Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is not, strictly speaking, a horror game. Well, a lot of games we cover in these countdowns aren’t, but specifically, AVGN Adventures doesn’t even have a solid horror theme. What it does have, though, are three very solid horror-themed levels that reference a variety of horror games of the past.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, if you’re unaware, is a game based on James Rolfe’s character The Angry Video Game Nerd. The AVGN is a character who is bad at videogames and seems to be inexorably drawn to the worst of them. He kicked off the “angry game reviewer” video craze and was at one time one of the most subscribed users on YouTube.
The premise of this game sees the Nerd pulled into a bad videogame (in a parody of the intro to notorious stinker Cheetahmen), and he has to fight his way out. As I said before, three of the stages are horror-themed. Rolfe himself has been making films since he was a kid, and has a long and storied love of genre film, particularly horror film. Some of his most ambitious videos are Halloween episodes dedicated to games based on horror films, which often play out like truncated versions of the films the games are based on.
It’s these episodes that provide the inspiration for the first horror-themed stage, “Boo!: Haunted House.” This stage contains the most generic of horror game enemies: ghosts, jack o’ lanterns, witches, etc. The bosses are “Bimmy and Jimmy,” based on a typo found in Double Dragon III for the NES, however, the names are applied to Jason Voorhees, seen in his blue and purple duds from the NES Friday the 13th game and Freddy Krueger’s glove on a bunch of balls, as seen in the NES Nightmare on Elm St.
The second horror-themed level is “Assholevania,” and I’m sure you can guess what it’s inspired by. Filled with crushing spikes and medusa heads, it’s pretty obvious this one is based on Konami’s Castlevania series (Simon’s Quest was Rolfe’s first ever review). Though the boss here isn’t Dracula, no, it’s Mr. Hyde!
The final horror stage is “Thy Farts Consumed,” which is just hell. There aren’t a ton of super obvious horror game references here (caca-demons, inspired by DOOM enemy the cacodemon), but, well, it’s hell. The boss is the devil himself, who you fight while falling down a bottomless pit. One final horror reference I have to mention is in the stage “Dungeons and Dickholes,” the boss is The Giant Claw, a monster from a cheesy ’50s horror movie of the same name that Rolfe has professed a great deal of love for.
The game, I should mention, is very good, if you’re into masocore games like Super Meat Boy and VVVVVV. Even if Rolfe’s films don’t push your buttons, if you like old school games and a good challenge, I recommend it, and I’m excited for the recently announced sequel.
- Released: September 20, 2013
- System: PC, Wii U, 3DS
- Developer: Freakzone Games
- Publisher: Screwattack