I have played many games based on a film or TV franchise including Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lost, Buffy and more. I would even consider some of them to be amongst my favourite Xbox 1.0 games.
Games directly based on films or shows have to be fairly linear to not stray too far from the canon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun. For example I quite enjoyed the game based on Star Wars Episode III when it was released back in 2005. It was nothing groundbreaking and extremely linear, but still fun at the time. Just like the hack ‘n slash Lord of the Rings games released as movie tie-ins. Nothing groundbreaking, but nevertheless fun at the time.
Today, Slitherine Software [can't say I've heard of them before, but the name is rather awesome!] announced their latest title – The Tudors.
The Tudors is an intriguing and exciting adventure game based on Season 1 of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning television series which air on Showtime in the US. Follow in the footsteps of King Henry VIII at the beginning of his epic 40-year reign or choose the path of Anne Boleyn, and realize your dream to become Queen of England. As the story unfolds, you will meet over 20 characters from the series, including Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Sir Thomas More and roam the corridors and staterooms of the Palace of Whitehall, the main residence of the King.
Pretty much everyone should be aware of the history regarding the Tudors; Henry VIII and his six wives with four annulled marriages, two beheaded wives after annulment, one dead wife and another one lucky enough to outlive him. Whilst the TV show has taken many liberties, it is still quite correct with the major events and I can’t see anything the game can innovate there. So what is the point?
Going back to games I have played I remember being very put off when Ubisoft first announced Lost: Via Domus thinking that a game based on a continuity heavy show with all events tied in can’t have anything worth playing as surely the player would effectively just mirror the episodes of the show. However, the game strays from the show’s canon and invents a new character that crashed with the other survivors and interacts with some of them during the course of the game. Overall I very much enjoyed the game. Exploring the island was fun, the mini games decent and it had many things I love about the show from flashbacks to visions and a gripping story.
The Tudors game has two playable characters, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn which, granted, appears to add a bit of versatility to the game, however, it still sounds to me like it’s basically an interactive video with clicking through line after line of dialogue to eventually get to the end.
Do we need a game like that? Most likely not.
I am and always will be sticking to the idea that more people should play games. Whilst I roll my eyes at the mere mention of Farmville, I love the idea it has so many players, especially people that don’t normally game which I’m sure many gamers will agree that it’s only downhill from there!
Gaming isn’t a mainstream past time, most people don’t have access to a high end PC or consoles and it is a foreign concept to them meaning gaming has to be explained to them. [...]
It is our [the gamers] responsibility to educate others about our hobby, just like it is the responsibility of many game companies.
FarmVille does that and if The Tudors has a similar effect I’ll be the first in line to welcome it with open arms. Does that mean I want to see more games like it? No, but it will do for now.
Note: This post is entirely based on the press release, trailer video and screenshots linked above. I have not played the game and most likely won’t as I don’t own an iPhone and the game is currently only available on the US and Canadian app stores. However, I would love to hear some feedback about the game though, even if it proves me wrong! If you have a spare $1.99, the direct download link is here and please don’t forget to come back to post a comment with your impressions!