25 Weirdest & Strangest SNES Games Ever Made

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Fun fact: the SNES has a fantastic library of games counting over 1500 titles, including those that never made it out of Japan.

Mario Kart, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, and EarthBound are only some of the console’s massive hits. And the list goes on with the games that shaped the industry going forward.

Among these many games, some shine not for their quality, but for their odd designs and just plain weirdness.

Whether that’s due to awkward gaming mechanics, grotesque graphics, or insane storylines. Or something else entirely!

Let’s check out some of the strangest SNES games from this massive library of 90s gaming nostalgia.

Get ready for some really weird fun.

 

25. Uniracers (1994)

Uniracers SNES game screenshot

First we have a game that’s just as weird as it is fun – that is, a lot.

DMA Design developed Uniracers in collaboration with Nintendo as an alternative “sports” game where sentient unicycles race throughout various stages, landing gnarly tricks to boost their speed and get some points.

In other words, it’s the Trials series – on just one wheel, and with no driver.

The gameplay turned out to be pretty good, and the game gathered a cult following.

Regrettably, a lawsuit on the part of Pixar for using unicycles that were similar to a character from Red’s Dream ended any continuation possibilities.

 

24. Shin Megami Tensei (1992) (JP)

Shin Megami Tensei SNES gameplay

Racing unicycles is pretty lighthearted, much unlike our next entry: Shin Megami Tensei.

SMT is the third game in Atlus’ Megami Tensei franchise and the first in the spin-off series that would eventually lead to Persona – a spin-off of the spin-off series.

Why is SMT so weird, you ask?

Probably the same reason why it never made it to the US.

The game draws a lot of inspiration from Christian lore, putting the player in the middle of a battle between God – the one most people pray to in the West – and the Devil. As such, it’s full of disturbing Christian imagery – such as crucified women, upside-down crosses, and more.

 

23. Street Hockey ’95 (1994)

Street Hockey ’95 SNES game screenshot

For something less disturbing but just as bizarre, consider GTE Interactive Media’s Street Hockey ’95.

Other than having a Rastaman on the cover despite the game having nothing to do with Rastafarism or Jamaica, the game includes plenty of other weird “urban-savvy” characters in its roster – because, again, it’s “street” hockey.

Despite its weirdness, the game is pretty solid. It’s colorful, relatively fast-paced, and the fluid animations are a highlight.

 

22. EarthBound (1995)

EarthBound SNES game

You may not think of Earthbound as a “weird” game considering its popularity among lovers of 16-bit games – so let me give you some perspective.

Despite being a JRPG in every sense of the word, the game is based on the Japanese view of American suburban life in the 90s.

Apparently that means fighting hippies, cult-members, and corrupt politicians.

Not only that, but it features several strange game mechanics that play into the setting, such as protagonist esper-kid Ness needing to come home from time to time because he misses his mom.

 

21. Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3D (1993)

Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3D SNES game

Sometimes, games aren’t weird because of their setting, characters, or even gameplay – but because of their bizarre gimmicks with awkward results.

Like anything ending with “in 3D” before the 2000s, this title by French studio Loriciels tries very hard to give you an illusion of depth.

To achieve this, the game used parallax scrolling to distinguish the background from the foreground and took advantage of the Pulfrich Effect with Nuoptix 3D glasses.

As you might have expected, this culminated in kids vomiting all over their consoles after just a couple of minutes playing due to severe motion sickness.

 

20. Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure (1995)

Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure SNES gameplay

It should come as no surprise that a game by Interplay – the creators of Earthworm Jim – had a bizarre art-style and weird concept… but this is too much.

This title follows the physiological adventure of Boogerman, a superhero with the power of excreting bodily fluids. His real identity is that of millionaire Snotty Ragsdale – so, yes, it’s booger-powered Batman.

Not only is the art-style grotesque, but your powers are all based around stuff like farting, burping, and – of course – flinging boogers.

Who was even the target audience with this horrible game?

 

19. Revolution X (1994)

Revolution X SNES game screenshot

Less disgusting but surprisingly weirder is Revolution X, developed by Midway and none other than Aerosmith – who’re also the main characters of the game.

This on-rails shooter follows the band as they battle the corporate military forces of the New Order Organization that’s taken over the world.

Other than the anti-capitalist message and thinly-veiled reference to the Illuminati, the game is notorious for its terrible controls on the SNES.

Released initially on arcades, the game is clearly meant to be played with a gun controller – but the SNES version isn’t even compatible with a light gun!

 

18. Cannondale Cup (1994)

Cannondale Cup SNES gameplay screenshot

I’ve always been a fan of games that try to get people sweating off extra calories.

Not only for their noble objectives, but because of how spectacularly they tend to fail.

