Guest Post: Top Five Video Games Based on Books

August 12, 2014

The correlation between literature and video games is usually one unknown, although slivers of one another’s prowess can be observed in each, there still remains a gaping void between the subjects. As one can expect, the translation from one to the other is a feat in itself, but successfully capturing the essence of the original, is still something that is yet to be done.

An assumptive mind would presume the conversion from video game to book, is likely to be the more interesting adaptation, as the video games plot lays the foundation, leaving the author to fill in the proverbial gaps. However, to say the same can be done vice versa, would be untrue. The sheer density of a novel, bears too heavy for the simplicity of bashing and slashing that is featured in most video games. It is noted, that some of the newer story based video games are filled with intrigue, character development and frightful plot twists. Yet, it still can’t quite match the thought provoking force that a great literary piece brings.

Although I stand firmly against the book to video game sub-genre, this has not stopped awkward fusion from happening, and in some cases, done fairly well.


The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

 Before Martin Freeman’s rendition of Arthur Dent in the moderately successful film of 2005, there lay the original novel, however what remains unfamiliar to most, is the video game that was created in the limbo between the book and the movie.

The game stays true to its origin, bringing the interactiveness of the book to the LED based screen, mocking the player at every given opportunity with intense sarcasm Adams brought to the series. The idea of such a game was implored immensely by the sci-fi community, so much so, that Douglas Adams decided co-created the game!


 Based upon the great science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, this futuristic strategy game sets the player as Paul Atreides, with his sole mission to eradicate the Harkonnen from Planet Dune.  Although the game strayed from the original plot of Herbert, it still left the player with a sensation of having visited Planet Dune.

Aside from the literary back story, Dune remains as one of the first floppy disk games ported to CD format, a pivotal moment in gaming history.

 Standing as the most recent video game venture on our list, the game differs from the novel. Being set 150 years into the future in a post-apocalyptic world following a world war. The original however, sets itself in a fictional China facing similar problems.

Without its likeness to the novel, the game is still great, being praised for its put-together storytelling, in spite of the contrast.


The Witcher

 The Polish cult classic, only hit the western world in both video game and book form in 2007. Originally conveyed in a short story format, the English translation saw so much success that the video game was made. Pitting the protagonist as a witch, slaying monsters and making decisions based on morality.

 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six

 Not many authors are better known for their name being featured in video game titles rather than their collection of work. Tom Clancy, however, is the exception. Before the establishment of Ghost Recon or Splinter Cell, there was Tom Clancy’s humble novel – Rainbow Six. Although it could be considered disqualified from the list, as the game was made during the creation of the book, we simply could not leave it out.

Tom Clancy revolutionised a genre with a single book, all the while spawning one of the largest franchises in gaming.

Jamal Asskoumi – Blogger, Book Worm, and Video Game Addict


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