Send In The Clowns: Bad Rats 2 Released

You know, I never actually played Bad Rats. I don’t think I even accepted the gift when it was offered. Y’see, for several years the physics puzzler was the gag gift of choice on Steam, with thousands of copies given as jokes. It’s weird-looking, pretty shonky, cheap, and named Bad Rats – somehow making it the gaming equivalent of neckties with kooky prints or fart-scented soap. I don’t know.

Hilarious pranksters may now kick their japery up a notch, as developers Invent4 Entretenimento today released a sequel: Bad Rats Show [official site].

As before, Bad Rats Show is a puzzler a bit like The Incredible Machine. On each level, you need to arrange a strange chain of objects to complete a goal – killing a cat in some way. You have a lineup of gifted rats, like a baseball player with a bat to hit balls, a rocketrat strapped to a firework, a human (rodentine?) cannonball, a smoker who wheezes, and so on. You can also place items, things like crates, trampolines, and balloons. Combine them in wacky ways to trigger a machine to kill a cat. In theory.

The first game was fiddly and buggy, and I’ve no idea what this is like.

In terms of newness, Bad Rats Show brings 3D levels and a level editor.

The idea of games as gag gifts is a bit weird and unpleasant to me but hey, it looks like Invent4 are taking it in good humour. I suppose people are finding the game funny, one way or another – and they do pay for it. By now the gag is more about the legend of Bad Rats than the game itself, too.

Bad Rats Show is on Steam at a launch price of £3.39.


  1. roseerblooming says:

    my Steam friends and I periodically trade around the same five or so copies of Bad Rats 1. and now, this.

    i just want peace in my life.

  2. MajorLag says:

    You have to hand it to developers who are willing to take their game’s status for what it is and run with it. Bit depressing for those of us who can’t even produce stuff worthy of gag-gift status though. Or the one’s who get told their game isn’t worth the $15 they’re charging. Gamers are a fickle bunch.

  3. Mejwell says:

    How the fuck was it not “Rad Bats”

    • HothMonster says:

      If they were clever enough to think of that the first game probably wouldn’t have been as bad.

  4. EvilGardenGnome says:

    At £3.39, I imagine they’ll focus on the long tail profits.

  5. Haplo says:

    An important element of the Bad Rats gift status has been it being absolutely dirt cheap too- the last time I saw it, it was going for 50 cents.

    It was on a 50% discount.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I suspect the second title to be like the first: people will have to pay me money before I’m willing to accept this game. Although I’d rather people didn’t bother.

    • anHorse says:

      It also used to one of the few truly awful games on steam

      That’s not the case anymore

  6. April March says:

    There are not enough tumblr gifs with the word WHAT in the world to express my astonishment at that trailer.

  7. RobF says:

    This is amazing. Straight to the top of my shopping list for when I get a few quid spare.

  8. seroto9 says:

    For such a low-priced game, how did they get Bjork for the soundtrack?

  9. w0bbl3r says:

    I don’t know whether to say this is gaming at it’s best, showing how funny things can work out from such silly beginnings. Or to say this is gaming at it’s worst, where a developer knows they made a horrid buggy game, and through the joking of the community, managed to get money together for another shoddy buggy game that will be bought and sold for the same reasons as before.

  10. mukuste says:

    Well if that’s the soundtrack, we can at least safely say that it’s amazing.

  11. Doc Revelator says:

    They should have made it a Stewart Lee tie-in and called it ‘Mice: Fag Rats’

  12. Jetsetlemming says:

    I do appreciate that, for all the games that use religious iconography cheaply, this is one of the few to actually have a Jesus, instead of just mocking non-western religions and patting themselves on the back for it.

    • batraz says:

      @Jetset : you’re so right, non-western religions are so much cooler right now… but imho you overlooked the most important point here : does fart-scented soap really exist and is it used in non-western religions ? I think it is, but I leave the question open.

  13. binkbenc says:

    I actually bought and played this for a bit before it had acquired its gag status. Unfortunately, it is actually rubbish. The one thing that you absolutely must have in an Incredible Machine-style game is reproducability. Things have to work in the same way in order for you to tweak your contraptions. Unfortunately, the Bad Rats devs obviously thought they’d make things more interesting by adding a bit of randomness to the initial ball drop, which just completely breaks the game later on when you’re trying to make pixel-perfect machines. Ugh. Bad Rats.