Telltale Games knows what they’re doing; over the course of seven years, they’ve transformed from a low-budget virtual Texas Hold ‘Em developer to the company responsible for the newest video game adaptations of blockbuster franchises like Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. And with titles based on both The Walking Dead and Fables coming in the near future, we’re all wondering what popular property Telltale will get their hooks into next. Lucky for Telltale, we have a few ideas of our own they should definitely think about picking up on — though 1UP is in no way responsible if any of the following brainstorms drive Telltale into intractable bankruptcy. Just covering our bases, here.
With Back to the Future, Telltale proved they had the skills to handle a beloved ’80s franchise with extreme respect for the original source material — so why not go for another Reagan-era feelgood romp? Granted, things seemed pretty wrapped up by the end of The Goonies — what with the saving of The Goondocks and Sloth and Chunk’s pending marriage and all — but surely other evil land developers must be threatening to foreclose on properties adjacent to treasure-filled pirate caves? It’s easy to envision future adventures of The Goonies involving each plucky child-gang member overcoming obstacles using their distinct abilities; after all, who hasn’t dreamed of living out their child obesity fantasies by performing a digital Truffle Shuffle? If anything, a new Goonies game would at least put food on Corey Feldman’s undoubtedly foodless table.
The mind reels after the realization that MacGyver’s seven seasons and 139 episodes (not to mention two quality made-for-TV movies) didn’t spawn a single video game — hell, the guy solves every one of his problems using convoluted adventure game logic! Telltale could easily correct this issue by creating further adventures for our mulleted hero, though the improbability of MacGyver’s usual predicaments would inevitably cause the servers of GameFAQs to explode due to the sheer amount of traffic sent their way. Still, now that society operates through several impermeable layers of irony, the return of Richard Dean Anderson’s inventive crime-solver would be welcomed with the same affection we now give hideous clothing and music. Telltale, you have an untapped hipster audience just waiting to give you their parents’ money.
Beavis and Butt-Head
Old-school PC fans know that Beavis and Butt-Head are no strangers to the adventure game racket; 1995′s Virtual Stupidity nearly reached the heights of LucasArts’ greatest hits, and featured authentic animated cutscenes and voice work by the show’s cast. Now that MTV’s once-controversial twosome is returning for new episodes this year, there’s never been a better time for Telltale to hitch a ride on the Beavis and Butt-Head gravy train. It’s possible that adults of the 2010s may be far too jaded to find the ongoing adventures of inbred Texas teens as enjoyable as we did in the 90s, but casual swearing and random property destruction never go out of style. Just ask today’s youth, who are probably cursing and breaking stuff in a vacant lot at this very moment — why not give them a virtual outlet for their destructive appetites?
Raymond Chandler’s Detective Stories
2009 saw the DS adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely, though it only came out in Japan under the mouthful of a title Chou Meisaku Suiri Adventure DS: Raymond Chandler Gensaku – Saraba Ai Shiki Onna Yo . With the recent resurgence in popularity of both film noir and pulp detective fiction thanks to L.A. Noire, it’s high time to cash in on this craze — and unlike Team Bondi, Telltale probably won’t destroy the lives several programmers during the production of their game. Libelous accusations aside, Chandler’s work deserves better than to simply serve as inspiration for others, and the investigatory nature of his books seem like the perfect fit for the inventory and dialogue-focused style of Telltale. Plus, Chandler’s novels taught a nation of readers that it’s never a bad time for whisky, which is a lesson that should be spread to the gaming world.
With Maniac Mansion as one of the few beloved LucasArts franchises that hasn’t been revisited by Telltale, this is less as question of if as it is when. Okay, it could be a bit presumptuous to think that Telltale would naturally produce a new installment in the series that broke new ground in story-based gaming, but with one half of Day of the Tentacle’s design team on their staff — the other half being Double Fine’s Tim Schafer — how hard could it be? Both the original and its sequel have been conspicuously missing from online marketplaces, which could point to future projects if you happen to be an insanely optimistic person with a tenuous grip on reality. But in a world of samey games, it’d be refreshing to take a trip back to the series that taught us valuable lessons about hamster safety and tentacle mating habits.