The plot of PO'ed revolves around a chef whose ship has crash-landed on an alien world, from which it is the player's task to escape.
PO'ed is a first-person shooter. Using primitive weapons such as a frying pan and a drill, the player must advance through 26 levels filled with alien monsters. A jetpack is also available to facilitate the player's exploration of levels.
PO'ed began development in October 1993, initially as a spare-time project. Russel Pflughaupt of Any Channel recalled, "We looked at games like Doom, Marathon, and Dark Forces, and took what we felt were their best elements. But we wanted to get away from the tunnel-based feel of those games, so we made the environments in PO'ed very open, and not formulaic at all."
The team originally wanted to include a motorcycle and a tank for the player character to ride in addition to the jet pack, but couldn't find a way to incorporate their use into the level designs.
PO'ed met with sharply divided opinions among critics. Reviewing the 3DO version, Scary Larry of GamePro commented that the game has serious control problems, with the character often careening off edges or failing to turn at crucial moments. He nonetheless concluded that the game sufficiently fills the role of first-person shooter for the 3DO, citing the unique assortment of weapons, aggressive enemy AI, sense of humor, and relatively strong graphics. Maximum summarized the game as the "worst 3D action title ever seen on any format, with the exception of PlayStation Crime Crackers and some early PC public domain games (indeed, the graphics and gameplay are very reminiscent of such past atrocities)." They elaborated that the 3D environments constantly glitch, the floors are untextured, the attempts at humor are feeble, enemies show heavy pixelation even at medium distances, and the controls are extremely poor. A reviewer for Next Generation noted that PO'ed began as an independent project by a small group of programmers, and said that its "labor of love" nature "is both a blessing and a curse." He elaborated that the game plays smoothly, doesn't limit the player to just walking to get around, and generally stands out from other first person shooters, but that "the meticulously over designed level layouts" and intricate textures often make the game confusing to the point of frustration. He concluded, "It's well done, very well done, but too tricky for its own good."
Reviewing the PlayStation version, most of the four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly felt that PO'ed was a dull first-person shooter with nothing to set it apart from other games in the genre save for its sense of humor, which quickly wears thin. Mark Lefebvre also criticized the lack of improvement over the 3DO version. Mike Desmond, in a dissenting opinion, called PO'ed "an all-around good title that ranks highly among titles such as Doom and Duke Nukem 3D." He praised the detailed graphics, variety of "topsy turvy" level designs, and large selection of weapons. In GamePro, Slo Mo said that the game lacks the terror and atmosphere of games like Doom and Alien Trilogy, but "does a nice job of tip-toeing between fierce and funny." He particularly commented on the aggressive enemy AI and unique weapons. Next Generation said that the PlayStation version retains the bizarre style and overall experience of the 3DO original while making it easier to play, due to better controls and graphics while more clearly delineate the extremely intricate levels.
- "PO'ed Review for Playstation". CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "PO'ed". Next Generation. Imagine Media (6): 94–95. June 1995.
- "Review Crew: PO'ed". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 83. Ziff Davis. June 1996. p. 24.
- "Maximum Reviews: PO'ed". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. Emap International Limited (3): 161. January 1996.
- "PO'ed". Next Generation. No. 19. Imagine Media. July 1996. pp. 75–76.
- "ProReview: PO'ed". GamePro. IDG (90): 66. March 1996.
- "PO'ed". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. February 1996. p. 167.
- "ProReview: PO'ed". GamePro. No. 94. IDG. July 1996. p. 64.