Satan, Censorship and Turbo Fish in Hell

While the Nintendo certainly wasn’t the first video game system, during its run, video games were still a relatively new arrival to the arena of personal entertainment. The issue of media censorship as anything from necessary evil to patriotic duty still came up in the United States, and even with media-friendly video-game-loving Reagan in the White House, it was clear that combating any PR snafu would be an uphill battle.

Nintendo’s headquarters in Japan had already instituted strict guidelines for their video games prohibiting sexual imagery, but Nintendo of America took this all a step further and released strict overarching content guidelines that included things like prohibitions against depictions of domestic violence, drug or alcohol use and, most notably, religious imagery. Though exceptions were allowed for video games such as Castlevania (which has crosses), Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins and a few others that may have been intentional or may have simply slipped in under the radar, the general rule was obeyed to the extent that crosses were on some occasions removed from tombstones and other only vaguely religious depictions.

As such, a game in which you are a green monster using crosses and Bibles to combat a speedo-clad Satan would be a hard sell to say the least.

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Deadly Towers

Publisher: Broderbund

Year: 1987
Genre: Action Adventure

In Deadly Towers, you’re a knight or prince of some sort (it’s in the opening cinematic, I just forgot and refuse to waste my time reading it again) and everything is trying to kill you. Fortunately, you throw knives. Knives that can kill anything. Fire attacking you? Stab it until it dies! Blue orb? Stab it until it dies!

The attractive title screen is the best feature of the game.
The attractive title screen is the best feature of the game.

The game is, for the most part, a collection of poorly thought out or incompetently executed game mechanics. You have 100 hit points to start with, but it probably wouldn’t help you to have a million hit points. The game has mercy invincibility, for example, but it lasts for less than half a second and paralyzes and knocks you backwards in the process. If you are against the wall, the enemy hits you again immediately, and you’re doomed. If you fall off a cliff, you die, and enemies can and will push you off. And speaking of enemies, it’s also worth noting that the game has, essentially, four enemies with dozens of different skins and palette schemes. Oh, look – it’s the knight guy from the last room, only now he’s inexplicably a dragon-headed man. Oh, look – it’s another kind of bat with the exact same movement pattern as all the other varieties.

I have nicknamed these creatures "Murderbears"
I have nicknamed these creatures “Murderbears”

John’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5. Deadly Towers is a game that has been hailed by some as the very worst Nintendo has to offer, and while I heartily agree that the game is terrible, it sadly wouldn’t even make my top 10 list of worst Nintendo games of all time.