15. The Pinball of the Dead
If you think Typing of the Dead is the weirdest point in House of the Dead‘s history, then you’ve probably never heard of Pinball of the Dead; the game that is exactly what you think it is. A zombie-themed pinball game for the Game Boy Advance is weird no matter how you choose to look at it, but it’s this game’s elaborate presentation and cinematic flair that put it far over the top.
What’s really strange, though, is that this game is actually really, really good. Yeah, it’s just digital pinball, but it’s certainly one of the best options for anyone looking for a digital pinball game to play on the go. Why did they stop making increasingly bizarre House of the Dead spin-offs? Most of them were great.
On the surface, Robopon looks like yet another entry in a long line of Pokémon ripoffs made for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. In many ways, that’s exactly what it is. Yet, this robot collection/fighting game happened to feature a truly bizarre gimmick that set it apart from just about everything else out there.
See, the Robopon cartridges shipped with builtin-infrared sensors that could detect inputs from common household devices. So, you could do something like point your TV remote at the cartridge and receive a seemingly random benefit like a stat boost. Those same sensors also allowed players to wirelessly trade characters. While technologically impressive in its own right, that whole concept (which is commonly known as the “GB Kiss”) just never really caught on.
13. Monkey Puncher
First off, Monkey Puncher is just a great name for a game. I would gladly play several entries in a “Puncher” franchise (Dude Puncher, Fish Puncher, Kick Puncher, etc.). While that name does give away quite a lot about the game itself (it’s a boxing title starring monkeys), everything else about this title is truly surprising.
After all, few games begin with your father and sibling being kidnapped by monkey gangsters. Fewer games then ask you to work your way through a monkey boxing league in order to rescue them. Of course, there’s only one game that also allows you to have monkey children that can carry on your boxing legacy, and, you guessed it, it’s Monkey Puncher.