Movies and TV Shows That Bizarrely Produced Games

The existence of the movie or TV show tie-in is a wonderful thing and has been a gaming trend for a long time now. When done right, the tie-in allows gamers to enter the universe of their favourite movie or TV show and spend more time with the characters they’ve grown to love. A good tie-in supplements the source material and can be effective in building anticipation of a movie sequel or new season of the show.

There have been some superb movie tie-ins and while GoldenEye 007 is still remembered fondly by many, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is entertaining many gamers right now. Many other great tie-ins could be recommended, but there are also some surprising ones where the source material doesn’t really seem to be optimal content for the development of a game. We’re not saying these games are not worth your time, quite the contrary, it’s just that their existence is simply unexpected.

Anna Van Helsing Monster Huntress

The 2004 movie Van Helsing was an action-packed gothic horror film starring Hugh Jackman as Dutch monster hunter Van Helsing and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious. The movie didn’t receive great reviews, but people still find it a good watch today. Creating a casino slot based on the Van Helsing movie was a shrewd move by game developers Rabcat as there are plenty of monstrous characters, the horror theme is popular with slot players, and the developers had some fun with the sound effects and music. Yet, the character of Anna Van Helsing is a fabrication and doesn’t appear in the movie. Anna Valerious is one of the main characters and love interests in the Van Helsing movie and therefore is in no way related to Van Helsing.

Is creating a distant relative of the main character who also happens to be a monster hunter some cunning way of avoiding having to pay out for exclusive rights? If so, it’s surprising that we don’t see this technique used more often. It’s possible that Anna Van Helsing was going to make an appearance as part of Universal’s Dark Universe attempt to create a franchise of connected classic movie monsters, but that plan appears doomed. Whatever the origins of the game, it should satisfy fans of the movie, with plenty of different wild symbols, free spin opportunities and Dracula’s Banishment feature.

Reservoir Dogs

It seems a dangerous pursuit in trying to develop a game that supplements a cult classic such as Quentin Tarantino’s crime-thriller Reservoir Dogs. In the movie, we witness a number of moments pre and post a diamond heist that goes horribly wrong and this game essentially tries to fill in the gaps. As a third-person shooter game with heavy violence, players had the option of acting professionally and not flipping out.

The game received mixed reviews but was largely a disappointment. Although, the concept was deemed valid enough to produce another title, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days which was less linked to the movie, but also failed to garner positive reviews. There aren’t any games based on Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown or Inglourious Basterds and it seems unlikely that there ever will be. Tarantino movies are dialogue-heavy and the characters aren’t prime material for a game protagonist. Out of all his movies, Kill Bill seemingly has the greatest potential for a terrific game and the fact that one hasn’t materialised suggests Tarantino himself is opposed to his stories becoming games.

The Office

NBC’s The Office has proved to be one of the most popular shows of the 2000s and many people find comfort in re-watching the nine seasons of the show via a streaming service. The mockumentary sitcom, developed from the UK version by the same name by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, allowed viewers to enter the world of everyday office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Fans fell in love with regular characters Michael Scott, Jim, Dwight, Pam and many others. Yet, the show and characters don’t lend themselves to a typical tie-in game.

The premise of The Office: Somehow We Manage is based on a plot point from the series and players are asked to save the Scranton branch from downsizing by selling paper. It’s a management game featuring some memorable comic moments from the series. It’s an odd basis for a game, but for fans of the show who have re-watched the series multiple times, it’s another entertaining way to spend some time with these interesting characters and indulges in a little nostalgia.

Not your usual tie-ins and titles that are unlikely to be on any game of the year list, but for some, a fun chance to play something a little different. A few honourable mentions, as the people who greenlit a video game based on the 1992 comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes, White Men Can’t Jump deserve a mention here. That gem was released on the short-lived Atari Jaguar, featured horrendous graphics and animation and didn’t even provide gamers with the option of playing as Harrelson or Snipes.

Also worthy of recognition is the short-lived Mean Girls game based on the hit movie of the same name and starring Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Lohan, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried. The puzzle dud was such a disappointment, the planned American release was cancelled and Paramount Pictures had equally unsuccessful launches for both the Alicia Silverstone hit movie Clueless and 1986 American teen romantic comedy-drama Pretty in Pink.

It seems anything can be used to generate a spin-off game, but some things are kept away from game developers and should just be enjoyed on the big or small screen.

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