your co players will function in the way you’d like.
11. Typing of the Dead
There are not many games out there which utilise the PS2 and Dreamcast keyboards but if you’d like to try one out, Typing of the Dead is a great place to start. You’re under attack. There are hordes of zombies coming right towards you, but luckily you brought your most powerful weapon: your keyboard. That’s right, this is a horror learn-to-type game.
Originally starting its life in arcades as the light gun game The House of the Dead 2, Typing of the Dead is an on-rails shooter where you must type the words on the screen quickly and correctly in order to kill the zombies. To keep things interesting (as if they weren’t interesting enough already) the zombies are all wielding keyboards too. Sentences you must type out include “I like peas” and “All your base are belong to us”.
10. Akiba’s Trip – Undead and Undressed
Akiba’s Trip is a first ballot, hall of fame dose of weirdness. Otakus are getting hunted and turned into half vampire, half human creatures who look just like ordinary people and are called “Synthesisers” (not the ones Daft Punk use). You’re abducted and about to be transformed into such a creature when a mysterious vampire girl comes to your rescue. It is then your mission to wander the real-life streets of Tokyo’s Akibahara district and hunt down Synthesisers, but that isn’t even the weird part.
The weird part is how you destroy these Synthesisers – by removing their clothing. After which, the Synthesiser will turn to dust. If, however, it’s just a normal person whose clothes you have removed, they will run off in their underwear.
One of the most enjoyable parts of this game is the customisation. You can choose from a seemingly unlimited list of clothes (including the ability to cross dress) to customise your wardrobe along with an incredibly random choice of weapons. You can attack foes by hitting them with virtually anything from a laptop to a leak. Definitely a weird game.
Imagine if Tim Burton and Dario Argento got together and created a point-and-click survival horror game. If they did, it would likely resemble Clock Tower, which feels like a blend of Phenomena and Edward Scissorhands. It centres around a Jennifer Connelly look alike (named Jennifer, of course) who is an orphan adopted out and sent to live in a mansion known as The Clock Tower.
Upon arriving Jennifer quickly finds herself all alone. She must explore the spooky mansion and look for clues as to where she is and what’s happened to the mansion’s occupants. As Jennifer explores the mansion she encounters ‘Scissorman’, a terrifying, monstrous child who relentlessly chases after her with a giant pair of scissors.
One of the best aspects to this game is the replay value. Depending on the your in-game choices, the story will play out differently and the layout of the mansion changes with each playthrough.
8. A Boy and His Blob
A Boy and His Blob about a nameless boy who has teamed up with a jellybean loving, blob shaped alien from the planet Blobolonia, which is under the threat of an evil emperor (whom may or may not also be a blob).
Together they must save Blobolonia, but it won’t be easy as there are obstacles to overcome at every turn. Luckily, every time the boy feeds the blob a jellybean the blob changes into a useful shape or tool according to the flavour, such as a trampoline or a ladder.
The original versions that were released on the NES and GameBoy were graphically unattractive with confusing level layouts, but the updated version for the Wii (which is now available on PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita and PC as a download only title) is beautiful to look at. The bond between the boy and the blob is nothing short of adorable. The boy can now also hug and pat the blob on the head and tell him he is “a good blob”.
7. Umihara Kawase
Strangely, Umihara Kawase is a game that is very rarely talked about. Since its original release on the Super Famicom it has seen a number of sequels, but they have mostly been on handhelds in Japan.
Umihara Kawase is about fishing, but not in the usual sense. Instead of the fish catching simulators we are used to, this game is about using your fishing rod as a grappling hook. Think Bionic Commando but in the context of a relaxing, easy on the eyes, puzzler.
Umihara Kawase is a cute sushi chef who finds herself in a strange world where she is stranded on a platform and there are giant fish (literally) walking about the place. Using her fishing line, she must catch the fish and navigate (swing, grapple, pull and climb) her way to the end of each stage. The game mechanics take a moment to get used to, but they make this game strangely addictive.
Chances are that you have heard of the Persona series, and it’s known for being a little weird, but Persona 4 Golden takes the weird cake. Originally it was released as simply Persona 4 on the PS2, then later received a facelift and found a new home on the Vita.
The game starts with you moving to a town in rural Japan, then shortly after a dense fog settles over everything and people begin showing up dead. It doesn’t take you long to start making friends at your new school and your new social group consists of the class misfits, including a retired teen pop idol and a tough biker who enjoys sewing and eating animal crackers.
