friday the 13th video game

A video game based on the Friday the 13th movie series hits Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC today, offering gamers the chance to step into the boots of everyone’s favorite hockey-masked, redneck, undead serial killer with mommy issues. Or you can play as one of his victims. It just depends on whether you want to be the stalker or the stalkee.

Technically, the multiplayer component of the game arrives as a digital download today – the single player mode is expected a little later this year. However, we’re using this as an opportunity to talk about other great horror movies that would be a great fit for video games. Three of our resident horror buffs and avid video game players – Alex Riviello, Vanessa Bogart, and Jacob Hall – have teamed up to make some suggestions…and pitch what a video game version of some iconic (and not-so-iconic) horror films would look like.

cube movie


What It Is: Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 chiller is low-budget genre ingenuity at its finest. A group of strangers wake up in a bizarre maze of color-coded rooms. Some rooms are perfectly safe. Others are full of hidden booby traps. With death around every corner, this crew must work together to escape this bizarre (and never explained) prison.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: Here is a story that literally revolves around puzzle-solving and exploration. While the cube doesn’t offer up monsters, it does offer up instant death at a moment’s notice. What feels like a twisted game to the characters in the movie could actually be a twisted (and actually fun!) game for folks in the real world.

The Pitch: You start with a single character with a very narrow skill set. As you explore the cube, you can find other survivors, each with their own specific skills. The more people you have on your team, the more prepared you will be to suss out various traps and stay alive. However, different character types will clash, increasing paranoia and distrust amongst your crew. In addition to navigating the cube and solving puzzles to keep your team alive, you must also navigate the dynamics of your crew…and try to keep them from turning on each other. An overhead-style 2D game (think Don’t Starve) may be the best way to sell this concept. (Jacob Hall)



What It Is: This Dario Argento-produced, Lamberto Bava-directed splatterfest is maybe the best starting point into the madness that was 1980s Italian Horror. Demons is a film about a group of people who go to see a free movie late one night. Rather than enjoying a renovated theater and old-school props on display, they end up fighting off a horde of demons that were their former friends. (It never pays to go to the movies anymore.)

Why It Would Make a Great Game: It’s a movie that’s all about bashing demons. It’s bloody and violent and features about as many stereotypes as a 1980s video game would have had. Plus, there’s a sequence that has our heroes riding a motorcycle through the theater wielding swords which is almost too good to be true, and would make a perfect mini-game.

The Pitch: If they’re not going to make any more Splatterhouse games, someone has to at least try. This could be the new sequel we always wanted, and follow the events of the first film. Start in a movie theater, fight through the entire world, and perhaps end up in hell to finish things up. Imagine a beat’em up that sees you grabbing whatever you can find in the environment to bash waves upon waves upon demons. (Alex Riviello)

the descent

The Descent

What It Is: Neil Marshall’s 2005 horror gem is one of the scariest movies of the ’00s before the monsters show up. The film follows a group of women who go spelunking in a newly discovered cavern system, get hopelessly lost…and awaken something ancient and hungry. The first half of the movie, where the main threats are claustrophobia and lack of resources, is somehow more upsetting than the more traditional back half.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: A lot of games like to label themselves as “survival horror,” but The Descent could actually live up to that phrase. This story has plenty of combat, but it’s also a tale built around navigation and knowing when to fight and when to flee. It would fit in perfectly with horror games like Amnesia and Outlast, where fighting is secondary to running for your life.

The Pitch: A game of The Descent should be playable in about an hour. At the start of each run, you pick a character, each with her own stats and specialities. You are then dropped into randomly generated cavern and you must find your way to the exit. Some runs may emphasize the navigation of claustrophobic tunnels. Others may drop a horde of monsters on you almost immediately. Some runs may offer an easy solution. Some will be next-to-impossible. Much like the film itself, The Descent will be brutally unfair in its treatment of the player, forcing you to make do with what you have. And since each run is so brisk, you’ll keep coming back to try again. (Jacob Hall)

evildead2_ab_fs_us5 2

Evil Dead 

What It Is: An evil spirit is released from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in an abandoned cabin. While on a romantic getaway in the woods, the spirit turns Ash’s girlfriend Linda into a deadite, making Ash, his boomstick, and his chainsaw arm the only things standing between the world and the evil dead.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: The Evil Dead series, particularly, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, are campy, fun, bloody, scary, and an all-around-good-time take on the zombie genre. Featuring unique weaponry and a dashing hero, Evil Dead is a series you want to jump into.

The Pitch: To make an Evil Dead game properly, it has to feature evil possessed deadites, serious chainsaw action, and of course Ash’s scintillating commentary. What better way to capture this wacky horror jaunt than a rail shooter a la House of the Dead? Making great use of the underutilized Playstation move sticks, all you control is the direction your chainsaw is pointing and the trigger of your boomstick. The camera moves through the rooms of the cabin, the woods, S-Mart, and the castle, as the first person perspective takes you through each level of Ash’s fight against the damned. Ammo and fuel for the chainsaw can be picked up throughout the game by a simple point click…that is, if you have time, as the onslaught of the bloodthirsty dead are coming your way, and there is nowhere to hide. (Vanessa Bogart)

the faculty

The Faculty

What It Is: A mismatched group of teens discover that their school is being taken over by aliens, and they must band together to stop the invasion before it takes them and the rest of the world.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: Nuanced character interactions, teenage hormones, stealth tactics, and life and death decision making – The Faculty is a story that could have a million possible outcomes that all hang on the branching effects of seemingly small actions.

The Pitch: Making the decisions for not just one of the teens, but all of them, you will face the alien parasite invasion through the eyes of Casey, Delilah, Stokes, Zeke, Marybeth, and Stan in this Until Dawn-style decision-based game. Your main objective is make it to the end and defeat the alien queen. Any choice could lead to the death of any one of your group, and to survive, you will need all the help you can get, so choose wisely and use each character’s strengths to the advantage of the whole. Changing perspectives at key moments and splitting the characters up to find any method to fight the spread will keep the suspicion between the teens alive. The thinly veiled trust amongst the group slowly falls to pieces as you are never quite sure if one of your own is working against you. Limited methods of defense make stealth and strategy as your most important tools. (Vanessa Bogart)

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