Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Go Go Diet



As some of you may know, my Big Mean Flash Gamer reviews are also available on the Way of The Geek website. A few months back, while I was celebrating 100 reviews here, I posted a special WoTG exclusive review for a woeful game called Mall Flirting. The game was technically sound, but the concept - run around a mall firing lightning bolts at boys to make them fall in love with you - was so repugnant that nothing could salvage the game in my eyes. (Incidentally, I recently came across the Japanese version of Mall Flirting, which is even more messed up, as you actually kill the boys and have their ghosts mindlessly follow you through a school.)

To make a long story even longer, fellow Geek scribe Devin de Gruyl mentioned finding another game on the girlsgames123.com website called Go Go Diet. Running this way from the Far East, it proves to be just as offensive as Mall Flirting ever was. I was reminded about it today by my fiancée, and since it's a quiet enough week for crappy games, I thought it was time to go back and call out this piece of garbage.



Go Go Diet puts you in the running shoes of a cute little girl on a treadmill. By tapping the left and right arrow keys you can make the girl run, and the goal is to stay on the treadmill for as long as possible. Nothing too worrying about that, right?

Well, the problem begins when sushi and Coke starts rolling down the treadmill towards you. You have to avoid the food at all costs, and apparently sushi is ridiculously fattening, because if the little girl ends up eating just one piece, her body weight seemingly doubles.



I can imagine a meeting between the developers probably went something like this...

Programmer #1: "So, what sort of game should we make now?"
Programmer #2: "How about something that preys on female insecurities about weight and body shape, and market it towards young girls?"
Programmer #1: "Sounds great! Man, I love being evil!"

Let's not beat around the bush here - you have to be a real asshole to make a game like this. Seriously, just a total dick. The type of guy who kicks puppies or tells women he loves them just so they'll have short, unsatisfying sex with him before he never calls them again. That guy apparently now knows Flash and is using it to make even more women feel bad about themselves.

Wonderful.



There's hope for fat chicks, though! All they've got to do is wolf down some magic weight loss medicine from a cute blue bottle! Because, you know, why stop at making young girls feel fat when you can also push the idea of diet pills and other garbage on them? I mean, if you're going to tear down their confidence, you might as well go all the way and make them mindless consumers of useless drugs that make them poop fat.



I'm really not sure what the goal of this game is. If you're trying to bring attention to childhood obesity, this is a pretty ham fisted way to do so. If the idea is to get more girls exercising, there has to be a more effective message than, "Exercise and never eat, or you'll get faaaaaaaat!!" And to be quite honest, the game isn't even all that well-made. The alternating button mashing I can deal with, but then you have to worry about moving up and down across the treadmill too, and as you play for longer more and more food comes tumbling towards you. It reaches a point where you have no choice but to take a hit and eat some food, leaving yourself open to the derogatory prodding of the mean girls at school.

All the cute artwork might appeal to little girls but it's just vomit-inducing to the rest of us. And the fact that the sweet outer shell contains such a potentially harmful message just makes it worse.



This game is just awful; there isn't a damn thing about it that I could recommend. The message it conveys can only damage the self-image of any young girl, and it lacks any interesting gameplay elements. Its only saving grace is that it's very small, less than 1.5MB of memory. But that's 1.5MB that could have gone to a game that wasn't a shallow, pointless borefest.

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