Movie fans will instantly recognize “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” as one of classic 80s movie blockbuster. Video game fans would instead recognize “E.T.” The Extra-Terrestrial” as one of the worst video games ever released. In fact, the game is so bad that it nearly ended the home video game industry.
This particular video game practically started a trend of terrible movie-based video games. In fact, nearly every 80s movie that was turned into a video game proved to be quite awful. Movies like “Back to the Future,””Friday the 13th,” and “Goonies” were all translated into bad video games.
Despite the trend of good 80s movies being turned into bad video games a few good video games were actually produced from 80s movies. The video game adaptation of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was arguably better than the movie and the recently made video game based off “Ghostbusters” was brilliant (as opposed to the terrible NES version made over 20 years ago). These good movie-based video games prove the potential exists for more to be made. While many of the best 80s movies were made into video games, not all were, and there is a lot of untapped potential still available. The following are great classic 80s movies that would make great video games for today’s market.
Clue (1985) – This classic movie is based off a board game and that board game already has a video game version. But, no game exists based purely off the movie. A great “Clue” video game would borrow game play elements from “Dragon’s Lair.” In essence, the game could play like a choose-your-own-adventure with multiple paths that could lead to multiple endings, much like the movie. While the great Madeline Kahn is sadly dead, voice over work from the rest of the principle actors would make the game truly brilliant.
Flash Gordon (1980) – The fact that this movie was never adapted as a video game is surprising. Almost from the opening credits, the movie involved nearly constant action. A video game based off this would probably be a 1st person game with occasional squad based activity. Movie scenes like the “football” fight, flying arena duel, and the Arborean test of manhood would all translate perfectly into a video game.
Red Dawn (1984) – The popularity of squad based shooting games like “Modern Warfare” prove that the game play of a “Red Dawn” video game would do well in the modern market. The plot may be less relevant in a post-Cold War world, but at the same time that also means that it is less likely to create a controversy. If the video game stayed true to the movie, it would involve highly limited supplies and advanced tactical combat, both of which would sell well with the modern gaming audiences.
The Secret of NIMH (1982) – Don Bluth has had remarkable success collaborating on video games. Both “Dragon’s Lair” and “Space Ace” were arcade successes, in no small part due to his gorgeous art. “The Secret of NIMH” is a rather action packed movie with a veritable army of antagonists and a moralistic message. The action in the movie would translate well to a video game. More importantly, the anthromorphic rodents and subdued violence would make the game well suited for children.