5 Entirely Different Videogames Inside Other Videogames
Posted by Raphael Leynes January 15, 2020

The process of making a videogame is arduous and painstaking work. It involves unrelenting dedication, countless man-hours, and an immeasurable amount of Monster Energy drinks. 

However, there are occasions where the various game development titans descend from their heavenly perches and not only make one videogame but also another completely different game within that game. Like a really really nerdy version of Inception. Hopefully this was just done so these developers can flex their impressive programming powers and not to stage a convoluted heist to get us to shutter our family business. 

Whatever the case maybe here are the 5 Entirely Different Videogames inside other videogames.

Dead Ops Arcade in Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops marked the series’ first dip into a much darker and much grittier tone and feel. That’s of course until you unlock the Dead Ops Arcade minigame wherein you shoot up hordes of undead zombies controlled by a vengeful space Gorilla. 

At the game’s unique start menu, the protagonist Alex Mason can break out of his bindings by mashing the left and right shoulder buttons and walk around. Typing in the code “$DOA” in the console behind him unlocks the top-down twin-stick shooter Dead Ops Arcade. Because we all just need a little stress relief after a hard day’s work on the interrogation chair.

In stark contrast to the gritty realism of the main game, Dead Ops Arcade careens straight into the ridiculously absurd– shooting up progressively stronger zombie foes through 40 levels, with insane power-ups that let you ricochet your bullets, zap foes with lightning and even straight-up turn your soldier into a helicopter. All before the eventual showdown with the vicious space Gorilla that’s out to get your blood. Now that’s just bananas. 


Mesal Gear Solid: Snake Escape in Ape Escape 3

Ape Escape is a damn near perfect game franchise about catching Apes that Escape. In Ape Escape 3 for the Playstation 2 however, Sony Computer Entertainment wanted to add in a little something special to the formula- some good old Tactical Espionage Action courtesy of our good pal Solid Snake. 

The unlockable mini-game Mesal Gear Solid: Snake Escape takes the cake for being extremely dedicated to recreating the entire Metal Gear experience inside a game about capturing wily primates with bananas and nets. Everything from the stealth-based gameplay, first-person aiming and melee combat from MGS is here even down to the incredibly lengthy and convoluted codex conversations. NOW THAT’S BANANAS. No wait did I do that joke last entry? Ah well too late…

Demon Tower in Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods is a thoughtful exploration of adulthood and identity presented in a whimsical narrative-based side-scroller starring various talking cats and other animals. Fun!

That is until protagonist Mae gets her laptop fixed and plays Demon Tower, at which point the game transitions to a bleak Binding of Isaac style, roguelite game featuring freaky imagery and a haunting yet energetic soundtrack. Demon Tower isn’t just any old mini game though, as it features 9 randomly generated levels each with their own distinct enemy types and unique bosses you have to beat, as well as two different endings that you can achieve. If you’re going to try beating this game within the game, please go for the ending that heals the giant kitty please.


Captain Qwark Holovids in Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal

Videogame collectibles often amount to little more than a pat on the back and a shiny new achievement. However, in Ratchet and Clank 3, a game about an anthropomorphic cat engineer guy and his robot sidekick, collecting the various Captain Qwark Holovids rewards you an entirely different game on its own.  As if Clank wasn’t a gift enough

For each of the Captain Qwark Holovids you collect, you get to play through a special side-scrolling platformer where you run around collecting other collectibles, shooting and punching enemies as the smarmy intergalactic superhero Captain Qwark 

These levels, while simplistic, are actually quite fun to play and feature some pretty hilarious dialogue that makes it all worth it to collect each of the 5 video comics. Which is a lot more than I can say for those 16 billion feathers you have to chase down from Assassin’s Creed II.


Geometry Wars in Project Gotham Racing 2

Project Gotham Racing 2 is a rigid and realistic racing game for the original Xbox. One which, as I disappointingly found out as a 15-year-old boy, didn’t involve Gotham City, Batman or any of his colorful friends and foes (you still owe me 40 bucks Sega)

As such the last thing you’d expect to find buried in its code is a psychedelic bullet-hell shooter featuring a bunch of shapes shooting at each other. And yet that’s exactly what you get in Geometry Wars

Geometry Wars was initially put in as a way to test Project Gotham Racing 2 analog sticks but it was so fun the devs decided to put it in the game as a playable arcade cabinet in the player’s garage.

The game became so popular that eventually spun off to become its own thing that arguably had a lot more longevity than the mother game. Take that Project Gotham Racing, that’s what you get for misleading minors. 

That’s our list for 5 Completely Different Videogames Inside Other Videogames. For more videogame stuff check out 5 Videogames We Can’t Wait To Play in 20205 Video Game Final Bosses That Weren’t Worth the Wait, and 5 Overpowered Video Game Abilities That Broke The Game


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