Deception lies around every virtual corner. Bitter rivals take potshots at each other, and players must confront monsters more terrifying than any orc. Welcome to Wisteria Lane.
The popular TV series “Desperate Housewives” has always seemed to take place in a slightly altered universe, where perfect lawns hide the perfect murder (or three or four), and the infidelities and twisted social lives make suburbia look as dangerous as any scene out of “World of Warcraft.”
Come this fall, players of a new interactive game based on the show can create their own scandal — or work to uncover their neighbors’ secrets. They can even do a little shopping on the side.
The “Desperate Housewives” game, for PC only, is being developed by Liquid Entertainment and will be released this fall, Buena Vista Games announced Friday. Like Touchstone Television, which produces the show, and ABC, which broadcasts it, Buena Vista Games is a division of Walt Disney Co.
Players take on the role of a new housewife on Wisteria Lane and interact with the series’ established characters.
“If you’ve watched the show and said, ‘If that was me, I totally would have handled that differently,’ now in the game, you get that choice,” said game producer Mary Schuyler.
The game unfolds over 12 episodes, with a big story arc throughout, Schuyler said. “Through the individual episodes, you’ll be slowly revealed to what’s going on.”
Players can decide whom they want to befriend and whom they want to spurn. “You can decide if you want to be nice to people, or to be nasty,” Schuyler said. “You can decide to help them or not.”
The lead writer of the game, Scott Sanford Tobis, has also worked on the TV show, and Schuyler said the idea for the game came from wanting to spend more time in Wisteria Lane. “Being fans of the show, we thought it’d be nice during the summer, or when the show is off the air, to still have the ‘Desperate Housewives’ world to interact in.”
Schuyler said she hoped the game would attract both fans of the TV show and casual female gamers. Several of the game elements are designed to be enjoyed separately from the long story arc. “If you have a lot of time, you can do the story elements; if you have a little time, you can play with some of the shorter elements,” such as shopping for clothes or decorating your house, she said.
Of the TV cast, so far only Brenda Strong, the actress who is more heard than seen on the show as deceased housewife Mary Alice Young, has signed on for the video game. Negotiations are under way with other cast members, but all the original characters will be in the game regardless, Schuyler said.
But fans with ultimate revenge fantasies in mind should put them to rest. You may be able to shun Bree or scold Lynnette, but you won’t be able to kill them. But sarcasm, as any “Housewives” fan knows, is the ultimate weapon.