I should have become a game designer

Published 10:57 am Saturday, December 23, 2017

While processing letters to Santa this year for our annual holiday edition of The Tidewater News, I couldn’t help but notice that a few of the most frequently requested children’s games this year were ones that emulated tasks most adults would find… well… a little on the disgusting side. Thursday morning, I read an article in The Daily Press confirming my suspicion that gross-out games are hot sellers this year, and among those first mentioned were two I saw over and over again in Santa letters: Toilet Trouble and Soggy Doggy.

For those still blissfully ignorant of what I speak, allow me to enlighten you. Toilet Trouble is a game by Hasbro featuring a miniaturized plastic toilet. Players must spin a numbered roll of toilet paper and flush the toilet the resulting number of times, hoping that doing so will not cause the toilet to squirt them in the face. The last un-squirted person still standing, wins. Soggy Doggy is a game by Spin Master in which players take turns bathing a stuffed plush dog as they travel around a game board. “But be careful,” Spin Master’s website warns. “He loves to shake himself dry. If Soggy Doggy shakes all over you, wipe yourself off and head back to the start.” The first person to make it all the way around the board wins.

This got me thinking, considering how popular these two examples are, there’s probably a fortune to be made in games that create new ways for kids (and adults) to get their money’s worth out of their washing machines. Here are just a few ideas I managed to come up with to make my own “splash” into the game design industry:

  1. “What’s that smell?”

This would include one mini-fridge and several miniaturized tupperware containers filled with multi-week-old leftovers, one or more of which has gone rancid. Players take turns attempting to figure out which one (or two) have started to stink.

  1. “Litter Box”

This game would include a large kitty litter box in dire need of cleaning. Players take turns using their litter scoops to collect the… um… deposits, and place them into very flimsy plastic bags. The player with the fullest bag wins, unless of course your bag rips or has a hole in it, in which case its contents end up all over you and the floor and you must start over. Lysol wipes and vacuum cleaner sold separately.

  1. “Sit and Stay”

Similar in concept to “Litter Box” but for dog lovers, this game would include an animatronic stuffed plush dog in need of obedience training. Can you teach him all the required skills before he marks the living room couch (or your shoes) as his territory?

  1. “Greasemonkey”

This game would include two remote control race cars equipped with super-realistic everyday malfunctions that require the hands of a skilled auto mechanic such as yourself. Get ready for motor oil spills, unexplained smoke and strange chugging noises as you race your friends to the finish line (assuming they don’t need a jumpstart first.)

  1. “It All Comes Out In The Wash”

Reach your hands into this miniaturized washing machine and attempt to assemble a complete, matching outfit before your friends can. Just don’t let any now-molten candy, chewing gum, dirty tissues and other hazards somebody forgot to take out of his pockets now swimming along with the laundry load slow you down.

I could go on, but I think I hear gurgling. Excuse me while I go plunger my real toilet.

STEPHEN FALESKI is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. Contact him at 562-3187 or stephen.faleski@tidewaternews.com.