Having taken a course in children's literature while at university several years back, one thing has stood out very clearly indeed: all of the stories that I loved as a young lad are nearly all just allegorical stories with horrific meaning behind them and reams of disturbing underlying subtext.
Following on from American McGee's recent teasing of Jack and the Beanstalk, and considering his rather dark take on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, here's a ten-strong list full of other fairytales we'd like to see Spicy Horse (or anyone else) take on, with a few suggestions regarding interpretation.
In no particular order, then...
The Little Mermaid
In the Disney version, she gets the prince. But that's not how the story is supposed to end. Instead, she is forced to flee back to the ocean, where she's damned by her elders, and forced to spend several centuries working in an ethereal purgatory for having ideas above her station. We propose mixing something as gruelling as Dark Souls with a dating sim, but with interminable long loading screens after failure so you can have a long, hard think about what you've done.
The best thing about Peter Pan, apart from enjoying an eternal childhood where your primary concerns are fencing with pirates, and seducing mermaids, and Native American princesses, is that you can fly. Cue a Panzer Dragoon rip-off, exclusive to Kinect.
Hansel and Gretel
It would be fairly easy to imagine a dark and chilling survival horror game based on Hansel and Gretel, tip-toeing through the woods, trying not to starve. More Amnesia, rather than Resident Evil, with the breadcrumbs both a life source and a navigation mechanic.
Or maybe you'd prefer a Cooking Mama spin-off (perhaps for iOS or Facebook) that sees you playing as the witch, mixing up suitably fattening recipes to feed to your young captives so you can eat them.
Little Red Riding Hood
Basically Plants vs. Zombies, but with a little girl up against a massive wolf. Sneaky grandmother decoy units, and the woodcutter wildcard would absolutely have to be involved.
Three Little Pigs
Well this one has already been made. Any variant of Angry Birds/Crush the Castle will do. Obviously featuring a wolf with bottomless lungs rather than a trebuchet or bird-firing slingshot.
Actually playing the game 'Cinderella' would probably be the most boring thing ever. A bunch of household chores, a quick dance-mat interlude, and then trying on a bizarre shoe peripheral. No, not for us.
We'd rather see GTA: Fairy Godmother. If you can turn pumpkins into carriages, mice into horses and lizards into footmen, just imagine what you could do to a Hunter chopper.
You wouldn't need to change much, but this would probably be the best action-platformer ever. The level designers would have a riot. There'd need to be interpretations of the digestive organs of a cow, a giant, and a fish. There could be a surfing section when Tom gets vomited up by the giant into the sea. Jousting and dancing mini-games at the court of King Arthur. Walnut chariot racing. Invisible adventures. Battling the common cold with swords!
Make this happen.
More of a bit of folk-horror than any fairytale, the tale of Lamkin is dark enough as it is, dealing with the story of a wronged stonemason who brutally murders the wife and child of his former employer after a little pay issue.
Jack the Giant Killer
It's Shadow of the Colossus, but with added Cornish giants. Basically a series of inventive, incredibly violent boss fights with open world adventuring in between. There is a battle with a giant that jack wins by literally shoving a sword up the giant's bum. How would this not be a bestseller?!
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
One for WiiMotion Plus and the Playstation Move. Who wouldn't want to conduct an interactive, cartoon orchestra. Child of Eden meets Fantasia, with the player cast as the conductor at the centre of a swirling, aesthetic extravaganza.
To really feel his pain, a Minecraft-type game would be required, with the promise of a grand cash prize for whoever builds the best castle. Only for the competition to end, and for the winner to learn that there is no prize and the competition was a hoax.