Kitsch of the Day: Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball // Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors

Tipped off by a friend, I have only recently discovered the amazingness that is “Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.” Created for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball is unlike any other basketball game to date (to my knowledge). It’s set in the future with the notoriously physical Laimbeer as Basketball Commissioner. In this future there are no rules. In this future there are armored players, buzzsaws, and landmines. In this future you only have two options, that is pass/shoot and shove. Besides its grim vision of future sportsmanship there are other noteworthy attributes, including the fact that the only player with 100% stats happens to be Bill. Players can construct their teams player by player and if desired can even have a team comprised completely of Laimbeers.

Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball

On that same note I feel compelled to mention Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors.

This is a game that I have known about for some time, but have also never played, only enjoyed by sheer appreciation. Smoke and Mirrors was originally intended to be released on the Sega CD but never found its way to market, as their Developer, Absolute Entertainment went bankrupt. Exhumed a while later by a website devoted to unreleased video games, Penn & Teller’s creation found life again in video gaming popular culture. Besides its other mini games, Smoke and Mirrors is Known for one thing: Desert Bus Challenge.

“The objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in real time at a maximum speed of 45mph, a feat that would take the player 8 hours of continuous play to complete, as the game cannot be paused.

The bus contains no passengers, and there is no scenery or other cars on the road. The bus veers to the right slightly; as a result, it is impossible to tape down a button to go do something else and have the game end properly. If the bus veers off the road it will stall and be towed back to Tucson, also in real time. If the player makes it to Las Vegas, they will score exactly one point. The player then gets the option to make the return trip to Tucson—for another point (a decision they must make in a few seconds or the game ends). Players may continue to make trips and score points as long as their endurance holds out. Some players who have completed the trip have also noted that, although the scenery never changes, a bug splats on the windscreen over halfway through the first trip, and on the return trip the light does fade, with differences at dusk, and later a pitch black road where the player is guided only with headlights” [via Wikipedia]

If only they made games like they used to. Sigh.

Desert Bus

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