Everyone has a video game they remember fondly from their childhood. There are always those games that players hold in high regard regardless of what anyone might say about the game. They are comfort games that have endured in the hearts of players and created a slew of future gamers. Then you have the games none of us really talk about anymore. Those are games that seem like a fever dream.
Of course, these games don’t instantly endear themselves to gamers. While not necessarily bad, they are a mystery to even those who played them. Some of these games haunt gamers in their nightmares, and others are so bizarre they feel like a literal fever dream you had when you were sick as a kid.
For better or worse, these games stick with players. What are the games that one would consider part of such a list? Come with us as we dive into some of them below!
Sneak KingSneak King has become a bit of a legend in online memes. It was released as a Burger King promotion, and it was sold with a variety of meals at the restaurant. Players take control of the titular “Burger King” with the goal of creeping up on unsuspecting people and sneakily delivering them food from Burger King.
Originally, the developers wanted to incorporate a competitive element, but the supervisors from Burger King had the team remove them. What they ended up releasing was a sub-par stealth game that, while far from a horror game, still certainly left a frightful impression on many players.
There are no jump scares in this game but the act of sneaking around as the King can be frightening in itself. The King himself looks kind of creepy. His face/mask doesn’t change once, and it gives him a bit of a soulless stare. Combine that with the mechanic of sneaking up on people to give them food, and it creates a game that definitely scared a few kids.
On the other hand, a Burger King chairman attributed their 40% profit rise to that game. At least someone benefited from the monstrosity. Certainly, this is among the games that seem like a fever dream for sure, but it only gets worse from here!
God HandGod Hand was a beat’em up game from the mind of Shinji Mikami, who made Resident Evil 4. Like the latter game, God Hand was also published by Capcom. This game doesn’t have the horror elements of the previous entry, and it is actually a really good beat’em up.
Interestingly, this game had a cool mechanic where players could create their own combo while fighting. This was a really terrific mechanic for any game, especially at the time. This offered players a fantastic style that made the game stand out among others. However, that very style is what puts it on this list. From over-the-top combos to campy dialogue, this game had it all.
There were combos a player could perform that would allow the main character to bend an enemy over and spank them (we’re serious). Some of the enemies and bosses were dressed in BDSM, and the end of the game has a complete musical number complete with odd character dances and insane lyrics.
It feels like a game created by a team of mad geniuses, and that may not be a stretch from the truth. Regardless, God Hand definitely left a mark for better or worse on whoever played it, and it is honestly still worth checking out for the combo creation system alone. Still, this was clearly one of the games that seem like a fever dream when you think about it.
WhiplashPlatformers were all the rage in the early 2000s, and every game studio was looking to create a new twist on the popular genre. Many developers wanted their own “Crash Bandicoot” as a mascot, so they turned to animal protagonists. Crystal Dynamics threw a curveball into the mix by creating a platformer where players play as 2 animals at once in the game Whiplash.
One was a cute weasel named Spanx, and the other was an adorable rabbit named Redmond. However, they had a larger twist up their sleeve. Spanx and Redmond were actually chained to each other, but that isn’t all. Players controlled Spanx for the majority of the game, and combat happened by making Spanx use their chain to swing Redmond around as a weapon.
Running around as a weasel whacking everything in sight with a small rabbit as a weapon was a crazy concept. More importantly, it was extremely fun to play. The entire idea of the game is hilarious as it is, but the game also had a good sense of humor.
The game briefly made a few waves in the animal rights circle, but today it is virtually forgotten. To some, this is actually one of the games that seem like a fever dream they had. It really seems like a crazy person came up with it.
Leisure Suit Larry: MCLThe original Leisure Suit Larry games are cult classic point-and-click adventure games. Those aren’t the games on this list though. Leisure Suit Larry: MCL was a “reboot” of the classic series. This Leisure Suit Larry game is basically a collection of minigames. However, that is still being a little too generous.
The game was actually an excuse to put as much adult content in a video game as possible.
The game is horrible to play, and it didn’t go over well with critics either. This was the game that kids would see in a Blockbuster every time they went, and they would never understand exactly what it was. Occasionally, someone might pick it up out of sick curiosity, but they would quickly return it.
This fever dream game should remain forgotten on that dusty Blockbuster shelf. What we’re saying is, we hope all copies were destroyed when every Blockbuster store went out of business.
Mister MosquitoEveryone hates mosquitos, full stop.
They are annoying, run rampant during the summer, and make everyone itchy. However, the studio Zoom thought it would be a good idea to let people play as one of God’s most hated creations. In Mister Mosquito, players play the titular Mosquito, and they have to terrorize a family by trying to drink their blood while distracted.
However, players can only drink blood from certain parts of the body. If they are spotted, players have to try to distract the person by dive-bombing into them. Nothing possibly wrong with this, right?
