Your Favorite Classic-Novel-Turned-Movie Becomes a Video Game

Posted by Jessica S. Marquis

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Hollywood has relied heavily on the tried-and-true stories of yesteryear, and this selection of Winter/Spring film releases is no different. America will be reacquainted with some familiar faces and travel down well-paved storylines with the release of several classic novels on the big screen.

But why stop there with the reinterpretations? Haven’t there been some tremendous video games that have arisen out of cinema? These tie-ins have scampered along behind many a blockbuster film – some, like Goldeneye, for better, and some, like E.T. the Extraterrestrial, for worse.
So what would honor the great authors of the 19th- and 20th-century more than rolling the dice on their masterpieces and seeing what pixelated prize might result? Thus, we present our ideas for the video game tie-ins for five most recent classic-novels-turned-movies.

ANNA KARENINADue to Russian society’s double standards, you have lost your son. In this action game, your task is to journey through multiple game levels to regain him. Collect Delusions and Inadequacies along the way to make yourself more neurotically powerful. Build a bubble out of Super-Suspicions to block Count Vronsky from your heart. All this will lead you to the final encounter with the end boss, a steam locomotive. Ironically, you win by throwing yourself in front of it.
LES MISERABLESIn the grand spirit of fighting games, Les Miserables pits your favorite characters against one another to determine who is the champion. Relive the showdown between Jean Valjean and Javert, perhaps with a different and more bloodlustful outcome. Bring out the latent competition between Cosette and Eponine to see who really deserves Marius. Give Fantine a chance to punch destitution in the throat. And all this street-fighting takes place around the grand sites of 19th-century Paris, from the banks of the Seine to crudely erected barricades. Bonus: Unlock fatality modes that allow you to sing over your fallen opponent.
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFULGive your inner municipal authority a chance to express itself through this game of world-creation simulation. You will improve the magical Land of Oz from its current incarnation as a witches’ playground and work to earn the status of “Wizard”. Start with stocking up your hot air balloon with supplies, a fancy mustache, and a top hat, then use the balloon to survey the land. Beware the hot witches, replete with wiles and dry ice. Save up enough money to buy a horse of a different color or an even cooler top hat. Game can be played in black-and-white or Technicolor mode.
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEYIn this maze game, the same level is repeated in varying iterations. Somehow, it is expanded into nine hours of gameplay.
THE GREAT GATSBYJay Gatsby has his work cut out for him in this game!
Level 1: Fit all your expensive belongings into his West Egg mansion, making sure they don’t stack up as they come in through the doorways.
Level 2: Use the clues around town to design an invitation that will lure Daisy to your party.
Level 3: It’s an emotional dance-off at the hotel! Keep in step with each move Tom makes so you don’t lose your status.
Level 4: In this car race home, stay on course and try to avoid hitting pedestrians.
You know you’ve finished the game when the Life-Satisfaction Meters of all those around you have been depleted, including your own.

Jessica S. Marquis is the author of Raising Unicorns: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Running a Successful – and Magical! – Unicorn Farm (Adams Media). She blogs at Unicornomics and spends the rest of her time in Phoenix with her husband and daughter.