"Bill Watterson draws wonderful bedside tables. I admire that. He also draws great water splashes and living room couches and chairs and lamps and yawns and screams, and all the things that make a comic strip fun to look at. I like the little arms on Calvin and his shoes that look like dinner rolls. Drawing in a comic strip is infinitely more important than we may think, for our medium must compete with other entertainment, and if a cartoonist does nothing more than illustrate a joke, he or she is going to lose. Calvin and Hobbes however, contain hilarious pictures that cannot be duplicated in other mediums. In short, it’s fun to look at and that is what made Bills work such an admirable success."
-Charles M. Schulz
Where the game comes in to play lies all in theory as usual. I honestly don’t know if it could even be done (as I’m assuming Watterson grew even more cynical and reclusive with age), but I refuse to just ignore the potential the character could have within a game. As I stated above, the strip shares a lot with Peanuts (and Watterson has definitely acknowledged Schultz as one of his largest influences), but it’s far from being a mere derivative of it. Instead, I’d call it an edgier and far more potent blast of what made Peanuts so significant to begin with. Calvin himself for example, is an amalgamation of every character within Peanuts with one exception, Charlie Brown. Hobbes was more of a rational extension of Calvin, but ran in the same beat as him. This is to say a callous and self-absorbed six-year old boy who has no friends (unless you count Susie, who he tormented as much as he could), runs out of the classroom at his own whims, and philosophically undermines his own perception of the world at every turn he can.
"The wonder of "Peanuts" is that it worked on so many levels simultaneously. Children could enjoy the silly drawings and the delightful fantasy of Snoopy, while adults could see the bleak undercurrent of cruelty, loneliness and failure, or the perpetual theme of unrequited love, or the strip's stark visual beauty."
Particularly most speaking of the strip was how sardonic it was, often making very poignant strikes against various cruxes of culture, be it art, philosophy, or just basic human nature. Generally speaking, the best strips did this anyway at some point or another, but both Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes stood out in this regard prominently. With the rise of more stylized 2D indie-games, I don’t think it’s a leap to contemplate the possibilities of a side-scrolling C&H game. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that it’s the ideal (if not only) way to ever see Calvin animated. Watterson refused all merchandising of strip due to it infringing upon its spirit. I think there’s now a little tug room with the state of how games are made now. We’re now finally (albeit slowly) moving into the phase of a game’s maturation where writers have more leeway in titles, animation is becoming more prominent, and the overall drive to JUST make money is slowly antagonizing itself (all of which foster the spirit of the strip).
There’s also the various tools of Calvin’s imaginative subconscious which could make some lovely mechanical wrappings without becoming mere gimmicks. Spaceman Spiff, Stupendous Man, and tools like the Transmogrifier all have endless applications of game usage in this context.
A few example rules I proposed to myself:
Of course this game will never be made, it's far too dangerous of a risk. It also has too many hoops to jump over (e.g. I can't imagine Watterson being so generous to even allow it a consideration) and I'd be one of the fans to actively boycott it if it even began looking remotely insulting towards the strip. I just thought it would be fun to lay the idea out, as usual.