There’s lots of reason to play video games: As a form of escapism entertainment; To enjoy a story; To learn and challenge your skills with interesting gameplay mechanics or sometimes just because you’re bored and want to fill some time. The Tick, based on the comic book as well as the animated series of the same name, fulfills none of those qualities and the best thing I can say about it is that it’s a great game if you’re looking to put yourself to sleep.
The Tick hails from the same developers as Maximum Carnage, Software Creations, and it astounds me that they could make a really good comic book style beat-em-up like that game, and then release one of the worst excuses for a licensed game ever with this game. In the same year. The Tick is a pretty typical licensed brawler and it’s an example of just how hard it is to make a really good game in that genre. The genre is a repetitive one by nature, yet there’s still plenty of reasons to play games like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Turtles in Time etc.. This is a shining example of why they don’t really make games like this anymore.
To explain how bad The Tick is, I need only reference the title of the first level: Night of a million, zillion ninjas. That title is supposed to be a joke, the property is known for its humour above all else after all, and while you may not fight that many ninjas, the game goes out of its way to make you feel like you did. You travel from one point of a stage to another, listening to the same, awful droning music beating up ninjas in different colour outfits with some of the worst feeling punches and kicks in a game of this type until you reach the end of a stage…and then do it. All. Over. Again.
Yes, I’ve pretty much described every beat-em-up ever made, but there’s nothing redeeming about this game when there’s so many other better games of this type available. The gameplay feels bad, the music is bad, the game is just, well, bad. Every so often they try to break up stages with simple platforming levels where you’ll have to balance across a tight rope or leap over rooftops, and I will admit, I did chuckle the first time when I saw The Tick doing silly ballet poses while jumping. However just like the regular brawling stages, this repeats itself too often and the joke gets stale.
Worse still you can only play this game single player, a cardinal sin for a game like this. The Tick even has a sidekick, Arthur, who you can only summon to attack enemies. There’s also no password system to keep track of your progress either, so if you actually wanted to try to make it through this miserable game, you have to do so in one go.
One night, it was kinda late and I wasn’t tired so I figured I’d pick out a game to play and pulled this from my collection. After about twenty minutes of punching the same five or six colours of ninja over and over again, I was pretty tired and called it a day. If you want a video game equivalent of a sleeping pill, click on to eBay now and place an order for The Tick. But really, if you see this at your local game store or at a flea market for cheap just do yourself a favor and walk away. Just walk away. To think, once upon a time something like this would’ve set someone back upwards of a hundred dollars.