We've all heard about the strange things that can come out of foreign television shows and movies, but what about video games? From the strange world of Japanese dating games where the sole aim is to impress a girl and usually undress her to games that involve talking to a fish with a human face, the foreign gaming market can be pretty scary. Here are six of the strangest or most disturbing games of them all.
The premise of this game, developed by Japanese studio Atlus, involves a man torn over cheating on his girlfriend and having nightmares about commitment that involve anthropomorphic talking sheep. Users play as Vincent, who in the daytime must navigate relationships with his serious girlfriend Katherine and his mistress Catherine. At night, the game turns into a block puzzle challenge as Vincent must climb a tower and avoid obstacles. If that description isn't enough to land "Catherine" on this list, then we don't know what is.
Players of this game face a daunting challenge — they play as Mr. Mosquito, an aptly named mosquito who must stock up on blood before winter comes. Mr. Mosquito lives inside the house of the Yamada family, and as you fly around you must suck blood from them without them noticing, focusing on different body parts depending on what they're doing. The family members have a stress meter which cannot go above a certain level and if they notice Mr. Mosquito, an epic boss-style battle commences. Some pretty tense stuff.
In this game developed by Polygon Magic studios in Japan, players follow a series of family members who must make it home in time for grandma's birthday. Each member has a different minigame for users to play — the father must dance with his coworkers at his boss' orders before dodging a giant boulder to get home, while the mother survives a bank robbery only to find herself piloting a fighter jet which must kill a giant teddy bear attacking the city. And that's only a small sample of gameplay.
"Cho Aniki" is actually a whole series of games, the first of which was released in 1992 for the PC. Since then, it has spawned versions and spin-offs on dozens of consoles. The basic premise of the game is a simple side-scrolling shooter, but it's the aesthetics of "Cho Aniki" which help it make this list. Characters are either phallic or muscular half-naked men. One villian attacks by gyrating, another wears a speedo and shoots 'white beams' from his head. Unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, "Cho Aniki" has never seen release outside of Japan.
This game, more unashamedly titled "Project Rub" when it was released in Europe, was developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS handheld. It made use of the console's touchscreen and microphone in a series of minigames,as users played a man trying to impress a girl he had fallen in love with, collecting "Rub Rabbits" along the way, which would unlock different features in the game. Minigames ranged from protecting the girl from raging bulls or blowing into the microphone to blow out falling candles headed straight for the rabbits.
"Seaman" is a virtual pet game developed for the Sega Dreamcast console. It involved caring for a pet fish with a disturbingly human face, and not much else. In order to research this strange fish species, players had to learn to care for it themselves, and had to check back it on Seaman every day so that he wouldn't die. Users could interact with the fish through the Dreamcast microphone but often the fish would be rather unhappy and sarcastic back to its owner. To make things even better, Seaman was voiced by none other than Leonard Nimoy in the English language version.
Although these games represent the strangest offerings that can be found in the gaming world, it feels like we have only scratched the surface of games with strange plots, trippy visuals or blatantly homoerotic overtones. Either way, we'll have some of whatever these game developers are having.