Playing video games can be one of the most enthralling and addictive pastimes, transporting you into a fantasy world and hooking you in with immersive gameplay, with the scope of game-makers limited only by their imaginations. Anything is possible. Anything.
So why on earth did someone decide to make Euro Truck Simulator?
ShortList guides you through 10 of the most boring games ever created; play these at your peril, or maybe do play them if you have insomnia.
Euro Truck Simulator
Proudly billed as 'the very first truck simulation game set in Europe', it's simply unfathomable to us why no-one had made this game before now. Euro Truck Simulator is, quite frankly is a thrill-a-minute game of intrigue and adventure, picking up cargo, driving within the speed limit, checking your mirrors regularly, and - if you're really lucky and progress far enough to transport hazardous material - performing a full cab inspection.
Most of the Imagine series sounds pretty dull, but one can at least see the appeal of Imagine: Movie Star or Imagine: Fashion Designer. Why anyone in the world would want to play Imagine: Babysitters, is beyond us. The concept is simple: do all the things with a baby that no-one wants to do and pay for the privilege. Rumours abound that the next in the series is Imagine: Toilet Unblocker.
Pro Cycling Manager 2005
Pro Cycling Manager may now be a respected and successful game, but its launch edition in 2005 was far from a classic. Many sports lend themselves well to a management perspective; football obviously, cricket also, but it's fairly hard to see how management can impact too much on a cyclist other than shouting at them to pedal faster and pumping them full of more drugs (allegedly). From this unpromising starting point, PCM2005 gets worse, ignoring the laws of physics with 90 degree corner turning, towns a single house deep and generally incomprehensible options. Get on your real bike, it'll be more fun.
Pictionary (NES edition)
It has always seemed strange that some of the first things software developers rushed to make were computer versions of board games, the things that video games were meant to replace. Why would you make a digital version of Monopoly when a) you could just get it out from under the bed and play it and b) you could make a robot fighting game instead. The NES version of Pictionary couldn't even replicate the existing game due to, erm, not being able to draw (a fairly major component of Pictionary) and thus consisted of a series of weak minigames in order to reveal a picture. Morever, admittedly not the game's fault, but in pre-internet times, playing Pictionary on a NES just suggested that you didn't have any friends to play it with...
Peter Shilton's Handball Maradona
One look at the name is enough to worry about the level of attention paid to creating this game - what exactly is a "handball Maradona"? Shouldn't it be the other way around? And, to confirm its status as a hastily put together cash-in on that incident, the game features no reference to the event whatsoever. You couldn't even handball it, as instead of playing as a team, you were simply in sticks, a la Shilts; but putting your virtual gloves on was as exciting as it got. Your team would score unseen goals at random, and you would get to make 3 or 4 saves per half. And that was it. Only single matches were available, meaning no tournaments and no leagues or cups. About as exciting as Ray Wilkins.
The Wii truly was a revolution in gaming. Utilising accelerators and infrared to create something intuitive to use and wildly versatile, a whole host of games have taken this technology and created something exciting, fun and original. Unfortunately, Let's Tap is not one of them. Tapping your way through racing games, then tapping to play a Jenga-esque game, then tapping to a rhythm. You certainly can't fault it on the Trade Descriptions Act. Unfortunately, tapping isn't very exciting, and quickly becomes a tedious exercise. Our advice? Turn off the tap.
Desert Bus (from Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors)
Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors was an unreleased game, originally planned for release on the Sega CD in 1995, which has obtained cult status due to the presence of a truly astonishing minigame contained within it - Desert Bus. The objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, in real time, at a maximum speed of 45mph, along a road which is, without exception, perfectly straight; a feat which requires 8 hours of continuous play to complete. Oh, and you can't pause it. There are no passengers, little scenery bar an occasional rock and an exciting bug splat 5 hours in. The killer is that the bus veers slightly to the right, meaning that it cannot be left to drive by itself - and if you leave the road, you'll be towed back to Tucson - in real time. Making it to Vegas scores...1 point and the maximum score is 99 points - which would require over 41 days of continuous play to achieve. Its cult status has led to marathon charity events to see how long people can drive for. Desert Bus is, without doubt, an absolute triumph of boredom.
King James Bible for Gameboy
We suppose this should get credit for preceding the Kindle by a full 13 years, and there's no doubt that The Bible contains some rollicking stories of adventure, heroism and mystery. But I think we're safe in saying that the last thing you'd want to do on your Gameboy is read The Good Book, when you could be playing Mario instead. And Leviticus is unbelievably boring so that chapter alone qualifies it for inclusion.
The Amazing Virtual Sea Monkeys (2002)
Being told that Sea Monkeys were an exciting pet is the second biggest lie we were told as a child, after the existence of Father Christmas (note to younger readers: this in itself is a lie, he definitely does exist). Impressive at first when they 'hatched', the novelty quickly wore off when you realised that they didn't do much, and died pretty quickly. They were not, as we were promised, 'just as good as a dog'. Unfortunately the 2002 release of The Amazing Virtual Sea-Monkeys merely replicated the real-life disappointment, whilst emptying your wallet of £24.99 at the same time. Riddled with bugs, containing minimal interaction after the hatching stage, and just plain boring even when it did work, this game was anything but amazing.
Tail of the Sun
Tail of the Sun casts you as a caveman, able to go anywhere and do anything. Great in theory, except there is no guidance, no goals (bar a baffling objective of collecting enough tusks to build a tower high enough to reach the sun - you will never actually see this tower though), and some of the most boring scenery ever created. Entertainment is provided mainly by the change from night to day, while you endlessly roam the barren landscape, something which was probably thrilling for the original cavemen, but probably not up there with, say, the television, or even a stick or something. The coup de gras of the title, however, is provided by the frequent need for your caveman to sleep - which he will do with no warning, and often whilst swimming or during a rare hunting opportunity. Astonishing.