Board games can be fantastic fun. Literature can be transformative. Put them together and you’re bound to get—well, we’re not exactly sure. There are some super fun board games out there based on the work of Tolkien, Lovecraft, and others, and then there are head-scratchers like these. Here are five projects that prove that just because you can turn something into a game, doesn’t mean you should.
This is one of the most staggering works of literary genius put to paper. It challenges the mind and chills the soul. Inexplicably, it has long been forced down the throats of high school English students—an audience with exactly .0003% of being able to relate to the themes of the book. You know what might help bridge that gap? A board game! A board game about the whaling industry. Spoiler Alert: Moby Dick is about the whaling industry the way Harry Potter is about going to boarding school. To be fair, the game comes with little gold doubloons, and those are pretty cool.
The idea of a board game based on Stephen King's Gothic classic is ridiculously sublime. Best of all, you can grab yourself a free copy of this game right here and get some friends together to give it a shot. We have to presume that if one player doesn't go crazy and try to kill the others, you aren't playing it right.
George Orwell's 1984: Animal Farm
Animal Farm is cool because it's about talking farm animals, so you can trick kids into reading it and ruining their innocence. 1984 is cool because it's a book about the future that's now set so far in the past that it's gone from being terrifying to somewhat charming. "1984: Animal Farm" isn't a real thing, so your guess is as good as ours as to what you actually get. As fans of both books, we're holding out for talking, face-eating rats!
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austin's books are all about social game-playing anyway, so this might not be that bad an idea. We’re just not convinced the full range of attraction, anxiety, social positioning, and ego that goes into starting a new relationship could be reduced to such a brief and superficial format without it becoming a sad caricature of life. Wait! We’ve got to call Bravo—we have a perfect idea for a new series!
The Name of the Rose
If you've seen the Sean Connery/Christian Slater movie of the same name, you'll be excused for thinking it might be a pretty good board game. The movie is about the investigation of a murder at a monastery where deception and madness hide themselves behind a facade of sacred piety. The book, however, is an aesthetic exercise in semiotics and post modern theory. If that sounds like so much gibberish to you, imagine the board game version!
Have any of you played these (or other weird literary games)?