Given the amount of years they’ve been around, it’s only natural that longtime video game characters would veer pretty far from their roots. Why limit Sonic and Mario to platformers when you can make even more Washingtons farming them out to puzzle and party games? Here is a list of some of the more bizarre scenarios that your old favorites starred in.
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures: Forget the old days of basement labyrinths and yellow tablets, Pac-Man is a family man now! Armed with a slingshot, Pac-Man must run errands for his wife and children while avoiding ghosts, garbage cans and angry cats. The game culminates in a duel between Super Pac-Man and a monster made from already-been-chewed gum. No really, we’re not making this up.
Sonic R: Although a Sonic racing game seems like such a natural idea, Sonic R is one of the weirdest games I’ve ever played. Old favorites look like colorful bags of rocks, Amy drives a convertible Smart Car, and the game features a character called Puppet Tails, who is none other than a floating voodoo doll version of Sonic’s beloved sidekick.
Tekken Bowl: Fighter’s are athletes, right? Bowling is a sport, right? Maybe? Well, then it only makes sense that the cyborgs and ninjas of Tekken should hit the alley in this Tekken Tag Tournament minigame. What? Your bowling alley doesn’t provide models in bikinis?
Pokémon Snap: Battling Pokémon is fine for some, but I’d much rather hurl apples at them from the comfort of my own train car. You earn points for how close you can get to the monsters, how many are in one frame, and how many comments your photos of them get on Facebook. Players also wield poké balls filled with mustard gas to help their Pokémon achieve that sought after, oxygen-deprived look.
Mega Man Soccer: This time around, Dr. Wily has decided to gain control of the world by dominating its most popular sport. To foil his plans, Megaman must clone himself into an inadequately numbered soccer team, and learn to combine an X-Buster charge shot with a bicycle kick. As thrilling as a team of laser-firing robots playing soccer sounds, we’d bet America still wouldn’t watch this if it were real.
Mario Teaches Typing: Homerow is hard, but Mario is fun! As hunchback versions of Luigi, Mario, or Princess Toadstool players ice skate beneath an unyielding sun all while learning that the “W” key is located next to the “Q” key. You tricked us mumsy, this is no fun at all!
Bomberman Hardball: For those tired of braving explosive-lined mazes, this game allows players to relax with a game of golf, baseball or tennis. Don’t expect to pitch or volley bombs in these sports, that would be far too dangerous! Instead, players can enjoy fairly standard adaptions of the games they love played by everyone’s favorite eye-dilated sea monkey.
Castlevania Slot Machine: In response to gamblers’ needs for vampires, Gothic storylines and gratuitous cleavage, Pachislot Akumajō Dracula was created. Players can burn through their daughter’s college fund in a quest to defeat Dracula and line up three lemons.
Kirby’s Dream Course: Part miniature golf, part billiards, and part pink eating machine, in this legitimately fun game Kirby must suck in his arms and destroy trees in order to vanquish King Dedede. Riding escalators, smushing floating jackolanterns, and making strategic use of air vents is all in a day’s work for Kirby, the world’s hardest working golf ball.
Donkey Konga: Clearly the most musically inclined of Nintendo’s characters, it was up to Donkey Kong to get a foot in the door of rhythm based games. DK must drum along to animé theme songs and top 40 hits all in an effort to avoid starvation and win bananas. The game takes place during the time in Donkey Kong’s life when he was living on the streets.