Writers and directors of movies and TV shows often take inspiration from all kinds of different sources. The James Bond franchise is based on a series of books by the British author Ian Fleming, while the Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and The Big Short (2015) both took inspiration from real-life events.
Other times, TV shows and movies can provide inspiration for other things. In the theme park industry, rides and roller coasters are often themed around popular movies. For example, Avatar Flight of Passage is a flying simulator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, while Batman: The Ride is a B&M inverted steel roller coaster that is painted in Batman colours and creates the sensation that the rider is flying, just like the superhero would.
TV shows and films also often influence and inspire video games, either through directly branded games or titles that pay homage to them unofficially. Here are some of the most notable.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Grand Theft Auto is one of the most popular video game franchises of all time. The open-world element gives players the freedom to go anywhere and do practically anything at any time.
Throughout GTA’s history, Rockstar (and its predecessor DMA) have taken inspiration from a whole host of sources when writing the storyline and designing the games’ elements. For example, in GTA2, a conga of Elvis impersonators would occasionally be seen walking around the map. Driving your car into all of them would unlock a bonus called “Elvis Has Left the Building”. Meanwhile, in San Andreas, there are references to Big Foot and other myths and legends.
Vice City was perhaps the game inspired most by movies and TV shows though. Firstly, the main storyline shares many similarities with Scarface (1983). Tommy’s mansion is styled on Tony Montana’s, while both are set in Miami.
There is also an Easter egg in “Apartment 3c” that references the chainsaw scene in the movie.
Other references in the game hint at Casablanca (1942), Easy Rider (1969), The God Father Part II (1974), and the TV show Miami Vice.
Deal or No Deal Megaways
Deal or No Deal is an international television phenomenon. It has been aired in more than 80 countries, often running for several years at a time. It was shown on TV in the UK for 11 years, 14 in the United States, and continues to air in the Netherlands 21 years after it first aired.
A whole host of Deal or No Deal themed products have been made, including T-shirts, board games, stickers, and phone cases. There have also been several games made that are based on the show, and one of the most popular is Deal or No Deal Megaways. This reel-based title shares many similarities with other online slot games, with symbols and bonus features that are based on the show.
The Grand Tour Game
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have been household names in the UK for the best part of two decades thanks to their BBC show Top Gear. The trio moved to create a new project called The Grand Tour in 2016.
The show sees the men driving weird and wacky vehicles in some of the least hospitable places on Earth and completing absurd challenges.
The Grand Tour Game was released in January 2019, allowing players to recreate some of the challenges and adventures seen on the show. The game is split into episodes and follows the events in the episodes of the TV show, as players are presented with a diverse set of challenges like reaching a certain top speed or completing a puzzle.
Friends: The One with All the Trivia
Released in 2005, two years after the record-breaking sitcom Friends had ended, this game was a way for fans of the show to test their knowledge of all 236 episodes.
Friends: The One with All the Trivia was released on both PlayStation 2 and PC and contained over 3,000 questions to provide a challenge to even the most diehard Friends fans. Questions were interspersed with more than 700 clips from the show, so that players could relive the best bits of the show while answering questions.
Unlike most other games linked to TV shows and movies, Friends: The One with All the Trivia couldn’t be played by those who hadn’t watched the show since they wouldn’t be able to answer the questions.
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