Play Doctor With House

While we were busy paying attention to Sony and Nintendo last Tuesday, Legacy Interactive quietly announced a video game that will kill your console nine times before finally saving its life.

Yes, House is getting his own game for the PC, Nintendo Wii, and DS, courtesy of the company that brought you Mean Girls and Pretty in Pink, and while fans of the award-winning medical drama may be groaning, Legacy Interactive president
Ariella Lehrer assures me that they'll do the franchise proud. In fact, with a long history of producing both detective adventures and games like Emergency Room: Code Red, you could say that House falls right in their sweet spot.

I sat down with Ariella for breakfast on the Friday following E3, not quite knowing what to expect. The announcement of House, as well as a PC game based on Murder She Wrote, managed to slip by last Tuesday, with Nintendo and Sony press conferences neatly smothering the news, so I had no idea the announcement had even been made.

As a pretty huge fan of House, I was at first surprised, but soon started asking obscure questions that Ariella wasn't prepared to answer. Which cast were they including? Would the dead guy be in the game? Will Wilson just pop up in the middle of each case to say "It isn't cancer" and then disappear? Will anyone have lupus?

She couldn't answer those, but she did have some information to share. The game will consist of five cases for House and his team to solve, which will involve actual medical procedures, as well as questioning patients, breaking into their houses...you know, all the fun differential diagnosis techniques that House has taught us.

Unfortunately they'll be using sound-alikes for the actors, as Hugh Laurie alone would probably double the development budget for the game, but I am assured they will find the best sound-alikes available. Ariella understands how important the tone is to the success of the show.

Plus, NBC/Universal is watching them like a hawk. Every bit of art, every background, and every game asset has to be approved before it makes it into the game, and no one knows what video game players want like television executives, right? Okay, perhaps not, but at least everything will be authentic.

Legacy Interactive is taking the House game very seriously. So seriously that they are holding off on the Wii version of the game until next year in order to make sure they put out the best possible product, despite the fact that there's a built-in audience that would buy it even if it turns out to be terrible. That sort of dedication is inspiring, and as a fan of the show I am overjoyed that Legacy is handling the game...though it might just be an obscure island fugus affecting my emotions.

Look for House to hit PC and DS this holiday, with the Wii version tentatively scheduled for the next.