8 Games Based On Books That Will Help Grow Your Gorgeous Brain

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A red-haired character in The Witcher stands with her hands on her hips and a copy of My Year of Rest and Relaxation tucked under her arm.

Image: CD Projekt Red / Penguin Publishing Group / Kotaku

Literature trends that turn authors into influencers and mail out literary bucket hats have determined that it is officially Hot Book Summer. Like Hot Girl Summer, Hot Book Summer, if done correctly, is all beauty with just a tasteful dash of brains. But what about us, we who carry the extra burden of a controller? How can we find our Hot Game Summer? Here I present to you a selection of novel-based gaming that will see your social standing raised to the highest brow.

Searching through the moody Irish twiglets in the love stories written by yassified James Joyce, Sally Rooney, Ottessa Moshfegh’s stylishly pouting eccentrics, and the inexplicable sluttiness of carrying a New Yorker tote bag, you’ll find that reading is no longer an activity people do only because they want to. Instead, reading is something you perform to let other people know that you’re artistic and most likely sensitive. There’s that irreplaceable feeling of sitting at a café on a warm afternoon, ordering a frothy drink in a small cup, and setting your book out in front of you. Peace, at last. Now everyone knows you own at least one book.

Because of Reese Witherspoon’s Hulu adaptations and those New Yorker tote bags, reading will never again be a purely intellectual pursuit for wiry haired Renaissance men. It’s a form of subtle—yet potent—social signaling. But how are you supposed to tell an entire train car you like poignantly sipping espresso if you prefer video games to books as your main art form? I thought you would never ask.

You scroll through this list, which contains details of eight games that may not help expand your vocabulary, but will certainly make you walk with the confidence that only being book-adjacent can provide. With these games, the general public will never doubt your ability to shed one meaningful tear, and you’ll be ready to plunge headlong into Hot Book Summer.

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