Spin-offs can be disappointing, but in video games, they can be downright odd. Usually meant to quickly cash in on a popular series or experiment with a technology, video game spin-offs are weird additions in a franchise’s ouevre. Here are some of the odder video game spin-offs that have forgotten.
It’s bizarre to find a Sonic the Hedgehog platform game from 1995 that no one seems to remember, yet here we are. Knuckles Chaotix came out for the 32X — an obscure video game add-on that plugged into the top of a Sega Genesis that very few people owned. And that’s too bad, since Knuckles Chaotix added a heavy puzzle element to the Sonic the Hedgehog formula that made the game very exciting.
Virtual Boy Wario Land
While Nintendo’s attempt at a virtual reality video system is remembered as a flop, there are some Virtual Boy games that are genuinely interesting. Virtual Boy Wario Land is one of those — seemingly a smoother, faster continuation of the original Wario Land games, Virtual Boy Wario Land added some quirks, including the ability to swim up waterfalls! To think, that’s the power we we could have associated forever with Wario, if this game was just more popular!
Hey You Pikachu
“Pride goeth before the fall” — a phrase befitting both hubris-ridden leaders and the Nintendo 64’s Hey You Pikachu. I mean, who would want a virtual pet on their TV screens when there are pocket-sized Tamogachis available just around the corner? Still, the Pokémon brand is a powerhouse, and having a Pikachu to play with is still the childhood dream of many a millennial nerd.
What kind of Yoshi game has Dr. Mario in it?! And what kind of Yoshi game is a puzzler instead of a platformer!? Yoshi’s built to run, man! Let’s move on.
Mega Man Soccer
Does it make you like Mega Man more or less to find out that when he’s not fighting evil robots, he’s besting them at soccer? Because for me it is 100 percent more.
When we think about which Sonic the Hedgehog characters deserve a spin-off, the tiny bird who hops out of the bad guys when Sonic jumps on them is maybe not the first one that comes last to mind. Yet here we are! Can you help the Flicky run away from normal cats? This is probably what suburbia in the Sonic world is like.
Kirby’s Tilt n’ Tumble
Kirby’s Tilt n’ Tumble is a milestone of a Game Boy Color game, as it turned out be a dry run for the motion controller of the Wii. Still, it’s a shame this game isn’t better remembered for its gameplay. Rolling Kirby around as you avoid weapons and traps was great. Here’s hoping Nintendo brings a version of this game to the iPhone soon.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
If you ever wanted to see Dr. Robotnik go up against Brido in a discus competition, don’t fret, I have amazing news — Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Games exists. I also have unsettling news — your strange desire to see Dr. Robotnik go up against Brido in a discus competition means your parents are assuredly looking into finding a mental health facility for you to stay at, just for a little while sweetheart, they promise.
Any weird video game spin-offs I missed? Any I shouldn’t have included? Let me know on Twitter feed @AlexFirer!