The game already feels like a fever dream, but the art style drives it home. Everything from the way the camera follows the player to the ability to explore the house freely makes the game feel like a bad dream. It is also incredibly bare-bones with its gameplay. As if the studio forgot to actually make a “fun” video game at some point in development.
The entire concept is odd, and it is the kind of game that people wouldn’t believe existed if someone had described it to them. In fact, they might call the local Psych Ward on the assumption that a crazy man escaped.
PaRappa The RapperSpeaking of games that people wouldn’t believe, PaRappa the Rapper is straight out of a fever dream. It is technically a rhythm game, but it’s unlike any other rhythm game in existence. Players take control of “PaRappa,” who is a literal hip ’90s dog complete with beanie and JNCO Jeans. You know, ’cause the ’90s, right?
He is also literally paper thin. Seriously, this is a thing and it creeps us out.
PaRappa is trying to win the affection of a girl he likes named Sunny, who happens to be a flower. PaRappa attempts to win her affection by completing several tasks throughout his day, and he does this by rapping. How will this earn her affection? How can all his tasks be completed via rap? These questions are valid, yet meaningless in this fever dream.
There are countless weird events that take place in this game. Every single frame of animation contains something that requires a double-take. While it sounds like something out of a dream, it was actually a pretty big hit for the original PlayStation. Thre are honestly a lot of catchy tracks in the game, and the rhythm mechanics work well enough.
It was somehow so successful that PlayStation pushed for a sequel and a few ports took place since. Oddly enough, PaRappa himself became sort of a staple mascot for Sony’s console in the 1990s. That being said, it is definitely not a game for everyone, and it is certainly an acquired taste.
Centipede (PS1 Exclusive)Centipede is another odd game on the original PlayStation. This is a remake of the original Centipede which was originally an arcade game that debuted in 1981. Then came out on Atari right after that. In both games, players take control of a tiny ship, and they shoot at an alien centipede monster that scurries down the screen.
Admittedly, there is nothing inherently off-putting or fever dream-like about the gameplay. Things get weird in the opening cutscene though. Centipede is usually just a game about shooting a monster coming down the screen, but the PS1 version gave the game a story with full CGI cutscenes. This at least made it worth your time to check it out.
The opening cutscene in particular has some peculiar imagery. The CGI spiders, insects, and centipede monsters are all enough to give small children nightmares. All of the human characters have crazy exaggerated proportions, and the CGI doesn’t help to make them any less unsettling.
The sound design is full of 90s synth, and it all comes together to fill the player with a sense of unease. This is why it’s one of the games that seem like a fever dream today.
Muscle MarchMuscle March is one of the most recent games on the list. It was released for the Wii in 2009, and it is amazing that Nintendo thought this would sell in the U.S. with how wacky and barebones it is. In the game, players take control of a bodybuilder in a group of bodybuilders.
Someone steals the group’s protein powder, and then the muscle men give chase. The gameplay consists of players chasing down the thief who runs through walls. Players have to use the Wii Remote to strike the pose the thief had in order to pass through. Everything about the game is over the top and zany from the gameplay to the animation.
The bodybuilders are all wearing speedos, there are bears randomly set places, and the bodybuilders are constantly running through people’s houses. It is a wacky concept, and it has an even wackier delivery. This had to have been a fever dream because Nintendo would never give players this over Mother 3, right?
SeamanThis is where things get really weird. Seaman had to be the biggest fever dream on the, well, Dreamcast. All jokes aside, Seaman is a virtual pet game that was released on the Dreamcast and was later ported to the PS2. It started out as a joke between SEGA programmers about the idea of a game where players take care of a fish.
They kept running with this idea until they arrived at Seaman. It utilized the Dreamcast microphone that allowed players to talk to the Seaman, and he would respond with answers to questions or by saying what he needed.
This is simply one of those video games that players have to see to believe. A screenshot of this could show up on some Creepypasta subreddit, and a lot of people would believe that is where it was created. While there are some people who praise the game for some of its innovations, most people just want to forget it.
This Seaman is better off left to the sea.
Gregory Horror ShowGregory Horror Show might be the weirdest game that Capcom ever published. Keep in mind that this is the same team that published God Hand. This might be at the top of the list when it comes to games that seem like a fever dream for sure. This is a mystery game with a survival horror overtone.
Players are tasked with retrieving bottled souls from different areas of the hotel they are staying in. If another guest sees the player with a bottled soul, they will try to attack the player. The blocky, CGI animation creates an unsettling and disturbing world to inhabit. The player character is a small child, and the owner of the hotel is run by a giant mouse named Gregory.
The whole game is unsettling.
This game is kind of a fever dream for some people because it was never actually released in the U.S. Capcom only published the game in Europe, so it never came to the west. It is an utterly unsettling horror game based on its visuals alone. The plot, story, and gameplay of this video game just drive that feeling home even more.
For anyone interested in one of the weirdest and creepiest horror games on the PS2, it might be worth tracking down. For the rest of us, we can be thankful the game never arrived in the United States.