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Plugged In

Dragon’s Lair creator returns to video games

Plugged In

Easter Eggs

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Tapper World Tour - Square One Games

It has been 28 years since Don Bluth made a video game, but the film and gaming legend is ready to hit "play" once more.

Bluth is teaming with Square One Games for Tapper World Tour, an iPhone/iPad game that updates the classic Tapper arcade
quarter-gobbler and blends it with Bluth's distinctive animation style.

While Bluth says he has always been interested in the gaming industry, he has spent the bulk of his career in Hollywood. An ex-Disney animator, he went on to direct such features as "The Secret of N.I.M.H.," "An American Tail," "The Land Before Time" and "All Dogs Go to Heaven."

It's Hollywood, in some ways, that drove him to gaming in the first place, however.

View Screenshots: Tapper World Tour

"When we did Secret of N.I.M.H., it didn't do what we thought it would," he told Y! Games. "It did not do well financially. The thing that bailed us out was making Dragon's Lair, the game.

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Bluth wowed arcade-goers in the 1980s with titles like Space Ace.

"So when we made [our] last picture with Fox - Titan AE - and Fox decided to go into CGI animation, I said 'well I guess we're not making
pictures any more. Let's look at games.'"

For Tapper World Tour, which goes on sale later this spring, Bluth was responsible for creating several in-game animations, as well as
helping to create the look and feel of the game's characters. It was a return
to roots for him, he says, as he has been so involved with the direction side
of the industry that he hadn't done animation for years.

While he's not a gamer himself, Bluth says he has kept an eye on the industry's evolution since its arcade heyday. And he hasn't always liked what he has seen.

"With games, they seem there's a great similarity in all of them," he says. "They are violent. I have a sword or I have a bat or I have a hammer and I can hit you with it. The interesting thing about a game is when you can go deeper into [the lead character] and he has an [purpose or driving desire]. That pulls me in."


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