A long, long time ago in the era of the Nintendo Game Boy, whenever things got culturally popular, the way you declared that it’s officially awesome is if it had its own video game adaptation. Since the introduction of third generation gaming consoles, this idea no long applied. Pop culture games usually ended up on Facebook, but not a lot of people liked to play them because of the annoying permission settings that Facebook wants to automatically post game updates on your wall.
But thanks to YouTube, pop culture-inspired games are relevant again. Such is the case with this retro, 8-bit version of AMC’s Mad Men, a Choose Your Own Adventure type game that takes place entirely on YouTube. Users get an introduction of a scene regarding the ever-so-sauve Don Draper (who still manages to look great in less megapixels) feeling a little down on his confidence, creative, and inner peace levels. At the end of the short clip, users have the option of selecting choices that takes them to another video to indicate how their picks pan out. Your goal is to boost as many of the three criteria as possible to make Don feel secure about being the successful advertising director we all know and love.
There are three alternate endings for Mad Men: The Game that involve a total of 40 videos. And no, you cannot cheat by looking at all the user’s uploaded videos; They are hidden so players have to get linked out from each scene to uncover what happens when you make different decisions as Don.
The dialogues on during the game are also quite hilarious. Clearly the makers of this game, The Fine Brothers, were trying to poke fun at some of the ludicrous things that go on in this show. In the intro scene, the older character of Roger Sterling comes in for a chat with Don, encourages and congratulates him on drinking more, worries about their livers now that the 21st century society looks down upon alcoholism, and comments about how he still gets the hottest ladies in bed even though he’s “old and gray.”
The 8-bit introduction sequence is rather amazing as well. Even the opening music, RJD2’s “A Beautiful Mine,” got translated to a retro, chiptune edition which makes the song cooler than it already was. We’ve seen other Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube games from The Fine Bros in the past, including a parody of Lindsay Lohan when she was about to get sentenced to jail, but this Mad Men edition truly takes the cake for being well made, original, and really entertaining. It’s also in great timing, since Mad Men is slated to return to AMC this Sunday, March 25 after a huge hiatus.
Though still, even if we make it as Don Draper in this era of advertisement, it still kind of sucks we will never get to be surrounded by beautiful people and look as good as Don does feeling insecure.