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The Bizarre NES Accessory You Forgot Existed

Video games accessories have been around since the inception of the medium. Much like video games, these peripherals run the quality gamut. Some, such as the NES Zapper and Guitar Hero guitar, are simple, functional devices that enable gameplay styles that require more than a normal controller. Then you have stranger accessories such as the dashboard "controller" for Steel Battalion that let you feel as though you are actually piloting a bipedal tank. And then there are the truly useless accessories — the ones that were seemingly designed with flash in mind, instead of practicality.

In the early days of gaming, gimmick accessories were commonplace as companies discovered their sea legs. Businesses created semi-functional gadgets, gizmos, and other items, and the NES had an overabundance of such devices. There was the Power Glove, R.O.B. the Robot, and the Super Scope, but many players know about those products. One accessory, however, has eluded the collective gamer memory. Most audiences, even some die hard Nintendo fans, have forgotten this accessory existed. It's time to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about an accessory lost to the annals of history.

Roll 'n Rocker

The Roll 'n Rocker may be one of the worst accessories ever produced. Then again, it was developed by LJN, a company notorious for producing horrendous licensed video games — which is like making a rip-off video game but without any potential for quality. Surprisingly, however, LJN created good action figures. So, what makes the Roll 'n Rocker so bad? Simply put, it doesn't work.

The Roll 'n Rocker is a balance board that plugs into the NES and functions as a d-pad. The Rocker is supposed to move game characters in whatever direction you lean. The accessory is supposedly compatible with most NES games, but its core design gets in the way of its function. Games flip out when the Rocker is plugged in, and not even LJN-produced games cooperate. 

However, the nail in the Roll 'n Rocker's coffin is that it only replaces the d-pad. You still need to plug a controller into the gizmo to press buttons. What's the point? Why not just use the controller you're already holding? The Rocker defeats its own purpose. It's no wonder the Roll 'n Rocker flopped and faded into obscurity. It is only good for simulating a drunk person's inability to balance, which is a shame since LJN produced Thundercats toys.