Once Upon a Time…

12Jan09

For a while now I wanted to turn fairy tales into games. When researching common fairy tales I came across a fairly big amount of stories that are fit for being translated into a different medium and way of story telling. When I intensified my research I had to find out that this idea is not a novel one – others have had this idea as well and have come up with amazing games that are inspired by some beautiful fairy tales. The fairy tales were not only used as inspiration – in some games a different interpretation of the story or a slightly different approach turns an already fascinating story into something even more beautiful.

The first game I came across is The Path by  Tale of Tales (now this is an aptonym!). It takes the story of Little Red Riding Hood and adds an interesting element – there is not only one Red Riding Hood, there are several incarnations of the character. They seem to be related, they are sisters without a mother and a father, it seems, and yet it seems to me as if it is one character in different stages of her life. The unique gameplay shed light on interesting aspects of this interpretation of the tale.

From the same team another story has been turned into a beautiful game called 8, which is inspired by the Sleeping Beauty, which has been transferred to an oriental setting. The story takes place after 8 princes have tried to enter the castle and have actually succeeded. Each of them has spent some time at the castle and has used a very unique way of interacting with the sleeping inhabitants as well as trying to wake up the princess, which has not woken up after the princes’ kisses. There is one girl, though, who is awake and roams the castle. This is the character the player interacts with. She has a mind of her own, though.

American McGee has also found interest in using fairy tales (his version of Alice being the trigger for this interest, maybe?) for games that only take about 30 minutes of gameplay. 24 episodes of well-known and maybe not so well-known tales can be played. The player has the opportunity to turn the polished fairy tales we know today into Grimm‘esque tales. Dark, gruesome – on a weekly basis! Volume two is already out and volume three seems to be available early 2009 (That’s now! Hey!).

I am looking forward to more games that use fairy tale-thematics and will keep you updated on my findings.

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