The video game industry sees tons of movies turned into video games. Now, most of these done are for a quick cash grab, but there are the occasional great movie video game – I’m looking at you Spider Man 2. However, a very rare item seen in video games is books turning into games. Which is kinda odd, as books have a key element that most games undervalue – a great narrative. In this list, we will look at a young, growing manchild’s list of books he would love to see come to consoles or PC sooner rather than later.
(Now, before it gets pointed out in the comments, I know the majority of the books (4/5) in this list have been turned into movies/animated series now or are in the process of being turned into films. However, in my list we are assuming these adaptations will be straight from the book, not the adapted screenplay.)
5: The Giver by Lois Lowry (Published in 1993)
This is basically required reading for any child growing up in the United States, but I will give a brief synopsis nonetheless. The Giver revolves around a young boy in a community that has been stripped of color, emotions, music, and everything that makes life life in an attempt to make the world completely equal. However, one man, The Giver, holds all these memories and is tasked with giving his heir, Jonas, these memories in the community. The Giver and Jonas eventually come up with a plan that involves Jonas leaving the community to allow these memories of color and emotion to return to the community.
Now, this may be the oddest choice on the list. However, I think my friends at Quantic Dream, the developers of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, would have a field day with this work. Imagine a world devoid of color at the beginning, there is no music, no emotions, and slowly the colors begin to come. Unfortunately, there are not many tangible objectives in this book, which may make gameplay a bit lacking. However, I believe that the team at Quantic Dream would have no problem in converting The Giver from award winning book to a memorable interactive drama.
4: The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (Published from 1998-2007)
Harry Potter needs no introduction, so I will skip the synopsis for this entry in the list and yes, I know there have been eight Harry Potter games in the past. Most of them have been – how do you say this nicely? Terrible. I believe this is due to the fact that the developers had to focus on the adapted screenplay, instead of focusing on what made the Harry Potter series so charming – the world.
In my proposal for the game, I would ask the great team at BioWare, the developers of Mass Effect and Jade Empire, to step away from the science fiction for just a second and help create a beautiful RPG centered in the Harry Potter Universe. Imagine, you create a character, get sorted into one of the four houses, and then spend the next seven years helping or hindering the Harry Potter main characters. For example, maybe you choose to fight against the Order and join up with Voldemort, but are spared by Harry and the others because you helped them in third year potions. I know, this sounds like a fanboy’s wet dream, but this is what this list is all about!
3: The White Fox Chronicles by Gary Paulsen (Published in 2000)
This gem may be unknown to most people, but it was one of the first books I read in my early teens. It revolves around a Cody, nicknamed the White Fox later into the story, trapped in a prison camp controlled by the Confederation of Consolidated Republics in the year 2057. The book is split into three sections: the first details the escape, the second is the typical learning to fight/training section, and finally the White Fox returning to and liberating the prison camp.
If you have ever read this book, you know it just screams “turn me into a video game!” There are firefights, assault weapons, bodies hanging from flag poles, and just an incredible amount of violence for a young teen book. Sounds like a perfect FPS, right? I would love to see the people at Infinity Ward, the developers of Call of Duty, to work their magic around a plot that is finally worth a damn or at the very least coherent.
2: Redwall by Brian Jacques (Published in 1986)
This is another series from my childhood. Redwall is an extremely charming, funny, and surprisingly violent story about the animals of Redwall Abbey fighting against the rats and other vermin led by Cluny the Scourge who have laid siege to the Abbey. Knowing they will be overrun, a young mouse named Matthias overcomes tremendous obstacles, solves clues, and fights a giant snake to reclaim the sword used by the legendary Martin the Warrior and defeat Cluny’s army.
As Redwall has already been adapted into a animated television series, I would hope to keep this same style alive by recruiting the team at Vanillaware, the developers behind Dragon’s Crown, to create a beautiful hand drawn side scroller. This would allow the gamer to experience platforming and combat while still maintaining the beauty that Vanillaware can deliver.
1: The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Published in 2009)
Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is probably one of my favorite books of all time. For those of you who have not read it, read it. The Road tells the story of an unnamed father and son traveling to the coast after an unspecified apocalyptic event. It is sad, hopeless, and beautiful.
There is only one developer I would trust to turn this novel into a game and that is Naughty Dog. They have already proven that they could handle the emotion, rawness, and beauty of a post-apocalyptic world in The Last of Us. Imagine a game where a father protects his son from the dangers of cannibals prowling the roads, scavenging for any food available, and realizing this is probably all for nothing. It would be truly another terrifyingly beautiful experience that only Naughty Dog could deliver and is basically The Last of Us with the infected removed and Ellie swapped with a boy.
Now, I’m sure ignored some of your favorite works and are slowly calling me an idiot under your breath, so let us know in the comments what you would’ve liked to see on the list.