The best example on the SNES has to be the Cannondale Cup, also known as Mountain Bike Rally.

This title lets players race through several tracks as one of eight characters while listening to a banging soundtrack. The catch?

It’s controlled with a modded static spinning bike dubbed the “Exertainment System.”

The idea behind the game was getting people to exercise – and buy the Exertainment system – but I can’t imagine a world where that would have worked.

 

17. Harley’s Humongous Adventure (1993)

Harley’s Humongous Adventure SNES game

Next up we have a game with humongous amounts of weirdness.

Developed by Visual Concepts, Harley’s Humongous Adventure follows the eponymous character after accidentally shrinking himself to around 3 inches tall.

Each level occurs in a different room of Harley’s house, such as the bathroom and the kitchen, where the unfortunate green-clad chemist must collect the missing parts of his machine to return to normal.

If you don’t think it’s that weird, wait until you see the puking fly enemies…

 

16. The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare (1992)

The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare SNES gameplay

If you’re looking for a weird game that you can actually enjoy, then Bart’s Nightmare might be worth checking out.

The game follows Bart Simpson as he tries to recover some of his long lost homework. The twist?

He’s actually having a nightmare. So he’ll have to look out for living TVs, lawnmowers, and the occasional Jimbo in the process.

This surreal style remains throughout the entire game, making it a very unique action-platformer – and a pretty good one too.

 

15. Gourmet Warriors (2019)

Gourmet Warriors SNES game screenshot

Pick one of three characters – Monsieur, Madam, or Très Bien – and test your mettle against several food-based enemies in this intense and bizarre beat-em-up.

That may not sound so weird at first, but when you consider there’s a command to stand around flexing your muscles as a sort of taunt, you start to understand why it’s so strange.

Developed by Winds, this SNES only came out in the US in 2019 thanks to Piko Interactive. The original, Gourmet Sentai Barayaro, had never made it out of Japan until then.

 

14. Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban (1994) (JP)

Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban SNES gameplay

Regrettably, our next entry will most likely never see an English release – but it’s simply too weird to ignore.

Set in Feudal Japan, the game follows Lord Stupid and Stupid Prince as they try to save Japan from an alien invasion.

While most of the humor and weirdness are locked behind a language wall, the fact that the game is filled to the brim with burly men flexing their muscles is already strange-enough.

Tokyo Design Center developed it, and its name can be roughly translated to “Meet Tonosama! Bravo! The Best!”

 

13. Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City (1994)

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City SNES game

If the previous game is too Japanese, then this one is too American.

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City was developed by EA back when slapping the basketball player’s name on anything was tantamount to turning it into gold.

After mad scientist Maximus Cranium kidnaps all of his peeps before a charity game, it’s up to Michael to wield his basketball super-powers and save them all.

All things considered, this action-platformer isn’t half bad – especially if you’re a fan of His Airness.

 

12. Shaq Fu (1994)

Shaq Fu SNES game screenshot

In a surprising twist of fate, Michael Jordan wasn’t the only famous basketball player to get his own game that same year.

Shaq Fu follows basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal as he explores an alternate dimension and beats the lights out of several martial arts masters to save a child called Nezu – who you can also beat-up late into the game.

The game is remembered fondly by many because of how weird it is, which lead to a sequel in 2014 called Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.

 

11. Lester the Unlikely (1994)

Lester the Unlikely SNES game

Meet Lester, a wimpy nerd stranded on an island who must learn to survive and make it out alive despite never lifting a dumbbell or doing anything remotely outdoorsy in his entire life.

That’s the premise behind Visual Concepts’ Lester the Unlikely, a sort of “action” platformer where Lester’s physical ineptitude and apparent lack of a will to live are game mechanics.

The only saving grace about this game other than its innate weirdness has to be the graphics, which are colorful, detailed, and smoothly animated through rotoscope techniques.

 

10. EVO: The Search for Eden (1993)

EVO: The Search for Eden SNES gameplay

Among these very weird games, my favorite has to be Enix’s EVO: The Search for Eden, an RPG based on the theory of evolution – except it doesn’t follow it at all.

You start in the Sea of Origin during the Cambrian Period as a basic sea creature.

Guided by the goddess Gaia, daughter of the Sun, you’ll have to defeat other creatures and collect their “Evolution Points” to slowly but surely become complex-enough to reach Eden and become her immortal partner.

I don’t know if Charles Darwin would be proud or horrified.

 

9. Jikkyo Oshaberi Parodius (1990) (JP)

Jikkyo Oshaberi Parodius SNES game screenshot

We’re back to the Eastern corner of the world with Konami’s Jikkyo Oshaberi Parodius, the fourth game in the Parodius series of bizarre shoot-em-ups.

