Annoyotron / Ben Parrish (1999)
|Sejin Electronics' Verdict:
|Keep playing this game America. The faster you wear out
your keyboard, the greater your pathetic nation of couch potatoes buckles to our chilling
grasp of horror.
|TV's Jerry Lewis' Verdict:
||Dammit, this game is
|This is experimental IF which seeks to illicit a
different emotional response out of its player than virtually every other single piece of
entertainment software since Al Gore invented the internet and the computer game in the
|Ben Parrish is probably the funniest guy on the internet. Except for the
"Gaybot" of course, but I'm not entirely convinced that the Gaybot isn't him.
Actually, I'm kidding about the Gaybot. The first part, I mean. He is the author of Apartment F209 and this game's sequel, Aggravatron: Annoyotron II.
He also achieved a level of fame and fortune with the internet Pong Faq.
Annoyotron proudly announces itself the most annoying game
of all time. While I'm sure a few of the Eidos boys that worked on Crimewave
for the Sega Saturn would take serious issue with that statement, I don't see them really
winning an argument on the subject.
Crimewave: "I say, old chap! I've certainly heard
the resounding scuttlebutt and it appears to me, mate, that there isn't a bleedin' chance
in hell that you're more annoying than me."
Annoyotron: "I refuse to have this discussion with you. The
Annoyomatic 2000 has been designed by one of the finest literary minds of our generation.
At no point is stellar, remotely approachable gameplay attempted. I want nothing more than
to see your blood boil in a thick, gaseous crimson cloud."
Crimewave: "Arbitrary bluster! Me mates have ensured that the
instant a player buys the game and picks up his gamepad he will -- "
Annoyotron: "Ah, yes. Therein lies the crux of my argument. At any
reputable software dealer a youngster is able to get back thy purchase price. He is able
to manipulate you with a gamepad. I offer no such 'money-back guarantee.' All time
invested within me is forever lost. I allow no easily mastered input control."
Crimewave: "Alas! We have players traveling in blind tunnels within
which they cannot see!"
Annoyotron: "Bah! I have my players traveling down the carpal
And so on. Inevitably, representatives from Toonstruck, The Hive,
Out Of This World, and Cyberia would attempt to
stake their claim to extreme irritation. All are destined to fail. The only way Annoyotron
could possibly get on your tits more than it does would be if it incorporated the hunger
code from Ultima VII.
It is, however, absolutely essential that we understand the deeper level that Annoyotron
frustrates us on.
The thing is, the more you are familiar with the Annoyomatic 2000, the more research and
digging you do, the more you discern that its author is a seriously talented writer. Ben
Parrish is not content in asking his player to repeatedly engage in tedium to advance the
game's plot, nay, the entire time he teases you with his singular wit and imagination. The
response generated by this ware's player is not necessarily "this fucking
sucks!" but, "this seems to really suck, but Il guarantee you that I'll get some
great Parrish witticisms if I simply keep playing." When the player understands that
the game is smug about its lack of Parrish-specific content, he or she is rightfully
pissed. It is similar to attending a baseball game only to find that Babe Ruth will not be
pitching or hitting -- he'll be a part of the grounds crew. Until reaching the point that
you realize the entire experiment is Parrish-laden content, you are not in on the
joke. It is possible, then, to understand that the author would have failed
implementing his vision had he sprinkled his unique, entertaining anecdotes throughout
Annoyotron breaks new ground as it is one of a virtual handful of games
that do not seek, ultimately, to be entertainment. The effect that most games wish to
bring forth from their audience is one of "player fun." It is almost law. A game
designed to stimulate its player in a different way is rare, yes -- but still, most of
those games attempt to incorporate a good time within their processes.
Nintendo's Pokemon, for instance, attempts to get its purchaser to
actually care about the monsters he or she is developing. When successful, it initiates a
parental bond. It cannot be said that the process of doing so is not enjoyable, however.
(Unless, of course, you've got a tendency towards choking on your own tongue when the li'l
guys' cartoon is on.)
Similarly, Softporn and its ilk succeed when it has brought its greasy
chud typing the commands to climax. Although Softporn simply has less
gameplay than Pokemon, it nevertheless must confess allegiance to at
least some video game cliches. The player is still "role-playing" and could
conceivable enjoy the "trapping" of the ware's female populace -- no matter how
Annoyotron offers no such escapes, no such virtue. It is fundamentally
impossible to have a good time playing Annoyotron. Unless one is somehow
able to force another soul into experiencing it with the promise that a hilarious endgame
awaits. Even then, a perverse pleasure in wasting another human being's time is really
more responsible for the following glee than the Annoyomatic.
Few games have balls brass enough to challenge our perceptions on what computer games can
be. Annoyotron chooses a different path, snickering at all other modern
entertainment software with a smarmy, crooked grin. Like a prank you are not in on, you
will not appreciate this masterpiece until it has made you its dirty diaper. It serves to
give us pause and consider the trappings we fall in within this genre and allow us to
speak definitively of what software designed to entertain should not be.
1 / 10
10 / 10
|Oh oh, Ben is going to LOVE this. He is a talented little bastard, isn't
August 23rd, 1999
|I do not feel it's appropriate for the game designer's mother to get on
here and blindly promote her son. Those in this community have a hard enough time
asserting their manliness without their mothers getting involved.
I demand that this
website be taken down immediately, and never spoken of again.
And who would write a fucking game without pictures, anyway?
September 17th, 1999
|help me how do i get past the locked door? i want to see the rest of this
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