Perfect Strangers: The Most Perfect Video Game Ever Created About The 1980s
By Jeremy Goldstone. May 3, 2012, 9:00 AM CDT
Every once in a while, a video game is created that not only defies genre, but redefines the meaning of the word art. A game that brings humanity together, reminding us that we are not individuals, but a global community. That game is Perfect Strangers: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now by jada, an advergaming design company.
I’m not even sure how to properly explain the game. Doing so is like describing the toe of God. But I’m going to do my damnedest to try. For you younglings out there, Perfect Strangers was a sitcom on ABC from 1986 to 1993 about Balki Bartokomous, a naive immigrant from the fictional island of Mypos, moving to America and living with his cousin, Larry. It was a fish out of water comedy distilled to its very essence and featured one of the greatest sitcom theme songs of all time.
In the game, you type in your dream, and then race with Balki through a surreal interpretation of the show’s theme song while collecting stars. Collect enough and achieve your dream — NOW WE ARE SO HAPPY, WE DO THE DANCE OF JOY!
Perfect Strangers is not the first attempt to turn an 80s sitcom into a video game. The YouTube-based Saved by the Bell Interactive Game was something like a John the Baptist to PS:NGSMN, an earlier predecessor to set the stage.
ALF for the Sega Master System actually came out concurrent with the show. No cats were harmed in the making of this game.
And a bazillion games based on The Simpsons, but that barely counts as the show debuted on December 17, 1989. That’s barely the 80s. Same goes for M*A*S*H*, which started in the 70s but ran into the 80s. However, I have to mention the war-placed show, because someone made a M*A*S*H* game for real, without any irony whatsoever.
So, think of your most cherished dream, get ready to have that obscenely catchy theme song stuck in your head, and prepare to have Balki run and jump to achieve your most desired life goal. Unless, of course, a Perfect Strangers flash game was what you wanted most out of life. If so, dream realized!
About Jeremy Goldstone
Jeremy Goldstone is an experienced tech writer, having been both journalist and PR flack for consumer electronics. He also invented the two-man video game podcast. For reals. Look it up.