Toilet Kids (Turbografx 16) – WTF Wednesday

Have you ever wondered what adventures may exist in your toilet? Well some game designer took that as an inspiration and ran with it.

We talk about a lot of bizarre games here, but this game probably takes the cake among our more recent discussions. Meet the Toilet Kids for the Turbografx 16, one of the most bizarre titles you will ever play in your life.

That isn’t to say the game is not any fun – it actually is pretty compelling, if not for its completely bizarre and somewhat off-putting presentation. It isn’t off putting in any immediately identifiable way, it is just so utterly strange that the game’s raison d’etre seems to be to make people uncomfortable. After all, it opens with a child dropping off the children at the pool – a bizarre site for a videogame opening, heck, any kind of opening.

A shoot ‘em up at heart, Toilet Kids puts you in the role of a kid just minding his business while doing his business until he falls into the loo and shrinks down to a little flying ship. The Turbografx 16 specialized in shoot ‘em up games and this game is no exception.

Apparently inside of this child’s toilet exists a world of malevolent poo and wave after wave of toilet-associated baddies. We’re not even kidding here. Published by Media Rings and developed by Bits Laboratory, Toilet Kids is called by Giant Bomb a “scatalogical” shoot ‘em up and we can’t really think of a better descriptor for the game.

The graphics for the most part are bright and beautiful. The colors really pop in particular. The enemy design is oddly cute at times, which is strange given the origin of all of this action in the bottom of a toilet. For a toilet-based game, it is surprisingly devoid of the kind of gross-out humor many of us may associate with the late 1980s and early 1990s but, then again, this was Japan. Making poop look colorful and happy while it is also trying to kill you is just what they do.

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The design is Mario meets the Scrubbing Bubbles, for lack of a better comparison. The music is oddly and persistently upbeat through the stage and even during “boss” encounters. Like many shoot ‘em ups, Toilet Kids has its moments where it is so challenging you’ll want to break your controller in half but it is less punishing than many shoot ‘em ups, a genre that prides itself on being utterly frustrating.

If you love Japanese gaming, in particular Japanese scatological humor, Toilet Kids is probably going to do this better than most games that have released since. But, if you’re a fan of shoot ‘em ups, the game also has a lot to offer including a moderate challenge and solid gameplay throughout. There’s certainly a lot of crap games released in the videogame industry, but Toilet Kids, oddly, is not one of them.

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