Review by The Manx

"It's not a game, it's a time machine"

E.T., Wall Street Kid, Captain Novolin, they were all really, really bad video games. It was an insult to expect people to not only play such dreck but to pay money for the privilege. But at least they were video games.

Taboo isn't. It's a 'time machine.'

Yeah, and I'm the King of Spain.

That's just the tip of the iceberg of incomprehensibility, though. I have no idea what Taboo is talking about when it claims to be a time machine, or why it's called Taboo, or what the sixth sense has to do with anything. I don't know what it means when the manual says this game can serve you ''as a high priest would an emperor,'' or other insane stuff like this from the manual means: ''There is no such thing as luck, there is only chance, and what chance do you stand!'' And you can bet I have no idea what the interpretations of the cards that sound like they were translated into six other languages before making it to English mean.

But I'm serious about not considering this a game. Why? Because video games are things you play on your TV or computer that put you in control. Your interaction with Taboo is limited to inputting your name, sex, birthdate, a question for the game to not answer, and then you get...HOT TAROT CARD SHUFFLING ACTION!!!!!

No, I'm not kidding. And you can't skip it, because your control over the events unfolding on your Nintendo has just ended. And if you have epilepsy, the background will probably throw you into a fit. Then it shows you what cards were drawn and what effect they have on your present and future. WHOOOO-OOOOH! SCARY! That is, if you can make any sense out of the seemingly random words the game spouts while telling you what your reading revealed.

I have a simple question: if the guys who made Taboo had the technology to see the future, why did they make the game? They would've known next to nobody would buy the thing. And even if you do get curious about Taboo, a half hour of searching on the internet these days will get you the rom of this cart and an emulator to try it out for free, further cutting into any worth Taboo might have ever had.

Only a fool would believe this cartridge is capable of any of the stuff it claims, much less be willing to pay money to own it and seek its wise counsel. Some games were undoubtedly done as a harmless little experiment, but Taboo is pretty much a textbook definition of what is not a good idea for a video game.


Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 02/09/04, Updated 07/05/04


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