SILVER SURFER / Arcadia / NES
OK, you expect a Silver Surfer game made in 1990s to be pitched to kids. Reasonable assumption, right? Well, you're completely wrong, as this is actually one of the most punishing and masochistic memorization-based shooters in the history of video games.
The Silver Surfer is sent by Galactus to off five villains for some reason or another. So there's five levels, three that scroll horizontally, two that scroll vertically. Kinda like Life Force, except this game makes Life Force look like a complete cupcake by comparison.
The funny thing is, it isn't just slapped together thoughtlessly. I mean, look on Youtube. People have beaten this game without cheating and recorded it. But to do so, you'd have to die like 8000000000 times memorizing every single enemy pop-in and movement and fire pattern in every level. Trying to play it just off reflexes is completely and totally impossible for a veteran gamer, let alone the legions of crying 8-year-olds that undoubtedly got this as a present back in the day.
It's even got decent production values and pretty good music. Just, for whatever reason, possibly a deep-seated hatred of children, whoever did the level design just made it as evil as they could possibly imagine. As such, it's virtually unplayable.
* Not usually a big fan of AVGN, but he nailed this one