TellTale Art: Three Properties That Deserve the TellTale Treatment


All licensed games are terrible. For years, there were few truer axioms in all of popular culture. After getting burned by the Superman 64s, the Fight Club fighters, and the oh so many Bat-tastrophes, most gamers grew to believe that if it carried a familiar name, still treat it as if it were a stranger and don’t let it give you a ride.

And then this small company out of California came out of nowhere and…well…it was a game changer. Their name is TellTale and with incredibly high quality, award-winning games based off of preexisting properties such as Back to the Future, Fables, and, of course, The Walking Dead, they’re proving that there’s still hope somewhere in the digital domain for licensed games.

With TellTale’s new A Song of Ice and Fire (that’s Game of Thrones to you non-readers) and Tales from the Borderlands game, the company is showing there’s no end to their dominance over name brand gaming. And I’m happy for it.

BUT I WANT MORE, DAMNIT! So, today I’ll be suggesting three more pop culture properties that could work beating with TellTale’s heart. Fingers crossed they’re paying attention. Though to be honest, they could do a “Bailey Kipper’s POV” game and I’d buy two copies of it.



Since I definitely don’t want J.K. to write another word of Potterdom (I fear the Lucas effect), but I’m not yet ready to leave Hogwarts, this works out perfectly. And with a world as rich as Harry Potter, there’s no lack of places for TellTale to apparate to.

I feel we’ve gotten enough of Harry and the Gang, so I’d prefer if TellTale looked into Hogwarts: A History and went from there. Whether it be stories of the Marauders and their time at the school (a perfect set-up for seven episodes), or maybe the original Order of the Phoenix and their first battle against Voldemort. Of course, if we wanna dunk our heads in an ancient Pensieve we can tell the tale (I couldn’t resist) of the founders of Hogwarts and how the most famous school of witchcraft and wizardy went from idea to institution.

Of course, if we must go more directly from the well I’m sure there’s no lack of stories that could come from grown up Harry and Co. We all know Hermione’s well on her well to becoming Minister of Magic and the politics of the Harry Potter universe is a fascinating unturned rock. Or maybe the trio become professors over at their alma mater, and we suddenly see what it’s really like to watch over hundreds of kids with pointy, wooden equivalents of WMDs.

Obviously Harry Potter isn’t going anywhere, and if we’re to keep it flying, let’s spread our wings and go from print to pause button.

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Or the Adam West Batman or the Bill Dozier Batman or the campy, terrible Biff Bam Boom Batman or whatever you want to call it. Love it or hate it, the 1966 Batman series had an undeniable, if utterly bizarre charm to it and oozed creativity from every Bat-nook and Bat-cranny.

I think we’re a little too inundated with the Nolanverse version of the Caped Crusader, and while I dig when Batman gets down and dirty, too, it’s nice to cleanse your pallet with something like the 1966 Batman series or the OH MY GOD VASTLY UNDERRATED Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon series. If you can take off your earth tone, monochromatic-tinted glasses for a moment and view the 1966 Batman series as a purely comedic series, you’ll start to realize that it was actually…kind of brilliant.

TellTale could run wild with the 1966 Batman property and we’d love them for it. Don’t act like you wouldn’t get a raging nostalgia boner to see Egg Head and King Tut and a mustachioed Joker waiting for you to make your dialogue decision. With early buzz on Tales from the Borderland being a winner, it’s obvious that TellTale can handle humor as well as super duper sad decisions in the zombie apocalypse. Throw in some voice acting from Adam West and Burt Ward and forget it, Bat-game of the bat-year.

Bat-fans, it’s time for us to own our history. Holy Bananas, Batman, we won’t want to split after playing TellTale’s Bat-tacular electronic escapades!



I don’t want Mad Men to go away.

Alas, soon enough I’ll have to bid adieu to the swingin’ 60s and the decadence and philandering of everyone’s favorite ad-man, Don Draper. AMC’s series has stood as one of the finest pieces of television artwork since its debut and has maintained nothing but exceptional quality throughout. I’m converted, y’all. Blame Joan.

TellTale definitely doesn’t have to keep the spotlight on the Draper/Whitman residence. There’s plenty of stories waiting to be told from characters like Ken Cosgrove, Dawn Chambers, and we gotta see what exactly happened with Michael Ginsberg. There isn’t a single uninteresting corner in all of SCDPLMNOPMTVUHFTRL, and I’d be happy with as many TellTale seasons as there were TV seasons.

Gameplay would be the most interesting part if you ask me. Whereas The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, and even my two above suggested games are/would be very action heavy, the Mad Men game would all be about the art of discussion. Much like L.A. Noire, instinct and best guesses would be your most useful tools, and the change of pace from the majority of gaming experiences out there could put this one up there with the likes of Gone Home or Papers, Please in terms of teaching an old dog new tricks.

And, come on, having to deal with an EXPLOSIVE Pete Campbell is a mini-game waiting to happen.

Okay, Unrealtors, whatcha think? Wanna play? What’d I miss? Let’s hear it!

Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City, as well as in Canada and Japan.

He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over Level 2, which can be found at and respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to

He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.

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  1. Very interesting picks. Orphan Black would be the best way to go, in my opinion. Pretty much any comic series would be great too. Deadly Class or The Boys would be amazing. I think Telltale’s secret is that they keep the budget low. Most games based on franchises spend all of their money on awesome graphics and licensing likenesses, voiceovers, music, and whatnot. Telltale operates on a lowtech system and uses simple stylized graphics and focuses on exceptional writing so they can get it done on the cheap with minimal creative interference.

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