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Defending Family Guy: The Case for Tie-in Games

As pop culture has continued to rise, shape and evolve and with new innovations in media and how we digest media arriving in the most unexpected of places, it is no surprise that as television (and in particular for the sake of this piece, cartoons) grew so did the gaming industry.

A collaboration between television and film with gaming can sometimes be enough to send shivers down the spines of the most die-hard gamers, I am indeed talking about “tie-in games”. For those unaware: “tie-in” games are essentially games that take direct influence from an already established figure (usually from television or film) and the game will fit into their respective universe and lore.

Throughout the years we have seen some tie-in games become staples in gaming history, titles such as: “Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom” and “The Simpsons Hit and Run” went on to become fan favourites amongst gamers and they are still highly discussed and referenced today. “Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom” even went on to receive the “Crash Bandicoot” esque revamp treatment and was remastered for the latest consoles.

Alike all good things, there are certainly some questionable choices and that is what we are going to be talking about today…a game which received negative reviews, an overall negative reception and a genuine feeling of “why was this made?” amongst fans. I am talking about: “Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse”.

It has to be said that all the views expressed in this piece are purely my own and subjective. That being said, I would first like to begin by saying that I fall under the minority when it comes to this game, as I truly did enjoy it. As a massive fan of the television show it was pretty cool to me to be able to control the narrative and play as Brian and Stewie exploring the weird and wonderful worlds of the multiverse!

Story wise I found the game to be engaging and very true to the show in terms of its humour (however it can easily be argued that such humour hasn’t aged well in the modern times), character types and just overall wackiness made for an experience that felt familiar but also new, a common strategy that exists within many tie-in games.

Gameplay however at times was a bit questionable as the controls were often lagging and you could tell that the developers must’ve been working towards harsh and strict deadlines to get the product out, hoping that the namesake alone would be enough to boost sales and fan interest. The game was notorious for glitches and although I said previously that the story was engaging it was definitely over far too quickly and could easily be completed in one setting.

But the above being said the game did provide me with hours of fun, comedy and just an overall escape. “Family Guy: Road to the Multiverse” definitely lacked substances in places but I don’t think anyone could resist the charm that was rife within and if you’re looking for a light-hearted game to kill a few hours then this is definitely the game for you!

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