Top 5 Licenses I Want to See Telltale Games Adapt
Telltale Games is known for putting out great licensed adventure games, to the point where the company has only a single original IP – not counting its pre-Inventory poker game – to its name. I’m happy to report The Walking Dead follows that trend, but we’ll talk more about that come December’s inevitable GOTY discussion. After playing Episode 2 last night, I came to the realization that Telltale can turn pretty much any license into a great game. So here are a few brands I think Telltale could make into some fantastic games.
If Telltale can make a Homestar Runner adventure game work, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to make a The Tick game. The logic for the puzzles might be insane, but Telltale’s talent for understanding the tone and style of the source material would most likely make the game faithful if nothing else. It would be interesting to see another pure comedy game from the studio that brought you the Sam and Max adaptations. Sure, coming up with excuses for adventure game puzzling in this setting might be tricky, but they’ve got smart people at Telltale.
There are two kinds of sci-fi in this world: science fantasy (Star Wars, Martian Chronicles, and I guess Firefly if you want to make that argument) and technobabble-heavy sci-fi (Star Trek and Mass Effect). What makes the latter a good fit for adventure games is the slower pace. Although The Walking Dead proved there can be effective action scenes in adventure games, the point-and-click nature of the gameplay is at home in a calmer environment. Star Trek certainly has its exciting moments, but there’s no denying it’s a slow burn.
The only major hurdle would be translating the futuristic technology required to solve puzzles into layman’s terms, but I suspect if you’re buying a Star Trek adventure game, you can figure out a few things on your own.
Batman’s full title is The Dark Knight Detective, right? So would an adventure game really be that crazy? Gotham is a city with an abundance of crimes to solve, and Batman has quite a few enemies that like toying with him as opposed to challenging him to a fistfight. There’s Riddler, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, even The Joker could put together some interesting puzzles. Crazy villains would also mean there’s an in-game reason for insane adventure game logic.
It doesn’t even need to involve Batman, if you want to go down that route. There’s Commissioner Gordon, Oracle/Barbara, or even Detective Blake from Dark Knight Rises. An adventure game set in Gotham would lead to a nice, psychologically disturbed twist on the crime puzzle genre.
A Breaking Bad game, due to the fairly linear nature of the storytelling (5 seasons have only depicted about a year of Walter White’s life so far), would have to be…creative. Perhaps just going off-script and allowing players to make their own choices a la Walking Dead would be the best way to go. Maybe a game set after the series finale, considering the creator, Vince Gilligan, has said he wants to do more with the series after it ends. As long as I get a Breaking Bad game, I don’t really care.
Gilligan has created the most fascinating characters on television right now, and giving him the ability to put them through their paces in different ways could yield some really interesting stories. Sure, you could go through the game just making choices from the show, or you could choose to go about these problems differently. I have the utmost trust in both Gilligan and Telltale by this point, so a team-up would inevitably yield a quality product.
My love of Community is well-documented. It’s such a well done show that I can’t believe the NBC executives are trying to destroy it with such ferocity. Sure, crap like Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men are going to pay off with viewers in the short term, but when all those old fogies die out (CBS’ average viewer is 57, if I recall correctly), then you’ll only have the demographic you screwed over by cancelling smarter shows like Community or Parks and Rec.
Sorry. Got off-topic.
What makes Community the perfect fit for Telltale is that Greendale Community College can be anything the designers want. Zombie apocalypse? Law and Order-style procedural? Extended Western homage? Any setting Telltale wants to use is available with a little tweaking. Money shouldn’t be a huge problem; get Dan Harmon, the creator of Community, on board and you instantly have tons of sales from the show’s rabid devotees.
The fact that Community actually got away with a parallel universe episode makes me think anything is possible at Greendale. Give that license to people who know what they’re doing, and you’re looking at a veritable well of fantastic games.
What about you guys? What licenses would you like to see Telltale tackle next?