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Plumbers Don't Wear Ties was a video game made for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer in 1994. It is a large reason for the 3DO's failure. It's even GameFAQs founder CJayC's most hated game.
John is forced by his mother to find a soulmate and Jane is forced by her father to find a soulmate. Both meet in a parking lot and John falls in love with Jane instantly. Jane goes into a job interview and the boss, Mark Thresher orders Jane to strip. Jane runs from Thresher who chases her with a pen. John sees Jane fleeing from Thresher and chases after him, eventually subduing him in a building. Thresher offers Jane $5 million for a night of sex but John says he wants Jane for a lifetime. Jane turns down Thresher's offer and before Thresher is arrested, he gets raped by a bag lady. The movie can end in two ways based on what the player picks:
Hollywood Ending has John and Jane getting together.
Gimme Something Completely Different has Jane revealing that she plans to become a nun, and John is forced into a shotgun wedding with Amy by his mother.
Why it Sucks
- A bizarre title for a video game.
- The game plays almost like a DVD menu or a slideshow.
- In fact, it is hypothetically possible to port this game for Microsoft PowerPoint with no downgrades, just using VBA programming for the main menu and for the choices!
- Poorly written and absurdly sexist storyline.
- At certain points in the game, you can determine the outcome of the story by selecting a choice box. However, you can only make a selection after the narration for each choice ends, and your "wrong" decisions are scolded by the narrator before returning you to the decision screen. To make matters stupid and worse, the game gives you either have another chance and choose the other choice from the one you done, or RESTART ENTIRELY THE GAME! It could just be better to be scolded and lose points or the ending being the Give Me Something Different, no matter the future choices and not choosing to have another chance!
- The gameplay is so non-existent, you can actually play this game on YouTube. (see below)
- The title screen looks like it was made by a Kindergarten student in Microsoft Paint.
- Bad acting, with John's mother voiced by a different woman other than her actress.
- False advertising. Despite being advertised as a full-motion video, only the intro is FMV. The rest of the game plays like a slideshow with filler.
- The chase sequence has several images that look like they're taken from a vacation album, such as Jane hugging and shaking hands with strangers, Jane and John posing in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre (currently known as TCL Chinese Theatre), and even Jane and Thresher happily reenacting a "damsel-in-distress" scenario on some train tracks. These, along with the fact that the "normal" pictures feel very disjointed, only add to the confusion of the scene.
- A pointless blooper was left in. John at one point accidentally says he's "been searching for me." instead of "searching for [Jane]", followed by the rest of the cast and crew laughing at his mistake.
- For no reason other than most likely padding out the story, the game has an ongoing "battle of the narrators" in-between scenes.
- Random image filters that only make it look more bizarre, and perhaps frightening, such as with Amy's color-inverted picture while John and his mother converse.
- Badly cut-and-paste images from the source images like the panda in a car during John's dream.
- Mediocre and annoying music.
In giving the game a 15% rating, Diego Antico wrote: "It's hard to determine where Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is at its most horrendous. Is it in the pathetic music department? The graphics (or its lack thereof)? The awful gameplay?" Allgame gave the game one star. The site made note of how despite it being advertised as full motion video, it was simply a slideshow. In The Video Game Bible, Andy Slaven said that the "humorous" results from choosing the wrong option "can't save this title from being horrible." Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine criticized the game for being all just "still pictures of the director's friends acting like goofballs and delivering bad voiceovers", also stating: "Not even the promise of some naked pictures could save this disc from becoming a joke around here. Avoid this one at all costs, it looks like a bad Public Access show and that's the pits." PC Gamer, giving the game a 3%, said that the game was funny for only 30 seconds, calling the game an "irksome and yobbishly executed pseudo-pornographic photo story with the wit and charm of an elephant's arse". PC Format rated the game a 4%, the lowest rating the magazine had ever given to a video game. The game was considered by German game website Nexgam to be "a single joke and objectively certain the most rotten game that has ever been on a console."
PC Gamer dubbed Plumbers Don't Wear Ties a "shallow, hateful waste of a game, [that] may very well be responsible for having killed the 3DO, interactive fiction, and the whale", naming it #1 on its "Must NOT Buy" list in May 2007. It was #27 in UGO Network's 102 "Worst Video Games of All Time", concluding "If you have the patience, check out a video walkthrough online of either the worst storyline in gaming history, or a post-modern masterpiece", and #4 in Screen Play's, calling the game a "hilariously dodgy FMV adventure with actors who make Home and Away look like Shakespeare." The game was also put in 411mania.com's 2008 "Hall of Shame", with writer Vincent Chiucchi stating "By Jove, this could very well be the worst game ever!" Even the game's cover art was one of 1UP.com's "Worst Videogame Box Covers", criticizing its use of clip art and fonts.
IGN has cited Plumbers Don't Wear Ties as "a symbol for everything that was wrong with giving a license to anyone that wanted one"; referring to the fact that 3DO publishers only needed to pay a $3 royalty per disc and did not have to join a stringent licensing program like other game consoles, which led to many low-quality adult-oriented video games being released for the system.
James Rolfe in his Angry Video Game Nerd persona stated "This is horrible! This isn’t something you make into a game and put into stores; this is like a weird sort of college experiment! If you even count this as a game, it’s probably the worst game I’ve ever seen in my life! And that’s one hell of an accomplishment!" as well as "It does not play like a game, and it certainly does not feel like a movie. It's a slideshow that verges on being soft-core porn. But it isn't that, either! It's like some kind of experimental art project. If I just made a bunch of shit and put all kinds of filters on it, that would be the same as this miserable pile of fuck."