Just because it’s a work of fiction — it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s destined to make its way over to the gaming industry. In fact, sometimes, doing such a thing can damage an admired company if ever attempted. That’s sort of why we don’t often see TV shows make their way over to our side of the sphere these days. Like movies, as well as books and most other types of media — developers just know when to avoid the brewing storm.
But with that said, we have unfortunately seen our fair share of appalling TV show ports over the years. Even when the public have already grown accustomed to steering clear of them, developers have still made the bold choice to discard the negativity and put them under the hammer regardless. And, as expected, those that have entered the workshop have mostly turned out shockingly bad, with absolutely zero redeeming qualities to bolster them. Just take a look at these five, for example.
5. Jackass: The Game
On the surface, throwing yourself into a Jackass game sounds like a pretty exhilarating experience. Without having to actually physically hurt yourself, you’re basically able to conquer all the death-defying stunts as seen on TV, only with a controller instead of what would eventually be a pair of crutches. Only, when it came to actually developing the thing — Sidhe had no idea what they were doing, let alone what show they were even trying to recreate, and therefore went on to produce a god-awful cluster of run-of-the-mill mini-games.
Of course, the novelty of playing as the iconic Steve-O, Johnny Knoxville and the other Jackass stars does wear off pretty darn quick. Like, fifteen minutes into the game. After that, you’re basically abandoned with a collection of cheap mini-games and a smug wallet saying “I told you so” as you mould over the thought of snagging a refund.
4. Little Britain: The Video Game
Like Jackass: The Game, but probably fifteen times more atrocious, Little Britain: The Video Game consists of several mini-games, all of which stem from the skits seen in the iconic British show. However, like the series itself, it didn’t age all that well, and in fact went on to receive quite a lot of backlash over its controversial themes.
Looking at it today, you can see why it didn’t exactly land too well with the general population — even with Little Britain lovers. Thanks to its cheap and rehashed gameplay, tedious catchphrases and lack of playable levels, the game pretty much flopped at every tiny hurdle. I mean, even Sesame Street Sports put Little Britain: The Video Game to shame. And that’s saying something.
3. American Idol: The Game
By this point, you’ve probably noticed a bit of a pattern. And that is, if a game actually includes “The Game” in its title — then it’s basically destined to bomb in the charts. And as for American Idol, despite its on-screen popularity in the US, well, that didn’t exactly help to break the cliché either. Of course, if it weren’t for Simon Cowell making his off-the-cuff remarks every once in a while, then the game probably wouldn’t have so much as scratched a dime. But surprisingly, it did — and we hated it.
Back in 2003, rhythm-based games were still loitering around their infancy period. Obviously, this was way before the likes of Guitar Hero, SingStar and other renowned rhythm-based kingpins came about, so American Idol, despite its ambition, really was a test pilot for an unchartered territory. The result of that, of course, was a shoddy video game port with no pitch-perfect tones to redeem it.
2. The Office
There’s no doubt about it. The Office US is hands down one of the greatest shows on the planet. But a video game it is not. Of course, as much as we wish it was, the show itself just isn’t suited for the gaming industry, period. Now, whether or not that’ll change over the years is something to ponder over, though for the time being, we have to live with the fact that a game has, in fact, already been made. And if you didn’t already know that, then join the club — because neither did I until about fifteen minutes ago.
Coming out in late-2007 on PC, right around the time that the show released its third season, The Office launched to a crowd of die-hard regulars, all whom were desperate to get ahold of a digitalised Dunder Mifflin world. Unfortunately for them, the game failed to live up to the hype of the show, and instead served only as a mockery of the award-winning series, with no charming qualities whatsoever.
1. 24: The Game
Way before Kiefer Sutherland cemented his spot in the gaming industry with Metal Gear Solid, the actor was known primarily for his place in the long-standing TV series 24, which spanned a dozen or more chapters over a decade. Following on from that healthy career in the limelight, it was only natural for the show to branch out, with the gaming bracket being the most logical course of action.
So, what went wrong? Surely an action-packed franchise about a spy couldn’t be capable of failure? After all, it’s what makes up the majority of triple-A games in this day and age. And yet, even with all the source material on hand, developer SCE (now Guerrilla) still managed to find a way to butcher the banquet. With a mixture of awkward and disjointed controls and shoddy visuals and fixed camera angles, 24: The Game basically sunk like a lead acid battery from the moment it touched the water. But, on the plus side — it did own up to having a pretty solid narrative. It’s just a shame everything else had to outweigh the only remaining positive, though.
So, what video games based on TV shows would you say are worthy of making this list? Let us know over on our socials here.