The Simpsons: sus exitosos juegos y el que no fue

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Actualmente es imposible oír hablar de los Simpsons y no saber quiénes son. La família más conocida de Springfield nos ha tenido enganchados al televisor durante muchos años – hasta la actualidad – y en esta ocasión no nos referiremos únicamente a su serie de animación.

Debajo del gran éxito de Los Simpsons, la familia amarilla ha protagonizado numerosos videojuegos desde su primera aparición en 1991 con The Simpsons: Bart vs The Space Mutants llegando en 2012 a los dispositivos móviles.

Con más de 25 juegos en el mercado y con motivo de su aniversario, hoy aprovechamos para hacer un repaso de algunos títulos y además conoceremos el juego de los Simpsons que nunca salió al mercado.

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Los más exitosos

Una saga tan conocida como Los Simpson no ha pasado desapercibida en la industria del videojuego. A lo largo de diferentes generaciones hemos podido disfrutar de títulos que han explorado todo tipo de géneros, con mayor o menor grado de éxito.

A diferencia de otras franquicias, la obra de Matt Groening nos ha dejado juegos de los simpsons que recogían con acierto las peripecias de Bart y Lisa, Krusty el payaso entre otros personajes. Repasemos algunos.

  • The Simpsons (1991) – Arcade, Commodore 64, PC, XBLA y PSN: Fue desarrollado por Konami en 1991 y fue oficialmente de los primeros juego de la franquicia. El juego es un beat’ em up en el que recorreremos las calles de Springfield para rescatar a Maggie de las garras de Smithers y el señor Burns. 
  • Bart VS. the Space Mutants (1991) – Mega Drive, NES, Master System, Game Gear, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum y Atari ST: En esta ocasión, en vez de basarse en un episodio específico, el juego utiliza varios personajes de la serie para crear una nueva historia sobre los mutantes espaciales, una raza recurrente de alienígenas hostiles y dónde Bart será el único que podrá detenerlos con patín en mano. 
  • Krusty’s Fun House (1992) – Super Nintendo, Mega Drive, NES, Master System, Game Boy, Game Gear, Amiga y PC: Es una propuesta de resolución de puzzles disfrutable y un ejemplo de buenos resultados cuando se ceden los derechos de la franquicia. En esta ocasión, la casa de diversión de Krusty (Fun House) está infestada de ratas por lo que deberemos deshacernos de ellas con la ayuda de Bart, quien se maneja mejor con las trampas. 
  • Night of the living Treehouse Horror (2001) – Game Boy Color: Es un juego de siete niveles de acción extraídos directamente de los episodios especiales de Halloween de la serie (Treehouse of Horror).
  • The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003) – PS2, Xbox, GameCube y PC: Aquí nos andentramos en Springfield y nos ponemos en el volante con los Simpsons dónde podemos explorar ampliamente la ciudad a nuestro gusto. En el juego usamos la familia Simpsons, además de Apu durante 7 diferentes niveles. 
  • The Simpsons Game (2007) – PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, Nintendo DS: 2007 fue un gran año para la franquicia ya que fue la primera vez que vimos un juego de Los Simpsons que cumplió altamente las expectativas, representando el juego que debería haberse creado para la franquicia desde el principio.
  • The Simpsons Tapped Out (2012) – Mobile: The Simpsons Tapped Out es un constructor de ciudades al estilo SimCity dónde deberemos reconstruir de nuevo la ciudad. Entre sus puntos fuertes encontramos su modalidad free-to-play, su catálogo de misiones, los eventos especiales y sus característicos personajes.

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El videojuego que nunca fue

Pues entonces no hay dudas que Los Simpson son unas de las series más exitosas de TV de todos los tiempos, manteniendo una larga producción de temporadas, además de otros contenidos. Pero, no hace mucho tiempo apareció un nuevo juego del que no se conocía nada hasta la actualidad.

Un viejo kit de desarrollo de Dreamcast guardaba el secreto: tenía grabada la demo técnica de un videojuego de ‘Los Simpson’ que ha permanecido inédito hasta ahora. ‘Bug Squad!’ era el título de esta propuesta de Red Lemon Studio a 20th Century Fox para recibir luz verde, lo que les permitiera iniciar el desarrollo. Ha sido descubierto y hecho público, en una fase muy primitiva, por el canal de Youtube DreamcasticChannel.

Esta joya oculta iba a ser lanzada para la consola Dreamcast de Sega.

Lo que vemos en su demo, es una escena en la cocina y el salón de los Simpson. El juego se llamaba ‘Bug Squad’ y parece que iba de manejar una especie de cucarchas en la casa de Springfield. No hay mucho más, solo un insecto controlado por el jugador que puede correr y saltar.

Resulta que el juego nunca vio la luz porque solo fue un experimento interno, y potencialmente una herramienta de producción para el estudio, como explica el cofundador de Red Lemon Andy Campbell en un comentario compartido por Dreamcastic Channel, el canal donde está subido el vídeo:

Teníamos un gran programador que había desarrollado un increíble motor de sombreado para imitar la estética de los dibujos animados. Teníamos contacto con Fox, así que este fue un demo que creamos y les ofrecimos. Nunca nos lo encargaron, así que técnicamente nunca fue un título oficial en desarrollo y nada más.

Este ‘Bug Squad!’ no es un producto final: no posee música, ni efectos de sonido, y hasta es complicado deducir qué tipo de mecánicas posee. Visualmente replica con muy buen tino la estética de colores planos y figuras simples que siempre ha caracterizado a la serie de televisión. La demo parece datar de octubre del año 2000, justo entre dos décadas en las que prácticamente se producía un juego de ‘Los Simpsons’ al año, es decir, que eran una franquicia segura.

Nos queda la duda de saber si este juego hubiera sido exitoso como su Hit the Run o hubiese quedado en el olvido por más que se haya publicado. Solo los usuarios podrían decirlo pero resulta imposible porque la experiencia no podrá ser.

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