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Great video games have been made by adapting everything from movies to comic books Licensed Video Games That Were Actually Good [MUO Gaming] Licensed Video Games That Were Actually Good [MUO Gaming] If there is one thing licensed games are not typically known for, it's quality. More often than not, licensed games are rushed to market to coincide with a movie or other major media release. It's... Read More . Where book-to-video game adaptations are concerned, the gaming industry hasn’t even scratched the surface. These four books that would make fantastic video games.

Zorro

For all our love of Batman, and the very successful Arkham series we can’t seem to get enough of, we’ve never really bothered to make a good game for the character upon whom Batman is based. That character is Zorro, one of the original rich-idiot-by-day, vigilante-by-night heroes.

Zorro is one of those heroes most people have heard of, but his story hasn’t been told as recently as Batman’s. Diego de la Vega is a rich nobleman living in Spanish California who most see only as a useless, overdressed fop. When night falls, he puts on a mask and mounts a black horse to ride out and correct the injustices caused by the corrupt governor.

A stylized Western game 5 Incredible Games Based In The Wild West 5 Incredible Games Based In The Wild West If you want to inject a serving of the Wild West into your gaming sessions, you really need to check out these awesome games. Read More with one lone swordsman against the forces of corrupt, oppressive government officials… a Zorro game could be the ultimate combination of Red Dead Redemption and the first Assassin’s Creed. Give the game a better combat engine, say the one from Batman’s own Arkham games, and the game has the opportunity to be a swashbuckling Western adventure!

Dracula

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The internet’s obsession with horror games (or perhaps obsession with YouTubers playing horror games) does not appear to be in danger of going away anytime soon. Horror games are everywhere, from the big studio games like Alien: Isolation to atmospheric indies Scares On The Cheap! Modern Horror Games Under $20 Scares On The Cheap! Modern Horror Games Under $20 If games at full retail price are a little too scary for your wallet, have no fear! Many great horror games can be found for less than $20. Read More like Five Nights at Freddie’s. So adapting classic Gothic horror novel Dracula wouldn’t be that out of place.

In the book, Jonathan Harker is brought to Dracula’s castle and realizes that he’s not allowed to leave. Dracula subtly manipulates him so that Jonathan is only awake at night, and Jonathan begins to explore the castle against Dracula’s advice. He quickly becomes frightened by some of the things he sees (or doesn’t see), and these nighttime jaunts nearly prove to be his undoing.

If a direct adaptation doesn’t sound like a good enough set-up for a horror game, there is another part of the book that would make an even better one: Dracula eventually finds his way onto the ship Demeter, which is setting sail for England. It eventually runs aground with no one aboard. Making a horror game based on the nightmarish journey of the Demeter where players desperately try to survive Dracula’s nightly assaults sounds like it would fit perfectly in with recent horror releases.

The Dresden Files

The meat and potatoes of any fantasy series are the “rules” and physics by which the universe operates. Creating new properties based on existing fantasy rules is fairly popular and can result in some awesome stories 4 Fantastic Video Games Based On Dungeons And Dragons 4 Fantastic Video Games Based On Dungeons And Dragons If I mentioned tabletop RPGs to you, what is the first one that pops into your head? If I had to guess, I would assume you are thinking of Dungeons and Dragons. Sure, some people... Read More . That’s why you can throw a stone in the fantasy section of any bookstore and hit a D&D novel.

So why not make a fantasy video game based on the popular Dresden Files novels? The rules for this popular series are already in place, waiting for us to play with them. In fact, there already is a Dresden Files tabletop RPG, which seems like a promising place to start. The series has all of the usual staples of magic, vampires, and werewolves.

The Dresden Files is an urban fantasy with a unique style and humorous streak, and that world has an awesome video game in there somewhere. Protagonist Harry Dresden need not even make an appearance, as there is considerable leeway to explore the other parts of this fantasy world. Also a benefit: The author is still alive.

