So I was kind of excited when I saw that Futurama had made its way back into the video game realm, in the form of an android game. Futurama has always been my favourite TV show. It’s pure hilarious escapism. I’ve spent thousands of hours watching the original four-season run and then more when it was brought back from the dead. I even played the PS2 Futurama game which had its own simplistic fun.
I should never have got my hopes up for Futurama: Game of Drones. The first clue was that Game of Drones is a freemium game, which these days means less ‘game’ and more money sink. The second clue was Simpsons: Tapped Out.
Now Game of Drones is not devoid of fun. It’s a Candy Crush clone and plays almost identically with the same aim, same power-ups, same structure. It’s honestly shameless. And like Candy Crush, Game of Drones has it’s 5-minute burst of addictive puzzling fun. Combine that with the classic Futurama sound and art, the occasionally witty Futurama line in the brief comic-like interlude between levels – and you have a reason to give into the evil and click the app.
But what really pisses me off about the game is the pure lack of creativity or artistic vision.
The way the game and movie industries work is that, in most cases, you have to create something good to make money. Fundamentally creating good art and making money goes hand-in-hand. The best-selling games of all time – the Grand Theft Auto’s, the Halo’s, the Call of Duty’s are all fundamentally brilliant games and they got to the top by being that way. The reason Futurama got in a position to have a licensed game, is off the back of the absolutely brilliant writing and character building of the show.
Games like Game of Drones and a lot of freemium games are made without artistic visions. Without creativity. They are made for one reason and one reason only. To make money. And somehow they get to the top of the mountain!
The only reason Game of Drones was made was to make money and it’s absolutely despicable.
They’ve re-skinned Candy Crush, that’s the entirety of the work that went into this game. It was never made to tell a story, it was never made to provide worthwhile or substantial entertainment, there’s no commentary, no message. It has literally taken no talent to make this game.
Does Matt Groening really need that much more money that he’s willing to rip-off people who might, naively spend money on this game. Not just any people either, fans of the show, who’ve supported it for years. Because let’s be honest, Futurama has never had the following or pop-culture presence of the likes of The Simpsons or Family Guy so realistically it’s going to be fans of Futurama that fund this trash.
Also the name is terrible. They already did that joke with the Game of Tones episode!
Don’t play the game.
If you have played the game (and I feel very sorry for you if you have) then let me know your thoughts down below and also let me know what you think of freemium games as a whole.