‘Wishful Wednesdays’ is a weekly series of ideas for video games that I would like to exist but as yet, to my knowledge, don’t. Each week I’ll detail a short game idea or concept. If I happen to mention an idea that’s already out there, would you kindly let me know so I can play it.
It’s simple, I’m in love with the 80’s. My ideal day would start by waking up to the sound of Footloose by Kenny Loggins blasting out on the radio. The song would continue through the headphones of my Sony Walkman as I slide into the kitchen wearing just my underwear, t-shirt, and socks to snatch a slice of freshly made toast. I’d slip on my bleached jeans, pull on my denim jacket, and pop on my Nike’s as I bolt out the door with my skateboard toward the local arcade. Looking like one of the cast from The Breakfast Club, I’d spend the day having fun and breaking hearts. A perfect day in other words. Alas this cannot be, but it a video game it can.
My Wishful Wednesday request this week is to play a game which would double as a neon-splashed love letter to the 80’s. With multiple quirky stories to choose from – depending on your actions – and highly interactive environments littered with all sorts of pop culture from the time, it would be an adventure game that gives you the opportunity to live out your (read: my) 80’s fantasy. Think Weird Science meets Life if Strange. Pretty cool, huh?
Given the recent interest around Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One and its Steven Spielberg movie adaptation, which I’m sure more will reach peak hysteria once the film is released, what better time to take advantage of the interest in the 80’s and it’s wonderful pop culture. We’ve been blessed with games like Far Cry: Blood Dragon, Hotline Miami, Retro City Rampage, and let’s not forget the wonderful Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but all of the are only inspired by the 80’s or have 80’s themes. None of them truly indulge in the decade, and it’s a shame.
So how would the game play? Well, I’d want to be able to create my own character from their hairstyle down to the clothes and accessories they can wear, similar to how The Sims character creation works, but with the option to change your appearance in a realistic way like Grand Theft Auto V’s salons. I would also want the story to go in wildly different directions depending on what I felt like doing in a particular playthrough: I could go on a crazy adventure because I took the day off school; find myself on the run from a murderous robot who insists my name is Sarah Connor; find a cute alien which I’d try my best to look after by keeping him away from bright light, prevent him from getting wet, and resisting the urge to feed him after midnight (no matter how much he begs). And goodness, the sound track would be amazing. Think of all the classic tracks to choose from. Some original ambient music would of course be needed inbetween the top 80’s bangers, but they would still be silky synth numbers so as to keep the theme running.
Given the scope and vast pool of content to steal from, each environment would be chock-full of collectibles, but not just ornaments and trophies to display in a given room, these would all be interactive. If you find a classic Atari 2600 E.T. game and the system to play it on then you should be able to set it up at your home and play through the game in its entirety, or if you get a hold of a copy of the movie WarGames, you should be able to watch it in your basement.
I know all this would be nigh on impossible to implement sufficiently in a video game but this is my fantasy damn you and I’ll wish for what I like. Anyway, I hope someone likes this idea so much that they’ll create it just for me. I would do it myself but it simply wouldn’t know where to start. For now, this will simply remain in my dreams, but one can hope that someone will make something similar one day.