Since the birth of gaming, movie ties-in have been in plentiful supply. One of the earliest and most famous was the E.T. video game for Atari. It was so bad many cartridges ended up in a landfill site in the desert, and it helped bring the industry to an economic crash. Yet it was not the first movie tie-in (That goes to the arcade title Death Race in 1972) and certainly did not set the standard. Some movie tie-in games have been downright awesome.
As the boundaries of media platforms blur, the tie-in is becoming a rare occurrence. According to the NME, fewer console games are being based on movie franchises with each year’s calendar. Yet in mobile gaming, the scene is alive and kicking.
Jurassic World: The Game
According to Mental Floss, the combined screen time of all the dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park movie totaled just six minutes. This is astounding when you consider it birthed a huge franchise, which recently culminated in the Jurassic World reboot.
Inevitably, its own game would follow as director Steven Spielberg is no stranger to a gaming crossover. From Indiana Jones to Jaws, most of his blockbuster movies have several titles. Even cult favorite The Goonies has its own game on Buzz Bingo and shows how 80s nostalgia can be reinvented into a modern form for fans to play. We see this a lot in the slots world with many classic movies being revamped, and the slot using imagery and noises to heighten the experience.
Jurassic World involves building a theme park, as you would in a standard city builder. What makes it different is that as you progress, you can accumulate more dinosaurs, bringing in more revenue to your park. It has all the classic monsters you would expect from the movies from Velociraptors to the T-Rex, along with new hybrid cross breeds. Can you build a great new park, being successful where every other attempt has failed?
Alien was a triumph of cinema. It reinvented two genres, splicing sci-fi with horror in a tense, atmospheric thriller. Few movies or games have ever been able to recreate this, with even the follow-up movie opting for all-out action instead of the creepy psychology of the former episode. One title that has come the closest is a mobile game.
This endeavor is a follow-on from the 2014 Alien: Isolation, also a game worthy of your attention. The title suggests it all, as you attempt to remain undetected while escaping a huge spacecraft. Puzzles are aplenty as you open and close doors and stay quiet enough to remain undetected. Tension increases with including a vintage computer interface that shows when a xenomorph is getting closer to your party.
Seven missions are available in total, all of which place you in some fairly heavy moral dilemmas. If any criticism can be leveled at the title, it is that the alien AI needs some work. However, you will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging mobile game.
Terminator Genisys: Future War
Terminator Genisys: Future War offers a fresh take on the franchise, using an MMO strategy format instead of the tried and tested route involving placing you in the shoes of Arnie and letting you shoot everything in sight. Set in the post-apocalyptic world of the Genisys movie, you can choose to join the human resistance or the robot hordes of Skynet.
Progression is done extremely well in this game. Whichever side you choose, work through skill and tech trees to improve your forces. Once your base is going, you can join the world map collecting more resources and gaining strategic influence.