A History Of Awful Alfred Hitchcock-Themed Video Games
Paving the way for a Sled Storm-like game where you race down a snowy mountainside on Rosebud from Citizen Kane, one of the most acclaimed movies of all time is being adapted into video game form: Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo. Instead of simply recreating the 1958 tale of murder and obsession, the new game, set to come out later this year, is instead about some guy who looks and sounds nothing like Jimmy Stewart. And rather than a P.I. who has a love affair with his client’s seemingly possessed wife, he’s some rando whose wife and daughter disappeared from a car crash … so it’s really not the same at all. But they have the rights to the name Vertigo, so apparently, it’s a goddamn Vertigo game.
While the quality of this particular game remains to be seen, the track record for video games based on the films of Hitchcock is aggressively not great. The most recent effort was Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Final Cut, a 2001 computer game about a psychic private detective who gets mixed up in a mystery involving a missing film crew. It replicates a bunch of Hitchcock locations in blocky early 2000s graphics but has no real connections with his actual movies. And, as icing on the crap cake, it ends with a dumb dick joke -- although, to be fair, so does North by Northwest.
A more literal but no less baffling Hitchcock adaptation came out back in 1988; a Psycho game for DOS and Commodore 64. Since psychosexually-tormented loners stabbing naked women in cheap motel rooms probably didn’t mesh with the children’s adventure game business, weirdly, the story focuses on a fedora-wearing gumshoe looking for stolen jewels and a kidnapped museum employee at the Bates Motel. Not only has Norman Bates pivoted to elaborate burglaries, but his house is also full of ghosts which were somehow never mentioned in any of the movies.
Of course, while there have been no great official Hitchcock-based video games, we do accept the distinct possibility that Angry Birds is secretly based on 1963’s The Birds.
Top Image: Pendulo Studios