'Perfect Strangers' gets its own viral video game
In the pantheon of long-expired TV properties ripe to be reinvented for the video game age, "Perfect Strangers" is not the title that instantly springs to mind. But somehow, a mini "Perfect Strangers" game has emerged and spread around the Web like wildfire.
For those who don't remember, "Perfect Strangers" was the ABC sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1993 and starred Mark Linn-Baker as a strait-laced American who finds himself roommates with his wacky foreign cousin, Balki, played by Bronson Pinchot.
Available on the site NothingsGonnaStopMeNow.com, the short game involves sharing your greatest dream and then controlling Balki, the lovable foreigner from the Mediterranean island of Mypos, as he runs and flies on a mission to collect stars to achieve that goal.
The project was created by Brooklyn-based video game designer Jason Oda. Though he works in the world of viral marketing, Oda says he did the "Perfect Strangers" game on his own. In an email he said, "It's a personal project built to help people be inspired to chase their dreams."
Using his viral marketing skills, he managed to get word on the game out through the usual social media routes, as well as the Huffington Post and Gawker.
"Those characters and that song inspire me to keep working and having hope for the future, just wanted other people to have that too," he said.
Curious '80s nostalgists overloaded the website on Thursday, leading to a server crash. But Oda expects to have it up again within a day.
-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Mark Linn-Baker, left, and Bronson Pinchot from "Perfect Strangers." Credit: ABC.