Total Recall is a classic movie, possibly one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best films… well, it is certainly up there with Terminator 1 and 2, and Conan, Predator, Commando, The Running Man, Kindergarten Cop, and Twins… fine. I’m a fan and I don’t care who knows it. Anyway, Total Recall is a beloved film with a huge cult following. Imagine my surprise when I hear it is finally getting a board game. Imagine my surprise when I heard it would be based on the game Good Cop Bad Cop, a 4-8 player social deduction game that plays within 20 minutes. The first surprise was, “Hell yeah!” while the second surprise was more like “What the?” Don’t get me wrong, I like Good Cop Bad Cop, it’s a splendid game and I even have a copy in my collection. Yet I think because of my love for the movie I was hoping for something a bit meatier with a richer experience. Let me say, however, that I have watched reviews and checked out the Kickstarter and it looks like a great update to Good Cop Bad Cop. Despite this, I do wonder if there will be a designer that will pick up the IP and make a complete gaming sci-fi experience. I will be putting my vote in now for Eric Lang to adapt this IP. Please, Eric, we know you can do it!
I love Science fiction movies and seeing the Kickstarter for Total Recall: The Official Tabletop Game got me thinking about what other movies I would like to see adapted and how. So in the interest of simple nerd make-believe, I am offering you my choices for great movies to adapt and what game engines I would suggest could go with them. One or two of these already have games for them, but I thought they needed updating.
The Matrix: This movie was a defining genre movie for the time. As soon as it hit theatres in 1999 nearly every other action film started using bullet time. It was also a great exploration through various sociological and philosophical principles speculated through a possible dystopian lens. But forget all that, I want to focus on the theme of the team trying to move through the Matrix without drawing attention to themselves. That’s why I think The Matrix would make a great game in the theme of Spector Ops. You could have espionage while trying to avoid different agents with a bunch of cool powers and tech to survive impossible fights.
Dread: Not Judge Dread, the now almost comical 1995 adaptation by Sylvester Stallone, but the Karl Urban 2012 movie. The movie was a pleasant surprise for me. I really enjoyed the claustrophobic feel mixed with graphic violence. This is essentially a movie about being in the world’s crappiest cage fight. I want to keep that feel of wave after wave of baddies with occasional side missions. That’s why I think Dread would be a great IP for the Legendary Card Game System. You build up a list of weapons, abilities and support and take down waves of criminals strengthened by Slo-mo.
Mad Max Now if you are a fan of Fury Road or the original I love the super scrap heaps these people drive around. It’s a heavy metal Daytona style event and I think the perfect game to capture this is Steampunk Rally. Being able to race cars that have been scraped together using odds and ends just pulls the theme together well (at least in my mind it does!). Steampunk Rally captures that desperation to make your vehicle go in a world with minimal and not always reliable parts.
Starship Troopers One of the great sci-fi political films by director Paul Verhoeven. This 1998 action packed adventure has bugs. Lots of bugs. Bugs to shoot, bugs to squish, and a master brain bug to hunt down and destroy. I need a game that captures the waves of bugs swarming the board trapping in our heroes. What games do this better than the Zombicide series? This also means there will be a great collection of mini’s to go with this. Can you imagine CMON making a swarm of killer bugs for this game? It would be visually spectacular while delivering the essential “against overwhelming odds” feel.
Avatar Let me be clear here. I was part of the minority that hated this film and do not look forward to sequels. Yet there is an undeniable set up here that needs to be considered for a game. You have a giant tree in need of protecting and a large number of underpowered blue warriors willing to defend said tree. What other game could represent this better than a good tower defence game like Castle Panic? They have already been developing their universe with Zombie Panic and Star Trek Panic and I think Avatar would be a great addition to the franchise.
I hope that gets you dreaming big about what could be. Science fiction is without a doubt my favourite genre of storytelling and I look forward to seeing what IP’s will next be made into a board game.