Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties: Definitive Edition Review – Worst Ever


Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties: Definitive Edition Review

Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties might be the worst video game I’ve ever played. It’s a cult classic often spoken of in contention for the worst video game of all time. And it’s so bad that it barely qualifies as a video game. The infamy of Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties rose drastically after it was covered by the Angry Video Game Nerd in 2009. The video is hilarious, and had many people wanting to play it just to see how bad it really was.

Unfortunately, it was released for the 3DO, an expensive video game console that wasn’t owned by many people. Even if someone could get their hands on a 3DO, physical copies of Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties cost hundreds of dollars due to its growing infamy. Limited Run has been teasing a remaster of Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties for several years. It turned out that remastering it was a larger task than they originally thought. But in 2024, Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is available for every console, and PC.

“Full Motion Video”

Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is an “FMV” game, but it only contains one full motion video. There’s an intro with actress Jeanne Basone (standing in front of a very lazily hung sheet) telling the player the basics of the gameplay. The game itself is a choose your own adventure story made up of still photographs and narration. There are maybe 10 choices the player has to make before the end of the story. It took me maybe 2 hours to see everything, and maybe 3 hours to get the platinum trophy.

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The story is about a young guy, and young woman who are being nagged by their respective parents to get married. They meet in a parking lot one morning, while the guy is on his way to a plumbing job, and the woman is on her way to a job interview. She’s hit on by her potential future employer, and a chase ensues. That’s it. It’s incredibly mundane and awful, and they whole thing could’ve taken less than a day to photograph. I submitted video projects in middle school that were equally as technically proficient, and far more interesting.

Loving Remaster

Even though the game itself is terrible, the remaster is extremely lovingly put together. Limited Run painstakingly restored all the images. They added a new intro before the game, recreating the original with Jeanne Basone (including a lazily hung background sheet). Chapter fast forwards are included, so players can skip to the choices in the game, which makes it easy to see every path without having to repeat anything. There’s a short first person dungeon section called “Plumb the Depths” that can be explored to find the pieces of a comprehensive gallery. The gallery includes all the game’s images, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, trailers, a Good Bad Flicks video, and a making of documentary.

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The making of documentary covers the challenges of remastering Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties. Jeanne Basone talks about making the original game. The Angry Video Game Nerd discusses covering the game, and its subsequent rise to infamy. It’s an awesome watch. My only complaint is that there’s no “play all” function when all the videos are unlocked. And after a video clip from the documentary is played, the game kicks the player back to the main menu, instead of staying in the gallery chapter menu. I really hope this gets patched; it was incredibly annoying.

Somehow Worth It

Plumber’s Don’t Wear Ties might actually be the worst video game ever. But it’s still worth checking out to laugh at. It’s also an important part of videogame history, and shows how North American developers were banging out garbage in hopes of blind purchases, and rental store purchases. This reason almost caused a market crash in the 1990s, just like the video game market crash of the 1980s, but Japanese consoles, and a handful of North American PC developers kept the market afloat. It’s hard to score Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties: Definitive Edition. But if you’re at all curious, I urge you to buy it to support Limited Run Games, and video game preservation in general. It’s a must play for any fans of media that’s “so bad it’s hilarious”. I loved experiencing this awful game so much that I bought a physical copy.

***PS5 code provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Making of documentary
  • Loving remaster
  • So bad its hilarious

50

The Bad

  • The core game is phoned-in trash
  • Very short
  • No “play all” for documentary





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