2. Left 4 Dead
Plays Like: Zombies!!!
The million and one zombie-based pieces of media around today aren’t always original, so it’s no surprise that Valve’s Left 4 Dead games and the tile-based Zombies!!! board game share a lot of features. But a Left 4 Dead version of said board game could be far more than a simple re-skin.
The core game of Zombies!!! depends on dice rolls, which makes the experience rather brainless for a lot of people. A L4D-branded version could mix things up by placing greater emphasis on weapons and ammo, as well as the different types of infected (such as hunters and boomers) that are more lethal and aggressive than typical zombies.
The biggest change would be victory conditions – in Zombies!!!, the first person to escape is the winner, which simply won’t fly in the co-op-centric Left 4 Dead universe. Players would have to work together to survive, with difficulty increasing each time a teammate falls. Done right, all the tension of the FPS classic could easily carry over.
Plus it’d just be nice to play as Zoey, Bill or Ellis instead of “shotgun guy.”
1. Trauma Center
Plays like: Operation
We all know how Operation works: A guy is so embarrassed by his red nose he eats butterflies and shoves a wrench into his ankle, and the poor doctors have to pull that crap out of his body without touching his electrified innards.
Trauma Center adds a lot more drama to that formula with bioterrorism plots and patients in much more serious condition. Though plot is kinda unnecessary in a board game, here it could give added tension to the surgery. Is the patient a wealthy VIP? Does he have sharks in his blood? Are you taking too long on your turn? Better grab the syringe and make sure the patient’s heart keeps beating - and don’t forget to close up the patient when you’re done!
B-B-B-Bonus entry – Mario Party!
Plays like: Mario Party/Quelf
Mario Party already got a board game of sorts with Mario Party-e, which was a collection of e-Reader cards that could be scanned and used to play minigames. Interesting idea, but frankly it was a missed opportunity. The Mario Party games already play out exactly like a board game, yet the tabletop game doesn’t have a board at all and requires a bizarre peripheral? Say what?
If Nintendo wanted to try that concept again, it could ship a new Mario Party game with a new set of AR cards that could be activated with the 3DS’ camera. You’d move around the board on the 3DS, but when it came time to battle other players in a minigame, you would activate one of the AR cards. That would eliminate the hassle of scanning e-Reader cards and allow a much larger audience to play the game while still keeping the mini-game concept alive and well.
Above: If current AR Cards can make fake monsters and target minigames, maybe future cards could house multiplayer challenges?
However, if they wanted to go completely electronic-free, they could adopt a system similar to Quelf. In that game, players are constantly tasked with performing crazy antics determined by drawing a card, such as saying all the words on the card backwards… as a song… in a foreign accent. Or just about anything else.
While Quelf is more about making its players look foolish than anything else, you could easily make cards that are more in line with the Nintendo spirit. Perhaps one that orders the player to challenge adjacent players to a thumb war, with the winner being rewarded by moving three spaces forward? It’s not jumping over a rope made of fire, but it could still be fun…
Apr 18, 2011
The Top 7… Classic books that would make amazing games
Like you’d read them otherwise
10 classic films that would be great games
We scour the history of cinema for unexploited gems
The Top 7… Best ports on inferior systems
Great versions of great games on lo-tech platforms