After reading The Old Man Club by Ernest Hemingway, I was curious to see how a game interpretation of this short novel would play out. While I had played video game adaptations of movies, I had never read a novel and then seen it interpreted into a video game. I also found this short novel to be pretty simplistic in the events that take place, as the majority of the story takes place on a boat as an old man attempts to regain his lucky streak of catching fish regularly. The novel focuses more on detail and emotion (or lack of) for the most part, so I was curious to see what a game version of this novel would entail. I imagined that the objective would be to catch and win fish, but I did not at all imagine that I would be arm wrestling them for it!
In the game adaptation, The Old Man Club, you play as (presumably) a new member of the old man club that must challenge each buff man…fish…thing that you encounter to an arm wrestling match. Once you defeat each one, you can advance further into the parlor. I appreciated that this game implemented small details from the novel into the game, such as the old man’s love for baseball (in the game this is shown through a newspaper article on a baseball game). While I also enjoyed the fact that this game was refreshing, in the sense that it did not at all try and completely replicate the story, it seemed to stray pretty far away from the novel entirely. I’m not sure if the game developer intended to make it in relation to the game, or simply inspired by the game, but it had little to do with the plot of the novel itself. I guess in a way, it was kind of endearing that the developer created this game that the “old man” (if you are supposed to be playing as him) can finally beat these fish once again and win them over. If that’s what he was going for. But in any case, it was an interesting game with a creative concept behind it. 7.7/10!