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Futurama: Game of Drones - More horrid than waking up with shit on your pillow


FULL DISCLOSURE: I pre-ordered a game, a FREE game, with no physical delivery or pre-order bonuses. It didn't even download the game automatically when it was released, it just woke me up with a bing to tell me I could download it now. 

It was more horrid than waking up with shit on my pillow.

Do you remember how The Simpsons: Tapped Out made a lot of risky jokes that were a bit near to the subject matter? For example, when you do the tutorial on how to visit alternate Springfields, Homer says "Wow! I'd pay ACTUAL REAL MONEY to have a town as nice as this!" I always wondered how they got away with that. A lot of games don't. For example, there's a bit in Futurama: Game of Drones where Fry makes a reference to playing Slurm Soda Saga on his phone, and Leela chastises him for playing a game which is "Mindless addiction with no plot or entertainment value," and it just made me feel sick and unhappy. Why should this be the case? Here are a few notions of mine.

  • 1. It's a matter of setting. The Simpsons is a more relatable and goofy setup which lends itself more to sitcom-level satire, so we feel more comfortable when it shoots for the low hanging fruit.
  • 2. It's a matter of tone. The joke in Tapped Out keeps the player on board with the game while poking fun at shady freemium business practices. The Futurama joke is meaner - its implication that these games are actually bad and lazy products in themselves is necessarily calling the player an idiot for playing the game in his or her hands.
  • 3. It's a matter of NOT FUCKING TERRIBLE. Tapped out got away with it because it was funny, whereas Futurama: Game of Drones is an inane parade of drivel lacking even one iota of wit or self awareness. It is, in short, FUCKING TERRIBLE.

The ordered list format was a joke, by the way. The answer is 3. The answer is always 3 in ordered list jokes.


F:GOD Is a tile matching game. That's all you need to know, because the mechanics are ALL lifted wholesale from other games. Powerups, PvP matches, clearing jelly (toxic waste), delivering pizzas to the bottom of the screen. It doesn't have a single original idea. Not one. There is nothing here of the slightest value or merit to anyone other than a person who has never played a tile matching game before.

The entire game hangs on a joke about Amazon drones. You see, people have been talking a lot about Amazon considering using drones to deliver packages, and this was recently topical and meme-worthy Futurama is a sitcom about a delivery company, and drones rhymes with thrones, which is a word in the title of another thing that was recently topical and meme-worthy. In short, the entire house is built on a single joke which may have been funny when it was current (six months ago) had it not lost sight of why it was meant to be funny in the first place because like all jokes of this sort written by committee, it ended up as a clusterfuck.

Dear tile matching game makers. Please fuck off, and fuck off, and then fuck off, until you've been all the way round the world and arrived back here again, then fuck off.

There's an old argument that things existing in the world which make you sad and angry doesn't detract from the things you have that do make you happy. For example, Jerry Holkins said "OK, Microsoft are going to buy Rare, but they're going to buy them and have them make games, not buy them and fire them into the sun." Jim Sterling famously said "Anita Sarkeesian isn't going to take your video games away."

Usually I admire such pragmatism, but not today. F:GOD is so insipid that it is draining the joy that other games give my by a cellular process probably akin to osmosis.

Pile 'o' Shite Eve.

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About Dalek Sexone of us since 3:11 PM on 02.27.2013

Z list internet comic. I have worked on stuff for podcasts like What A Fool Believes, We Are The Lolocaust, The Monday Movie Show and The Gamescast. I named myself while I was blogging for Tachyon TV. There is a Dr. Who character called "Dalek Sec," only I made it a penis joke. Witty.

I have a Youtube channel where I play terrible mobile games. Sometimes I write and sing funny songs, like the Tailspin theme I rewrote to be about Jonathan Holmes.

Every print magazine and most of the websites I have ever written for have collapsed pyrotechnically within months, making me the Typhoid Mary of games journalism.

I used to write and manage the front page of Encyclopedia Dramatica when it was still good (pre-2008).

I got fired from NTSC-UK once.