Friday, July 31, 2015

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties (1994)

Back in the 1990's, CD technology had started to come into play, but before a lot of the more iconic consoles for it came about, companies experimented with Full Motion Video, resulting in a large variety of games, of wildly differing quality. Some were really good, others were decent but flawed, while many were terrible! One such game, released for the 3DO console is not only considered by far to be the worst FMV game, but to be one of the worst video games period!...

John and Jane are two random people who meet one day by chance, just as their respective parents are hounding them to find someone to date. While they don't hit it off at first, they soon get caught up in a nasty predicament when Jane's new boss tries to sexually assault her

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is supposedly an FMV game, although that's false advertising at play. While the intro is in video, the rest of the game is in slideshow format! This makes no sense given that other 3DO games were completely able to produce great stuff like the high-quality Wing Commander games.  Things quickly get worse when you realize just how bad the game is! First of all, it's basically a dating sim, but not only is its quality as such a game extremely simple and lacklustre, to the most barebones degree, but you wouldn't even know it is a video game, as the first ten plus minutes are devoted to the lead characters getting lectured by their parents!

As a game, this is wretched, but as a movie? Oh yeah, it's just as bad. This is as little a movie as it is a game, with zero motion, mediocre to terrible acting, and a crap story.  Just following the main plot is annoying enough, but practically every other choice leads to some interminably long scenes. When just watching the main story, it's terrible, but it's over in just over half-an-hour,

Even worse are the weird things the game does, like having opening credits set to stock images of cars put through various filters, while painfully obviously cropped pictures of pandas are superimposed of John sleeping. Then there are the parts when the obnoxious main narrator is wearing a chicken mask and the picture is upside down. What the hell?!

The score too seems entirely made up of cheap and chintzy stock tunes! Most are crap, but a couple are ok, particularly the closing theme, which sounds alright. Nothing special, but serviceable.

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is such a bizarrely terrible game and movie that it seems like it might actually be heavily Dadaistic. Think about it, despite having full well the ability to create full motion video, the game deliberately eschews that to instead go for the cheapest alternative. Instead of real/legitimate title cars and credits, it goes for overly shoddy MS Paint stuff, while the opening credits are made up of such obvious stock images that there's not even any attempt to hide the different bordering, and low zoomed-in quality. There are bloopers and mistakes kept in. When the narrator is applauded by the audience, there are dogs howling and clapping. The game makes many deliberate attempts to insult the audience/player on and on, even chiding you for your low score despite you doing everything right and getting a high one, and even the title Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is a lie, as the lead character John does wear a tie. All throughout the game, it seriously does come across like some Dada art project. Unlucky of course that I happen to find Dada to be some stupid fucking shit when done poorly, which is too much of the damn time! I mean, come on! Is it too hard a feat to make something Dada without being a mean-spirited dickhead?!

So, with all this in mind, do I actually think any of this arty presentation is intentional? Oh, hell no! That goes without saying! The game is a stupid, unforgivable failure, and I don't think for one moment that it was ever meant as anything other than a dumb, immature comedy made by a couple of idiots with only basic knowledge of coding, and an especially vulnerable industry licensing system.

So, that's Plumbers Don't wear Ties. It's hilariously terrible, and I recommend watching the Angry Video Game Nerd review to get the full experience of insanity without having to actually watch the 'game'...


  1. Great review! It was definitely horrible, but in a hilarious way! Plus the audio sounded like they were filming in the bathroom...ugh :)