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Absolute worst (and I guess best) Kongregate badges page 2

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Originally posted by Blizzard2000:
Achievements should be measures of skill, not how long you play a game or how lucky you are.

That’s definitely debatable.
I prefer a mixture of skill, time, and luck. (just not in extremes)

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I hate badges where you basically finished the game, but didn’t do it “xx” enough. Fast enough, few enough deaths, things like that.

Puzzle games where the badge wants you to do it fast. The puzzle is the game. Doing it fast is just memorization – memorization is not part of the game, yet the badge insists on it. Example: Open Doors 2 – just because the game tracks time doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

An example is the hard badge of Qoosh – I finished the game, I don’t really want to play it again just to minimize my warps.

Where it’s not actually a game. A pixel hunt is the best example: for example the game Pyro or Gravitee Gravitee is a game, but the impossible badge is not – it’s a pixel hunt.

Then you have horrible “games” like Mardi Gras Mayhem – it’s not actually a game. I “played” the entire thing by putting something on my space bar and walking away. Homerun In Berzerk Land: Berzerk Ball is the same type – you “play” the game by making your mouse click every 2 seconds and walking away.

That’s not an example of a bad badge exactly (so maybe I shouldn’t have included it), but of course if the game is bad the badge doesn’t help.

And the final thing is overdoing it: When the badge wants you to finish absolutely everything. Just because it’s a hard badge doesn’t mean it should mean completion. (At least that’s what I think, perhaps you disagree.) Games tend to “over like” themself – they think if having a few levels is fun, then lots is way more fun. It’s not so. For the game designer to do that is excusable, but the badges should not go along with that.

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Any game that is badged purely because of the developer’s previous works is not the best, in my opinion. Sure, take their history into consideration when looking for games, but don’t just think that since one was good that people will like badges on future versions (Papa’s games, Epic War games, Protector games, and so on all fell victim to this, since they became monotonous by the end).

More in terms of badge design are ones that require repeatedly playing over parts of the game in order to progress (Balloon Invasion is the first that comes to mind, the impossible requires you to beat the game three times, and while they’re different modes, they’re just so similar that it’s not enjoyable past an early point), or force you to go back to an earlier part to get something in order to move on (if a badge requires you to perfect every level, it’s a lot more monotonous than just having the player be able to beat every level, for example, since then they don’t have to continually go back and clean up their mistakes when they’ve been able to get further anyways).

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Anything repetitive to no end, gets my vote for absolute worst. Papa’s games would be the first to come in mind.

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I can’t hate on MMO badges because it’s a pretty big source of your revenue. I understand why you do it, so I have no issue with it, even though many MMO badges annoy me.

Other than all pvp related badges(which should be abolished completely), my only real gripe is badges on games that require pixel perfect accuracy throughout the whole game. Gaming ability should NOT be measured on that in my opinion.It is an excuse bad games use to make them artificially difficult so that they have some appeal. It’s a dev cutting corners. Please do not promote bad games like this.

Some examples would be vertigo llama, moneyseize, jelly escape. All bad games, and all have rather stupid badges. Plenty of other similar games on here, but for many of them you are more reasonable with the badges you give.

Do not give hard or imp badges to pixel perfect accuracy requiring games.

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In my opinion, the bad badge succession goes like this
MMO (enjoyable for some) > PERFECTIONIST FRIGGIN’ BADGES > repetition badges > broken games.
Seriously, if there is something majorly wrong with the game’s system, it shouldn’t be badged. Box Clever Level Pack, Achilles, and Typing Ninja Hunter, just to name a few.
The best badges? It’s heavily game-based, but I would say completion, not too long, enjoyable of course. I loved the RPG Shooter: Starwish and Wings of Genesis badges.

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Balloon invasion imp is one the grindiest badges I’ve ever done. The original mode is the hardest to do it on, and the extra modes (Tesla and Oil) were incredibly easy compared to them. But even if they were easy, the badge itself took hours to do because each level took so long to complete and there wasn’t a way to speed things up.

Of course, the other issue is badges that can’t be earned anymore. Not really pvp games that have no players, although those too, but games like caesary and now BYM where the game is unplayable due to things outside Kong’s control. At least BYM gave notice that they were taking it down, but it’s still unavailable for people to earn in the future.

