The Angry Birds Movie (and five other mobile games we'd like to see on the big screen)
This was inevitable, really. As one of the most insanely popular mobile games since mobile games became a thing, Angry Birds escaped from the screen of your mobile phone a long time ago, spilling into the real world in the form of plush toys, Lego sets, mugs, key-rings, socks, duvet covers and just about every other conceivable form of merchandise you'd care to name. Eventually, somebody was always going to try and harness the phenomenon of Angry Birds and transform it into a film. As it turns out, that somebody was Columbia Pictures.
If you haven't already seen The Angry Birds Movie, you could be forgiven for wondering how on earth a game with such a simple premise – basically firing birds into a fortress built by pigs with the aim of destroying it – could possibly work on the big screen? Well, that's exactly what happened thanks to a team of writers that includes the the producer of Despicable Me and a directing team made up of Clay Katis and Fergal Reilly, whose combined CV includes work on films like Space Jam, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph.
To help them along the way, they've also hired a talented cast of voice actors for this animated fun-fest that includes Jason Sudekis, Josh Gad, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Sean Penn, among many others.
The story revolves around Red, the most iconic of the Angry Birds, who has struggled with anger management problems since he was a chick and has a reputation among his avian community as something of a hothead. So when a boatload of pigs arrive on Bird Island claiming to be harmless explorers and Red is the only one who appears to be suspicious of their motives, he's largely ignored. But his suspicions prove to be correct as more and more pigs arrive, slowly taking over the island.
When they decide to investigate, Red and his friends take a trip to their home of Pig Island, where they discover to their horror why their new porcine visitors are so fascinated by the birds and their eggs. The birds then face a battle to save their eggs from the clutches of the pigs before it's too late.
You have to hand it to them; to extrapolate a two-hour story out of such a simple game is no mean feat and the film is plenty of fun for those who enjoyed films like Kung-Fu Panda and Despicable Me. But there are plenty of other mobile games with real cinematic potential, so we thought we'd pick five of the best. You can find a trailer for The Angry Birds Movie below, beneath that we've chose five mobile games we'd love to see on the big screen...
Created by Wadjet Eye Games, Gemini Rue is a sci-fi mystery/adventure with a story spanning an entire galaxy. The plot takes place in the 23rd century and revolves around two main characters, the first being Azrial, an ex-assassin turned cop who is trying to find information on the whereabouts of his missing brother Daniel. After an interplanetary war that ended 10 years earlier, the resulting power vacuum has been filled by an organised crime syndicate called the Boryokudan, who control the supply of a drug known as Juice. Azriel discovers that the Boryokudan may have information about his brother, which they'll share with him if he retrieves a shipment of Juice that was stolen. The other main character is a prisoner named Delta Six, who is a prisoner in a high-security facility who has had his memory wiped and is trying to discover who he is and how to escape. The two stories gradually converge, but the truth isn't as obvious as you might think.
The Stanley Parable
One of the most mind-bending games we've ever seen on mobile devices – and one of the most enjoyable – The Stanley Parable kicks off with an employee (named Stanley, obviously) sitting alone at work, where his job is to dutifully follow the instructions presented on his computer screen. But one day the instructions stop coming. When he tries to find out why, he discovers that everyone else in his office building has disappeared. While he explores and tries to find out what has happened, his every move is described by a narrator, but he realises that he doesn't have to follow the narrator's instructions, frequently making the narrator annoyed and causing him to break the 'fourth wall'. Handled correctly, this has loads of potential for a comedy-adventure in the vein of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, but with a serious twist about the nature of choice.
The Duffer Brothers' excellent series Stranger Things borrows heavily from various films and ideas from the 1980s, including the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, with which the show's protagonists are obsessed. But another similar phenomenon from that era was the 'gamebook', a range of choose-your-own-adventure stories like Joe Dever's Lone Wolf series. In 2014 developers Bulkypix created a mobile version featuring Dever's storylines and the potential for a film adaptation is huge; Dever has created a whole universe of characters in the fictional land of Magnamund and with fantasy stories being so popular right now, why not one based on Lone Wolf?
Created by Swedish developers Simogo, DEViCE 6 is essentially a text-based adventure game in which you gradually obtain clues to piece together a story, but the plot reads like a cross between Christopher Nolan's Memento and Patrick McGoohan's surreal 1960s TV series The Prisoner. A protagonist named Anna awakens in a castle with no memories other than one featuring a spooky-looking doll. With no knowledge of her identity or location, Anna sets about a journey around the castle trying to discover the truth about who she is and why she is there, meeting a series of strange people along the way, some of whom give her false information. To say more would be to spoil things, but the soundtrack is brilliant, the visuals are stylish and it feels like a ready-made psychological thriller in waiting.
In this mystery thriller set in the mid-1990s from The Fullbright Company, Kaitlin returns to her impressibly large (but decidedly creepy) family home after a year of travelling, only to find that her parents and her younger sister Samantha are nowhere to be found. A note on the door from her sister implores Kaitlin not to try and discover what happened, but when she finds an answerphone message from a distressed-sounding Samantha she's compelled to investigate and searches the huge house for clues. The game has already made the jump from mobile to consoles and it's packed with intrigue, making it a prime candidate for a mystery/thriller film.