Webtoons that deserve game adaptions 2 – Crossover Appeal
I recently ran an article on Webtoons/Manwha that deserve game adaptations. And as mentioned in that article there are plenty more suitable candidates for game adaptions. However, I haven’t read a whole lot of series so I’ll mostly focus on the series I have become familiar with. There is no doubt in my mind that there are plenty more contenders. But these few I’ve come across are certainly worth checking out.
Continuing from last week’s article, Solo Leveling has a few similarities with The Gamer. Both series involve the main character who suddenly lives life by RPG rules. Complete with levels, stats, equipment, and skills. However, where The Gamer starts off mostly in the real world and the world of The Abyss is hidden from most others. But in Solo Leveling the general populace are not only aware of the dungeons and monsters, but they actually form parties and guilds to combat them. But I mentioned that the main character plays by RPG rules specifically. And that’s where things start to get really interesting. While there are plenty of “awakened” adventurers their power levels are set, all they do to improve is work on combat experience and equipment. But our protagonist is a rare “double awakened” adventurer who receives the unique ability of growth.
Fitting this concept into a game is already super easy. The hero uses RPG systems so there are equivalents in games. He also begins as the weakest of adventurers and rapidly gains power to rival the strongest. The series also contains a host of wonderful characters and a party/guild system that would work well. Honestly, from just reading the series I’d say it has all the elements for an amazing turn-based or ARPG. Dungeons are split into classes, the hero gains a power that would be perfect (I won’t spoil what it is). Literally every aspect of reading the series makes me wish I could play it as a game. And for that reason alone, I’d say Solo Leveling is a Webtoon/Manwha that deserves a game adaption.
DICE also known as DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything. Is another fairly popular and long-running Webtoon that deserves a game adaption. Like a few of the other series I’ve mentioned, there are game elements built into the story already. Openly much darker than most of the other Webtoons I’ve talked about. DICE opens with the protagonist as a bullied student leading an almost cursed life. Well actually, it’s more than almost cursed. As the intro of the series shows, the quality of your life when you are reborn is down to a dice roll. Rolling a 6 makes you blessed, and conversely, a 1 is a curse. It’s an interesting prospect that your next life has nothing to do with your previous one and is just down to the luck of the die.
As I mentioned before the series touches on a lot of dark themes. While most of the series have serious elements, mostly concerning death. Dice is next level, with themes like bullying, suicide, abuse and much more. The series is a moral quagmire at times and as the Telltale Walking Dead games showed us (among others) that can be translated into a game format quite well. As well as the moral choices in the series there are some even more obvious gaming tropes built into the series. The titular Dice are used by people known as “Dicers” to improve their stats and are awarded by a mysterious game master known as X for completing various quests.
The quests are super varied but mostly seem to come in 3 stages, each getting progressively harder/morally corrupt and awarding more dice. But the main thing that sets Dice out is the stat system. While there are a lot of basic fighting stats you can also put points into looks, height, intelligence, and many others. The sheer amount of stats you can upgrade gives it an almost Harvest Moon/Rune Factory feeling at times. However, with a much darker undercurrent. That and the setting of a modern Korean high school could make for a wonderful Rune Factory/Persona hybrid sort of game.
Survival Story of A Sword King in a Fantasy World
Survival Story of A Sword King in a Fantasy World is another Webtoon that deserves a game adaption. This one is relatively new compared to most of the others I’ve talked about. However, a super long title is not its only defining feature. Where The Gamer, Solo Leveling and Dice all take place in their regular worlds (with the exception of dungeons but they are linked to the standard worlds), Survival Story is what is referred to in Japanese manga as an Isekai or Other World story. Meaning that the hero of the story was in a regular human world and was brought into a fantasy one with RPG rules. Also differing from The Gamer and Solo Leveling, but shared with Dice is the fact that the game rules and status windows apply to more than one character.
So to boil down the story, a group of humans are marked as “chosen” and sent to another world. This fantasy world operates on RPG rules with levels, stats, classes, and skills. But the “guide system” (the name of this series RPG mechanic), is bugged out for the main character. And it’s exactly this bugged out system that would set Survival Story apart. Adding a random roguelike system to a traditional RPG would be an interesting twist. Imagine a game where sometimes when you level up your actual level doesn’t increase. You gain bonus stats but can’t equip items or enter places below your level cap. So you could end up with crazy stats at a low level. An interesting proposition.
Again these are just a few more Webtoons that deserve game adaptions. There are plenty more series out there I haven’t mentioned. And still more I’ve yet to read. Even genre-wise I’ve mostly stuck to battle Webtoons and most of them have gaming mechanics built-in. But there are plenty of other types of stories that could translate really well. For instance, a whole bunch of romantic series could become great Visual Novels. Or a series like Escape Room could become an interesting puzzle game. As time passes there are more and more series being worked on, so we’ll end up with even more options. And hopefully, Crunchyroll’s decision to work on anime adaptions will pay off and increase the chances of gaming studios taking notice.
If you’re interested in checking out Webtoons/Manwha for yourself (in English): https://www.webtoons.com/en/
One half of the YouTube brother duo, The Game Bros with Sirhc and Ar0n, Chris is a lover of games, movies and other great things you can do from home.
Coffee of choice: I like the sweeter kinds, mixed with chocolate, coconut, caramel etc. but I won’t turn down a flat white or a straight black either.