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The Top 7... Classic books that would make amazing games

3. The Pilgrim's Progress

What's the story? Sick of knocking about the City of Destruction, Christian decides to set off for the Celestial City, where everything is pretty much non-stop great. On his journey he makes friends, wins power-ups and fights monsters. When Christian succeeds, his wife Christiana has to do it all over again to tie up the loose plot threads. Right, cause you thought Resident Evil 2 invented that gambit.


Above: The middle page of The Pilgrim's Progress

How might the game look? Fight the twin giants Pope and Pagan! Free prisoners from Doubting Castle! Battle Appolyon, a demon-dragon that hurls darts as thick as hail! Frankly, it's embarrassing to live in a world where a Pilgrim's Progress survival-horror action game doesn't exist.


Above: Bunyan's Slough of Despond didn't have crocodiles in it, but if someone suggested it, it might've

Until then... Take the structure of Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, add blistering Devil May Cry battle mechanics, find a reason for Christian not to own a single shirt, and you've got the year's biggest action title. In the meantime you'll have to pretend like Maximo wasn't quite such a crushing torrent of Okay.


2. For Whom the Bell Tolls

What's the story? When today's educated lad feels like thumbing his nose at injustice, he changes his Twitter icon green for a week. In Hemingway's day, they headed to where injustice lived and blew its damn house up. For Whom the Bell Tolls' Spanish Civil War is an awesome place to seek adventure, but also a horrifying example of man's inhumanity to man. Much like Xbox Live on both counts, then.

How might the game look? The game would be a non-WW2 period shooter, which would be gravy. Publicity for the game would be considerably more epic: just as Papa Hemingway only wrote about war after he himself had fought in one, the For Whom the Bell Tolls dev crew would, one hopes, learn the terrible thrill of bleeding a man out on the end of your bayonet before they wrote a line of code.

Until then... Put the nearest ER on speed dial. Mix up a generous amount of Hemingway Daiquiris (basically a sugarless daiquiri with double rum). Boot up the Spanish Civil War expansion for Shadows of War, downing a Hemingway every time you shoot someone. Repeat this process until the writing seems brilliant and/or you need to go to hospital.

55 comments

  • Reebokanonymous - May 15, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    I've always thought "The Most Dangerous Game" would be an amazing video gaming experience. It's a short story, but I have this idea that they could make a game that lasts about five hours, but just put it in another game as an interactive storytelling sequence within the regular game.
  • sharker - April 8, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Maybe "1984"?
  • CiaranW - April 8, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    The Hunger Games Would Be A Really Goood Game Aswell
  • ryno - April 7, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    i would make watership down an open world style game with randomly appearing enemies
  • SeriousSean - April 7, 2010 6:41 a.m.

    Someone needs to steal the premise behind Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light for a game. In an undisclosed amount of time in the future on a colonized world the officers of the colony ship used technology to set themselves up as gods of the Hindu pantheon and they lord over all the colonists.
  • Kaz993 - April 7, 2010 4:13 a.m.

    oh. I thought this would be a serious article for us gentlemen, and not this posh.
  • Zeipher - April 7, 2010 3:23 a.m.

    Sorry for the dub-post, but I agree BIGTIME with the supporters of Ender's Game and The Road. Those would make amazing games.
  • Zeipher - April 7, 2010 3:21 a.m.

    After reading "Jane Austen", I was afraid where this list would go. An adventure game based on a Jack London book would be pretty badass. @snothammer: I actually don't think any of Rand's books could be a successful game. Movies, yes. Games, no. "In this epic sim, you play a egoist architect struggling to survive in a selfless world!" No thanks. (Top 5 Realistically Useless Weapons in Gaming: www.lulzgamer.blogspot.com)
  • AggressiveMold - April 7, 2010 1:46 a.m.

    Paradise Lost. I can't think of a game where you actually PLAYED AS SATAN.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - April 7, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    What about alice in wonder.... Oh yeahz :D
  • TyeTheCzar - April 6, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    Baccano!, the novel-turned-anime(you can watch the whole series on Youtube for free) would make a great setting for a Heavy Rain-style adventure game. You've got the nutty thief couple, the cowardly gangster, the mindless assassins, all set before, after, and during a gruesome train incident.
  • TURbo - April 6, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    I want Medea to be a book.
  • DoctorMcNinja - April 6, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    Ender's Game. How you you forget? A battle room game would be amazing. And the end of the book, when Ender controls an entire army... It's like the book was made to be an amazing game.
  • Hinro - April 6, 2010 8 p.m.

    What about the Odyssey or the Iliad. You can't beat an actual classic book.
  • Mitchy13LAMF - April 6, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    oh lord of the flys.....it be intresting for a level when they knock down a huge rock on piggy!!!!!!!
  • mattvader243 - April 6, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    ENDERS GAME!!!!!!!!!
  • jdrosenfeld - April 6, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    Nice work with the Capa image.
  • euqubud - April 6, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    Of Mice and Men! Think of the quicktime events. Press X to tag Lenny in the back of the head!
  • GameManiac - April 6, 2010 4:32 p.m.

    Thank god that the Twilight series isn't mentioned here. But I shouldn't be surprised since it's not nowhere NEAR old enough to be a classic. What about "Of Mice and Man"?
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