With the Fantasia Film Festival and Frontières in Montreal coming off rave reviews this past week, Fan Expo Canada looming, and Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival being just over a month away, we were inspired to create a list of genre films/TV shows that we think would be fun games to play, if they existed. This was a difficult list to come up with because, really, it could go on and on. There is just too much great horror/sci-fi/fantasy out there. Nonetheless, here’s a roundup of the top 3 genre “flicks” that we think would make fun games. Note, this list includes both film and TV.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The Cabin in the Woods
“The Cabin in the Woods has been constructed almost as a puzzle for horror fans to solve.” - Roger Ebert. Yes, sing it Robert Ebert! Swerving in different directions without ever losing momentum, it creates a vast world full of hilariously executed tropes. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you learn, you haven’t. The plot follows a group of college students who retreat to a remote forest cabin where they fall victim to backwoods zombies, and two scientists who manipulate the ongoing events from an underground facility. Apparently, The Cabin in the Woods is a game that almost was, but due to a hairy bankruptcy situation with a former distributor (MGM), the game, well, it went away. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, we implore you, please bring it back so us genre fans can have a go inside this meta universe.
Stranger Things has massively blown up for sci-fi and adventure fans of all ages over the last four weeks. Because, it’s am-azing. The premise: When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back. As you’ve most likely heard by now, the show is a homage to 1980’s cinema including the likes of horror films such as Firestarter, Poltergeist and A Nightmare on Elm Street among MANY others. To-date the only gamey thing we’ve seen on the interweb is a fun point-and-click adventure game mockup by Australian developer, Jacob Janerka.
Basically, players would be able to move their cursors around, scroll over items and ‘grab’ stuff. There’s some fun rollovers that capture the essence of the show, and that make us fans squeal with delight at the surprises. But, with no known plans to further develop Janerka’s take on it (at least to our knowledge), we’re waiting for someone to gamify the shit out of Stranger Things and drop us into ‘The Upside Down’. Take our money now!
Now, there is a game for this one already, so inclusion in the list is a bit of a cheat, but we’re huge fans of the series, sooo … The game is called Black Lodge 2600 and it is a single-player Atari-style action video game for PC and Mac. You play as Special Agent Dale Cooper and you find yourself trapped inside of the Black Lodge, a surreal and dangerous place between worlds. Despite your attempts to find a way out, you keep returning to the same rooms and hallways. To boot, your evil doppelganger is hot on your heels and he’s trying to kill you. The goal is to score as many points as you can by evading your doppelganger. The game is a play on the show’s finale where Agent Cooper surrenders to the transcendental Black Lodge; this is where happenings beyond the red velvet curtains defy the properties of space and time. Looks like this game came out in and around 2011 (PC version update in 2015). With Twin Peaks Season 3 in production, we’re jonesing for more opportunities to enter the world of Twin Peaks. Got a game in development? Count us in to play.
Here are some honourable mentions for films and TV shows that we’d love to see gamified too:
- The Blair Witch Project - Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. So many possibilities for gameplay. It was announced last month at San Diego Comic-Con that there is a new sequel to the film slated for release later this year. Bring it.
- Bates Motel - The series is a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho (based on Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name). The show depicts the lives of Norman Bates and his mother, Norma, prior to the events portrayed in the film, despite being situated in a different fictional town and also, in a modern setting. Wouldn’t you love to navigate the Bates Motel, mother?
- The Returned - The Returned follows a group of people who were once declared dead but have since reappeared back on earth as living, breathing humans. The show is based on a 2004 French film titled They Came Back (or, again, Les Revenants in French). Trying to figure out how to stay alive in a world where you can be infected at any moment but can’t readily tell who or what might infect you? Egad.
- American Horror Story - An anthology series that follows a disparate set of characters and settings. Some plot elements are loosely inspired by true events, and it’s rumoured that all seaons are interconnected. So far they’ve covered witches, voodoo, murder, ghosts, vampires, creepy clowns, aliens, alternate realities and mad scientists. And now, there’s rampant speculation on the premise of Season 6, which airs this September. Rumors are swirling that the theme might be ‘Farmhouse’ or that it might focus around the mysterious disappearance of the 16th Century Roanoke Colony. Loving the idea of roaming the interconnected worlds that make up the American Horror Story universe.
We’d love to hear what films/TV shows you’d like to see made into a game. Please Like us and leave a comment on Facebook.
If you love genre stuff and live in Toronto, we’ve got you. Here are some things happening in the city this Fall: