style="width: 600px; height: 422px;" alt="noid"
Back in the halcyon days of the
’90s, food extended far beyond the hot
plate by frequently making its
way into our video games. Companies across the entire edible spectrum
saw this new fan-dangled medium of interactivity and thought it would
a great idea to allow gamers to violate the cardinal rule of the dinner
table and actually play with their food. Sadly, most of these efforts
resulted in less-than stellar results, as indicated by the following
examples of product placement games. Keep in mind that a lot of these
were full priced releases — this was long before the time when href="http://www.1up.com/games/xbox/sneak-king">Sneak
King came alongside a BK Veggie
with cheese. href="http://www.1up.com/do/my1Up?publicUserId=5712841">Seth
Macy wrote a great feature about
Schlock a while back, but this
time around the focus is going to be strictly on the href="http://www.1up.com/features/president-clinton-top-5-cameos">Decade
That Clinton Built. Aside from
joys that stem from product placement, the question still remains: Why
the ’90s were such a humid breeding ground for licensed games based on
food, the places that serve food, and the mascots who champion food?
There’s going to be a very
distinct generational divide with this one, so prepare yourselves. The
Noid was a mid-’80s creation by Domino’s Pizza that used each of the
seven deadly sins in order to ruin your pizza experience. Delivery guy
got a flat tire? Noid. Cheese is burnt? Noid. Immediately regret that
you’re filling your body with the physical manifestation of shame?
Well, the Noid’s only partly responsible for that. Like all great
mascots of the era, the Noid got his fair share of video game titles,
but the one I want to focus on is the 1990 NES classic Yo! Noid.
Without a comma between the two words, one can only assume that the
title is yelling in order to get your attention. Misused punctuation
aside, Yo! Noid is actually a revolutionary entry into the pantheon of
gaming. Instead of being a delivery boy trying to avoid the Noid, the
game shook the very foundations of storytelling by placing us in
control of the trickster god; in many ways, Yo! Noid is the style="font-style: italic;">Paradise
Lost of video games. Sadly,
the game commits the cardinal sin of
platformers by switching the functions of the A and B buttons. Could
this have been the Noid’s plan all along?