The 1980s and early 1990s represented the last golden days of the basement game developers. During this period small teams and individuals could develop a videogame from start to finish with little budget and even less planning and hope to turn a modest profit. Publishers big and small churned out thousands of these titles, bought for a pittance from the developers and given a marketing budget equal to the release of a new type of screw or nail. In many cases the cover artwork was appallingly bad and had little to do with the content of the game. We solemnly hang the worst of these in the Art House of Horrors and attempt to decipher the game behind the cover.

Thanks to mobygames.com for the cover art.

AAARGH! (1988)



Seems to Say: AAARGH!, the game of mythical hugging, finally makes the leap from the arcade to the home system. Grapple as one of 16 playable huggers of legend, from the Horned Cyclops and his iron embrace to the bewitching Woman-Spider and her four-talon grab. No monster is too great, no hug too powerful.

Verdict: If I had to ruin two perfectly good MAME cabinets this is how I would want them to be destroyed.

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