TV Shows That Deserve Better Video Games

by Louis Garcia on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM

It’s easy to write off a video game based on a TV show as a company’s way to cash in on the property. While not all of the games in the list below do that, most of them do. That’s a shame.

Multiple video games exist for the five shows below – but we think they can do better. A lot better.  

Battlestar Galactica (2004 series)

What we have: Not much. A simplistic shooter was released on Xbox Live Arcade and then later pulled from the platform. A free-to-play browser-based MMO also exists in addition to a mobile game, and all focus on space combat.

What we need: Mass Effect wouldn’t be a bad series to emulate. Running around a beautifully recreated Battlestar Galactica as Lieutenant Starbuck would be fun. Just hearing her yell “frak” at people might be enough, but the game could also allow players to have meaningful interactions with the show’s complex world. Dogfights can take a cue from Star Fox and have little heads pop up when pilots relay messages, except it won’t be of Slippy Toad screaming for mercy as he proves his worthlessness as a pilot. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender

What we have: An assortment of terrible action games best left smoldering in the flames of one of the show’s fire benders. The games are so bad that people only remember the Xbox 360 version because it hands out 1,000 Gamerscore in less than five minutes for spamming the attack button. 

What we need: An open-world action-RPG centered on exploration with cel-shaded graphics akin to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. The world crafted in the show is easily one of the most interesting on television. There’d need to be a modest use of bending – no wave after wave of cheap enemies unless utilized in the show’s bigger set pieces. And sky bison Appa. For the uninitiated, Appa is a flying bison from the TV show. He helps the main characters travel the world and fight the evil fire nation. So basically he is too awesome to not be included.

American Gladiators

What we have: Perhaps the best Amiga, Sega Genesis, Super NES and Nintendo Entertainment System games ever created. That last sentence is an outright lie; the NES version barely resembled the TV show, but the other versions did – just not very well. 

What we need: This show screams Kinect game. As a downloadable title a new American Gladiators game could bring all the thrills of being a truly elite athlete right to your living room. Many of the show’s events like Joust or Hang Tough would make for a fun diversion on the Kinect. Sweaty, muscular gladiators are optional. 

[Next up: deadly fishing and aliens]

Deadliest Catch

What we have: Minigame collections with the highlight being some sort of basketball-like game where the crab is the ball.

What we need: The seas may be dangerous in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, but the perils faced in open water by fishermen plying their trade around Alaska can be even deadlier. Deadliest Catch deserves a game where weather, danger, and Sims-like people management is combined with the economy of fishing and fishing policy. It could be a great strategy title based on commercial fishing – something most people don’t get to experience beyond the comforts of their couch. 

Doctor Who

What we have: A number of games dating back to the ‘80s, and more recently the terribly buggy and uninteresting Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. For a show with an interesting premise about aliens, the story of the platformer does absolutely nothing with it. 

What we need: Telltale Games has done wonders with the Walking Dead franchise, and is now moving onto another comic book property: Fables. If the way it’s crafting those worlds is any indication, a Doctor Who game could be quite the adrenaline-pumping experience with the variety of aliens like Weeping Angels and Daleks constantly wreaking havoc.  

What do you think? Are we off the mark? Should Deadliest Catch be a racing game starring crabs? Would you put any of these on our top 10 unlikely television-based games list? Let us know in the comments below.