Feature

Six Games Terrible For Speedrunning

by Kyle Hilliard on Jan 04, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Watching speedruns for most games (which many are doing thanks to the Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 charity speedrunning event) is an entertaining spectacle, but some games would be terrible (and pointless) to try to beat as fast as possible.

Choosing bad games to speedrun has nothing to do with missing the point of a game by speeding through it. Speedrunning is a showcase of skill and community-driven mastery. You don't watch or attempt a speedrun to absorb the game's story or atmosphere – you do it because you love the game, and you want to see someone who has perfected the experience, or see if you can perfect it yourself. The "point" of the game has already been well-realized by the time you get around to speeding through it (or watching someone else do it). These games are titles that would just be bad to speedrun because it wouldn't make sense, nor would it be particularly entertaining to watch.

Curiosity – What's Inside the Cube?
Peter Molyneux's strange experimental mobile game that promised to change its winner's life has already disappeared, so even if you wanted to speedrun it, it would be impossible – which we should all probably be thankful for. The game was basically a huge mining project where people would chip away at a giant cube brick by brick by tapping the screen. A speedrun of the game would be that simple action going on basically forever. Maybe it would have lead to a different video than the one we see above, though.

Pretty much any Telltale Game
Telltale games are about storytelling. The gameplay boils down to chatting with people and making decisions that affect the course of the narrative. A speedrun of The Walking Dead, for example, would amount to knowing who to talk to next, selecting which conversation choices would move you to the next conversation fastest, and being good at occasional quicktime events. It would be like watching a movie, except you would hit fast-forward whenever people started talking.

Gone Home
Regardless of how much or how little you appreciate or dislike Gone Home, I think we can all acknowledge there isn't much traditional gameplay. I was eager to include this on the list, because (without spoiling anything) beating the game is really just a matter of walking to a specific area in the house. I Googled, however, to see if anyone attempted to speedrun the game, and sure enough, the video above and others exists. And I am not ashamed to admit that I watched the whole thing, so maybe it actually doesn't belong on this list.

Guitar Hero/Rock Band (or any rhythm game)
Watching someone who is good at Guitar Hero or Rock Band is entertaining, but it's an auto-scrolling game. This means defeating a level is dictated by how well you perform within the established time-frame rather than how quickly. To watch someone speed-run a Guitar Hero or Rock Band game is a speed run to see how quickly they can navigate the menus, not how quickly they could play the game. It would be weird.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Similar to Telltale games, the Ace Attorney games rely very little (if at all) on skill or twitch-focused gameplay. A speedrun would amount to holding down the skip dialogue button and occasionally hitting the correct dialogue choice. Despite this, however, I found a speedrun for the first game, which you can watch above if you want.

Clue
I'm actually not familiar with this video game adaptation of Clue. It's not one I played on Super Nintendo when I was younger, but it was one that came up when I did a search to see if others thought there were terrible games for speedrunning. In the video above, you can see that someone holds the speedrun record for the game at three seconds. An impressive feat, I guess. You can find an entry for the game on SpeedDemosArchives.com by following the link.

Are there any other games that would make for terrible speedruns?