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Bad Rats Show sucks.

Oh, there is no real preamble here. No long-winded question to ponder about the quality of the game or the state of its being. You know, the sort of pretentious openings I tend to write when providing a review. No need for it here – Bad Rats Show just sucks.

It’s very tempting to just throw my hands up and say “it sucks” and be done with that, as no word count can accurately describe my disdain for Bad Rats Show. It is the type of game that is a joke at its own expense; garish in presentation, mediocre in its mechanics, and worst of all, boring to play.

The game is the sequel to the “popular” Steam title Bad Rats, which spawned a cult of fans because of its notoriously poor quality back when Steam gave a damn about such things. Bad Rats is a bargain-bin game without a bin to be stored in; the worst kind of game in the sense that it is technically and objectively bad.

It’s why it made the perfect gag gift to Steam users back in the day, spawning a cult classic status for the title in the process. That trash status of Bad Rats is now living again in Bad Rats Show, which will probably be alluring to the masochists out there willing to wade through an unrewarding mess. It really shouldn’t though, as the charm of the gag of Bad Rats is gone, and in its wake is another trash game.

A better choice than these rats and objects here is to shut the game off.

Bad Rats Show follows the formula established in the original game by offering over forty physic-based puzzles to solve. The objective: kill cats by using several stereotyped rats and a bunch of objects to push a ball to a button in a maze. On paper, it sounds ok, and in what is the only bright spot I can give Bad Rats Show is it at least fulfills most of that objective- there are balls, mazes, and stereotypes abound and they can, theoretically, be used to solve a physics puzzle.

In practice, it is an exercise of futile mediocrity. Bad Rats Show tries to present itself as an “adult humor” game relishing in the lost days of Tex Avery cartoon violence. Instead, it is low-brow jokes repeated on an annoying loop, spouted in broken English and fountains of cartoon blood.

It’s more annoying than endearing, like a comedian trying to explain the joke that fell flat. Everything in the game is designed to be a gag of some kind, from the rat puns to the rat stereotypes to even the rat announcer. The graphics are designed to make the movie Ratatoing finally look like Ratatouille. The soundtrack is in on the joke as well, featuring nothing but poorly sung songs about the titular performance featuring off brand rodents.

I’m not joking about the last part. There are two parody songs on the soundtrack about Bad Rats Show. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the game is self-aware and subsequently jumps the shark.

The premise is thin enough and not really a focus. The meat of the game is standard puzzle affair, manipulating objects and rats to move a ball forward. It works…sort of. One of the most annoying aspects of Bad Rat’s Show is part of its shtick, small adjustments to micromanage the exact trajectory of a rat or object. It makes the ball behave in odd and awkward ways, sometimes to the annoyance of the player when you have the solution figured out…but need to move a rat two degrees to the left to get it just right.

Some people might like that- after all, people inexplicably liked Bad Rats to begin with. Ultimately though the game wears thin when most of your time is furious micromanaging for a poor reward- to see a cat killed in ten different ways. Repeatedly.

Did I mention this game sucks?

One of the new features of the game are 3D arena-style puzzles that are hard to navigate in.

Bad Rats Show tries to provide a mix of puzzles to do, such as the new fully 3D puzzles. They are a chore, to put it lightly, since the ball is as difficult to control as it is on a 2D plane. Credit for at least trying to add variety, even if it falls flat on its face.

The real charmer is the games Create A Scenario mode, which has you navigating poorly made menus to pick a few items here and there to create your own puzzles and levels. It’s not intuitive or polished at all, and since it uses the same physics engine it can provide some light entertainment if you want to waste time building a map that a few people might stream on YouTube. Perhaps the best joke of all is the disclaimer that not all the puzzles online can be solvable..and the first online map I tried was a ball literally dropping on the buzzer on its own. That, my friends, is good timing on a joke.

And…that’s it. That is all Bad Rats Show has going for it. It is a $5 game that can be done in a few hours, and just sit in your Steam list for all of eternity. Heck, you might not even get that far with it, as Bad Rats Show crashes constantly between and during maps. It’s as if the game is so self-aware it’s trying to spare players from participating in it.

Maybe I simply am not in on the joke of Bad Rats Show, maybe I just don’t get it. Then again, a bad joke is a bad joke, and Bad Rats Show is among the worst of its kind. I can see the appeal of a game like this, but it really doesn’t deserve any of it. Even Bad Rats had a charm to it because of its origins, and is actually mildly fun to play. In a sea of poor Steam games and shovel ware, however, Bad Rats Show is not only lost in the shuffle, but just another title on a long list of games to avoid.

So, in short, this game sucks.

Bad Rats Show was reviewed on PC via Steam with a copy purchased for the reviewer by TechRaptor staff. The game was reviewed to fulfill the generous pledge we received from Jake Fitzsimmons for our Kickstarter campaign.

More About This Game

2.0
 

Terrible

Summary

It’s very tempting to just throw my hands up and say “it sucks” and be done with that, as no word count can accurately describe my disdain for Bad Rats Show. It is the type of game that is a joke at its own expense; garish in presentation, mediocre in its mechanics, and worst of all, boring to play.

Pros

  • The Game Starts...
  • Mild Amusement with Physics...
  • Constant Crashes

Cons

  • ...and Then Stops Randomly.
  • ...That Wears Thin Quickly.
  • Constant Crashes
  • In On the Joke

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.