Nine '80s Franchises That Never Got (even a Crappy) Videogame but Should Have

By Jason Iannone in Daily Lists, Video Games
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 6:00 am

If anybody says it's impossible to make a video game out of something, feel free to throw them into a giant furnace, as they clearly have no imagination, and therefore nothing to offer the world. Anything under the sun can be tweaked to offer us at least a few levels of side-scrolling filler. It might not be good per se, but enough people will blindly buy it due to recognizing someone on the cover, so pesky junk like "quality" should not matter one iota.

We've been "blessed" with games based on, among others, the 7-Up Spot, The Olsen Twins, Ronald McDonald, and Home Improvement. At this point, we're shocked if a franchise doesn't have a pointless game attached to it. And unbelievably, quite a few don't, even though they easily could have. Guess what we're yakking about today?

For the sake of organization, we're only focusing on '80s franchises this go-round. We'll hit the other decades some other time, if you're all really good (or bad, depending on how you look at things.)

9. Crocodile Dundee


Imagine our shock when we found out not a single Crocodile Dundee game exists. You've got a big Australian bushwhacker who wrestles crocodiles and bears, always brandishing a knife almost as long as his arm, and they chose to adapt Wayne's World and Bebe's Kids instead? Pretty sure neither Bebe nor Wayne used a knife, though Wayne's friend Garth always came across like he skinned small animals in his basement, when the cameras weren't around. That could've been good for a game or two.

But Dundee showed off his knife to everyone, and pretty much kicked everyone's ass for two straight films (Third movie? Never heard of it.) His game could've borrowed the Friday The 13th model, and just had Dundee wander around like a lost puppy, knifing evil kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies along the way. This would all take place in New York, by the way, even though that makes no sense at all. Luckily, Video Game Logic dictates that all things are possible, especially when the game in question is all things horrible.

When your woman gets in trouble, as she is apt to do a lot because apparently that's all they're good for in the gaming world, you wander around some more until you find her, knife the drug dealer who's out to rape and murder her, and then get back to aimlessly wandering. After a few hundred rounds, NYC will get the point and stop attacking your woman. Your reward? A single black screen notifying you that you won, naturally. But it will call you "mate" when doing so, which should quell your fears that nobody put any effort into this title whatsoever.

8. Pound Puppies


In the interest of full disclosure (because we know SOMEBODY out there is ignoring their loved ones in favor of fact-checking our bullshit,) there IS a Pound Puppy game ... kind of. It's some silly Flash game based on the NEW Pound Puppies, who don't look anything like the 80's Puppies. Those guys never got a game, and it makes zero sense.

Remember how Moonwalker turned Michael Jackson into a video game? Why couldn't they have done that again, only with dogs in place of fey pop stars, and other dogs in place of dozens of kidnapped children who all looked the same? Your hero could walk around and jump on the heads of evil cats and walking bones, while you make "bonehead" jokes, laugh uproariously, and then wonder why you haven't had a friend in over 25 years.

Save all the dogs, and then fight the boss, who would probably be a giant cat most of the time. Then it's off to the big baddie at the end ... a bigGER cat, maybe? Not a whole lot we can do with domesticated dogs, sadly. Who was the villain in the Pound Puppies movie? He wanted to collect a magical bone that would let him rule the world or something. That sounds plenty evil. Go fight him.

7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off


Stealth games are not a recent innovation; they've been around since the early 80's, long before that Solid Snake guy made it cool to not shoot your enemies full of holes. So why didn't anybody realize Ferris Bueller's stealth potential, and make a game exploiting it?

The setup was right there. Instead of one principal and one sister looking for Bueller, they easily could've added a whole army of truant officers and pissed-off women. They would be patrolling all of Chicago in search of Bueller, and it'd be your job to keep out of their sights. The parade, Wrigley Field, restaurants, museums - all of which would be filled to the gills with spies, and you'd have to avoid every single one. Get caught, and it's detention for a year.

Even if the game sucked, it'd still be a better idea than following the movie, which painted Bueller as some kind of slacker demigod, who could do whatever he wanted, get away with anything, see his asinine schemes play out perfectly, and never risk any real danger. A bunch of kindergartners, staging a cheap haunted house in the school gym, with the lights on, could have created more suspense. Barney's game had more conflict, and his only goal was to walk around and hug kids. That's not a comparison you should strive for, in case you were wondering.

6. Muppet Babies


There are Muppet games aplenty, but nothing for the Muppet Babies, unless you count these preschool computer games that teach shapes and colors to kids whose parents are too lazy to do it themselves.

Luckily for you, we DON'T count them, and are slightly miffed that the consoles missed out on one of the easiest premises in history. The Babies were all about their make-believe worlds, right? Well, make them come alive, and suck the Babies into them! Because what sells better than unsupervised infants in mortal danger, right?

They could even have had it make Video Game Sense, where one of Baby Bunsen's inventions go awry, causing these imaginary worlds to become real. Hey, we said Video Game Sense, not Real World Sense, so deal with it.

The setup could've been like the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, where you play as four or five Babies, each with one life, as you attempt to escape the many Make-Believe worlds that Bunsen accidentally created. When all the Muppets die, then the game is over. And then you would sit back and realize you just contributed to pixelated infanticide, all because you couldn't time Baby Piggy's karate kick just right. You monster.

5. Jem And The Holograms


Jem And The Holograms was basically Hannah Montana with a slightly more logical premise. A record executive owns magical earrings that can create holographic illusions, making her look like a rock star, which she totally becomes. A rival exec is out to buy Jem out, and it's up to her and her band of fellow glam rockers (none of whom require holograms to look the part) to stop them. See? Makes perfect sense.

The series was fairly popular, and yet not one tie-in game was released. It could've been done, and you wouldn't even have to cheat by turning it into some pointless song-and-dance game, like the Hannah Montana people did. Instead, have the bad guy learn Jem's secret identity, via his new hologram-detecting machine (don't ask; it's less painful that way.) He then brainwashes the rest of her band, via his newfound powers of hypnosis (again, DO NOT ASK,) into thinking she's about to replace them. As Jem, you must fight them off one-by-one, and finally defeat the evil exec, all with the power of your Jem Dazzle Gun (just to be on the safe side, never ask questions about anything ever again.)

The reunited band would then close out the game with a concert, because nothing sounds better than actual music remixed as 8-bit boops and beeps. Bonus points if they get lazy and only play a single riff, over and over again. That way you can rock out for seconds upon seconds and then, if you like, you may rock out for seconds more.

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