Video games based on TV shows – is it a trend?

Video games based on TV shows are nothing new, and in fact we can recall a long list of games that were based on popular TV game shows. Of course, that’s a slightly different category, but it’s altogether the same thing. So let’s try to differentiate.

Video games based on TV game shows

For video games based on TV game shows, this goes all the way back to early DOS era games. There were DOS games in the mid-1980s based on TV game shows like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, American Gladiators, The $100,000 Pyramid, and plenty of games based on Family Feud.

In fact, Family Feud still seems to be a popular choice for game spinoffs, probably thanks to the memorable hosting by Steve Harvey in recent years, as somebody developed a game called Google Feud. In Google Feud, you try to guess how Google would autocomplete search queries, using real Google API. You can play here, it’s worth a look in fact.

Now of course, there are modern video game adaptions of TV game shows as well. There were a lot of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?-based games for all kinds of platforms, from browser versions to official licensed versions for consoles like the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Popular game show Deal or No Deal has also been developed for platforms like PC, Nintendo DS, Wii, and others.

Even The Price is Right has received video game adaptations, and we thought only our grandmothers watched that show. In fact, while researching this topic, we found out that Bob Barker doesn’t even host The Price is Right anymore, it’s now hosted by Drew Carey. Minds boggled.

We could also talk about numerous video games that are based on licensed sportscasts. ABC Monday Night Football (American football) had its own video game adaption for the Super Nintendo, and of course, the FIFA series (the most watched soccer event around the world) has an extremely successful line of football games, released annually by EA.

Video games based on television series

We could probably fill this entire article with just games based on television game shows, but of course, we should also talk about video games that are based on television series. And of those, there are plenty – tons, in fact.

Popular children’s television network Nickelodeon has had more than a handful of its shows turned into video games for children, from classics like Rugrats, Spongebob Squarepants, and The Fairly Oddparents. In fact, it was rumoured that game developers THQ Nordic are planning to remaster a bunch of classic Nickelodeon games for modern consoles.

Children’s television shows aren’t the only TV shows to be adapted into video games either, as there have been plenty of “adult” shows (not in the X-rated adult meaning) as well. Of course there have been quite a handful of games based on The Simpsons over the years, as well as numerous South Park and Family Guy titles, which are all technically cartoons for an older audience.

It’s not only cartoons for adults that get adapted either, as numerous live-action television series have video game versions. TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, and other award-winning TV series have graced consoles or PC.

There have been numerous Game of Thrones video game adaptations, and at some point there was a fully-fledged MMORPG in the works titled Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms.

Unfortunately, development fell through, and instead we were given a decidedly-not MMORPG in the form of Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming, a point-and-click strategy game. Ironic, because it’s kind of like how we’ve never received The Winds of Winter, and were given a lackluster ending to the television series.

Leave a Comment