10 best video games based on comics that aren’t Marvel or DC

The world of comics is vast, encompassing not only the classic superhero genre, but a myriad of others as well. From horror to sci-fi to pulp adventure, the world of comics is an almost infinitely deep well to tap into.

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It’s no wonder video games have embraced this time and time again for adaptations. Hundreds of comics have received the video game adaptation treatment. Many of them are from the powerful Marvel and DC publishers. But the Big Two don’t have a monopoly on comic book-based video games. Small publishers make great, engaging stories, and they’ve been brought to the small screen as well.

ten “Alien vs. Predator” is a horror adventure (1994)

Alien vs predator stabbing predator xenomorph

Dark Horse launched the now famous Vice-president franchise in 1989 with their intermittent series of the same name. Drawing on two powers of sci-fi horror, this series pits the two infamous alien species against each other with humanity caught in the middle.

This game offers three unique scenarios that the player can experience. As an alien, they are tasked with saving their queen. The predator story, meanwhile, attempts to kill the queen. Finally, in a human scenario, the player is simply trying to survive.

9 “Bone: Out From Boneville” is a heartwarming adventure (2005)

Bone Out de Boneville Bone thorn and red dragon

Jeff Smith’s fantastic classic BONE, published by Image Comics, is a masterpiece of adventure, intrigue and heart. This adventure game was the first from Telltale Games, the now-defunct studio known for its deep storytelling and choice-driven gameplay.

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The game follows closely the first volume of BONE as Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are exiled from their hometowns and find themselves in The Valley, a magical place filled with memorable characters and ancient secrets.

8 “Hellboy: Dogs Of The Night” Is Filled With Satisfying Puzzles (2003)

Hellboy Dogs of the night underground dungeon

Another Dark Horse comic, Hellboy is a pastiche of classic cosmic horror, world mythology, and pulp action. There have been video game adaptations of Hellboy movies, but Dogs of the night came before all those.

It received bad reviews on its release, but fans of the game today praise its surprisingly satisfying puzzles, and the dated and muddy graphics actually work to enhance the grim, brooding feeling that fills Mike Mignola’s panels.

7 “Little Nemo: The Dream Master” is considered one of the best NES games of all time (1990)

Little nemo the dream master NES title screen

The character Little Nemo is from a Winsor McCay comic book and was the star of the Japanese film Little Nemo: Adventures in the Land of Sleep. Master of dreams is a 2D sidecroller who sees Nemo befriending small animals in order to unlock their special powers to move forward.

The game has received good reviews and is considered by some to be one of the best NES games of all time. Prospective players should be forewarned, however, as the game is notoriously difficult, even by today’s standards.

6 “Popeye” Was Meant to Have a Follow-Up Play (1982)

Popeye arcade game level with olive oyl and bluto popeye

The iconic sailor Popeye dates back to 1929 and has been a mainstay of popular culture ever since. His cantankerous demeanor and wacky adventures made him an instant classic, and in the early ’80s it was a no-brainer to stick him in an arcade machine.

The gameplay is classic arcade game – Olive Oyl has dropped a number of items for Popeye to collect, going through the vertical stages while avoiding all kinds of enemies and dangers. Popeye’s cast was originally scheduled to appear in another arcade game, but the developer was unable to secure the rights. This game was eventually released as Donkey kong.

5 “Spy Vs Spy” is a high violence game (1984)

Spy vs Spy commodore 64 spies at desktop level

The high-violence burlesque action of Spy vs. Spy skip pages of Crazy magazine in this two player game. Players clash as iconic black and white spies attempt to escape from an Embassy building, while setting themselves devastating traps.

The striking visuals of the comics are faithfully portrayed, despite the technical limitations of the time, and the game was well received upon release.

4 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Has Mixed Reviews (1989)

Game ninja turtle TMNT Nes in an industrial level

Riding on the success of the 1987 TMNT An animated series, the NES game sees the heroes on the half-shell chase after their nemesis Shredder, save April O’Neil from Bebop and Rocksteady, and deploy their ninja skills throughout town.

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The player can switch between the four turtles at will, and each has its own attacks and its own health bar. When a turtle is defeated, it is captured by enemies and must be rescued. Mixed reviews aside, this game is a must-have for all TMNT superfans.

3 “Prisoners of the Sun” Have Not Aged Well (1997)

Tintin prisoners of the sun tintin calculation and haddock in a bookcase with ball lightning

The classic adventure stories of Tintin recount the busy life of a Belgian journalist as he finds himself embroiled in all manner of global conspiracies. The Prisoners of the Sun is an adaptation of the thirteenth and fourteenth volumes of the Tintin comic strip, The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun.

Stories do not age well, with racist depictions of indigenous South America being at the heart of the story’s plot. The game, however, remains an interesting artifact of its time, with pixel art that recreates the look of the comics with surprising fidelity.

2 “Samurai Warrior: The Battles Of Usagi Yojimbo” is a simple side scrolling (1988)

samurai warrior usagi warrior yojimbo challenges yojimbo

Usagi Yojimbo is a manga that chronicles the exploits of its protagonist, an anthropomorphic samurai rabbit. This adaptation is a simple side-scrolling adventure game, although it features some lightweight RPG mechanics that are worth it even to this day.

The scoring system of the game is karma, with Usagi’s actions affecting his karma. The player can attack unarmed civilians, but this will reduce their score.

1 “The Walking Dead” is a modern classic (2012)

The Walking Dead video game character has spread over a horde of zombies

Before the hugely popular AMC TV show, The walking dead was a comic book published by Image Comics. Most of the characters in the game are new, but it takes place in the same world established in the comics. The game was a huge success for Telltale, emphasizing storytelling and character rather than solving traditional adventure game puzzles.

The creator of the comic book series, Robert Kirkman, was involved in overseeing the story, so the game looks true to form.

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