Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties – 3DO
Developer: Kirin Entertainment
Publisher: Kirin Entertainment
Release Date (NA): September 30th, 1994
Genre: FMV Games, Point and Click
Nerd Rating: 2.5/10
You likely have some sort of console loyalty, right? PlayStation, Xbox, Wii U. You must have a favorite. Going back to the dawn of gaming time, gamers have always tended to have a preference, this preference was made even more evident by the fourth generation’s “console war.” Super Nintendo! Sega Genesis! Both sides rallied for virtual dominance! Many used varied types of evidence to support their console’s cause, and more than likely, you know at least one person who owned either console.
But then, what about the consoles no one remembers? I’m not talking about small, crappy third party consoles either, I’m talking specifically about a console created by the Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins. I’m talking about the 3DO. A strange machine, the 3DO came in many shapes in sizes, and its unique business model led to multiple manufacturers making their own versions of the console. This “unique business model” is also whats to blame for our game of today. The uniquely titled, Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties.
To say this game has a unique title is one of the only good things you could really say. From the box art alone, with no prior background on the game, you’re bound to completely lose your shit laughing. As a product of 3DO’s poor quality control, this title is one of the infamous, low quality adult entertainment games that arguably led to the console’s downfall. And this one has that 90’s fascination: full motion video (FMV). Or at least, that’s what the box art promises.
Turn on the ol’ 3DO, start up the game, and you’re already greeted with a cheezy FMV that literally has very little to do with the actual game, and is really just a cheap tactic to get your perverted mind to continue playing. After that though, don’t worry. This is literally the last time you will see the aforementioned full motion video. For the rest of the game, scenes will be presented to you in literally the worst picture slideshow you’ve ever seen. No, I’m not kidding. The presentation is one of the most laughable things I’ve ever seen in a video game. The “story” is presented to the gamer in these low quality pictures rather than actual video, and the amount of filters used on these pictures is enough to make you want to get violently ill to expel this madness from your body.
If you haven’t gone mad quite yet, you’ll also be greeted by horrible voice overs in every “scene” over this horrible sideshow. It is literally like a classmate make the worst Power Point presentation ever and turned it in for a video project instead of, you know, actually making a freaking video! Maybe the company didn’t have enough money, but ultimately seeing what they managed to do instead, they should have just forgotten about releasing this game.
So, this thing is called a “game.” This is a bitter lie. I get angry when some people say games such as Heavy Rain aren’t real games, and this game is precisely why. Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is a “choose your own adventure” novel, but with incredibly limited choices. If you weren’t already turned off by the blatant laziness of a low quality “picture show,” you just might be turned off with the frustrating “gameplay” sections. Basically, you have to try and get two people together because their parents want them each to have children.
Literally that’s the story. Our two characters, Douchenugget and Girlpants meet in a parking lot, and instantly feel a connection. Yep, that’s our story for the evening children. EAT YOUR SUPPER AND WE’LL READ IT! From the beginning, its clear you can make choices on what can happen in the story, and although you probably won’t care about any of the outcomes, even choosing something is a headache. Each time you scroll over a choice, you have to wait for the broken English narration to stop describing the choice you’ve already heard described 10,000 FUCKING TIMES!
How can you mess up simply choosing an option in a choice based game? Imagine if, in Mass Effect, you had to listen to Sheppard’s thoughts on each choice before making your decision. Oh, and speaking of narration, we have a narrator SUBPLOT in here too. Confused? Well, throughout the game, there’s this strange guy who sometimes appears in a chicken suit (yep) who sort of serves as our narrator (didn’t know we needed one.)
He just scolds you in wrong choices and comments on what little story there actually is here. He kind of talks like he thinks this story is like, Hamlet or something though, so maybe he’s not the best narrator to have. The subplot surrounding him is that there’s another narrator trying to get rid of him to become the story’s narrator, and also, scold you for your choices. So, yes. Narrator warfare. I feel like this game is nagging me for playing it. Its almost like the game is our mother, telling us we’ve made a poor purchase and asking us where we’re going wrong in our lives. I wish I knew mom. I wish I knew.
After enduring the chalkboard scraping music, the awkward and naggy narration, and the laughable voice acting for just a short time, you’ll likely be wishing the game was over. Luckily for you, the end will be near. You’ll be greeted with Benny Hill style music, and a chase will ensue between Douchenugget, Girlpants, and Girlpant’s perverted boss. Girlpant’s shirt is off of course.
The laughable story gets even more ridiculous, with the end being Girlpant’s having to chose between going with Douchenugget (whom she doesn’t know at all) or having sex with her boss for like 5 million dollars. You’re not allowed to to make her choose the boss really; if you do, the narrator will scold you and make you choose over again, making this whole choice thing absolutely pointless like all of the choices in the game.
Douchenugget and Girlpant’s will end up together, and, the end happens. Thanks for coming folks. Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is a perfect example of what happens when poor quality control meets lazy “game developers.” While the game is a complete trainwreck from all fronts, I actually sort of enjoyed playing it, just because I’ve never had another game make me say “What the fuck?” more than this baby. This game is weird, and if you’re someone who’s more casual about video games, I wouldn’t reccomend this to you at all. However, if you want a good laugh and the weirdest experience you’ve ever had, I would totally tell you you need to experience this game for yourself.
With a game like PK: Out of the Shadows, I would tell you to completely stay away, but this game is a different kind of bad. It is the legendary, “so bad that its good” game. While many of the “design” choices will frustrate you, and the nagging narrators will annoy the shit out of you, there are some good laughs to have at just how awful this game actually is. If you enjoy movies like The Room, you will absolutely enjoy this horrendous car crash of an experience. There’s a good word for it. Experience. Because, it definitely is NOT a game.
For all of its hilarious mistakes and doing EVERYTHING wrong, I can’t help but like this game a little bit. I give Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties a 2.5 out of 10. Incredibly generous, I know. (For a game that easily deserves a 1.) This game will make you laugh, and honestly, that makes the game somewhat enjoyable for all that it does wrong. (It literally does EVERYTHING wrong.)
Share This Post