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Written by  :  H.M. (7)
Written on  :  Sep 11, 2016
Platform  :  3DO
Rating  :  0 Stars0 Stars0 Stars0 Stars0 Stars
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A Slide Show

The Good

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties has the well-earned distinction of being one of the worst video games of all time.

It is an interactive dating simulation with very little in the way of interactivity. Whenever you are given an set of choices, it is clear what the right option is (in order to advance the story) and choosing the "bad" option results in a brief change in the story, before the player is told to go back and select the right choice.

It is an interactive movie, with very little in the way of full motion video. Aside from a brief introduction, the entire game is actually a series of still photographs with voice over.

The still photographs are not good photographs, but images that seem like they were put together by someone who didn't know how to use a camera.

The dialogue contains a fair amount of profanity and sexual innuendos, but seems like it was a film student's rough draft. Beyond the bad writing, the tone of story is very off-putting.

The story basically involves a man and a woman being pressured by their respective parents to get settle down and get married.

John is an attractive looking plumber (who wears a tie) and Jane is lovely looking lady going to a job interview (I think she is a secretary, but its not really important to the story).

These early scenes would seem to suggest that the story is going to be a semi-realistic, romantic comedy. This is not actually the tone of the game's story.

The game has, at least, three different narrators who (in addition to fighting each other like cartoon characters) read the on-screen options and censure you for making bad decisions.

The fight sequences between two of the narrators seem more appropriate for a classic WB cartoon. The other narrator does not appear, but reads the on-screen options.

Jane's father (the actor also plays one of the narrators) seems less like a character in a romantic comedy and more like a bitter parody of someone's rich father.

Thresher, the businessman who might offer Jane a job, acts like a poster child for sexual harassment lawsuits, who suddenly transforms into a possible murderer and a gay man.

The Bad

Yeah, one of the more unusual bad endings in the game involves Thresher (who has been chasing Jane in the parking lot) suddenly going gay or, perhaps, bisexual.

While the crazed businessman is chasing Jane, the player can decide to pick the "politically correct" option.

This causes the businessman to start flirting with John, who suddenly admits to be "confused", and ends with the two men going off together to meet John's mother.

Neither man is identified as being gay or bisexual before this scene occurs, and before you think that the game is trying to be progressive, this is just one of the many bad endings in the game.

When the scene ends, the player is taken back to where their made the "politically correct" option and, presumably, can now choose the more heterosexual option.

To win the game properly, you need to get to the "Hollywood Ending", where the creepy businessman is put in his place, and John takes Jane on a motorcycle ride.

While this is the proper ending in the game, I am not entirely sure that this qualifies as a, Hollywood Ending.

Jane does not believe that John is a plumber ("plumbers don't wear times") and I doubt very much that Jane's wealthy father would be pleased that his daughter is dating a blue collar man. Maybe this was a setup for a sequel that, thankfully, never came to be.

The Bottom Line

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties (1994) tosses in profanity, sexual innuendos, homosexuality, prostitution and (with a password) nudity to try and obscure the fact that the game looks, sounds and plays like it was designed by amateurs.