, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are a competitive married couple who pounce on the opportunity to humiliate Bateman’s brother during a murder mystery party. But when Bate-bro gets kidnapped mid- Game Night j’accuse, it’s up to the guests to unravel what the hell’s really going on. Not only is the movie getting surprisingly solid reviews, it also inspires this week’s gallery of 24 fictional movie games we want to play (and maybe some we don’t).
Dejarik from Star Wars
Have a little downtime smuggling Thala-Siren milk across the star fields? Pull out Dejarik, the classic hologram battle chess game that’s been frustrating Wookiees for generations.
NukEm from Robocop
Finally, you can teach your kids about mutually assured destruction with NukEm, the game that showers every living room with a mini-nuclear explosion after every ‘successful’ geopolitical negotiation.
The Bishop of Battle from Nightmares
From the same moral culture that gave you Reefer Madness and the Great Satanic Panic Telethon of 1987 comes “The Bishop of Battle,” a segment on video arcade parlor addiction from 1983’s Nightmares. Emilio Estevez stars as a token-brained delinquet obsessed with beating arcade game Bishop of Battle and its elusive final 13th level. Estevez breaks in after hours, and that night he learns becoming master of Bishop’s domain costs more than quarters.
Domination from Never Say Never Again
Bond villain Max Largo ruins a perfectly good table with his malovently cheesy invention Domination, a Risk-meets- Missile Command hologram game that increasingly shocks the losing player via joysticks.
Jugger from The Blood of Heroes
Like Quidditch, but with fewer brooms and more dog skulls and aluminum bat maiming. After wars have destroyed civilization, the only mass entertainment remaining is the game of jugger, which involves Rutger Hauer and Joan Chen running over people to put a dog skull atop a stick.
Jumanji from Jumanji
Sure, maybe there’s something appealing in becoming Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, or Robin Williams at his hirsutest for a day, but this fiendish game has never encountered a victim it didn’t like trapping in its jungle world far beyond the novelty value.
Jigsaw’s games from Saw
At some point, Jigsaw is going to run out of people with legitimate crimes to punish with his ‘games’, and resort to tormenting jaywalkers, bad tippers, and people who use WinRAR even after the trial expiration.
The Running Man from The Running Man
While putting on yellow spandex and running for your life on TV feels less than desirable, we wouldn’t mind trying out some of the movie’s other random creations, like that The Running Man board game. Or Climbing For Dollars, the show where you climb a rope surrounded by barbed wire as angry rottweilers snap at your feet. Apparently a popular segment of the job interview process for corporations.
Oz from Summer Wars
Like OASIS in the upcoming Ready Player One, Oz in Summer Wars is a virtual fantasia where people live out their various dreams and adopted identities.
Whackbat from Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson takes a whack at cricket and its seemingly esoteric rules with this parody, which only sounds more appealing when described by Owen Wilson as a badger.
The computer game from BIG
He who would become Tom Hanks plays this game at the beginning of BIG, a fantasy graphic adventure made exclusively for the film.
Fix-It Felix Jr. from Wreck-It Ralph
Mix Donkey Kong with the aesthetic of and you get Urban Champion Fix-It Felix Jr., the literally lived-in game that Disney briefly made available on iOS.
TRON games from TRON
The logistics of getting killed inside the virtual grid aside, who wasn’t enchanted by the sights and sounds of light cycle racing growing up?
Ninja Ninja Revolution from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
A common tool in the Canadian mating game is synchronized Ninja Ninja Revolution, an obvious parody of Dance Dance Revolution which Scott uses to woo Knives Chau.
Starfighter from The Last Starfighter
If the Starfighter cabinet that showed up in this movie’s trailer park seemed advanced for 1984, maybe that’s because it was: despite Last Starfighter‘s assossication with Atari, the game never made it past prototype stage in real life.
Wrestle Jam from The Wrestler
This NES game not only acts as a metaphor for how out-of-joint Mickey Rourke’s character is with the rest of the world, it was a fully functional game, hastily programmed just to add to the realism.
Cloak & Dagger from Cloak & Dagger
E.T.‘s Henry Thomas gets a full-fledged multimedia experience with Cloak & Dagger, which is both a tabletop game and a cartridge — one that happens to be hiding ultra mega top-secret military plans.
The Game from The Game
Game Night appears to mostly spoof this David Fincher potboiler, in which a milquetoast suburban guy gets embroiled in a psychological game that may or may not be really happening.
Demonik from Grandma’s Boy
The MacGuffin of this cult stoner classic was a prototype game called Demonik, just about the blandest-looking thing ever. Demonik was actually real and in development with funding from Majesco, a mid-tier mid-2000s publisher whose huge commercial failures like Psychonauts and Advent Rising resulted in their bankruptcy. Demonik was cancelled, leaving behind a void no amount of legal Cali weed can ever fill.
Quintet from Quintet
This post-apocalyptic detour from Robert Altman stars Paul Newman and the mysterious quintet, a game whose losers are thrown out onto the ice and eaten by rottweilers.
Transcontinental Road Race from Death Race 2000
Carmageddon! It’s women and children first, becuase you get more points that way.
Rollerball from Rollerball
In the distant future year of 2018, mega-corps have taken over the globe. There are no wars, and no sports: only Rollerball. Players on skates and motorcycles cruise around on a circlular track, grab the ball, and launch it from a cannon into the opposing team’s goal.
WarGames from WarGames
There’s nothing wrong with starting World War III, we’d just like to know ahead of time.
The Hunger Games from The Hunger Games
Free-to-play but with in-game purchases, loot boxes, and toxic community. Trash.