THOUSAND OAKS, CA - Following the release of Dante's Inferno, Novacon/Deepgnome took a shot at marketing their own literature-framed, action video game. The disappointing result was Ethan Frome: Sled Ride to Hell. Based on the 1911 novel by Edith Wharton, 'Frome' follows the title character around a realistic CGI setting of Starkfield, Massachusetts as he cares for his sickly, shrewish wife, Zenobia, while battling attraction to her lively cousin, Mattie Silver.
"This wasn't a strong choice of subject matter," said syndicated game critic Dillon Overs. "'Inferno' has devils and hell. You can work with that. 'Frome' has Massachusetts. Honestly, what's the point of platforming on Xbox 360 and charging $60 to follow a repressed New Englander?" Despite the presence of multiple levels, no real action takes place until Level 9 when Frome and Mattie attempt suicide on a sled. "Who commits suicide on a sled?" asked Overs. "This game is so slow and depressing it could be a comedy on NBC."
Scathing reviews have resulted in meager retail sales. "They [Novacon/Deepgnome] got cocky because Klezmer Hero was such a surprise hit," continued the critic. "They should've waited for Sony to make something successful, then ripped off the idea. That's what everybody else does." (Image: West Bend Library)