Yesterday's post got me thinking. Despite its truly unfortunate portrayal of Jim, a Tom Sawyer game sounds like a great idea. So many games are based on movies and TV shows. Why not games based on books? There are centuries of fantastic literature to draw from, and in most cases the source material is in the public domain -- no need for onerous licensing fees. I offer these suggestions free of charge.
A third-person action-adventure game -- think God of War in medieval Spain. Besides the standard brawling elements, the signature sequences would be on-rails jousting events with Don Quixote on his horse. Sancho Panza is the wise-cracking, AI-controlled sidekick, who can be ordered to attack, defend, or heal Don Quixote. He frequently gets caught on door frames, because there just wasn't enough time to iron out all the kinks in testing.
A lush, 3D update of the basic gameplay established in the mostly-forgotten NES Jaws game. Cruise the seas on the Pequod, battling various oceanic creatures in search of the ultimate prize: the great white whale, Moby Dick. Mini-games include squeezing the lumps out of a barrel full of whale blubber, and taking control of Queequeg for harpooning target practice (using the Wiimote, naturally).
War and Peace
A sweeping, turn-based strategy game that lets you take the side of Russia or France during the Napoleonic Wars. With thousands of units to command at once, the game quickly becomes untenable and overwhelming to all but the most dedicated strategy buffs. But everybody claims to have played it all the way through and loved it.
Stealth action is the name of the game in a dystopian future with chilling parallels to our own time. Take control of Winston Smith and attempt to foment revolution under the all-seeing gaze of Big Brother. The "Two Minutes Hate" button-pushing mini-game is inspired by Konami's arcade classic Track and Field.
Just a bunch of incomprehensible ASCII art and system error messages.