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The Top 7... '80s movies that deserve new videogames

Licensed games don't have the best of reputations, for reasons too obvious to repeat here. When the rare successes do occur, however, it’s usually because the games are based on older movies and, thus, weren’t rushed to market in order to coincide with a theatrical release.

The lesson here, developers? Stop looking to current, crappy Hollywood for inspiration and go back to the classics… by which, of course, we mean the ‘80s movies that we adored as children and would happily pay money to play through again as adults.


7. Gremlins

The Movie: A cute furry creature gets wet and gives birth. The babies eat after midnight and turn into scaly green monsters that get off on fatal pranks. First movie was scary, second was a live-action cartoon. Both were awesome.

Previous Games: Gremlins - The Adventure (1985, home computers), Gremlins (1985, Atari 2600), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (NES, 1990), Gremlins: Unleashed! (2001, Game Boy), Gremlins: Stripe Versus Gizmo (2002, Game Boy)

Why It Needs A New Game: Gremlins was an iconic franchise, one that spawned several pretenders and became a staple of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Despite this, it had only two films and exists today mostly as a plushy line for cult collectors. The entire franchise deserves a revival, and not just some inevitably crap Hollywood remake. It needs a game.

What kind of game? Well, imagine Dead Rising, but with lizard-like pranksters who break into song and dance numbers. An open world game set in a small town, shopping mall or corporate building that has been taken over by Gremlins has potential for all sorts of ludicrous fun. As the player, you will have an arsenal comparable to Frank West, able to smack Gremlins around with baseball bats and trash bins, but you can also feed them into paper shredders, punt them against walls, and -- of course -- melt them to death with high powered lights. Tell us it wouldn't be amazing!


6. Friday The 13th

The Movie: A woman goes on a murderous rampage at a summer camp due to the death of her potato-headed son. Later, the son comes back to continue her bloody work. Eventually dons a hockey mask and wields a trademark machete before being killed and brought back to life several times through increasingly convoluted means.

Previous Games: Friday The 13th (home computers, 1986), Friday The 13th (1989, NES), Friday The 13th (mobile phones, 2000s).

Why It Needs A New Game: Back in the days of cassette-based gaming, the only thing scary about gaming was the hideous screeching that the loading screens made. That is, until kids got their hands on Friday The 13th. The first game, available for home computers such as the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, was utterly horrifying. You had to convince Crystal Lake camp members to head to a sanctuary while Jason Voorhees stalked them, disguised as a camper and ready to do bloody murder on anyone he came across. When he did, you saw shit like this, accompanied by a chilling scream:

It was pretty shocking for its time, especially as it could pop up without warning. Why not traumatize a whole new generation of kids by remaking the original? Using dialog trees from RPGs such as Mass Effect and a "stalking enemy" mechanic from such games as Clock Tower, we think an engrossing and scary game could be made, as you try to convince kids to leave the camp while avoiding the attention of Jason and his happy fun knife. Throw in some combat/chase sequences with the indomitable simpleton himself, and it would be a triumph.

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50 comments

  • Its_Over_9000! - August 24, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    How bout The Breakfast Club,, anyone? :L
  • chriszewski - August 17, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    @nai1210 Westwood studios did a decent PC Blade Runner game back in 97. It didn't follow Deckard's storyline but it was pretty good. I would imagine it looks pretty crap now given that voxel based games don't age well.
  • snothammer - August 17, 2011 2:19 a.m.

    No offense, but these all sound like silly game ideas. "The movie has a paper-thin plot, just like a game!" Wonderful, I'm glad someone's encouraging games to keep their crappy plots. On a separate note, any good points made to me seem irrelevant, because the cost of the license would cut from the budget for creativity. So, you'd likely still end up with a crappy, underdeveloped license game, only 30 years late. If publishers want a mediocre cash-in, then these are great choices. If developers actually want to make a good game, then they'd be better off creating something original. If they want to take inspiration from these films, then fine. But there's no point wasting money on licenses, especially when they're not worthwhile (such as Over the Top).
  • Erebus - August 17, 2011 1:11 a.m.

    X-Ray action sequence in Running Man? Huh? I think you mean Total Recall right? Running Man had the best one liners in any Arnie movie. Ever.
  • nai1210 - August 16, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    @femmefatale Bladerunner was released in 82 and i would love to see a game of that there was one in preduction a few years back i believe but ended up being scrapped,sad face
  • MetaSyke - August 16, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    Gremlins would be awesome, but yes, it needs to have the classic Gremins sens of humour. A Clock Tower style Ft13 game.. YES PLEASE. And I can always get behind a new Robocop game, love that violent funfest.
  • squdgybuttnugget - August 16, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    also i think they should have 80's icons in gta 5 like robocop and the terminator (in multiplayer or dlc ) it would be ace if ya got 5 stars and robocop came after ya
  • Eraserhead2416 - August 16, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    Don't know if another commenter made this point, but there was a Robocop game for the Xbox (it sucked... a LOT) and there was a Labyrinth game for NES, released only in Japan.
  • Crypto140 - August 16, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    The 80's were when movies were movies. Death Wish, Dirty Harry, hell even a Footloose game would rock.
  • FemmeFatale - August 16, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    The 80's movies failed to provide pertinent enough premises for good gaming. Debelopers would be wise to consider the classics of the 70's like Bladerunner and Close Encounters.
  • UsernameLoser - August 16, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    Its times like this I wish I was part of The Breakfast Club. ='(
  • BigWillis - August 16, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    There is actually a Ps2 Robocop game, it wasn't great though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quiTYs5UgZI&feature=related
  • Turboash - August 16, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Goonies!
  • JeronimoJackson - August 16, 2011 1:36 p.m.

    What the hell someone said David Bowie's junk does not make for 5 star material? What the hell? Yes it does, did you see that movie. His junk was glorious!
  • Yeager1122 - August 16, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    I would play robocop and labryinth but i wouldnt arm wrestle.
  • philipshaw - August 16, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    Good list, would love a new Robocop game
  • avantguardian - August 16, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    jason looks thoughtful in that pic...almost remorseful...
  • avantguardian - August 16, 2011 noon

    one word: RAD...make it like old school t. hawk (blah blah matt hoffman blah stfu). and make it rad. @hypermonkey: preorder and you get a replica cod piece - just like the one bowie wears in his tights!
  • centrip - August 16, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    How about ALIENS!!!!!!
  • tacehtselrahc - August 16, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Oops, sorry for the double post, this site feels very slow just now, like wading through treacle.

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