Top 10 Failed Video Game Copycats



Top 10 Failed Video Game Copycats

VOICE OVER: Daniel Paradis WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Script written by Ty Richardson

Maybe the developers behind these games should have put their efforts into something more original! Welcome to, and today, we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Failed Video Game Copycats!

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Top 10 Failed Video Game Copycats

These games knew what they were doing… Welcome to, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Failed Video Game Copycats!

For this list, we’re looking at games that tried replicating other titles for a quick cash-grab, but utterly failed in making a decent product.

#10: “Disney Infinity” series (2013-15)

The toys-to-life genre exploded when the “Skylanders” franchise released in 2011. While some games, like “Lego Dimensions”, have managed to set themselves apart, “Disney Infinity” practically replicated the formula. Level up your favorite Disney character, buy Power Discs for more weapons and improved stats, and beat up the bad guys. You could even design your own levels, a feature which would evolve in 2.0 and 3.0. However, there just wasn’t enough content, and buying a new version every year quickly became expensive. By the time the series had reached its true potential, players had left. Eventually, Disney called it quits, and promptly shut down developer Avalanche Software and it’s publishing division.

#9: “The Great Giana Sisters” (1987)

Copycat games have been an issue long before mobile gaming was plagued with them. As the oldest entry on this list, “The Great Giana Sisters” was a shameless clone of “Super Mario Bros.” Just look at this! Its as if the art style was directly lifted from “Super Mario Bros.”, and the developers made tiny tweaks to look slightly different! While its believed that Nintendo filed a lawsuit against the developers, that rumor has since been proven false. However, Nintendo did take part in swaying sales away from “Giana Sisters”.

#8: “Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta” (2013)

It’s hard to imagine anyone trying to replicate the look and feel of the “Uncharted” series. Considering the game’s size and scope, it’d be hard to pull off. And yet, someone still tried to copyit. What resulted was “Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta”, a game tried so hard to look exactly like “Uncharted”, the main character looks like he could Nathan Drake’s cousin. The most notable flaw here is in the incredibly awkward animations, everyone looks stiff as a board! The reviews on Metacritic aren’t lying…

#7: “The Simpsons: Skateboarding” (2002)

“The Simpsons” have had some pretty good copycat games over the years, with a few games successfully setting themselves apart from the games that inspired them. However, not every title was a real shiner. Enter “The Simpsons: Skateboarding”, a “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” clone that forgot to include everything that made the games fun. Why can’t I pull off this trick? Why am I not able to grind on that railing? Why is it so frustrating to control?? The game was buggy, the physics were broken, and it failed to replicate the fluidity “Pro Skater” was known for.

#6: “Sonic Shuffle” (2000)

“Mario Party” has been known for its simple, yet replayable gameplay. You hit a Dice Block, navigate your way to a Star, and play a bunch of minigames. Few have tried to replicate this formula, and very few have succeeded. “Sonic Shuffle” did not succeed. The game was essentially “Mario Party” with a Sonic skin, but its gameplay was just too confusing. You draw a random card from your hand to move, but you can also steal an opponent’s card? …What? And ohhhhhh, the load times! You spend more time waiting on the game to load than playing it! This game was just another case of Sonic trying to be like Mario.

#5: “Fur Fun” (aka “Kewpie-Jazzy”) (2017)

These days, it’s not rare to see a game billed as a “spiritual successor” end up being a poor imitation. “Fur Fun” was a Steam game that desperately tried jumping on the “Yooka-Laylee” hype train in early 2017. Like other abusive Steam developers, “Fur Fun” was littered with stolen assets, using gold ingots from “Minecraft” and ripping music straight out of “Banjo-Kazooie”. Oh, and did we mention a YouTuber published this? Yep! DalasReview not only published the game, but he also provided some of the worst narration we’ve ever heard. On top of that, he went out of his way to file DMCA takedowns and hide any negative criticism. “Fur” shame!

#4: “Cartoon Network: Punch-Time Explosion” (2011)

There are SO MANY games trying to copy the success of “Super Smash Bros”. What most of them fail to realize is that you need a strong character roster, good level design, and a balanced game. “Punch-Time Explosion” had a pretty decent character roster, like Dexter, Billy & Mandy, Nigel Uno, Samurai Jack, and the Powerpuff Girls. However, some of these characters were too overpowered, and most of them played too much like their “Smash Bros” counterparts. The game even had its own version of Subspace Emissary from “Brawl”! “Punch-Time Explosion” had the potential to be a great Cartoon Network branded game, but it turned out to be yet another “Smash Bros” clone.

#3: “Tattoo Assassins” (1994)

Amidst its own controversy, “Mortal Kombat” saw outstanding success with its gory gameplay and realistic visuals. Of course, with a blend like that, you’re bound to see copycats, and the worst offender was “Tattoo Assassins”. The character designs were bland and their version of fatalities…well, something tells us they didn’t get the point. Fatalities in “Mortal Kombat” were badass, brutal, and over-the-top in a unique way. In “Tattoo Assassins”, the fatalities were utterly stupid and just didn’t make any sense. In the end, it was simply another knockoff that didn’t understand what made “Mortal Kombat” successful. Good thing it was never released.

#2: “Infinite Crisis” (2015)

MOBAs are all the rage these days, but the market has become so saturated that there’s almost no room for a new game. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. Interactive and developer Turbine realized this a little too late. “Infinite Crisis” has you playing as your favorite DC character trying to destroy the enemy team’s base. It was a decent game, but the problem is that we already have “League of Legends”, “Dota 2”, and “Smite”. With all three having established communities, you’d have a hard time trying to get players to switch over. The game soon found itself in a crisis of its own, and servers were shutdown less than five months after release.

#1: “The War Z” (aka “Infestation: Survivor Stories”) (2012)

If you want to understand the definition of “shameless”, this game perfectly encapsulates the meaning. “The War Z” was one of many games that tried riding the coattails of “Day Z” during the peak of it’s success. In fact, “War Z” went so far to replicate the game that it looked like an exact copy! Problems quickly escalated when the developers were caught lying about features within their game, and they would incorporate microtransactions later down the road. Add in homophobic slurs from the executive producer and censoring criticism, and “War Z” would go down as one of the worst games ever made.