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Winter Games - Angry Video Game Nerd - Episode 84

("Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" plays in the background)

The Nerd: It's winter, it's fuckin' cold, we're playin' some Winter Games. (he holds up the box of the game, and he sighs) Oh boy. (he puts the box down) But anyway, let me get the greeting out of the way: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy... everybody, Happy Holidays. And if you have a problem with Happy Holidays, then Happy Shut the Fuck Up. (he holds up the box) But there ain't nothin' happy about this shit.

The Nerd: This is Winter Games on the NES. (takes the game cartridge out of the box) It's one of those Olympic sporting games, which seems like a simple concept. How bad could it possibly be? But this is just one piece of the turd shat out by Epyx. They made Summer Games, California Games, World Games, and of course Winter Games, which found its way on every home console known to mankind. The Commodore, Amiga, Apple Computers, and the Atari 2600 just to name a few. And to be fair, most of them weren't that bad for the time. They're simple sporting games that anyone could pick up and play. But then comes the NES version. You'd expect this one to be a huge improvement, but let's see.

(He inserts the game into the Toploader)

The Nerd: Alright, the game boots up, and a runner comes to light an Olympic torch. Yeah. Cool. Can I skip it? (tries to skip the cutscene but he can't, and grunts) Ugh! What's the point? I don't wanna watch this. I wanna play the game. I guess the programmers were really impressed with their work here. It looks okay, but it's not worth staring at every time you start the fuckin' game! Even more senseless, they actually give you an option of replaying the intro! I obviously saw it once, why the fuck would I wanna see it again?!

The Nerd: The name entry screen is a disaster. You can't move the cursor up or down. It only goes left and right. Isn't that fun? (He tries to spell "JAMES", his real name, on the name entry screen, but he can't type the final "S") Not to mention, they only let you spell four-letter words, which, I could think of plenty, but how many names would have less than four letters? If you try to add a fifth letter, it goes back and replaces the first letter, then you gotta figure out how to start over. When it reaches the last letter, why couldn't it just stop? The simplest thing to do is to type in all A's, then go left once to get to the enter button. Because why put in a name anyway? It's not like the game's gonna save it. But if it did, I guarantee most of the high scores would belong to AAAA. The point is - how hard is it to program something as simple as a name entry screen? If they can't even get that right, then whoa! Wait 'til you see the game.

The Nerd: In the Atari 2600 version, you compete in different events like Bobsledding and Skiing. It was simple, but it worked. So being that this is NES, they're obviously gonna top what they did before, right? You know, jumpin' over to a newer console, there's gonna be some improvements. Maybe some more events. The Atari version had seven events, so we can assume that this one will have... four?! Only four?! The NES just got its 8-bit ass handed to it by the Atari 2600. Well, that's fine with me! Spares me the shittiness.

The Nerd: It makes you wonder how it compares with the Atari 7800. Well, this one too had only four, but some of the events are different. So, in total, between the two consoles, it's as if they have the same amount of games as the Atari 2600, but, when the 7800 and the NES came out, they divided them... between the two. I've... never heard of that happening before.

The Nerd: The first event is called Hot Dog Aerials. I wonder what that could be.

(The game starts up, and it shows a skier jumping from the slope and landing flat on his face)

The Nerd: Oh, Ski Jump. Okay. Why is it called Hot Dog Aerials?

("Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" plays as the Nerd wonders if 'Hot Dog Aerials' could be a hot dog, which is a sausage in a bun, jumping from the slope, or could it be a dog burning alive jumping from the slope while barking? After that, he shrugs)

The Nerd: Well, all that happens here: you jump, you crash. You jump, you crash. You jump, and you crash. Very rarely I've gotten the fucker to land, by some sort of luck. All you can do is jerk the D-Pad around and hope for the best. (Skier jumps and crashes, and he grunts) Mmgh! FUCK! (Skier jumps and crashes again) (growls) URRGH! What people could be sadistic enough to design a game with such a dysfunctional control scheme?! The only people in the world who would call the ski jump Hot Dog Aerials!

The Nerd: Next is Speed Skating. I'm surprised it's not called Cat Tit Bingo. Okay, so the first thing that happens, your opponent speeds away, but you just stand there. You try every button on the controller, until you realize, you're supposed to tap Right and Left on the D-Pad repeatedly. It's hell on your fingers, and it ranks right up there with Ghostbusters when you have to go up the stairs by tapping A and B! Is this supposed to be fun?! Is it supposed to be challenging?! Rocking the D-Pad left and right? Was this game designed for monkeys? They don't even have the courtesy to explain it! You need the manual. There is a practice mode, but it's the same exact thing as the regular game. There's no on-screen instructions whatsoever.