The Nero Wolfe Mysteries

Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us and Frogwares’ most recent Sherlock Holmes game have shown that there is still a market for point-and-click mystery games. There are thousands of mysteries waiting to be adapted into the next adventure game. I’ll suggest the Nero Wolfe mystery series.

The title character is the genius who does all of the thinking, Mr. Wolfe never leaves his house if he can help it, and he needs someone else to do the legwork in the cases. Thus the player takes the role of Archie Goodwin, Wolfe’s assistant: A young, handsome charmer who makes up for what he lacks in intelligence and solving capacity in wit and enthusiasm.

This gives the player freedom to explore and piece things together in their own way as Archie while also having the equivalent of a human computer to consult if they get stuck. It creates a natural feedback system, with the player-as-Archie making educated guesses as to the culprit and Wolfe letting them know if they’re right or wrong. There is some freedom for the game writers to make up their own case, as the original novels aren’t very well-known.

Which books do you think would make awesome video games? Comment below!

  1. sabrina
    May 5, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Great! I would like provide more suggestions to you. How could I contact with you?
    There isn't any social information in your profile. Waiting for your reply.

    • Rachel Kaser
      May 6, 2016 at 1:50 am

      I'd be happy to see your suggestions here! What kinds of books would you like to see made into games?

  2. David B
    December 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    YESS! I'd love a Dresden Files game!

  3. Ryan
    December 22, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    The Wheel of Time series would make for an epic RPG. An enormous amount of characters, abilities, etc. And, all backed up by a class primary plot line and many side stories.

    • Jon
      January 28, 2015 at 5:06 am

      I'd love to see some GOOD modern games based on H.P. Lovecraft's novels. There have been some in the past (Eternal Darkness is the closest thing) , but they are impossible to play on modern hardware or somewhat broken (Dark Corners of the Earth). There's also a some good board games and one good digital adaptation (Elder Sign), but there isn't anything done RIGHT modern for gaming. It needs to happen.

      The closest we have is Amnesia, but that's not canonical HPL mythos.

  4. Jackson
    December 20, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Great first article, Rachel!

    • Freehawk
      December 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Tom Swift, Jonny Quest

    • Rachel K.
      December 23, 2014 at 3:23 am

      Thank you!

  5. Gemmy
    December 20, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Yup, Dracula games would be fun if they are made seriously with good graphics, probably by Naught Dog :)

  6. Dann Albright
    December 19, 2014 at 10:30 am

    As a huge fan of Gothic fiction, I think Dracula would be phenomenal source material for a video game. That book is really deep, and there are a lot of parts of it that would be great to play through. The idea of the journey of Demeter is pretty awesome, and an at-sea horror game based on it would be sweet.

    Great ideas here, Rachel!

  7. Doc
    December 19, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Although there was a board game and one or two (failed) video games, The Dragonriders of Pern is overdue for a blockbuster movie *and* a decent videogame.

  8. Keith Collyer
    December 18, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Michael Hicks's In Her Name trilogy. Hard sci-fi, fantasy, romance, female warriors. What's not to like?

  9. Scott
    December 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    A double hear hear for the Dresden Files! Great stuff!

  10. Stephan Huebner
    December 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Might I remind you that there has been at least one Zorro game, around 1985, on the C-64. Probably not quite up to todays' standards but I really liked it back then. :-)

    http://www.c64-wiki.com/index.php/Zorro

    • Rachel K.
      December 23, 2014 at 3:22 am

      I don't know how I didn't find that when I researched that! Thanks!

    • Rob Smith
      December 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      I had that Zorro game when I was a kid! Man, I'm old.
      Also, if there's a petition for that Nero Wolfe game, sign me up!

  11. Rob
    December 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Dracula would be amazing! Also, Lord of the Flies could be pretty cool...

    • Dann Albright
      December 19, 2014 at 10:26 am

      If you haven't played, I recommend playing the Dracula game for Super Nintendo on an emulator. It's absolutely awful. :-)

    • Rachel K.
      December 20, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Lord of the Flies as a survival horror game, perhaps? Like Day Z meets And Then There Were None? It could work!

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