Spinoffs are game developers’ favorite thing because they can take an already well-established franchise and change it without having to introduce everything again. I feel like there are two sides to the spectrum. on one side there are the honest spinoffs where the developers want to take one of their franchises because they want to continue it but don’t want to make the same game repeatedly. And then there is the other side of the spectrum where the spinoff is made purely for some easy money because people will buy it since they like the other games in the franchise.
Let’s look at some spinoffs. The Typing of The Dead is a genius spinoff because it disguises itself to look like an educational game while the game is just your typical gruesome zombie game. House of The Dead is an arcade zombie shooter made in the 1990s by SEGA. The game even got so big that it spawned nine other games and even a movie! But enough about the actual game, let’s talk more about the spinoff. The game has you typing words that appear on the zombies, when you type out the word successfully it will blast the zombies head off. This game is genius because it puts itself out there as an educational game when it’s nothing like that.
Anyways another spinoff that is questionable is Club Penguin, not the actual one or terrible island cash grab but I’m talking about Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force on the DS. The DS has some of the weirdest spinoffs, I swear, a lot of brands just put their name on a terrible game. Companies like Scooby-Doo, Garfield, and even Bass Pro Fishing. Yes, Bass Pro Fishing, I’m also surprised. Anyways let’s talk about Club Penguin. The game was released July 7th, 2010 and developed by 1st Playable Productions. The game is a Point-and-Click where you investigate the disappearance of Gary the Gadget Guy. With the help of clues, you end up finding him at the end of a tunnel, however, this is not the end. You later find out that the boiler from the boiler room has been stolen. A lot of filler content goes by including you testing inventions from Garry. It turns out that some robots have been stealing stuff, and you end up weakening the robots and everything is returned.
Do you know Pokémon Snap? It would not be a surprise if you didn’t. The game was originally released on ‘Nintendo 64’ and has been a nostalgic game ever since, so nostalgic that they’re creating a new one! Anyways more about the original. You play as a photographer named Todd Snap. You start off with only a camera but as time goes on you get more items from Professor Oak. Items that help you attract Pokémon, stopping them from hiding, etc. The game is just a charming experience as you try to get a nice picture of all the Pokémon. The game was released in March 1999 but re-released in 2007 on the Wii and re-released again in 2016 on the Wii U as a Virtual Console game. Hopefully, they don’t ruin the new one coming on the Nintendo Switch.
Now spinoffs will never stop. They are an easy way to get a quick buck and a lot of them may be lesser than the original title but don’t expect them all to be bad. A lot of them feel like full games or are a good time sink.
Fun Fact: Bloons Tower Defense is a spin-off of the original Bloons