This week, we talked very briefly about a game-within-an-unreleased-game-that-may-also-garner-its-own-episode for the Sega CD called Desert Bus, that can be found on Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors. This mini-game teaches valuable life lessons by allowing the player to take control of a bus and drives it from Tucson to Las Vegas. This game, while boring, is a valuable tool for children wanting to learn the value of points (one point is given for completing the trip). As a child, I encountered plenty of games that taught me nothing but the value of hate and death. Let's check out one of 'em, shall we?
As a wee child, I was a Nintendo beast. I played it so much that, in hindsight, I'm surprised that it didn't attach itself to me like a leech to a host. I played Treasure Master (boring) and loved it at the time. I even played Anticipation and somehow kept myself from swallowing a bullet. But this game, Star Voyager, almost pushed me to a breaking point.
I was always down with Sci-Fi and loved spaceship shooters (still do) so this game seemed like a perfect fit for me. I got the game at the Hawk Shop (pre-Pawn Stars, so before pawning was mainstream *trollface*), took it home and popped that sucka in.
The first image past the title screen is a pilot running to a spaceship, climbing a ladder, and mounting the cockpit (just trying to sexify this). Then, the ship launches into space. Time to start blowing up some aliens and scrolling sideways or something... But, nooooooooooo, this game is in first person. In space. So you are instead greeted with the infinite blackness that is the universe.
At this point, the game looks more like a screensaver. You have stars white dots floating by your HUD, which is a red outline with meters on both sides, and two circles at the bottom. One of the circles acts as a sextant or something (more sex) with letters arranged horizontally and numbers going vertically. That's it. The game says nothing. At this point, you can decide to end it by letting yourself float into the far reaches of the galaxy, praying for the air to run out of the ship, or you press on. I (regretfully) chose the latter.
After getting so bored, I began to beat the controller against my face, I stumbled upon a map of sorts. This map showed me the locations of many different things such as pixels, specks, green dots, and red X's. I gave up on that crap and instead found out that there's a way to leave "sub space" by using a hyperspeed type thingy (if I want to use the technical term). I found the best part of this game to be using this burst of speed until you run out of fuel and lose. Then to promptly remove this taint from my NES.
As an adult with access to things such as the internet, I've now learned that there is a lot to this game: like destroying fleets of different types of spacecrafts, liberating solar systems and planets, and even boss fights. But, as a child, this game was literally Boredom Incarnate. I honestly thought that this game was meant to be a practical joke. I had played bad games and I didn't even think of this as a bad game. I thought someone had made it in hopes that they would become famous for creating a game that led a child to open his father's gun cabinet and murder twenty-seven innocent people. Kids...
Welp, that does it for me this week. As always, be sure to listen to this week's episode. Until next time, BOOM!
If you liked this, I, along with my partner-in-mime Christian host a podcast called Joystick Tuggers that comes out every Tuesday, as well as write articles like these once a week. Check it out!!