A recently announced "Family Guy" video game project got me thinking about my favorite TV-inspired video games of all time. I have high hopes for the upcoming "Family Guy" game, but I think "South Park" said it best: "The Simpsons" already did it.
When talking about TV-to-game adaptations "The Simpsons" come to mind right away. There have been many games starring the famous yellow family from Springfield, and some of them were good.
"South Park" has been adapted to many games as well, and nearly all of them are terrible. (Hopefully the "South Park" RPG that is currently in development will be the exception.) Some TV adaptations make sense, such as "Transformers" or anything based on professional wrestling. Others are just ridiculous — such as the "Home Improvement" game in which Tim Allen shoots dinosaurs with a nail gun.
1. M*A*S*H* (Atari 2600)
It may not seem like it has much to do with the famous TV show, but this primitive game features a pretty cool bonus stage that lets you perform surgery on a patient who is riddled with shrapnel. It's a lot like the classic game "Operation" and the graphics are respectable for a game that's nearly 30-years-old. Also, like many of the games from the Atari Era, the box art is fantastic.
The Simpsons Hit and Run" (Xbox/PS2)
Lovingly referred to as "Grand Theft Otto" by some of us gaming nerds, this is easily my favorite game based on the family from Evergreen Terrace.
Developers wiselydecided to rip off a popular game — "Grand Theft Auto" — and slap their license on it. It works beautifully. You get to explore Springfield in great detail while engaging in some fun, vehicular-based gaming. It's as close to being in an episode of the show as possible, and fan service abounds in the fully realized town of Springfield.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Arcade)
There would be a lot of hurt feelings and angry comments if this game didn't make the list. Originally released in arcades in 1989, this Konami classic found its way onto XBOX Live Arcade recently, much to fans delight. The heroes in a half shell game could be played by up to four people at once — making it a popular quarter-sucking machine as the arcade business began to see the end of the line. The game is a classic beat-em-up in the style of "Final Fight." The great license (the coolness of TMNT to young boys in the late 80s cannot be overstated) and the cooperative nature of the game made this one of the most popular arcade games of all time.
4. "Lost: Via Domus" (Xbox 360, PS3)Few people will claim this is a great game. However, fans of the "Lost" TV show that savor every tiny detail of that universe will discover tons of clues to analyze and sift through here. What helps the immersion is that the game looks nearly as good as the show, which was always praised for its high production value. Like so many of you I got sucked into this show and found myself scrambling for any shreds of information about that damn island that wasn't scripted into the series. This game — and calling it a "game" is a loose definition — helped me fill that need while awaiting new episodes.
Family Feud" (Sega Genesis)
After a long night of bar hopping with a friend of mine we walked home and realized the only games we could possibly play would require no actual skill. In a box filled with loose Sega Genesis cartridges I found "Family Feud." It should be noted that I am a sucker for anything Richard Dawson has ever done. If this game let you play as him and flirt with each family's teenage daughters, it would be a masterpiece.
As it is, "Family Feud" is an excellent replication of the popular TV game show (sans Mr. Dawson). The music and graphics are perfect, and the questions — "Name a big animal with a short tail" — are excellent. Just make sure you spell everything properly.
Note: This was written by Victor Paul Alvarez, a Digital Crave contributor.
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