It’s been years since Animorphs had a video game adaptation, but with a movie in the works, it’s the ideal time for a new game with next-gen graphics.
Of all the weird ’90s franchises to instantly bring back nostalgic childhood memories to anyone of a certain age, Animorphs is surely one of the strangest. The series of books, about aliens bestowing the power to morph into animals on a ragtag group of teens, spawned a show on Nickelodeon as well as a few video games. Despite mixed reviews and so-so sales for its previous games, now would be the perfect time for Animorphs to get a new video game adaptation with the next-gen graphics it deserves.
Although Animorphs was far from one of the best live-action shows on Nickelodeon, the books were quite popular. The sci-fi books were written by a married couple under the name K.A. Applegate, who published 54 books in about a five-year period. The series followed an alien named Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (or just “Ax”) and five human teens who can morph into any animal they touch. Although the books had some darker themes involving body horror, war crimes, and dehumanization, they were meant for children. The books were incredibly popular at the time, so tie-in video games made sense, but there hasn’t been an official new game since 2000.
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It might seem strange for Animorphs to get a new video game after all these years, but consider all the other popular late ’90s and early ’00s series that are getting revivals. Sam and Max, Medal of Honor, Crash Bandicoot, and more are all releasing new games in 2020 or 2021, long after the height of their popularity. If nostalgia alone isn’t enough to warrant a new video game adaptation, news of an Animorphs movie surfaced in 2019 and was officially announced earlier this year. It would be excellent timing for a new video game to release alongside the movie.
Why Animorphs Needs A Better Video Game
The Animorphs video games, which all released in 2000, weren’t great. Ubisoft’s Animorphs on the Game Boy Color was a Pokémon rip-off that comes nowhere close to the great Pokémon-like games that have released over the years. Animorphs: Shattered Reality was a PlayStation platformer with fairly boring levels. Not surprisingly, both games received horrible reviews. Arguably the best of the three was Animorphs: Know the Secret, an action-adventure game for PC that allowed players to switch between four of the main characters. None of the games fully took advantage of the animal shape-shifting mechanics a game based on series like Animorphs needs, which is why it’s high time a next-gen video game gave fans what they want.
A new Animorphs video game adaptation on next-gen consoles could take full advantage of morphing abilities, character switching, and a sprawling sci-fi story. Allowing players to turn into a hawk or dog and explore an open world setting from the skies or on the streets would be great. The next-gen graphics would also help with the body horror elements, with detailed transformations that could be exhilarating to watch.
When it comes to Animorphs, the transformations — and the book covers — were always a little silly, but the books weren’t quite so lighthearted. The series deserves a new video game adaptation that feels truer to the books than the previous games ever did. Next-gen graphics could be a great way to bridge the gap between the series’s darker undertones and surreal gameplay, while making animal transformations seem as cool as they did in the ’90s.
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