Film licensed titles have been the mainstay of developers’ bank balances ever since the release of Some Like It Hot Pong and Gone With The Wind Invaders. It’s just a case of squeezing out a simple platforming game and letting the brand sell itself. But it’s not always so easy. Some films, no matter what, just won’t work as games. If only someone could tell the developers.
3 Stooges - NES
How best to represent 190 short films? Why, minigames, of course. Playing as the Depression era’s favorite bumbling trio, the aim is to earn cash by scooping out oysters as they open, chucking custard pies, running face first into lampposts and - for all you lucky Stooge-heads out there - poking a man in the eyes.
Platoon - NES
Don’t suppose you remember that bit in Platoon when Charlie Sheen fights the Viet Cong acrobatic squad inside the hedge maze? Neither do we, and neither does Charlie Sheen, but this didn’t stop developers Ocean from chucking Ho Chi Minh’s finest at your head faster than a dodgeball and forcing you to trudge your way around a jungle-y labyrinth. We think this is just what Oliver Stone intended to say with his powerful movie: war isn’t hell, it’s kinda bouncy.
Jaws - NES
Listening to the beepy NES trying to cope with the Jaws theme raises an instant smile, but the game’s nonchalant disregard for marine life soon changes that. Jaws may be the target, but first millions of manta rays need harpooning and a community of jellyfish bombed into slippery pieces. Like emptying an AK47 into a fish tank, it’s cruel and unnecessary. We’re going to need a bigger trashcan.