The fate of NBC’s cult-favorite sitcom Community may be up in the air, but fans can console themselves with fact that Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne, the game in which most of season three’s “Digital Estate Planning” episode is set, is being recreated by devoted fans as an actual, playable game.
In the original episode, the gang played an impossibly elaborate game designed by Pierce’s bitter, racist father (and administered by guest star Giancarlo Esposito) as a test to earn his inheritance. The episode was chock full of lovingly specific references to video games from classics like The Legend of Zelda II, Myst and Mega Man to deeper cuts such as Battletoads and Blackthorne. It also contained nods to contemporary gaming trends, such as mining and a crafting system.
Soon after the episode aired, Redditor Derferman built and shared the foundation of a playable version. Two years of steady work later, the now-thriving open source team working on the game has released version 0.9.0 and it looks fantastic. In addition to faithfully recreating the content of the game itself, fans have also filled it with in-jokes and references to the rest of the series, such as alternate avatars based on the show’s Halloween and genre-parody episodes.