Top 10 book-to-game adaptations
While comics, movies and toys have been liberally adapted into videogames across the years, developers have rarely sought inspiration from beloved literary works. games™ assembles the top 10 literary adaptations ever… y’know, so you don’t have to.
10. War Of The Worlds
Original Author: H.G. Wells
Another work that has been adapted into several media, including quite a few videogames, debate rages over which is the best version of this alien invasion fantasy. One of our fondest favourites, however, is this primitive arcade game from Cinematronics. Cast against a cold, dark background, Cinematronics’ coin-op used stark vector graphics, as was the fashion at the time, to realise the novel’s Tripod war machines in pretty terrifying style for what is really just a small collection of coloured lines.
9. Dune II
Developer: Westwood Studios
Original Author: Frank Herbert
As the title reveals, this wasn’t the first game to adapt Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel into a game. That credit goes to Cryo Interactive’s military strategy game, but it’s Westwood’s attempt that remains the best and most important. Taking Dune’s warring feudal houses as its inspiration, Dune II reformed the story into a competitive top-down strategy game that, although not quite inventing the genre, defined and popularised many dominant aspects of the real time strategy and was a direct predecessor to Westwood’s own Command & Conquer just three years later. Its place in videogames history is assured.
Original Author: Shi Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong
One of the oldest and most important stories in Chinese history, The Water Margin has been adapted more than most novels could ever hope. Seven films and eight TV series are known to have taken events from the plot, which tells several smaller stories about the 108 Stars Of Destiny during China’s Song Dynasty between the years 960 and 1279. Konami’s videogame adaptation, which spawned a lengthy series of its own, takes the idea of these 108 heroes and forms an entire RPG around the quest to locate and recruit each of them. The sheer variety offered by this concept leant Suikoden an unparalleled feeling of depth in 1995 and the game remains a must-play even now.