A few weeks back, Simon’s interview with Richard Morgan – in which he said he’d rather read a book than play on his smartphone – got me thinking: what if he could do both? Or rather, what if he could play games made from books on his smartphone? Take that, literature! Here are some ideas I’ve come up with – mostly because I’ve finished playing Asura’s Wrath and I’m waiting for someone to come round and do the grouting. (Seriously.)
Gravity’s Rainbow – iOS, Android
Forget the sexual metaphors and ambiguous reflections of windmills: on a touchscreen, Gravity’s Rainbow is basically Missile Command. The Germans are flinging V2 missiles at London, and only plucky old Slothrop – your finger, right? – knows where they’re going to land. A bonus stage sees the launch of missile number 00000 right into space and every now and then, Mickey Rooney pops up on the map and you stare at him for a bit before running away. (This is a hilarious reference if you’ve read the book. Richard Morgan has. I bet he’s laughing right now.)
Moby Dick – XBLA, PSN
Melville’s searing, wayward novel about obsession and the nature of evil becomes a twin-stick shooter for consoles. The twist? The playing field is 5000 miles wide, and there’s only one enemy.
Dead Souls – Steam
This is probably best-suited to a free mod for Dark Souls if it ever gets a PC release. Every enemy gets a Russian name, and then the author burns all the sequels.
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Kinect hack
Whenever you plug Kinect in, you suddenly start to feel really old.
Words with Our Mutual Friend – iOS, Android
Yeah, I’m coasting now, aren’t I? I am so sorry for wasting everybody’s time.