Frankie Muniz!!!

Nine years after it ended, ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ is now a video game

Alec Robbins

If you spend much time at all remembering Malcolm in the Middle it’s probably as the television series that made former child actor and current boring-Instagram-account-maintainer Frankie Muniz famous.

Now, nine years after the show ended, there’s an unofficial Malcolm in the Middle video game. It was made by Alec Robbins, a “filmmaker, actor, artist,” and “boy.” The game went online up a few days ago.

It looks like this:

Robbins describes the game as “[a]n existential Malcolm in the Middle game made over the course of 2 days, in the midst of a Netflix binge.” Fair enough! In my dream world he would’ve binged on Frasier, but you do you, Alec.

The goal is very literal: you play as Malcolm and must maneuver yourself so that Malcolm stays in between his two brothers, Reese and Dewey. The brothers change speed as the three walk through pixelated suburbia to the sound of an 8-bit rendition of the show’s theme song. Sporadically little speech bubbles pop up with lines about what each brother is thinking:

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 1.44.20 PMAlec Robbins
Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 1.44.10 PMAlec Robbins

The game is simple but fun. Not too difficult, but challenging enough to spend a little time playing. A postscript asks that you “PLEASE TELL NO ONE OF THIS GAME,” presumably because Malcolm in the Middle is a copyrighted work, which the postscript also mentions. But I’m sure Robbins will be fine.

Having seen only one episode of Malcolm in the Middle, I can’t say it’s a good representation of the show. It’s a very good walking-in-American suburbia simulator, though.

My high score was 41,000 (not bragging, that’s pretty low). But if we’re gonna make Frankie Muniz’s cultural contributions into games, can we do Big Fat Liar next? Here’s a mockup I made, based on Robbins’s game:

mockup

Cool? Thanks!