7 fictional video games that we're kind of glad don't exist

#2: The titular game in Heir Apparent

Another virtual reality game, Heir Apparent follows you, the player character, as you discover that you are the illegitimate child of the late king, who named you heir to his throne before his death. Now you have to figure out how to survive the three days leading up to your coronation while navigating political unrest, dragons, and the current queen and her three sons who aren't too particularly happy about being passed over in line to the throne. There are endless ways to win. And endless ways to lose.

Why this would be cool:

Video games have an edge over other forms of storytelling because they're interactive. It's kind of their main selling point. Heir Apparent takes this to the max. There's no set number of paths to take. You can do whatever you want! Poison the queen, flirt with a prince, burn the village to the ground, lead an army of sheep against the castle guard. I'm not saying that any of these strategies would work, but you could still try them anyway.

Why this is a terrible idea:

As we find out in the book, technical difficulties could potentially trap you in the game, risking permanent brain damage or even death if you don't find a way to win. But don't get discouraged. Every time you die in the game, you get to try again! And again. And again. And again. It's the medieval Groundhog Day from Hell. Oh, and virtual reality is crazy expensive in the future. $100 an hour? So much for my food budget.

Published Jun. 8th 2015

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