Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Midnight Snack: The Great Gatsby

gatsby“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since…” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

High school English students rejoice! You needn’t stumble through the labyrinth of misinformation that is CliffNotes anymore. Now you can digest The Great Gatsby in under an hour with this NES adaptation of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece.

Hurl your hat at demonic butlers and foxy flappers out to ruin the party! Dodge the laser-hot gaze of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg! Collect the gold Gatsby’s left all around New York!

Wait, what?

Actually, Gatsby is a Flash game developed by a small team of talented individuals made to look like a shameless videogame recapitulation of this great American novel. You play as Nick Carraway, who is on a quest to find the elusive Gatsby. It’s an action-platformer in the mold of pretty much every licensed game on the NES (think Duck Tales, the Mickey Games, etc.). There’s even a train level!

After you beat Gatsby (or die so many times at the hands of sewer gators that you finally decide to get upset by the epic departures from the novel and quit), be sure to head over to the game’s About page. The developers have cooked up a hilarious little mythos around the game that includes some outstanding artwork. The crass, flimsy relationship to the novel is a wonderful little jab at the storied history of bad licensed games.

Did I mention that it’s also fun?