I personally like badges on game like Run 2 and Meatboy, where the game is cut up into segments and no segments are particularly long.

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Can’t even get these badges anymore.

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Before actually addressing specific badges, I think it's important to note that I feel badges serve both an intra- and an inter-game purpose. The best badges, generally speaking, should work with the other badges (assigned to a specific game) to challenge the player to explore the game fully. They should be relatively "tiered" in terms of their implementation; this doesn't necessarily always mean the easy-medium-hard scheme, but one badge should lead to the next progressively. Such badges should not necessarily work from the same statistic or game path; rather, they should endeavor not to preclude/inhibit future gameplay styles or choices.

If the game is designed such that there are challenges or modes of gameplay independent of each other, then the badges should address these modes of play. Ultimately, the best badges intra-game should work with each other in order to promote a full and nuanced gameplay experience. They should not be repetitive; rather, they should expand with the game itself.

At the same time, badges serve an inter-game purpose. Kongregate badges effectively act as a sort of meta-game; part of the appeal in collecting badges across multiple games is that their difficulty assignments bridge genre and stylistic differences. A hard badge in an RPG may involve significantly different challenges than one in a shooter, and both may differ substantially from a puzzle game hard badge. However, the idea that all have a hard badge implies at least a comparable investment of skill, time, effort, and/or luck. The best inter-game badges, then, are those which acceptably sync with the established parameters of their difficulty assignments. They should also recognize the existence of past badges (particularly within the same series); identical challenges quickly become stale.


So, some notable "bad" badges:

Papa's [Food]eria series: This has been addressed, but the criticism above (and here) is linked almost exclusively to the repetition involved. This is tied directly to the genre: there's no "level design", so each in-game day is essentially the same as the last. Adding another ingredient doesn't really change much, so the games rapidly degenerate into grinding. This issue is compounded by the nearly quarterly release schedule of the series, with relatively limited changes between installments. Had the series only included Pizzeria, Burgeria, and Wingeria (with no changes to release dates), the series evolution and intervening wait time would have made the badges much more palatable.

While I don't hate the Pizza Psychopath badge the way some people do, it is very long, and it is very monotonous. When the badge was made, there was only the original game (and it was kind of a landmark at that). Ultimately, though, I think it speaks to the danger of extreme repetition regarding badge tasks. Future installments might be better served by a single, relatively quick medium badge (easy-medium would necessitate a gap between the badges, and arguably contribute to a longer medium; hard badges should definitely be eschewed), unless Flipline either meaningfully changes/evolves the series, or increases the time between entries. The general enthusiasm for JackSmith demonstrates that meaningful change to the Papa's formula would be more than enough to reinvigorate the series.

Examples: Papa's Pizzeria, Burgeria, Taco Mia!, Freezeria, Pancakeria, Wingeria, Hot Doggeria


mini Tower Defense: Most genres have some sort of level/world design element that eliminates (or at least mitigates) the problem of repetition. In tower defenses, for example, different levels may include different turrets, multiple enemies (with different characteristics and abilities), different paths (if they have pre-set paths), and so on. miniTD is listed here because its badges manage to be onerous and grindy despite the above. It has a rare example of an "endurance easy" (the only other example I can think of offhand would be from Coinbox Hero), and is designed such that repeating levels mindlessly for counting achievements (e.g. use x bombs) and upgrades (tied to achievements, if I recall correctly) is nearly inevitable.

This also speaks to the danger of using in-game achievements, where in-game achievements are poorly designed. Ideally, in-game achievements (because there is no limit on their number) should be even more diverse than badge requirements; they should any and every element of the game, including the quirky and obscure. In these cases, in-game achievements can lend themselves to some of the best badges (e.g. the Amorphous+ impossible). Purely repetitious in-game achievements (kill 10 enemies, kill 100, kill 1000...) lend to problematic badge design if killing 10 or 100 or 1000 would not naturally arise from normal gameplay.

Examples: mini Tower Defense (mTD)


Multiplayer-dependent badges (especially PvP): Frick addressed this somewhat with King's Bounty: Legions (which is for the reasons he stated even worse), but similar problems hold true for almost any multiplayer game. There are two basic problems with badges premised on multiplayer gaming: variability of opponent, and lack of opponent. Playing against a weak (or low-leveled) opponent may guarantee easy wins; playing against a skilled opponent may make winning very difficult. This lends to considerable variability in the difficulty of earning the badge, which compromises its difficulty assignment. Moreover, multiplayer games tend to lose much of their player bases with time. Multiplayer-dependent badges run the risk of being unearnable at any given time if no opponent is available. Unsurprisingly, multiplayer-dependent badges tend to be relatively unearned as compared to other badges in a game. These problems hold true even for a good game with a multiplayer badge (such as Elements).

Solutions include rewarding criteria other than player wins (e.g. player level in ShellShock, which is based on damage and therefore not directly tied to winning or losing), or rewarding essentially single-player criteria (e.g. the Hat Factory hard badge in Platform Racing 2, or the time-trial hard badge in Async Racing).

Examples: King's Bounty: Legions, Dinowaurs, Elements


Energy System Games: Especially energy system-based hard badges. Part of the appeal of Kongregate (for me at least) is that I can play what I want, when I want, for free. Generally speaking, energy systems add no nuance or further strategy to the game experience; they merely restrict the length of play sessions, presumably for the purpose of additional page views and inducing energy-related microtransactions. By artificially lengthening the game, badges (particularly hard badges, which within this sub-genre tend to be endurance- rather than skill-based) take longer than they otherwise would. The end result is badges which require the player to repeatedly check in for short periods over a long time, rather than actually, you know, play a game.

Note that this category tends to overlap with MMOs generally, many (though not all) of which are terrible games in their own right.

Examples: Dream World, Tyrant, Clash of the Dragons, Dawn of the Dragons , Dream World again


Nuclear Eagle: Because screw that game.

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Just the ones I dislike:

Group 1: Any badge that requires interaction with other players to earn. If I wanted to interact with other players I’d go and play football. Fortunately, there aren’t that many of these.

Group 2: Any badge that exists solely to push players into the ‘grrr, I need to spend money on this or I’ll be sat here grinding at it for the next six weeks’ zone on MMOs. In the nicest possible way (I’d do the same if I owned a website) we might as well call these ‘Kongregate Revenue Badges’, because that’s what they are. Badges given solely because they make the site money. There are lots of these. The worst type.

Group 3: Any badge on Papa games, or more broadly repetitive badges. Usually applies to Group 2 badges as well, which makes them extra-loathesome.

Those are the only ones I dislike on sight, and Groups 1 and 2 are always bad badges in my eyes. Group 3 type can actually end up being fun, but only if there’s interesting gameplay to go with the repetitiveness. Dino Run’s Impossible, for example.

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I don’t know if Greg would actually respond to this: but is the point of the GDC talk to talk about assigning achievements to a variety of games from an aggregate like here at Kongregate, or to assign achievements within a given game? I ask because if it’s the latter, every single complaint about types of games not deserving achievement on principle don’t really serve the talk in any way whatsoever, and are just turning the thread into a way to air the usual gripes. The role of Kongregate in picking which games get badges to begin with, as an aggregate, is not really what anyone coming to the talk to hear about to begin with: as developers, who are probably coming to learn which badges to give their games in the first place!

In short, it’s not enough to say that certain games don’t deserve badges at all, but like several posters have done above, to specify which types of badges they don’t deserve, and better: why.

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There’s a shocking lack of Bible Fight in this thread about worst badges. It’s a game that got badged quickly because the dev was incorrectly asumed to be popular, and the game suffers from awful controls, poor balance, and awful controls. The badges just go out of the way to emphasize the awful controls and poor balance.

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good luck with the presentation – i’m interested to hear what your thoughts are. i’d be curious as to how your ideas have evolved from when you first started badging games versus where your understanding is now. what drives you to determine what badges should be for a game. how do you compare kong badges to xbox/ps achievements/trophies.

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If you’re asking for the worst badges and not the worst games with badges (Bible Fight GAHHHHHH), then I’d definitely have to go with badges that were designed to fit criteria that the game itself wasn’t.

My case in point would be Pyro. I live in the room where Mike, who made it, does and he’s confessed that he never designed the game to have the impossible badge on it. The timer was poorly implemented by him and he never intended it to be used for anything. Same with acing all the levels, a lot simply weren’t designed that way. Yet the badge seems to have different ideas, demanding perfection in both, and I consider it pretty awfully designed.

Some other ones would be the hard on Robot Wants Puppy, or both hards on Hanna in a Choppa 2, all of which seemed to have been made against what the devs intended.

Don’t do that.

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Worst badges, not necessarily in order of badness:

1.) Badges that are based on pure (or a large amount of) luck (Zilch, hard badge)

2.) Badges on repetitive games (Papa’s ________ria)

3.) Badges on MMOs (with or without energy systems) (Dawn of the Dragons, Legacy of a Thousand Stars)

4.) Badges on not tested, buggy games (Bubble Sky)

5.) The worst of all: unearnable badges, which have two types:

5a.) Badges that are unearnable due to lack of players in PvP (Dinowaurs)

5b.) Badges that are unearnable due to the game itself being broken/deleted (Ceasary, Backyard Monsters, Desktop TD Pro, Battalion: Arena, etc. etc.)

Please note neither are faults of the badge makers, and therefore might not qualify.

6.) Badges on games that just generally suck (Can’t really list anything there)

The best badges for me are:

1.) Badges that require true skill (I’d say Frantic 3, not sure though)

2.) Badges on games which have lots of upgrades (most notable: Upgrade Complete 1 & 2) or achievements (Achievement Unlocked series).

Originally posted by HookedOnOnyx:

My case in point would be Pyro. I live in the room where Mike, who made it, does and he’s confessed that he never designed the game to have the impossible badge on it.

You live with the creator of Pyro?! Oh my god, lucky fellow. o.o

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I remember exactly one game where I said “these badges should not exist.”

The game was Flight. And it’s because there’s a horrible bug which makes your ENTIRE BROWSER crash if you move the mouse wrong, and this bug was known before the badges were put in.

A game which reliably crashes your browser should never be promoted with badges. If it were up to me I would go so far as to take it off the site entirely until it is fixed.

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I don’t like badges that have to do with finishing a game in an amount of time or deaths like Quoosh or Learn to Fly, as askon said earlier.

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I’ll say MMO’s, but I know my opinion is in vain. You’re not about to trash-talk the money-making games that everyone hates, yet Kong seems to covet from the shadows.

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Papa’s games; Almost all MMO’s, Tarnation, Bible fight, Mini tower defence, bubble sky, baloon invasion impossible, zilch hard… those are the worst i can remember now

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The only thing I’d REALLY want to see is that all unearnable badges will get prince of persia’d (The player gets the badge points, but the badges vanish)… Although I got most of the unearnable badges it is really demotivating that most of us can’t get all badges because of this. Thank you!

Besides that I totally agree with DarkLink_BR here^

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All badges on Ultimate Assassin 3 are the worst badges on the site. The game is 99% luck, and I have shitty luck. That game made me want to tear my hair out, and then tear other peoples hair out.

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Too lazy to read through the posts.

Worst badges:

-King’s Bounty: Legion’s medium badge (three PvP wins). Self-explanatory.
-Galaxy Online medium badge (reach level 15). Didn’t even bother playing it after seeing how disgusting the graphics and gameplay are. Why in the world would you ever badge a game like that.

Best badge:

Bubble sky medium badge. omg its da best xdDd

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Worst Impossible badge is Balloon Invasion, because it’s not hard at all, just long, long, long.
Worst Hard Badge is Gemcraft for the same reason.
Worst Medium Badge is LethalRPGDestiny 2 for the same reason.
Worst Easy Badge is I dunno, Grid16, because easy badges should be easy.
I’m only going off badges I actually have, there’s likely worse badges that I don’t have.

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Originally posted by LouWeed:
Worst Easy Badge is I dunno, Grid16, because easy badges should be easy.

Well, at the time the badge was issued, it was pretty easy. But as time goes on and computers improve, the badge gets harder and harder.