Malcolm in the Middle returns … in an 8-bit browser game

Malcolm in the Middle video game
Alec Robbins
In its seven-season run, Malcom in the Middle was nominated for 33 Emmy Awards, taking home seven wins. The show also won a Grammy and the prestigious Peabody Award. The first season was the sole DVD release in the U.S., prompting complaints and petitions. Game designer Alec Robbins has created a new game to help appease the fans, by allowing players to experience Malcolm’s life firsthand.

The simple side-scroller captures the essence of middle child Malcom’s daily life. Sandwiched between two of his brothers (Francis does not make an appearance, though he is mentioned by Dewey) Malcolm must avoid making contact with either one. Up front, Reese can’t make up his mind whether to speed up, slow down, or stop altogether. Trailing behind Malcolm is Dewey, who has his own erratic walking patterns. You must guide Malcolm with the left and right arrow keys, speeding up or slowing down based on his brothers’ actions.

Related: A Boy and His Blob are back

As you move along, the three boys bring up references to the show, including their elder brother Francis, Malcolm’s best friend Stevie, and their mean mother. The action is accompanied by the show’s theme song, reduced to a looped midi. The theme’s lyrics are echoed in the death screen – when you go down, and are asked to continue, you can select “Yes,” “No,” “Maybe,” “I don’t know,” or “Can you repeat the question?”

The game’s repetitive nature hearkens back to the show’s presentation of life in suburbia. As you progress, however, things get a little strange. When you pass the 150,000 mark, the darkening sky turns red and the music grows discordant. The boys’ light chatter descends into the unpleasant, with one stating that “Television was our prison.” Eventually, they beg you to stop playing.

Malcolm in the Middle game grows dark

The last episode of Malcolm in the Middle aired in 2006, but licensing problems with the show’s music have delayed home releases of the show in the U.S. It was eventually added to Netflix, and binge watching ensued. In fact, Robbins created the game in two days during his own Malcolm binge.


‘Tetris Effect’ makes the undying classic feel new again

Tetris is a game that everyone knows. The classic puzzler has appeared on just about every device since 1984. With music and visual flourishes, Tetris Effect remarkably manages to elevate the iconic game to new heights.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

‘Spyro Reignited Trilogy’ proves nostalgia only goes so far

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a faithful and beatiful remaster of the PlayStation classics, but its dedication to retaining the original experience ultimately hinders the experience. Spyro was great in the late-'90s, but it hasn't aged well.

Microsoft is reportedly planning an Xbox One without a disc drive for 2019

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a new Xbox One model without a disc drive in 2019. The console will be significantly cheaper than other Xbox One systems, including the Xbox One S.

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.

Stock up on Switch accessories this week with these awesome Black Friday deals

Black Friday is right around the corner, and it's the perfect time to stock up on accessories for your Nintendo Switch. Here are the best Switch accessory deals on Black Friday, from controllers to cases and more.
Product Review

Make friends. To survive the wasteland of 'Fallout 76,' you're gonna need 'em

Fallout 76 brings the nuclear wasteland online and invites you to hop in with your friends. It’s fun, and a new direction for the Fallout franchise, but it’s not without its faults.

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ director sets record straight on game’s progress

Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura clarified some information about the game's progress. There were earlier reports that the RPG was put on hold in favor of Kingdom Hearts III, but that is apparently not the case.

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…

‘Blockchain gaming’ startup gets $16 million in Series A funding

A gaming startup, Mythical Games, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to work on their concept of blockchain gaming. The aim is for the startup to develop games for the PC, console, and mobile markets.