In the world of literature and comic books, game developers have found many stories ripe for re-imagination as video games. As the rise in popularity of audiobooks makes literature more accessible to a wider audience, increasingly game developers are looking for great material that people are familiar with and want to interact with. Below are two of the more successful adaptations to date.
The Walking Dead
This post-apocalyptic zombie comic series was created by Robert Kirkman in 2003 and ran for 193 issues. The protagonist is police officer Rick Grimes, who becomes the leader of a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse. As well as the popular AMC television show and its spinoffs, Telltale Games and Skybound Games also developed the graphic adventure video game series.
The game was widely successful and spawned several seasons available on PC, game consoles, and mobile devices. The game lets the player choose their own adventure, meaning they make dialogue choices and decisions that have consequences on the story. This style of game makes for a unique gaming experience beloved by fans of the comic book.
Others have seen the possibilities in creating games based on surviving these zombie attacks. For example, visiting an online casino in the UK shows that there is now a The Walking Dead online slot game. Playtech developed this popular casino game by using recognizable images from the ANC show, alongside modern graphics and a variety of different features. It’s another popular addition spawned from the comic books that shows novel adaptations have no limits.
The Witcher is a series of novels and short stories by author Andrzej Sapkowski. The principal character is Geralt of Rivia who is employed in a fantasy realm as a Witcher, someone with supernatural abilities that is able to vanquish dangerous beasts and monsters. Similar to The Walking Dead, a TV show has been produced and proved wildly popular with viewers. The Witcher TV show is available on Netflix and stars Henry Cavill as the lead character. The Witcher season two premiered on December 17, 2021, and is expected to be one of the most-watched series of the year.
The video game of the same name is a series of fantasy action role-playing games developed by CD Projekt RED. The third iteration of the game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was particularly acclaimed by critics and fans and won Game of the Year in 2015. The game earned high praise for its expansive open world, characters, combat, and RPG gameplay. Its lack of black-and-white morality within the game also marks it out as a memorable experience for gamers.
A card game called Gwent features in the game, and it proved so popular that a spin-off game Gwent: The Witcher Card Game was developed. The card game involves building a deck of cards featuring characters from the series and using them strategically to defeat your opponent. Although a complicated game comprising of six different factions that offer different play styles, it has a loyal fanbase and the continuing popularity of the TV show should ensure it remains one of the leading turn-based card games out there.
Countless successful books have become triumphant movies, but there remain just a handful of video games adapted from the written word. There is great potential in doing so, not only because the story and characters already have a fan base, but also because great novels will have a solid plot to work from, with trials and tribulations that players can work through in a game.
The two games presented here are examples of a growing list of games based on or inspired by books and comic books. Given the success of these titles, it seems probable that your next favorite game will also be adapted from a book.