(Horrible music plays after the 1st skater gets to the finish line)

The Nerd: How do you like that music? Listen. Exquisite. (He nods and puts on a sarcastic tone) Isn't that the most beautiful, radiant sound that has ever been blessed upon your soul? Its exuberant tonality harmoniously blends the dying squeals of electronic goats, with the melodic rapture of diarrhea bubbling from a coyote's crap-hole.

The Nerd: Next, let's try the Bobsled.

(The game looks like a comic book panel: the left panel is long and the right panel is split into three)

The Nerd: Okay, I don't get this at all. What's all this shit on the screen? Am I s'posed to be looking here, (the left panel) or here? (the top panel of the right panel) I guess that's the bobsled. Is that the slope? The shading looks like crap! Literally, it's like they poured diarrhea into an ice maker. And what's that jumbled white shit? (the Nerd is pointing at some weird-looking white stuff on the blue background at the top panel of the right panel) Is it scrambled Japanese text that's glitching up? Do I need to take the cartridge out and blow on it? Or is it supposed to be clouds?

The Nerd: All you do is steer the Bobsled using Left or Right. So once again, the only control that you use is the D-Pad. It's funny how the NES controller has two big bright red buttons (A and B) that never seem to come in handy. In fact, I believe the B button is never even used once in the entire game.

The Nerd: So, this is actually very simple, but because the screen is all split up like comic book panels with a speedometer and other unnecessary bullshit, it makes it look like it's more complicated than it really is.

The Nerd: Well, there's only one event left: Figure Skating. There is no hope for this game redeeming itself. This is the worst event of all. I don't know how the point system is judged, but the idea is to simply make this girl do all kinds of ice-skating tricks. You mash the D-Pad all around and try tapping the buttons. And all that happens, she falls flat on her face. Very rarely, I was able to get her to spin, but the final score always results in a 0.0. That's pretty harsh! You don't even get a decibal point for spinning around! This is painful. The timer seems to last an eternity, and the Nutcracker music is torture to your ears. And I know this is ice, but staring at a screen that's 90% white makes me feel like I'm going blind.

The Nerd: I'm not even kidding, but if I were to give out an award, a big shit-dripping trophy for the worst controls ever in a video game, I think it would go to this! I mean, look at it! I've never seen anything this unresponsive; I'm hitting every button combination possible!

The Nerd: You know, all that needs to be said about Winter Games is that you push buttons. That's all it is. How's Winter Games? You ever play Winter Games? Yeah, you push buttons. That's it. Go like this! (he pushes A and B rapidly and jerks the D-Pad) You're playin' Winter Games.

(A scene from "The Wizard" shows Beau Bridges playing an NES game, but he's really acting)

The Nerd: You ever watch a movie where someone's pretending to play a video game, (back to the Nerd) but you can tell they're just acting, they're just goin' like this? (the Nerd is tapping the buttons) They're playin' Winter Games. Yeah! Who programmed this thing?! Maybe it was Fred Fuchs(pronounced "fucks")

(The Nerd keeps playing, but keeps losing, starts to breathe heavier, more angrily and aggressively and then he gets furious and takes the game cartridge out)

The Nerd: (yells) This is a blizzard of BALLS! I can't believe humanity was capable of degrading itself so low as to produce such an insulting catastrophe of ASS!

(The Nerd looks at the warning sticker on the back of the cartridge)

The Nerd: "Do not store in extreme temperatures. Do not immerse in water. Do not clean with benzene, thinner, alcohol, or other such solvents. Do not hit or drop cartridge. Do not attempt to disassemble."

(The Nerd puts the cartridge in the oven, in the freezer, in the sink and turns on the water, pours alcohol on the inside of the cartridge, hits the cartridge with his hammer and drops it violently and disassembles the cartridge)

The Nerd: Like that?

(Finally, the Nerd puts the cartridge together and puts it in the fireplace with tongs) 

The Nerd: Burn, motherfucker, BURN!

(The cartridge burns up)


(The cartridge explodes off-screen after the end credits)


  • This episode is the only Christmas special to use the regular Angry Video Game Nerd theme song by Kyle Justin.
  • The warning sticker did not come from an official Nintendo cartridge, but from a Color Dreams unofficial cartridge, as the former only has the first three warnings, plus the Nintendo logo.


  • Figure Skating comes before the Bobsled, which means the Nerd made a mistake in order.