One afternoon you are hanging out at the local department store when you fall into a television set, literally through the glass like Alice, down the rabbit hole. Inside the television is a mysterious and frightening world which is inhabited by “shadows” (the psychedelic ghosts of people’s subconscious) and also a colourful fuzzy bear named Teddie. You befriend Teddie and he fights the shadows alongside you in the television world. Then later, he joins your social group in the real world and transforms into a human teenage boy with a fondness for cross dressing (when he is not dressed as a giant plush bear).
Virtual pets, especially the Tamagotchi, were all the rage in the 90s. Kids and teenagers alike were tied to the schedule of cute little electronic animals that lived in their pockets. Sega decided to apply this concept to the Dreamcast. Only, they took it in a completely different direction with Seaman which (when you can get over giggling like a 10-year-old about the name) features a fish with a human face.
This probably isn’t what most people had in mind when they envisioned a virtual pet inhabiting their gaming console. Much like a Tamagotchi the Seaman has to be cared for and interacted with as it evolves, otherwise it will die. But this interaction is far removed from the kawaii style you get from a Tamagotchi. Instead, the player must talk to their nightmarish, virtual pet through a microphone. He talks back, via the voice of Leonard Nimoy, at first just asking simple questions, but then later progressing to full blown psychoanalysis. If the conversation doesn’t haunt you, the face will.
You’ve won a golden ticket! An invitation to attend Hopes Peak Academy, a super exclusive high school that guarantees 100% success in life. It all seems too good to be true, then you arrive and it turns out that it is. Hopes Peak has been taken over by an invincible, sadistic, robotic bear (of all things). He informs you that you and the other students are now his prisoners and the only way to leave, or graduate from the academy is by killing one of your classmates and not getting caught.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, each time a classmate winds up dead, a trial is held, and you must figure out who the guilty student is. Then, the bear will violently execute the guilty person. Danganronpa is what you might get if a battle royale game and Ace Attorney had a love child, and the game has spawned several sequels and also a manga series since its original release on Sony PSP.
Vincent Brooks is a man who has found himself torn between two women. The first one being his long-term girlfriend, Katherine, who wants to settle down. The second, a girl he is having an affair with named Catherine whom in contrast seems young and carefree. Vincent spends most of his time in a bar called The Stray Sheep, but whenever he falls asleep, he finds himself trapped in a nightmare world with large sheep horns attached to his head.
To escape, he must navigate his way around giant boxes while also avoiding deadly spikes and monsters (his inner demons). NPCs also inhabit this world, but they all take the form of anthropomorphic sheep. As the game progresses Vincent’s reality begins to blur with his nightmares, and he must ultimately choose between Katherine and Catherine. This game first appeared on the PS3 and Xbox 360 but recently Vita (Japan only), PS4 and PC versions have been released. An enhanced version, Catherine: Full Body, has also been released in Japan and is set for a Western release later this year.
2. Mister Mosquito
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a mosquito? Well, wonder no more because Mister Mosquito for the PS2 has you covered.
You play as Mister Mosquito, a male mosquito who just happens to drink blood. You need to drink up as much blood as you can so you can hibernate during the winter months ahead. I didn’t say this game had an emphasis on being scientifically accurate. In order to do this Mister Mosquito has decided to settle on just one family for his blood source: The Yamadas.
To sum it up, you must fly like a badly controlled drone around the house undetected, then drink the blood of unsuspecting family members. But watch out because if you take too long your victim may swat you, leading to instant death.
1. Punch Line
Punch Line is a game about an up-skirting ghost named Yuuta Iridatsu, who gets over-excited whenever he sees ladies’ underpants.
At first glance this excitement gives him super powers, however, if he gazes upon the underpants for a second time and for too long, his excitement level is pushed to the limits and a meteorite will destroy the earth. This, as you know, is well-established scientific fact. Not only is this game weird it is also rather perverted.
After a bus accident Yuta Iridatsu’s soul is separated from his body and he becomes a Yo Kai (a sort of Japanese ghost). He teams up with another Yo Kai, a talking cat and together they work to reunite Iridatsu’s soul with his physical body. In some ways Punch Line closely resembles Haunting: Starring Polterguy for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, as to solve puzzles and get through the game Iridatsu must haunt objects and move them about in order to scare humans.
So what do you think? Does Punch Line deserve to be number one on this list? Are there any particularly weird ones out there which should have made the list? Let us know in the comments.