Ah yes — Telltale Games, the beloved episodic kingpin that delivered some of the best choice-based series we've ever laid eyes on. Where are they now — and what are they planning for 2022 and beyond? Well, your guess is as good as ours, only we're more inclined to say more adaptations, with the slight possibility of branching out to the Netflix domain. And, to be fair, seeing as one of Telltale's last acts of business before going dark in 2018 was porting Minecraft: Story Mode onto the streaming service — it wouldn't be out of the question for it to reconnect moving forward. But we're getting ahead of ourselves on that one.
From The Walking Dead to Batman, Tales from the Borderlands to The Wolf Among Us — Telltale hasn't exactly been running dry on ideas for their canvas since 2004. Only now, with the turn of a new leaf and the studio running under new management (LCG), a whole network of possibilities are ripe for the taking. And seeing as Netflix has an abundance of worthwhile series fit for the console, it'd only seem right for the kings and queens of narrative to pluck out the finest and tell stories worth telling. But having said all that — what shows would make for cracking Telltale games?
5. Stranger Things
We'll start off this list with a game that was actually in development, though never quite reached the public before going dark in 2018. The truth is, Telltale was, sadly enough, working to build a Stranger Things series with the usual award-winning formula. Unfortunately, the series never left the door, and the project was soon enough scrapped before the studio finally ceased trading. Fast-forward to 2020, and news surrounding the series still hasn't surfaced. Of course, fans are still expecting it — though Telltale seems to be more than content with forgetting it ever existed. So that sucks.
We can all agree that Stranger Things would definitely be an ideal world to sink into — especially with the 1980s influences and sci-fi lore to back it. Character-wise, players could simply follow Eleven in her tracks to unlocking her true potential, or simply pass for a resident of Hawkins on a whole other journey. Either way, the beloved sci-fi phenomenon has plenty of content to explore and enough backstory to compile a collection of tales for Telltale to build on. But who knows — perhaps it'll come to fulfilment someday.
While Kuju did ruffle a few feathers with its turn-based empire-building adaptation of the hit Netflix show, Narcos: Rise of the Cartels — fans have still been hungering for another slice of Escobar and the drug war that encapsulated his antics. Of course, the 2019 ex-gen game did receive generally favourable reviews, and it did go on to tie in quite well with the foundations the show built. That being said, a lot was cut from the premise, and there was so much more the developer could've explored to help cement the gaps of the overall story. And that, of course, is why we're eager for Telltale to put a spin on it.
Narcos definitely isn't short on action, nor does it run smoothly without any difficult choices to back it. In fact, it's so crammed to the brim with tough decisions and violent curveballs, that Telltale would make a meal out of capturing it in an episodic structure. Pablo set aside as the antihero, players could even sink into an opposing pair of shoes, still out on a quest to climb the ranks of drug trafficking in an attempt to become the next drug kingpin of Colombia. Whatever the story — Telltale would own it.
3. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is so topped up with usable content that any game studio would need a lifetime of devotion to translate all of the stories into a single library of video games. As a starting point, however, we'd have to put forward the episode “Nosedive“, where players either hoard popularity or lose it depending on how they interact with other members of the public and approach each situation. But that's just one of the many stories the hit show unravels, with plenty more focused on sci-fi, war, and even romance.
Considering each episode tells a new story, Telltale would definitely have their work cut out for them if going down the full package route. But having said that, Black Mirror does cram quite a lot into each tale, with enough material to roll out into a spool of chapters. And, honestly, that's something we think Telltale could take advantage of and deliver remarkably well. But that's just our opinion.
2. Orange Is the New Black
Picture this: you've just been marked down for a fifteen-month stint at Lichfield Penitentiary. You're about to enrol in the underworld of criminality, where belonging to a clique is the only thing that'll keep your head above water for the duration of your payback. The decision that hangs over your shoulder, of course, is whether or not you establish a network of friends to keep you grounded, or simply keep your head low and in the hands of fate. What's your call?
Orange Is the New Black might not be jam-packed with gut-wrenching brutality and demolition — but it does have its fair share of drama, and probably some of the most fascinating story arcs under the Netflix domain to date. And, with a location like Lichfield, Telltale could easily mould together a spool of prison-based stories — even if they don't coincide with Piper Chapman's memoir. There's plenty of room for an intriguing tale or two, we'll leave it at that.
1. The Umbrella Academy
One thing The Umbrella Academy isn't exactly short on is the in-your-face drama that never really settles down long enough to let the viewer take a breather. From the moment you sink into the explosive action that the superhero extravaganza envelopes, you're immediately enrolled on a do or die journey that refrains from winding down the intensity at any open crossroad. And let's face it — that's something we'd all love to be a part of. If only for a ride-along.
The Umbrella Academy, despite its multiple story arcs and network of characters to focus on, would honestly make a pretty compelling video game — especially under Telltale's hand. Plus, having each of the seven orphan heroes on a canvas with thousands of routes to explore, it definitely feels like something the choice-based kingpin could take under the wing and piece together incredibly well. But again, that's just our opinion.
What Netflix series would you like to see come to the Telltale studio? Let us know over on our socials.