For most movie buffs, Bollywood games that are available online, on mobile, the Web or PC, are an extension of the movie itself. Apart from being a means to entertainment, they’ve also become a source for today’s tech-savvy audience to get a sense of a film before its release. With the help of the multitude of platforms, they are used by production houses as an interactive avenue to gauge responses to the film and also promote it across a wider cross-section of people.
Currently, action is the most coveted genre for developers looking to design games around movies. The Ghajini PC game, for instance, reportedly saw 250-300 lakh downloads, the highest in India, since its release in 2008. But besides action, racing and cricket films are also equally popular, and games based on these themes do well too.
“Games help you get an immediate experience of the movie beforehand. And on easily accessible platforms like the mobile and Internet,” says Samir Bangara, COO of UTV Indiagames, which develops games for Web, mobile and DTH platforms.
UTV Indiagames has made games for such movies as Kaminey, Jodha Akbar and Rann, among many others. Downloads to the mobile and PC, Bangara says, are directly proportional to the perceived popularity of the movie. If a movie is marketed well, a user will want to download a game based on it, and this in turn will help promote the movie itself.
“It’s a two-way process: the movie advertises the game and vice versa. However, casual gaming elements and the theme of the movie need to be incorporated into it,” adds Bangara, citing the example of the I Hate Luv Storys game, which was developed because Imran Khan is an avid gamer and the company felt they were doing justice to the movie’s theme.
UTV Indiagames recently released a game based on We Are Family, and their future titles include Guzaarish and Tees Maar Khan. They are also heavily focussing on their tie-up with Reliance Big TV to roll out games on their DTH platform. “Bollywood games work best on the mobile, Web and DTH platforms due to their accessibility. The games give you a great inroad into the movie, and they end up working as interactive trailers,” Bangara adds.
Old films as games too
Jump Games is another game company that caters to film buffs. Their repertoire of games includes ones based on 3 Idiots and Kites. However, they have also branched out to include several mobile games with actors such as Sameera Reddy, Bipasha Basu and R Madhavan central to the plot.
What’s more, they have brought back feel-good old films such as Maine Pyaar Kiya and Amar Akbar Anthony to the mobile
platform. The games are available on phones with a GPRS connection.
“Much as in the movie, the 3 Idiots game involves a besotted Aamir Khan trying to woo Kareena Kapoor with flowers. I loved the film and played this game continuously for a while,” says Sujay Shah, a casual gamer.
For student and amateur gamer Viren Kothari, the movie Kites didn’t quite cut it but the game was an interesting mix of adventure and romance. He says, “It was a car chase game and held my attention for some time, unlike the film.” Clearly, escapist cinema has found a new outlet. And we aren’t complaining. Game on.
Games you can play
3 Idiots: Three mini games based on popular genres like racing and trivia capture the film’s essence.
Hanuman Returns: Cute, naughty and blessed with super powers, Hanuman takes it on himself to fight against the evils of Shaukracharya and Rahuketu. Packed with weapons like the gadda and the ability to fly, this game lets you play as Hanuman and save the world.
Kites –Fates Victim: This official movie game is about a wounded man left in the desert. His goal is to find his lady love.
Bipasha Basu Jet Ski Champ: Watch the Bollywood beauty sizzle through power-packed tracks.
Bappi Da Disco King: Bappi Da has been robbed of his trademark bling jewellery and now wants it back from the goons who stole it. Armed with his super guitar, go on a musical mission to rid the city of its evil.
Maine Pyaar Kiya: Play cupid in the yesteryear superhit. Help the pigeon fly over highways, cities and even jungles to ensure that the message of love spreads far and wide.
Sameera The Street Fighter: Catch Sameera Reddy playing a princess who has no mercy for those trying to invade her father’s kingdom!
Run Maddy Run: It’s not easy to be a star, and when you’re Maddy, paparazzi have all the reasons to chase you for that perfect snap!
Amar Akbar Anthony: Anthony wants to impress Jenny while Jenny’s bodyguard doesn’t allow anyone to do so. Anthony’s hurt and a few pegs down. He needs help. Play as a drunken Anthony who is trying to apply medicine on his image on a mirror.