ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Back in the 80s, every successful movie under the sun was destined to get its very own - often half-baked - video game tie-in.

They may not have been the best of games, technically speaking, but they do make for some super interesting cultural artefacts, especially when returning to them a quarter of a century later!

Dig deep into your childhood memories and see how many of the following adaptations you remember. Double points for having actually completed them...

1. Friday the 13th

Release date: 1989

Along with Atari's famous train-wreck of a tie-in E.T., Friday the 13th is still considered one of the worst games EVER made. That's quite an accomplishment, considering the movie was pretty damn decent.

You take the role of a camp counsellor attempting to stave off the wrath of Jason, as he runs amok in your kids camp killing any pre-pubescants he can get his hands on. It was extremely difficult and few had the patience to take down the hockey-mask wearing psycho. You can't win every battle.

2. Batman: The Video Game

Release date: 1990

Sunsoft's unforgiving platformer didn't follow the plot of any particular film as such, though it did focus on the legendary feud between Batman and his grinning rival, The Joker.

I remember the game being surprisingly good, and not just because it let you fill the boots of my favorite comic book hero, the caped crusader. Stripping goons of their pixels with a well placed batarang has never been so fun!

3. The Lion King

Release date: 1994

Loosely based on the plot of Disney's beloved animation, The Lion King let you tear into your enemies as the energetic young Simba.

The best thing about it was that half way through the game (as in the film), Simba becomes an adult and you're given access to a whole host of kick-ass skills to help you take down the evil Scar. I guess I'm just a sucker for levelling up.

4. The Karate Kid

Release date: 1987

This was one of my favorite movies growing up, so when I heard about this one it shot to the top of my Christmas list!

To my peasant surprise, the game stuck pretty closely to its source material, letting you compete in All Valley Karate Tournament, as well as catch flies with chopsticks (embarrassingly, something I try to do in real life to this day).

LaRusso even travels to Japan later on in the game, to tear through nameless bad dudes during a typhoon. I could wax on about this game for ages, but in the interest of time I'll move on.

5. Total Recall

Release date: 1990

The NES adaptation of Schwarzenegger's Mars-based murderthon was vastly different from all other console versions, with a different developer behind the scenes.

The team, Interplay, asserted that their take was much truer to the original Phillip K. Dick story, claiming it "read more like a platformer." That's funny, I was just thinking that the book I'm on right now reads like a first-person shooter.

6. Back to the Future

Release date: 1989

This one hasn't got a great reputation. The movie's screenwriter, Bob Gale, went so far as to urge fans to give it a miss, saying it was:

One of the worst games ever.

But hey, at least you got to drive the DeLorean, right?... Right?

7. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Release date: 1989

Strangely, this 'kids' game was difficult enough to stump most veteran adult gamers, though there was one saving grace: If you phoned a special toll-free number you could hear the one and only Jessica Rabbit offer you tips in her trademark husky voice. That's worth price of admission alone!

8. Home Alone

Release date: 1991

Macaulay Culkin's smash hit movie led to this little 90s gem of a game. The player had to thwart pesky criminals using an assortment of creative domestic traps, without getting caught of course.

Like most games of its era, it was devilishly hard - I can't count the amount of times I saw the dreaded game over screen!


Which game was your favorite?


Latest from our Creators