Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Best Video Game I Never Got To Play...

There are a lot of times when I think I have good ideas in life, but I don't really know how to follow through. Example: I believe that the future of television is to make it interactive, not necessarily in a "choose your own ending" story (although, we may not be too far off from that, too), but in a "I see something I like, I click on it, I get taken to the website where I can buy it" sort of way. I can't tell you how many hours I wasted Googling character names with descriptions of shirts of jackets, just to try to find show wardrobe in the "real" world! I have the idea, but I have no idea how to make the technology needed to see it to fruition. Also, I'd love a digital voice recorder that uses a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery instead of the archaic AA or AAAs. But I digress. The point is, I think I can be clever, but at the end of the day an idea is only worth so much. It is those who know how, and actually spend the time, to carry it out that deserve the real praising as brilliant.

And whoever made this Saved by the Bell interactive video game is absolutely brilliant.

Created in old school, DOS style, this fictional Saved by the Bell clip could have just been something an animator created as a parody, but instead they took it a step further and actually made it a working video game. You can click on the screen at key moments to select what Zack does next and with whom he interacts. This is not the first time this technology has been used, nor is it even the most impressive in its type of graphics, but seeing as how the Fine Bros behind the project do not work for a major studio (like those behind Showtime's interactive Dexter game), bonus points should be given.

I wasn't particularly into video games as a child, but I know had this existed I would have played it every day after school, obsessively trying to get Zack Morris to love me any way possibly. As it was, I had the dolls, the trading cards, the board game, and even a beach towel; I played Saved by the Bell on my own in all the ways available at the time. I just can't believe someone didn't greenlight this sooner. I almost wonder if the holders of the branding copyright, like me, were stumped when it came to the actual execution and technology.

The game itself offers subtle commentary on the show itself, by having characters flit in and out and always go to the troublemaker for help and advice, but it really takes it a step farther by allowing you to play the scene(s) out as they did on-screen, the first time, in the nineties or doing what you always *really* wanted the characters to do. Of course, once you get to that part, it's not entirely up to you; there are elements that the game chooses for you that I wish I could choose for myself, but for the sake of time and video size, I imagine that would have been impossible to create on a platform like YouTube.

But if The Fine Bros have a Kickstarter to get this game off the ground for real, even as just an App for the iPhone, count me in!

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