Posted March 28, 2017 by Dian Raval in Gaming

Unconventional Pop-Culture Games and Adaptations

Popular culture is all-encompassing, spawning inspirations and adaptations across countless forms of media, and what’s typically most popular among these formats are interactive in nature. These pop-culture ‘games’ can take a variety forms, but some are less conventional than others. From trading card games and POG chips to video game adaptations and the kind of chips to lay your odds on. Some rather odd, others actually cool, here are some of the most unconventional pop-culture games out there today.

1. The Pinball Arcade


A pinball machine, in and of itself, is already a pop-culture ‘game’, but not only is it outdated by modern day video games, it’s also quite expensive to collect and maintain. Interestingly video games have come so far that it can virtually emulate actual existing pop-culture themed pinball tables, allowing you to play and collect as many pinball tables as you want without shelling out too much cash and cramming up home.

  • Marvel Pinball  – an arcade pinball video game developed by Zen Studios. It features Marvel Comics-themed pinball tables.
  • Doctor Who and Doctor Who: Master of Time – pinball tables available in The Pinball Arcade video game by FarSight Studios, based on the real-world pinball machine designed by Bill Pfutzenreuter and Barry Oursler.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day – another pinball table available in The Pinball Arcade based on an actual pinball machine designed by Steve Ritchie and released by Williams Electronics.

2. Virtual Reality


Gone are the days of make-believe. Video games have become so advanced that it is now possible to immerse yourself in a virtual rendition of your favorite pop-culture icons. This media format might be unconventional now, but with video games pushing for more and more immersion, I wouldn’t be surprised if virtual reality becomes the standard format to enjoy interactive entertainment.

  • Alien Isolation – a first-person horror game based on the titular Alien franchise. Though never officially released with VR mode, tinkering around the games directory may prove worth it as this is by far, the best way to experience the Alien franchise.
  • Batman: Arkham VR – Ever wondered how it feels like to don the Dark Knight’s cowl? Now you won’t have to. Rock Steady lets you be the Batman himself in this PlayStation VR title.
  • Star Wars™ Battlefront™ Rogue One™: X-wing VR Mission – Star Wars Battlefront is a visually stunning game, doing the legendary franchise a great justice. With VR, it does it even greater justice, letting you pilot an X-wing to fight alongside the Rebel Alliance. This is a must-experience for any Star Wars fan.

3. Slot Games

Mechanical Slot games are a great many’s favorite past time. The thrill of lining up a sequence of cherries in a bid for good luck is a timeless experience. Slot games have come a long way from cherries, spawning countless of pop-culture themed games -physical or online- to sink your teeth into. Technology has only made online slots more fun, and is now more accessible than ever since there are even PayPal online casinos out there! We bet you’re gonna have lots of fun!

  • The Incredible Hulk – an online slots game featuring the big green berserker himself. Try not to go green when you strike out in this gamma radiated game. One of the many superhero-themed slot games out there online from both Marvel and DC properties.


  •  Batman & The Joker Jewels – when we think about superheroes, the most popular no doubt is Batman. When we think about villains, it is definitely The Joker. So for this particular slot game, Batman & The Joker Jewels, we’re getting both! And as a bonus, we get the Batman from the Batman TV Series with Adam West!


  • Spider-Man: Attack of the Green Goblin – Of course, we won’t be leaving out something for the Marvel zombies, right? There’s also one with Spider-Man, Marvel Comics’ most popular superhero! This also got us thinking that if you play this one, you might get rid off that ‘Parker Luck’ if you know what we mean.


4. Creator Action Figures


Action figures are one of the more common forms of pop-culture merchandises. Who wouldn’t want to collect miniature replicas of their favorite characters? But action figures of the people behind the creation of said characters? I’m not so sure. Such is the case for the Sixth-Scale Stan Lee figure by Hot Toys. Sporting an uncanny resemblance to the main man himself. The same was done for famed video game director Hideo Kojima, being immortalized as a lego man and a cyborg ninja action figure. I’ll stick with fictional character toys, thank you.

5. Food


Yet another common pop-culture product integration, but in this case, it isn’t always appropriate. Sure, kids (and even adults) can enjoy Batarang shaped cereal, but would you be willing to lick the Star Wars Episode I: Jar Jar Binks tongue candy? Or how about a robin hood themed cereal where their arrow-shaped cereal looks more like an innuendo for the male reproductive organ? Well, maybe some of us would like that.

6. LARPing


Though not exactly a product or a medium, but it’s an adaptation nonetheless. LARP stands for live-action role playing where people gather to act out their fantasy characters. Usually, people larp original fantasy universes, but there is the occasional pop-culture themed events, like ones taking place in The Lord of The Rings universe. This is probably most unconventional for in this list as LARPing takes a lot of planning and preparations, making it a very rare occurrence.

Pop-culture influence hardly ever fades, and over time, more and more forms of media and merchandise become profitable. They might not always seem like good ideas, but if anything, it shows that we possess a passion for popular culture that transcends the conventional. Chances are, you’ve had your fill of the conventional, so here’s to hoping you’ll find these unconventional alternatives entertaining, one way or another.


Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.