Journey To The Center of Hawkthorne is Real

A fictional game in the universe of NBC's sitcom Community isn't so fictional after all.

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If you’re not familiar with the NBC sitcom Community, stop reading this and go watch the first three seasons on DVD. This post won’t go anywhere. It’ll be waiting patiently for you to return.

If you are familiar with Community then you know at the end of season three there is an episode called Digital Estate Planning. In the episode, Pierce Hawthorne must play an 8-bit style video game and win in order to receive his deceased fathers inheritance. The entire episode is animated to look like that 8-Bit style game (pictures of which you can see are around this article). Now the idea of an 8-Bit style TV show has existed before this. Code Monkeys (which aired on G4 awhile back) is actually quite entertaining. The only reason I bring up this particular episode of Community is that Reddit users have decided to make the episode into an actual game. Community has never had a large fanbase but it has a dedicated fanbase. That fanbase shines through with an amazing recreation of this classic episode.

***This exists!***

Years in the Making

If you’ve heard about this before and think this is old news then you’re half right. The sub-reddit r/hawkthorne has existed for quite sometime. The creators of the game have been working on Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne (game title in real life and the show) for over a year now (literally a few weeks after the episode aired in 2012). They’ve been posting updates to the game and bug fixes ever since. Check out the official site at ProjectHawkthorne.com. The half you’re wrong about is just how far it’s come of the past year.

I downloaded an early version of this game back when I first heard about it. At the time, the game had no objectives and was just you running around on a digital campus of Greendale Community College (where the show is based). I had a lot of fun playing around in the world even if there wasn’t much to do. I saved the sub-reddit and decided to check it out later when it was more complete. Two computers later and I totally forgot about it until last night.

What a night last night was. If you’re interested, go here to download the most recent version of the game. To say it has advanced since the last time I’ve played it is a huge understatement. The game follows almost exactly the same path the show took us down. Complete with sex crazed hippies and Hilda who knows everything. You can craft potions, “buy and sell weapons and armor”, play poker and just traverse various landmarks from the episode. It blows my mind that people made this.

Side Note: I’m not 100% sure who to give credit to for making this. I know a lot of people have basically crowd-sourced a video game for no money with everyone helping with everything. The user posting on the sub-reddit above is britta-bot and I think the name of the person who started this idea is Derferman but just be aware a lot of people have their hands on this.

***Probably not in the game…yet***

Review?

I was thinking of reviewing this game but that is an absolute disservice to the people making it. This game is literally  from a group of people doing it for fun. They don’t want money. They enjoy Community and the game is for people who enjoy it as much as they do. Sure it’s glitchy but, for a group of people who wanted to make something for the fans, it’s breathtaking. I am a huge Community nerd and the fact that this even exists makes my insides happy.

A Community Community

I can’t stress enough how much you should go check this out. If you’re a fan of the series you will feel right at home playing. Characters from the series, not just the episode, are all playable with different skins for each character such as Batman Abed or Teddy Pierce.

The creators have created and united a community for Community lovers. That gives me the warm and cuddlies.

***It’s OK Guys… The internet is my friend***

If you’ve played the game, how awesome is it? Is this the first instance of people creating a free game to play based on a TV episode (honestly, I have no idea)? Let’s get Community nerdy down in the comments below!


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Steve Lawton
My name is Steve. I consider myself a casual gamer but lover of nerd culture. Things interest me I don't even understand half the time.