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An indie dev made a full version of The Simpsons’ fake Waterworld game

The scene from the 1997 episode of The Simpsons where Milhouse plays one second of the Waterworld arcade game based on the Kevin Costner film of the same name has been given new life thanks to an indie developer.

The long version of the fake Waterworld game was unveiled Sunday evening for fans of the series to see what lay beyond the one-second gameplay Milhouse wasted $10 worth of quarters on. In the game, you can explore the atoll and fight Nords, trade dirt, make a water purifier, and sail aboard the Deez to find dry land.

Kevin Costner's Waterworld: A large scale real imagining of the 'fake' Waterworld arcade game that Milhouse plays during a 10 second joke in a 1997 episode of The Simpsons. by @Macaw45

— (@itchio) October 10, 2022

“I’ve always been fascinated by the fake vide ogames that were occasionally seen in The Simpsons, and the Waterworld one always stuck out to me as a kid,” Macaw45, the Australia-based indie dev and Twitch streamer, said on the game’s page. “Of course, it’s just a short joke poking fun at how expensive the production of the movie was at the time, but this fake game itself, with its gigantic Kevin Costner character on the screen who takes a single step before the machine asks for more quarters, always made me so eager to know ‘what would be beyond that one screen you see in the show …'”

Macaw45 said he originally planned to make the Waterworld game a short one, but he ended up putting more effort into its development so that it had a wider scope than expected. This means fans of The Simpsons will get to play it longer than Milhouse ever did.

While The Simpsons poked fun at the film’s controversial production budget, which was between $172 million and  175 million at the time, it also inadvertently made fun of the movie’s actual video game adaptation for the Virtual Boy. Just as critics panned the movie for its lackluster screenplay, they eviscerated the game for its poor graphics and slow gameplay. It was so bad that Stephen L. Kent, the author of The Ultimate History of Video Games, deemed it as the worst video game of all time.

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Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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