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New Ghost Stories III
The Great Gatsby Computer Game

Books aren’t always the most likely material for computer game adaptations. Classic (and public domain) characters sometimes make it across, like Dracula or Sherlock Holmes, but more direct book adaptations tend to be limited to speculative fiction titles: I remember playing The Hobbit on my rubber-keyed ZX Spectrum, and there have been a series of games based on Lord of the Rings and the Discworld series. Games like Blade Runner probably owe more to the film adaptations than to the source material.

A tongue-in-cheek exception to the rule is this new video game adaptation of The Great Gatsby, produced in the style of an old-school NES platformer. Level one involves battling your way through Gatsby’s party, picking off waiters and flappers with your incredible boomerang hat; level two is a train chase sequence climaxing in a battle with the disembodied eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg (see right). I can’t tell you what happens after that, because Eckleburg got me (see right again).

The Great Gatsby game is a free-to-play Flash game: go over to greatgatsbygame.com and give it a try. You’ll probably do better than I did.

12 Comments on “The Great Gatsby computer game”

  1. jason Says:

    the trouble with games is that the thing most fun is to kill and not grow as a human being…

  2. Max Cairnduff Says:

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. I love the cutscenes.

  3. Rob Says:

    Good, aren’t they? Although I must admit I’ve only seen the first cutscene. Because I’m, er, I’m not very good at the game.

  4. Zybahn Says:

    Excellent post. Evidently it’s not a new game; the “about” page reveals it was bought for fifty cents at a yard sale. Origin unknown…

  5. Rob Says:

    Zybahn,

    I think that ‘about’ page is a bit of a wind-up…

  6. Katie Says:

    How the hell do you get past Eckleburg’s eyes? It’s so hard and I want to see how they did the rest of the book 😀

  7. Video Gaming the Greats | The Lantern Daily Says:

    […] And the Gatsby thing? That’s just kind of awesome…You can play it by going here. Especially if you think of Gatsby as being another American icon of failure. A tongue-in-cheek exception to the rule is this new video game adaptation of The Great Gatsby, produced in the style of an old-school NES platformer. Level one involves battling your way through Gatsby’s party, picking off waiters and flappers with your incredible boomerang hat; level two is a train chase sequence climaxing in a battle with the disembodied eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg (see right). I can’t tell you what happens after that, because Eckleburg got me (see right again). The Fiction Desk, 21st, Feb, 2011. […]

  8. Jason Says:

    You gotta just have the skilZ that come with years of wasting life energy on video games

  9. Rob Says:

    Regretting a misspent youth, Jason?

    Ok, if I remember right, Dr Eckleburg’s eye lasers (ahem) always fire in the same place. So find a safe spot at one end of the carriage, and stay there. Then, when the Dr is at the far end, jump and fire your hat at him, making sure to time it so that you’re out of the way by the time he comes back. Do that five or so times, and you’re sorted.

  10. Frank Says:

    Every time Dr. Eckleburg’s glasses fire, stand beneath the frame, between the eyes. Scoot out and shoot, and get back underneath when it’s his turn. You’ll get used to it pretty quickly and the rest of the game is quite easy.

    Now if only this were part of a classics series…

  11. Lacey Says:

    Dr. Ecklburg’s eyes are simple, stand under the 3rd letter and you’ll notice the tears never hit you, as they eyes move to the right, jump in the air and fire. Repeat this three times, maybe four if need be.

  12. Lacey Says:

    If not the thid letter, it might be the fourth. Don’t remember ! :p

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