The game is a parody of the shoot-em-up genre and the influential Gradius – hence the name.

Everything in this game is unexpected.

At one time, you may be shooting at a sumo’s balls; the next, you’re fighting for your life against a giant sea creature.

Honestly, it gets to the point where it feels like they just threw a bunch of random assets together to make a game.

But hey, it’s a surprisingly fun and good-looking title.

 

8. Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus (1995)

Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus SNES game

As we all know, games are much more than a mindless pastime.

They can be effective vehicles for education too! Except, well, that doesn’t always turn out so great.

Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus was developed by WaveQuest and published by Raya Systems to teach asthmatic children about their condition and how to live with it.

In this platformer, Bronkie, the asthmatic dinosaur, must make his way through several levels avoiding enemies and, more importantly, air pollution.

The game presents useful tidbits of information about asthma between levels, and you better pay attention, because you’ll need to answer quizzes to progress.

Fun?

 

7. Captain Novolin (1992)

Captain Novolin SNES gameplay screenshot

Another one of Raya System’s health education games was Captain Novolin, sponsored by the famous insulin brand of the same name.

The game follows the eponymous diabetic superhero as he tries to rescue the abducted Mayor of Pineville, who also has diabetes and only has 48h worth of Novolin to keep his blood sugar levels under control.

To further drive the point home, the game’s enemies are all junk food. And you must collect healthy food through the levels to earn points.

Makes sense, yeah?

 

6. Packy and Marlon (1995)

Packy and Marlon SNES gameplay

Not satisfied with the Captain’s achievements, Raya Systems came back three years later with Packy and Marlon, a game about – you guessed it – diabetic elephants.

This time around you’ll have to make your way through several platforming levels trying to recover your healthy food – and your insulin – from thieving rats.

These games may be incredibly weird and downright hilarious, but they apparently worked wonders and reduced diabetic children’s ER visits a lot (apparently).

 

5. Mohawk and Headphone Jack (1996)

Mohawk and Headphone Jack SNES gameplay

Now here’s a game that’s probably bad for your health.

Mohawk and Headphone Jack was developed by Solid Software to compete with SEGA’s music-centric ToeJam and Earl, and tries to mimic its unique character design with its naked yellow protagonist.

The game feels amateurish, the music is a weird mix of acid rock, and – most importantly – the graphics are bound to give you nausea after just a couple of minutes of playing.

What were they thinking?

 

4. Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit (1994)

Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit SNES game

Our previous entry’s weirdness pales in comparison to Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit, a video-game tie-in to the then-famous Home Improvement sitcom.

Whereas the show is about American fatherhood and manliness, this platformer is about surviving the horrors of animatronic dinosaurs after Tim Allen gets lost in the set of another TV show.

In other words, it’s Five Nights at Freddy’s meets Night in the Museum.

 

3. Rex Ronan: Experimental Surgeon (1994)

Rex Ronan: Experimental Surgeon SNES gameplay

If you thought you’d seen the last of Raya Systems and their series of health-education games, you were wrong.

This time around, you’ll be playing as Rex Ronan: a daring surgeon who shrinks himself to microscopic levels to save the life of Jake Westboro, a lifelong smoker.

The game revolves around cleaning up Jake’s lungs, teeth, and other damaged areas while avoiding the deadly mini-bots sent by the Blackburn Tobacco Company to stop you and keep Jake from speaking out against cigarettes.

Learn about the dangers of tobacco and the fearsome power of tobacco companies, all at the same time.

Definitely a strange game to say the least. But it’s gotten some media coverage, too.

 

2. Super 3D Noah’s Ark (1994)

Super 3D Noah’s Ark SNES gameplay screenshot

If you’ve played Wolfenstein 3D, you’ve played Super 3D Noah’s Ark.

Well, almost.

Developed by Wisdom Tree, the game is a Christian re-skin of Wolfenstein 3D, following biblical character Noah as he makes his way through his Ark shooting food at animals to keep them calm.

As if this wasn’t weird enough, Nintendo never approved the game, so you’ll need a “real” SNES cartridge to plug into Super 3D Noah’s Ark’s bootleg cartridge so that the system will recognize the game.

 

1. Chou Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen (1995) (JP)

Chou Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen SNES game

I had to look hard for something that would top our previous entry…

But luckily for me, Japan is here to lend a hand – a weird, weird hand.

Chou Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen is a fighter developed by Masaya.

And it’s the third entry in the Chou Aniki series, which centers around very muscular men acting in disturbing and oddly feminine ways.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, the only female character is a humanized naval vessel operated by none other than more muscular men.

Do I need to go on?

Look online for some ROMs if you can, this one’s worth at least a few minutes of fun.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.