Movie tie-ins are usually poor efforts of making a lot of money out of a successful film. Awful titles such as the original Robocop game (on the ST at least) showed just how programming teams had a tendency to just throw things together without much thought. Here are the best attempts at making a successful tie in.
10. Terminator 2, Ocean
T2 was made up of a number of different genres, beat 'em ups, puzzles and driving games all made an appearance.
Although none of the different sections stood out they still helped to make the game a refreshing break from the platform game which is usually associated with licences.
Not a bad attempt and definitely one of the better examples.
9. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, US Gold/Lucasfilm
Not usually considered to be a game which would make it into a top ten, but with movie licences it isn't difficult to get a game in here.
Indiana Jones is Lucasfilms attempt at making an action game which is different to the others. Whilst not strictly a movie tie-in, it is based upon the successful series of movies.
The Fate of Atlantis is played on a flip screen isometric 3D environment. It has a number of adventure like elements and is not the fastest action game you'll play. The music is at best poor but at least the graphics are atmospheric. The game offers a challenge but the random elements do detract slightly.
8. The Simpsons, Ocean
Another average game which wouldn't usually make it into a top ten.
The Simpsons is a fairly basic plaform game in which you play the part of Bart Simpson in his attempt at saving the town of Springfield from invading aliens.
The graphics are at best average and the tunes whilst being recognisable are just the usual ST chip music.
The game offers a reasonable challenge and is well paced. The difficulty curve is about right.
7. The Adventures of Robin Hood, Millenium
At last we are getting on to some good games.
The Adventures of Robin Hood is a isometric 3D game, the graphics are obviously based on Populous and while being small offer enough detail to identify.
The game is fairly easy and if you persevere you'll probably complete it within a week and this is the biggest thing against the game. It could also be said that the game is slow and to tell the truth it is. This isn't as big a problem as you would think.
The aim is simply to kill the Sheriff and his men and in order to help you you can recruit various merry men including Little John and Will Scarlet.
Although the game doesn't offer much depth it still is very enjoyable.
6. Hook, Ocean
A novel twist on a film tie in, Hook was based upon the film of the same name and this is its second inclusion in a top ten!
You play the part of a grown up Peter Pan and you must rescue your children from the evil Captain Hook. The first thing that hits you about the game is the quality of the graphics, it is up there along Lure of the Temptress in this area. The sounds which are, on the whole, sampled are also impressive.
The only flaw in the game it self is its size, it is fairly small and it'll take very little time to complete. This means that the game whilst being good doesn't last very long before you get bored which is a pity.
Still, I'd recommend it to younger players as a starting point in the world of adventure games and as a good example of a film tie-in.
5. Robocop 2, Ocean
The Robocop games got better in each incarnation. The original game was abysmal and thankfully the sequel was a much better attempt.
Robocop 2 was, surprisingly (note the sarcasm!), essentially a plaform game and whilst it didn't offer anything new it still was a good example of the genre. It also included some puzzle elements and a pretty good Operation Wolf type section.
The graphics were atmospheric and well drawn and the designs of the levels were impressive. Sound wise it wasn't as good with average ST tunes and sparse sound effects.
All in all a solid example of a good film tie-in.
4. Hudson Hawk, Ocean
For once here's a game which was better than the film. Hudson Hawk is based upon the fairly unsuccessful Bruce Willis film of the same name and is once again a platformer!
The programmers obviously decided to take a more humourous approadch and this is evident when you see the graphics. The main character is short and squat and is in some ways reminiscent of some SNES games. There are also a number of funny touches including the sausage dogs and the janitor.
The game is fairly difficult but it isn't impossible so you'll be at it for a very long time. It is also addictive so you'll keep coming back for more.
3. Batman, Ocean
This takes the crown as the film tie-in platform game around. Based on the first of the recent series of box office hits, Batman shot to the top of the charts when it was first released.
Graphically the game is good and as usual the sonics are the average ST soundchip stuff.
The game actually only contains two platform levels, the others are made up of driving in the Batmobil, flying in the Batwing and a puzzle section where you must discover what the main constituents of the Smilex gas is.
Every level is well presented but the driving and flying sections have to strict a time limit.
A very good example of how it should be done!
2. Robocop 3, Ocean
This is the best game in the Robocop trilogy and the most original.
The game is essentially a 3D adventure made up of Doom like sections, driving sections, beat' em up sections, flight sims and shoot outs. Although it is fairly linear you can make a few decisions in your route through the game.
The 3D is particularly smooth and is well defined and the games layout shows a lot of initiative.
Robocop 3 was actually released two years before the film and was in fact a lot better. The between level animations were also impressive and showed your progress through the game.
1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucasfilm Games/US Gold
Based on the hit film of the same name, "The Last Crusade" is the best ever film tie in. It was the first film to be successfully turned into a computer game.
You took the part, initially, of Indy and it was up to you to find the Holy Grail. Later in the game you also had the option of controlling Indy's dad Henry.
As with all Lucasfilm's adventures, it had a point and click interface which was especially easy to use. Just select a verb and then click on the relevant object or part of the screen. Graphically the game was impressive, unfortunately the same can't be said about the sound which was the bog standard ST chip music.
Next month we definitely will have the first in our series in readers top tens...