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Published on August 8th, 2013 | by Don Parsons


Three for Thursday: Games Based on TV Shows

Picking three TV shows that would make fun games is a rather difficult list to put together, because most TV shows don’t make a good transition to video games. However, thinking in terms of the ideal, a few TV shows come to mind that I would like to see make that leap.


The Walking Dead

I know, I know. There’s already two Walking Dead games. One was applauded while the other remains a “WTF happened here” title. But what I want is (another) sandbox game, based off the TV show and not the comic. I don’t necessarily want to tread the same ground as the TV show, but having the familiar characters around would be neat. They could even work an angle where you meet up with them mid-game, and the rest of the game is getting along or eventually taking them over. Unlike the adventure game, which I feel isn’t so much a game as an interactive story (read: I have no problem with that at all, just sayin’), this new game would be fun to simply try to survive in the zombie apocalypse. Sure, there are MMO’s that try to do this, and there is Dead Rising, but Dead Rising is more action than actual survival. And MMO’s just are not my cup of tea. I want to lone-wolf the zombie apocalypse, without worrying about some jackass killing my character just for personal amusement.


WCW Nitro

This counts, right? I really miss WCW and the WCW games. Not necessarily the WCW Nitro game, but the show itself would carry some name recognition with it. The key here is to keep it simple, like WCW vs. nWo: Revenge. Man, I had a blast with that title. With updated character models and online play, I could see myself sinking some serious time into that. But I repeat – it has to have the WCW vs. nWo engine. No crazy button combos or anything. A grapple, strike, run, and block button. That’s it! And all of those amazing WCW characters like Sting, Raven, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, and more.


SONS OF ANARCHY-- Crucifixed -- Episode 510 (Airs Tuesday, November 13, 10:00 pm e/p) -- Pictured: (L-R) Christopher Douglas Reed as Filthy Phil, Tommy Flanagan as Filip 'Chibs' Telford, Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller, David Labrava as Happy, Michael Beach as T.O. Cross -- CR: Prashant Gupta/FX

Sons of Anarchy

This is easily my favorite TV show, and I have caught myself wondering what this world would be like as a violent sandbox game, like the PS2 Scarface game that I once loved a generation ago. Kurt Sutter himself has brought up the idea of a videogame, but to really do this series justice he’d certainly hand it over to a big studio. I still haven’t determined if I would rather see a retelling of the series thus far or see a spin-off story. Logically, the best way to play out the latter would be to control a prospect and do the club’s dirty work, eventually maybe even overthrowing the club president. Though if I had to kill Jax, I’d probably turn the game off and not finish it so that’s probably not an ideal scenario. Either way, I think it’s time for a good, serious non-Grand Theft Auto sandbox game to come out.

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About the Author

got into podcasting in 2007, and transitioned into writing in late 2008. In late 2011, he went from blogging to writing for a small site called Vagary.tv. Don attended E3 for Vagary.tv in 2012. Now, Don is one-fourth of the foundation of Critically Sane.

  • My Name is Earl

    3 TV shows… two of which already have games based in their world
    One of those two, doesn’t even exist anymore.
    You could have done better than this!

    Off the top of my head, Archer. Great spy/RPG spoof like Alpha Protocol.
    Arrow- Pretty simple, action-adventure game with a bow and arrow focus.
    Game of Thrones- Could be taken in so many interesting angles. Strategy game. Kingdom builder. RPG. Action
    Once Upon a Time- Think of Kingdom Hearts for fairytales!

    • Don Parsons

      I read the topic as “Games based on TV shows that *I* would like to play”, and not just “Hey, here are three random TV shows that could be cool games.

      I see your point, though.

      However, I would rather play a sandbox Walking Dead game than either WD games out. And wrestling games are overly complex nowdays, plus I’d love to play as those WCW guys again.

      Some of the silly ones that “could work” but I am not so much interested in actually playing;

      The Office – a comedic office sim
      Friends – a funny point and click adventure
      True Blood – a generic third-person action game, probably stealth.
      Glee – a rhythm game like ROck Band Blitz.

      • My Name is Earl

        I would say wrestling games are simpler than the ones THQ/AKI use to put out in the N64/PSX days, but I would like a return to that.
        And I think having retro games (like WCW or ECW) could work in freshen up the brand. The problem with that is getting everyone’s likeness and commentary. Probably more money than it is worth.

        As for the Walking Dead, I’m sure there is a better fitted game for it than FPS and whatever you call the TellTale game… er… life sim?

        • Chris Scott

          I’d honestly love a true Legends of Wrestling game, maybe fashioned after the recent arcade-styled, WWE (what was it All-Stars) game. But yeah, the licensing for wrestling games, particularly retro themed ones is a nightmare. With WWE now owning all the rights to the old WCW (and I believe ECW stuff), we’ll probably never see guys like Sting in a game worth playing again.

          Some of my favorite memories of wrestling are from the old NWA and WCW promotions. I remember going to the original Halloween Havoc with my Dad at the old Philly Convention Center and seeing Flair and Sting wrestle together. It was magical.

          • My Name is Earl

            I think there’s a market for that type of game
            And Take-2/WWE could try out different experiments/re-use the same engine with a different face paint.

        • Chris Scott

          Also… the Telltale game is a cinematic adventure “game”.

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