The idea of a social media game based on such a spectacularly bloody franchise as Starz’ “Spartacus” series seems, at first, counterintuitive. But Starz Digital Media’s new “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” game for Facebook doesn’t attempt to exactly replicate the very visceral, guts, gore, and steel esthetic that makes the TV show so immediately titillating.
Rather than get your hands dirty as a gladiator, here you play as a “lanista,” or manager of gladiators, pitting your best men against other players and trying to Don King your way to the top. Anyone who watches the show knows there is as much dirty-dealing and backstabbing behind the scenes of the gladiator school as there is, well, front stabbing in the arena. If, as co-developer 6waves’ website suggests, the game can recall even a hint of that intrigue, “Spartacus” could be a worthy enough time-suck.
The game’s beta launches today. The series returns January 21st. Check out the trailer: