[NSFW] Taboo: The Sixth Sense (NES)

Naturally, the usual response from the average person would be, "I'd play Taboo..."

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  • System: Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Genre: Simulation
  • Max Players: 1
  • US Release: April 1989
  • Developer: Rare
  • Publisher: Tradewest

Hypothetical situation: You are presented with a choice between having your balls laid out and smashed with a sledgehammer, or having to play a few rounds of Tradewest’s occult tarot simulator Taboo: The Sixth Sense. Naturally, the usual response from the average person would be, “I’d play Taboo…I mean, who could possibly want their balls destroyed by a sledgehammer?” This person has never played Taboo.

In actuality, the very concept of “playing Taboo” is inaccurate in itself. The game is on, things are on the screen, but you are very much NOT playing. The only part of the game that you are allowed to take part in is the start up. At the first screen, you must input your name, birthday, and sex. Very difficult. After that, you may ask the almighty and mystical Nintendo cartridge a question. Do not get excited. You will not receive anything even remotely close to an answer. This found me quite disappointed, as I very much needed to know the answer to my question, “Am I the sexiest man on Earth?”

taboosn1Once your question is set, you then enter the most exciting part of the game: the card shuffle sequence. Sad, I know. The card shuffle sequence is satisfying in two aspects. For one, you are presented with interesting multicolored moving background images that distract you from how badly the game sucks, and second, it is a friendly gesture from the game that lets you know that it is not cheating…even though it’s a freakin’ video game and electronic images of fake cards don’t mean a damn thing.

This is the part where a shitty game gets even shittier. After the shuffle sequence, we come to the reading of the shitty tarot cards. I’ll sum it up for you. Basically, you hafta sit through twenty-some-odd cards being laid out and read to you. Each card takes ten minutes and has a cryptic shitty meaningless confusing fortune on it such as, “The culmination of the events revealed before, will be receipt of inspiration or insight.” After about two-and-a-half hours, they finally stop and you can proceed to yet another stage in the torture.

Here, you must select the state that you live in, and that somehow relates to a lucky number which you are then issued. Go ahead and let that sink in; it still makes the same amount of sense. Shitty number in hand, you may now start over if you so choose. I wouldn’t recommend it, but at least you can ask more important questions the second time around, such as, “Why the fuck did I play this game?” or, “Why won’t you let me die already?” Again, your question will not be answered, but at least you can blow off a little steam.

In short, Taboo sucked hard. It was only fun to ask jerky questions and watch the shuffle sequence. Everything else sucked. Control was alright in the one part that required control, but even then it still sucked. Replay sucked, but not as badly as the initial play, which may seem impossible, but then again you’ve probably never “played” Taboo. Be that as it may, I only ask that you try to see, that when someone asks me which I would rather do, I can proudly say, “Smash my scrotum!”

  • GameCola Rates This Game: 1 - Terrible
  • Score Breakdown

  • Fun Score: 2.5
  • Audio Score: 1
  • Visuals Score: 3
  • Controls Score: 1.5
  • Replay Value: .5
3 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 103 votes, average: 5.67 out of 10 (You need to be a registered member to rate this post.)
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About the Contributor


From 2002 to 2004

Neal Iannone is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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