Official iPhone Game for Hunger Games Inspired by Sega Genesis

“The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire” app for the iPhone/iPad is based on input from Suzanne Collins and is visually inspired by the style of Sega Genesis games like Gunstar Heroes by the legendary Treasure. It’s going the opposite route of most licensed games which, let’s be honest, tend to be awful.

Co-creator Adam Saltsman notes-

“So as far as the setting, and the story, and the things that are in the game, these things are all sourced directly from the film, and by extension the books, and we even got some guidance on specific ideas from Suzanne Collins herself. But visually our inspiration comes from classic Sega Genesis games, especially Treasure games, and even more modern pixel art games like you see coming out of WayForward the last few years.”

It takes place in the Hunger Games universe, but covers new events:

“I feel like if we’re going to make a video game based on a film then it shouldn’t pretend to be anything else but a video game. Like to me intentionally using a pixelated style of presentation is a maybe not-so-subtle way of saying ‘this is its own thing.’” As its own thing, Girl on Fire takes place within the universe of the books, but covers new events.”

One of the hardest parts of making the game was figuring out which part of The Hunger Games to focus on-

“A hardcore survival simulation? A political thriller adventure game? A resource management thing? There are so many metaphors and so many ways to approach the kind of emotional or thematic core of the story that it was a bit overwhelming.”

It’s going to be a “teaser” game as they don’t wanna spoil any arena action revealed for the first time in the film, so it will take place before the actual games-

“This placed some constraints on the game: it should be small, and it must take place BEFORE the actual Hunger Games themselves; before the actual arena event in the story. So the specific almost systemic things we decided to work off of based on those constraints were things like the heroine’s talent for archery, her tendency to go for long walks in a sort of forbidden forest area, and her brains-over-brawn approach to solving problems.”

Remember those terrible film-licensed games that tried to replicate Grand Theft Auto or Super Mario by switching out some graphics but missed the whole point of why a game is fun? Yeah, this is different. It’s a boutique game, not trying to cash in, only trying to be awesome-

“So for almost every other art form, right, the idea that a big creative license or franchise would team up with a small creative studio to make a new work that is also commercial in nature is just commonplace. You don’t hire, I don’t know, some monolithic advertising giant if you want to design a great poster, you hire Saul Bass (or Olly Moss, for us hip youngsters!)”

Saltsman believes digital distribution, middleware, and “a more mature independent game making community” allow video games to be commissioned in the same “boutique” capacity as other design work. “And I think that is good for everybody.”


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