What happens when you make a video game based on a quality, action-packed blockbuster film? Statistically speaking, it’s going to be terrible. There’s a dozen different reasons for this, but the end result is always the same: games based on movies are almost universally terrible. But what if you were to make a game based on a film that isn’t exactly as wonderful as the one mentioned above? A film so utterly terrible that its only real claim to fame was that one time it was endlessly mocked by a fictional spaceman and his posse of sarcastic robot puppets? A movie widely considered the worst film of all time?
If the work of Freak Zone Games is any indication, it might just be an awesome slice of retro gaming reminiscent of the top titles of the era.
At the bottom of this piece you will find a nearly three minute long trailer for Manos: The Hands Of Fate, an iOS game due for release on July 26 and based on the utterly abysmal, amateurish 1966 movie of the same name. Those of you who’ve seen Manos — presumably on Mystery Science Theater 3000, because there’s not one of you who caught this thing in theaters — are likely wondering how the group managed to create an entertaining gaming experience from the barely coherent film. Apparently the key ingredient is “throw out everything but the characters and the aesthetic and build a game similar to the NES’ DuckTales or the first Castlevania.”
The game seems pretty straightforward. You play as Michael, walking through improved recreations of areas seen in the film, and shooting anything that moves. There are the requisite weapon power-ups, boss fights and stupid flying eyeballs that travel in a wave pattern just like Castlevania’s Medusa Heads. The plot is somewhat simplified from the film, but it still manages to tell the same story:
Lost on their vacation, Mike and his family have wandered the desert trying to find a place to stay, only to wind up in the haunted Valley Lodge. Maintained by Torgo, an unusual man/satyr who “takes care of the place while The Master is away”, the hotel is swimming with paranormal activity which Mike has to brave through to find his now missing family. Who is The Master, and what does he want with Mike’s family? Armed with his trusty revolver, Mike will have to wander the haunted halls, venture out into the desert, uncover a dark temple and battle the forces of darkness to find out!
Sounds like pretty typical NES shooter stuff when you put it that way, no?
For those of you suddenly interested by this game, have a look at the FreakZone Games official Tumblr. It’s kind of a mess, but it includes an interesting question and answer session with the game’s creators, as well as word that Manos: The Hands Of Fate will hit the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch on July 26. There’s no set price for the game as far as we can tell, so it seems that we’ll have to wait until Thursday to discover how much this thing will set us back.