The Top 10 Most Bizarre Objectives In Video Games
There is no shortage of weird games out there.
And the shift toward strange games is not a new development. After all, we have devoted entire features to absurd indie titles and industry visionaries like Suda51 have built entire careers on doing things a little differently.
This list focuses on video games that have particularly odd objectives. In researching this topic, I found so many just plain weird games. It was pretty difficult to narrow it down to 10 that were not just odd, but had strange demands for the player to meet as well.
I was also scarred in the writing of this article by happening upon Seaman. I will give Seaman an honorable mention only because, while it is one of the strangest and creepiest games I’ve ever seen, the objective is not really any different from a Tamagotchi game. I also found many mission objectives within games that were far from standard, but to keep it focused, I only chose titles based on the overall goal.
Read on to see the top 10 craziest video game objectives.
10. Hatoful Boyfriend (2011)
Hatoful Boyfriend is in the style of visual novel dating simulators. Rather than vie for the affections of anime characters, you play as a girl who attends a school for pigeons who is trying to find the bird of her dreams. Oddly enough, even though they are pigeons they still display typical anime tropes like the childhood friend and the brooding mysterious love interest found so often in the games this title parodies.
To give you an idea of where the concept came from, the title offers a clue— “hatoful” is a play on the Japanese word hato (meaning pigeon) and heartful/hurtful.
If it isn’t weird enough for you, choosing certain paths can turn Hatoful Boyfriend from a dating sim to a thriller with a dark ending. The gameplay is limited compared to other entries, but a premise this ridiculous simply can’t be ignored.
9. Prison Tycoon Series (First in series in 2005)
Taking control of theme parks and cities are fun. Prisons are kind of depressing.
What’s more dejecting is your objective: turning your small-scale prison into a profitable maximum-security behemoth. This basically means you benefit from having more and more inmates.
While not particularly successful, credit can at least be given to Virtual Playground for coming up with a tycoon-style game that no one was asking for.
Perhaps I’m wrong though, as there is a game called Prison Architect available for Early Access on Steam. There must be a demand somewhere.
8. Tokyo Jungle (2012)
The basic premise of this quirky PSN title involves animals taking over Tokyo. Why humans are extinct is unclear, and you must fight to survive as various animals to find the answer. Various objectives include hiding from stronger animals, hunting those lower on the food chain, and attracting desirable mates by marking your territory and showing dominance.
For what it’s worth, it's a little too weird for Dan's dad.
7. Road Trip (2002)
This is one of those borderline weird titles. Many of the gameplay elements are standard fare, like racing and collecting coins. What makes it bizarre is the protagonist. You play as a car. Not as a driver in a car. Not even an anthropomorphic vehicle a la Cars. Just a car.
The President (of the world, apparently?) who is also just a car decides he doesn’t want to be in charge anymore, and arranges a World Grand Prix, where the winner will take over for him.
In this game, you talk to other cars, and not only race them but also play sports like soccer and golf. Granted, you’re still a car, so this means skillfully running over balls to participate.
To give credit where it’s due, the developers realized that as a car you would have some restrictions. Thus, one of the ways to earn money is by driving around with billboards of local businesses on your roof. However, this brings up even more questions as the advertisements depict things unnecessary in a world full of cars, like noodles and coconuts.
6. Catherine (2011)
I’ve mentioned my love/hate relationship with this strange title from Atlus before. Catherine is easily one of the most difficult titles to explain simply because identifying the genre is so tricky. You play as Vincent, a young man stricken with violent nightmares in which he must climb falling blocks and avoid getting killed by various disturbing foes like a zombie infant and a giant butt. During his waking hours, he is torn between long-time girlfriend Katherine and a one-night stand by the name of Catherine. If I had to describe it, I would call it a dramatic-erotic-horror-puzzle game.
In addition to being weird as hell, Catherine is also pretty difficult on certain settings. Thankfully, there is often helpful direction from the voice-overs like, “It’s the killer. Do not die.”
Up next: The top five weirdest game objectives.
5. Fat Princess (2009)
Fat Princess’s goal is based on many retro games: save the princess. However, the twist on this classic trope is that to keep the enemy from capturing your princess, you must feed her tons of cake so she will be too heavy to lift. The same method can be used after you kidnap the opposing team’s princess— feed her cake until she balloons up and is too large to rescue.
Obesity has never been so much fun!
4. Conception: Ore no Kodomo o Undekure! (2012)
Conception’s subtitle translates to “Please Have My Child!” so you know you’re in for a treat.
The player controls Itsuki (yes, it’s a Japanese game) who must charm girls into bearing his fruits to save the world or some such nonsense. While it would be a perfect excuse for an adult game, there is no actual sexual activity taking place as Itsuki and the women conceive by combining “energy.” However, that unfortunately means that children can play it, and be very, very confused.
3. Katamari Damacy (2004)
While probably an obvious choice, Katamari Damacy cannot be left out when it comes to odd objectives. For the three of you who haven’t heard of the Katamari series, the goal is to roll a ball of objects and collect increasingly larger items in the world to add to the ball. So the extremely adhesive ball starts off collecting thumbtacks and dice and grows to the point where it’s picking up trees and skyscrapers.
On top of the strange gameplay goal, the series had one of the strangest titles ever bestowed upon a video game with Touch My Katamari.
2. Mister Mosquito (2001)
In this title, you play as a Mosquito who must gather blood to survive through the winter. Mister Mosquito takes up residency in the Yamada family’s home, and pursues them as targets. Get caught trying to suck blood, and Mister Mosquito gets smashed. This game was not in response to a dire demand for insect simulators, but can be explained by one word: Japan.
Your creepiest target is a teenage girl in the bath. If there wasn’t a fetish for that before this game came out, there certainly was afterward.
To see the weirdness for yourself, check out our Replay.
1. Chulip (2002)
It can be really tough to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings as the new kid in town. Thankfully, you have a really supportive father in Chulip. He tells you to kiss everyone in town.
No wait, that’s weird. Let’s back up a bit.
You meet the girl of your dreams. Your objective is to kiss her under the Lover’s Tree, because couples who kiss there will live happily ever after. To improve your reputation and impress her, your father suggests getting people to like you and kiss you. So basically, win the girl of your dreams by kissing everyone except her.
The list of who to kiss includes animals, zombies, and police officers. So basically, you’re encouraged to do things that could get you arrested and/or killed in real life.
Of course, there are plenty of crazy objectives not mentioned in this list. Tell me some of your favorites in the comments.