Many cartoon intellectual properties have had game tie-ins over the years. Some were OK; and some were, shall we say, not realised in the most engaging or commercially successful ways possible. And yet, there still remain many worthwhile properties yet to be used to establish a franchise.
So here we stand at a crossroads of opportunity: a time when video games can be created that are immensely satisfying in terms of graphics, sound, and story; and yet, a time when games sometimes seem to suffer from a paucity of compelling examinations of the moral conundrums that heroes should be going through in order to prove that they deserve the moniker.
Games that, say, revisit the idealism of childhood and focus it through the lens of maturity to create something both old and new; and something, hopefully, that is more compelling than the original.
Here, for your consideration, are 10 such properties that could arguably be the front runners for such a revisitation.
10. Mysterious Cities Of Gold
Screening in 1982-3 in Japan and in the late 80′s in the U.S., if there’s one cartoon that seems to hold a special place in everyone’s hearts, it’s this one. And, in reflection, what’s not to like? Three kids share friendship and adventure across South America, and while following personal quests discover great secrets left behind by ancient civilisations long destroyed. It’s set in 1532, and so a student of history might recognise that it’s a bit of a rich time for the area the series is set in; Peru was in a state of civil war, and the conquistador Pizarro turned up to conquer the Inca almost at the same time. Against this heady cultural backdrop, the children play out their individual and intertwined stories, while being pursued by greedy adults seeking brutish goals.
Long time fans might be pleased to hear that 25 years on, three new seasons of the series are planned – with the first apparently ready to air at the time of writing. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a quality story tie-in!
How This Could Work:
With proper treatment, it’s a little hard to see how this wouldn’t work. There are ready-given solutions to earnable/unlockable transport (the Solaris and the Golden Condor) which can also be used as plot elements. There are 6 more Cities of Gold to discover. Esteban still hasn’t found his father. And, perhaps most importantly, what actually happens if even one of the Cities, which were built long ago to avert a catastrophic war, is properly activated without mishap or interference?
The children all have different backgrounds, goals, and specialities. An all-ages game that includes conflict resolution, exploration and puzzle solving incorporating control of multiple characters – or better yet, with multiplayer game elements – seems like an obvious direction. The major difficulty may well be in providing moments of danger and anticipation that are believable within the story, yet won’t scare off the playing audience.
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This article was first posted on April 11, 2013