In the past, books have been created using paper, ink, and other materials only nerds would concern themselves with knowing. Of course, back then they were heavy and would frequently fall out of student’s backpacks leading to someone else down the hall helping said student pick up the spilled books and eventually the two would fall in love and somewhere down the line a child is born. This child’s name was of course Ralph Baer, who is widely regarded as “The Father of Video Games.” Thanks to video games, students no longer have to read books, but can instead experience them on their computer as God intended.
One of the most radical and popular video games based off of a book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which was developed by Inform all the way back in 1984 with the assistance of the book’s renowned author, Douglas Adams. Now, the 30th anniversary collection is available on the BBC’s website with an all new cloud based system for saves so players can proudly name their save file “Big Anime Tiddies” and re-enter that phrase months later to find themselves right back in the warm embrace of well-written humor and hilariously frustrating game design that is not afraid to make players start from the beginning because they forgot to feed a dog a cheese sandwich. For better or worse, the book the game is based off of can actually be used as a sort of guide for certain events players unfamiliar with the story might not understand or know to interact with.
Next up is a game with a title that sounds as if it was written by a fun and freaky fetishist but was actually written by the award-winning author Harlan Ellison. The game being, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, which was originally released in 1995 and has since then gained popularity, and has been released for modern operating systems as well as iOS and Android. The game is known for its dark story centered around an artificial intelligence gone rogue that has killed all of humanity aside from five people that the AI has been torturing them for the past 109 years based on their personal flaws. This story is obviously lifted from the short story with the same name, but the game definitely makes the book’s visuals come to life. Of course, these haunting images might not be as effective on such a small screen that one might find on an average smartphone, but the story does a good enough job at conveying emotion that visual clarity might not impede the player’s reaction just because they are on their phones.
Last is The Dark Eye, which is a stop motion video game mixed with 3D graphics and even some video segments based off of three Edgar Allen Poe short stories. These stories are, “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “Berenice,” all of which can be played by the viewpoint of both the murderer and the victim. However, a few other stories are tossed into the game as well albeit they are not playable but instead found in different forms such as slideshows. Interestingly enough, the process to actually make the game is also just as intriguing as the game itself as it appears as if the animators worked in a warehouse for twelve hours a day for a solid month and shot against a blue screen in order to place the characters within the games. Meanwhile, the game itself is harder than one might hope to actually get a copy of due to its age and lack of notoriety leaving it to be unknown by many which is disappointing considering the remarkable atmosphere the game provides as well as the fact that it is literally a game based off of the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
Do you have a favorite game based off of video games? Have any of these games tickled your fancy in ways you might be unable to explain? Make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think.