Telltale were once the golden boys of the videogame industry. What they did with The Walking Dead was phenomenal. They crafted one of the best sotries to have ever been told in the art-form’s history and put you in control of how it was shaped. Your decisions mattered. You felt for everyone and were put firmly in each and every situation – from the mundane to the extremely devastating. I remember playing through that game like it was yesterday. Since then, however, Telltale’s games have sadly become predictable. You know what you’re in for if you’ve played any one of their more recent efforts.
I’d like Telltale to challenge themselves again. I’d like to see them return to their point-and-click routes. Their games these days feature limited sections of puzzle-solving and traditional adventure game tropes, but they are little more than visual novels. While I have nothing against visual novels per se and have really enjoyed the Telltale games I have played, I find myself less bothered to rush out and buy them these days. Take The Walking Dead for example. The first series was practically perfect, so I was eager to play its sequel, and I have picked up The Wolf Among Us, which I also loved, but I find myself not bothered by The Walking Dead Series Three. I know what to expect of it.
I think the perfect series for Telltale to return to their roots with is Red Dwarf. The comedy sci-fi is a hilarious and much-loved sitcom that has been going for… ages son. Taking Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten onto undiscovered planets and long-abandoned spaceships would be great in a point-and-click environment. The series’ silly sense of humour would be a perfect match for the adventure game stereotypes and feel right at home alongside the likes of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. For those unaware of what Red Dwarf is, imagine a kind of parallel universe Doctor Who where everything is a smegging joke.
Believe it or not, but Red Dwarf would also work excellently for Telltale’s famous decision-making gameplay. The format of the show is ripe for millions of situations that would lend themselves to the company’s current gameplay style. You could choose whether to explore a dangerous planet to see if it has important materials you need or whether to ignore it and repair the Starbug after a nasty meeting with a Polymorph leaves you stranded from the Dwarf. The series is known for its plots that cover a lot of ground within the sci-fi pantheon such as exploration, aliens and time-travel. Telltale could have free rein to craft a story entirely of their own creation. As long as its always a comedy and feels closer to the likes of Telltale’s Monkey Island, Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future, then it should be ace.
I’m sure that all of the cast members from the show would be more than happy to reprise their roles for the game, too, giving it a truly authentic feel. We saw Red Dwarf enter into the LEGO Universe via a stage in LEGO Dimensions, but I’d like more than that. A Telltale developed Red Dwarf game could be a greatly entertaining return to the classic adventure game style from everyone’s favourite choice simulator developers. Just trawling through the Red Dwarf itslef could prove exceedingly entertaining, what with all the talking machines and huge area to explore. The boys from the Dwarf deserve a true shot in mainstream videogames.