Across the board, well-loved parts of pop culture have a way of sprouting up in unexpected places. Google Harry Potter memes and you will find such a range of weird and wonderful images that you would need a Pensieve to store them all.
Just so, games become films and films become games. Books give rise to Monopoly editions and Monopoly editions give rise to books – well, not quite yet. However, it would be accurate to say that, in general, pop culture is one big cross-pollinating mess of creativity, with characters, stories, and concepts being constantly re-imagined.
However, there is such a thing as a bad sequel, and not every resurrection or reinterpretation is justified; anyone who has seen Suicide Squad has learned this the hard way. With this is mind, we look at three slot games inspired by pop culture icons: it’s time to sort the jackpots from the not-so-royal flushes.
Nightmare on Elm Street
This classic tale of sinister suburbia is something straight out of your worst nightmares. Freddy Krueger, a denizen of the world of dreams, stalks a group of teenagers through their waking and sleeping lives to a final and bloody confrontation.
The game achieves a similar tone to the film, and the sense of disquiet is palpable. The visuals are highly detailed and evocative, with that slight grainy quality which is the calling card of video game horror titles such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil.
The game is featured on 888casino’s site, which includes a range of visually impressive slot games based on pop culture icons. Players can get free spins and choose slots based on the Big Lebowski, Ghost in the Shell, South Park or even rock band Kiss – basically whatever rocks your boat is probably available on the 888casino site. What sets the adaptation of Nightmare on Elm Street apart however is the sound design, which is sparse and gloomy except for the odd shriek or screech: highly unsettling.
The Simpsons need no explanation; they are, perhaps excluding the Kardashians, the best-known American family of all time – perhaps because, unlike Family Guy’s Griffon family or, again, the Kardashians, the Simpsons are well-drawn and 3-dimensional characters, emotionally, that is.
The game, obviously, cannot quite deliver the same quality of laughs or narrative arc, but it plays up to its fans in some very smart ways. One mini-game sees the player catching crumbs from Homer’s donut, while elsewhere, references to specific episodes and running jokes abound. Overall, this re-imagining does a great job of working Simpsons’ lore into its gameplay mechanics, which makes for a rewarding experience.
While it’s generally felt that The Simpsons is superior to Family Guy – this due to the latter’s coarser, less heart-felt approach – the game adaptation may succeed where the television series did not. Incorporating long sections of footage from the TV show, the Family Guy slot game combines narrative and gameplay in a novel and interesting way, a style sure to appease the show’s die-hard fans.
The success or failure of a game adaptation, or any adaptation for that matter, comes down to whether the new version is able to take what made the original great, and then transfer that kernel of quality across genre, medium or format. When this is achieved, we are given a new incarnation of a beloved pop culture icon, and the results can be stupendous.