Television shows and video games typically don’t mix, but there are exceptions to this rule, games that are based on television shows that are quality in their own right (The Simpsons: Hit and Run springs to mind). Of course, there are also a butt-load of quality games based on anime series out there as well, just as there are a butt-load of terrible games based on anime series. Other, perhaps more conventional types of programming do not see many video game releases however. This is probably because game publishers and TV show creators realise that it is difficult to make a good game based on a television programme. However, if Family Guy can be a crappy video game why can’t other TV shows try it? Surely we need more terrible games, so why not make some based on popular (or once popular) TV shows?
I have provided you all with five ideas for terrible games based on TV shows, new and old, but just to let you know, these are in no particular order.
Scrubs was popular right? I mean, it got nine seasons, so why did it never get a terrible accompanying video game? Scrubs was popular around the time the DS was being played by everyone, their parents, and their grandparents, so why did we never see a Scrubs game for the DS? It baffles me to think that we were never treated to a game with a gloriously awful publicity shot of the cast as the cover.
Think about it, we could have had a terrible point & click style adventure game filled with terrible sprites of all your favourite characters, or, even better, terrible “detailed” sprites that almost look like the characters. Scrubs was open to several different gameplay styles, but I think the funniest of them all would have been a dating sim. Imagine Sprung, but with JD, Turk and Elliot. it would have been so cringe-worthy it would have been amazing. Someone could have even made a game about Scrubs similar to Trauma Center, but with some wacky Scrubs humour thrown in for good measure; that never happened though, because it could have been decent.
Cheers, much like Scrubs, could’ve had a terrible point & click game made about it, especially considering it ran from 1982-1993, a time where adventure games were all the rage. Of course, a game based on Cheers would have to almost entirely be set in the bar, which wouldn’t have given developers much opportunity to create a game with varied locales, or excitement.
Despite that though, developers could have easily played-around with the source material and created something all the children of the day would have loved – a platformer. Can you imagine the sheer excitement and adrenaline you’d feel jumping through the Boston streets as Frasier, Woody, Sam, Carla, Cliff and Co? You’d be collecting beer bottles and fighting bosses like, I dunno, the sober-monster, sounds good? What do you mean no? Oh well, kids today…
Based on everything I have written, I find myself thinking that a game based on Cheers would probably have lowered the video game quality bar. Time for a drink, preferably somewhere where everyone knows my name.
Who Do You Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are would make a terrible video game, there is absolutely nothing about it that could ever make a good game… or so you’d think. Who Do You Think You Are is a show about a celebrity’s family history, and with consent from someone famous they could use their family history, which could involve war. Essentially, someone can make a terrible first-person-shooter about someone’s actual family history, and who doesn’t want to play that?
Who Do You Think You Are would also lend itself well to a terrible hidden object style game which would involve you searching for trinkets based on the playable character’s family history. Seriously though, Who Do You Think You Are is probably the TV show least able to have a video game adaptation, but that shouldn’t stop any ambitious, but rubbish, developers out there.
Could video game developers ever create a game based on Ancient Aliens? Of course not. Aliens. These aliens would probably make a hidden object game that tries to prove that the ancient alien theorists are right, by finding evidence. Ancient Aliens would also work as a terrible visual novel, going through the game’s story to prove that human intelligence, endeavour and motivation just doesn’t exist. Imagine, as some ancient alien theorists believe, that a game based on their show would be amazingly terrible.
Who else wants to play an incredibly crappy mini-game collection featuring everyone’s favourite pranksters? Larry does. Pre-rendered sprites taken from photos of the jokers, in which you are scored on how well you do, but if you fail at the mini-games, you have to be punished. In a four-player situation this actually sounds alright, but then you remember what kind of pranks they pull-off in the show – it just wouldn’t work on any level.
Poor mini-game design never put off the developers of stuff like Carnival Games, and if they get their hands on the Impractical Jokers license then we are in for a treat. We’d get shoddy mini-games matched with terrible production values and box-art – all the hallmarks you would ever want from a terrible licensed video game.
Are there any other TV shows out there that would or would have made a terrible (but amazing) video game? Or has this list inspired you to go out there and find some classic terrible TV show licensed games? I know it’s certainly made me yearn for some awful games based on the shows I love.
Toby Saunders is sometimes opinionated, and you’ll find him posting garbage about games, films and his beloved Spurs and Bath City FC on Twitter.