Video games based on TV shows and movies haven’t had a very good time of it. With developers often rushed and put under pressure by publishers, it’s not the best environment for making a game that is able to both offer fan service to franchise loyalists, and also appease the critics.
However, a few developers have managed to pull it off. Through being given the time, resources and full access to the media that their video game is based on, some studios have managed to smash expectations and deliver something that is hugely entertaining for fans and series newcomers alike.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Often called one of the best TV show-based video games of all time is The Simpsons: Hit & Run. Set in a virtual version of Springfield, the action-adventure game saw players unravelling an alien conspiracy, performing stunts in Homer’s car, investigating vans and security cameras, and smashing up the town. The game plays like a cartoon Grand Theft Auto and it was so popular that fans were excited by rumors that a new game could be announced at E3 2019; something that, unfortunately, didn’t end up happening.
Vikings, the action and drama series from HBO, aired its final episode in early 2019 but the popularity of the series will live on with the Vikings online slot game. The Vikings slot based on the TV series from NetEnt has proven to be an instant hit with players, allowing them to spin the reels and match up symbols from the show to try and get a jackpot. Characters like Ragnar and Lagertha star, as well as music from the show which helps make it popular with fans.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Animated TV show South Park has been running for more than 20 years, but Ubisoft managed to make most fans of the game happy with South Park: The Stick of Truth. The RPG allows players to create their own South Park style superhero as they attack enemies and work with Cartman, Kyle, and the other members of the friendship group to control the powerful Stick of Truth. The reviews for South Park: The Stick of Truth were incredibly positive and the game got a sequel, which was released in 2017.
Reigns: Game of Thrones
In mobile game Reigns: Game of Thrones, players can swipe and make decisions about the kingdom. Characters like Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon Snow all star in the game. You can choose what kind of troops to send into battle as well as which characters you’ll execute or keep alive. It’s not as tense as the HBO TV show, but it’s a great game for Game of Thrones fans to play on the go.
The Walking Dead: The Game
Many were shocked when episodic game developer Telltale Games hit financial difficulties and closed its doors. However, while the developer is no more, its games are still popular. One of its most well-liked is The Walking Dead: The Game, a graphic adventure where players can make narrative choices on behalf of their characters as they play through the title’s hard-hitting events. There are four seasons, giving players huge numbers of content to enjoy.
Developers don’t always hit the mark with video game versions of TV shows, but these suggest how it can be done well.