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Are adventure games dead?

TheElfTheElf Member Posts: 798
edited October 2014 in Off-Topic
So I was having deep existential thoughts today about playing Maniac Mansion as a little kid and never getting anywhere because it was too hard for my small brain when I suddenly realized I haven't even heard of any similar games in a long time. Anyone else like those point and click puzzle solving games? E: Mostly looking for this, recommendations yo: Any favorites that have come out somewhat recently (like within the last ten years or so)?

Post edited by TheElf on


  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,982
    edited October 2014
    Supposedly there is a new Kings Quest game coming out in 2015's_Quest_(2015_video_game)

    Whether or not it actually comes out has yet to be seen of course (there has been a lot of talk since Mask of Eternity about reviving the series but apart from a lot of fan series nothing much has come of it)

    Post edited by elminster on
  • CoryNewbCoryNewb Member Posts: 1,330
    I don't think its dead, but it has evolved in a lot of ways. There are always a ton of oddball games and throwbacks coming from indie devs these days. Broken age was going to be my suggestion. Also, Kentucky route zero. Both worth looking in to.

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,702
    edited October 2014
    I would love to see new games in the style of Monkey Island, Simon the Sorcerer, etc... I still remember how stupid I felt when I finally figured out the monkey wrench puzzle in Monkey Island II :-)

  • The_Potty_1The_Potty_1 Member Posts: 427

    As I see it, the computer gaming industry is reaching heights never even imagined 20 years ago. There are more great games coming out now than any one person can ever play. Yes the landscape is dominated by monolithic corporations churning out fairly generic dross for recreational gamers, and this is OK. Below that there are smaller developers catering to fringe markets, but those fringes are probably bigger than the entire gaming market 20 years ago. Below that, indie developers and even individuals have unprecedented access to markets through kickstarter, steam greenlight, etc.

    Even if one of the larger software houses decided to do an 'Adventure game', odds are they would keep adding shiny stuff until it became something else entirely. My point is, your Adventure games are probably still out there, but they'll be fringe products without any media hype.

    This means you'll have to read a couple hundred reviews of a mixed bag of indie games, most kinda buggy, many with great potential, and only some still getting bug fixes. On the plus side, part of the appeal of an indie product is the half-second loading time. Enjoy :D

  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    You might want to check out some of the games being published by Phoenix Online Studios. They are releasing titles like Gabriel Knight - Sins of Father - 20th Anniversary Edition (an enhanced remake of Roberta William's classic), Cognition (a mystery series about an FBI agent with the ability to see the past), and Quest for Infamy (an adventure inspired heavily by the Quest for Glory series).

    There are others as well, as mentioned in some of the comments above. Machinarium, Deponia, Gods Will Be Watching, Stranded, Gomo, and The Book of Unwritten Tales are a few that come to mind. Some have more puzzles elements than others, and some have really odd storylines, but most are interesting.

  • CoryNewbCoryNewb Member Posts: 1,330
    I have gods will be watching. Mercilessly difficult.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Lots of decent adventure games came out for consoles, especially Nintendo. If you didnt like quirky adventure games, Gamecube was an atrocious system. If you have the chance, snd want to try somthing different but prrtty adventurey try Eternal Darkness. The combat is awful, but thats because its supposed to be an adventure/horror game. For kicks, let your sanity score slide a bit. ;)

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    edited October 2014
    Recent adventure games...
    - Syberia 3 is coming out next year. I recognise the Syberia series, but don't remember much about it.
    - Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect was kickstarted. Fans of the series enjoyed it. :)

    Older adventure games...
    - Grim Fandango. Has a neat style. :)
    - Blade Runner. Was ok.
    - Monkey Island 1-4. The first 2 were recently released with full voice acting! :D
    - Tex Murphy series.
    - The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. My friend enjoyed them. I haven't played.

    Telltale Games makes adventure games. In their recent games the gameplay is more quicktime events and less point and click? It got a huge start by resurrecting the Sam and Max series. Unfortunately, their games aren't like the old Monkey Island games. I own their first two Sam and Max games and I was disappointed (giving them a chance by buying the second game). Telltale has a habit of picking up franchises to make a game... and it feels like they're capitalising on a brand name (jumping from one to the next) rather than making good games.

    It's worth saying that -- along with being annoying -- the release of episodes instead of complete games means you usually move from one tiny pond to the next (ie. each episode has a tiny area with little overlap with the other episodes). In older games, the areas you'd play in were often much larger even after considering chapter scene changes (eg. Grim Fandango and its 4? years; Monkey Island and its islands).

    If you're considering Telltale, watch some gameplay video online first. I think The Walking Dead games move, sound, and play terribly -- yet it's been shockingly well received. I think... the difference in presentation is caused by a change in audience and going from keyboard+mouse to console controller. I'm just an old fuddy duddy now. (Isn't that why we're all here, brought together by an 'old' game series?)

    The creator of the King's Quest series said that back then, in the 80s and even 90s, a different sort of person played computer games (and owned computers at all!). Back then you were more likely to be patient. (Remember the maps we'd draw out and clues we'd write down?) Present day adventure games tend to be easier?

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Wait... what exactly counts as an "Adventure Game". To be honest I kinda came here expecting to see people mentioning Mario and Zelda stuff... I think I may be confused.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702

    ... Both labels that don't mean as much anymore. :3 They were co-opted by publishers to sell more games.

    Adventure game used to be text-based puzzle games then point and click puzzle games where you went through a variety of places to reach a goal.

    RPGs used to be... turn-based combat simulators? XD

  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    "Camaraderie, adventure, and steel on steel. The stuff of legends! Right Boo?"

    Okay, fine. That has nothing to do with this discussion, but I haven't quoted Minsc in a couple of days and I was feeling deprived.

    Anyhoo, what typo_tilly said!

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,824

    Wait... what exactly counts as an "Adventure Game". To be honest I kinda came here expecting to see people mentioning Mario and Zelda stuff... I think I may be confused.


    ... Both labels that don't mean as much anymore. :3 They were co-opted by publishers to sell more games.

    Adventure game used to be text-based puzzle games then point and click puzzle games where you went through a variety of places to reach a goal.

    RPGs used to be... turn-based combat simulators? XD

    There's always been a difference between action-adventure and point and click adventure.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    Ah right. When Tomb Raider came out, we called it an adventure game or action-adventure game instead of a 3rd person shooter. :)

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    I think the big issue with adventure games is clearly 'define the genre'. I can think of 3 types of adventure games: action adventure, puzzle based adventure, and dialogue based. Consoles easily dominated action adventure, but the old, ridiculously difficult Sierra adventures would be nearly impossible for most console players (Killer 7 was an interesting adventure game, but really limited to cultish status), as they require a very different thought process.

    Action adventure games are definately adventure games, but profoundly different than a puzzle-based game. Action games are like Wordfind puzzles, puzzle games are like crosswords. :s

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    Puzzle adventure games. XD Ugh. I could hardly get anywhere in 7th Guest.

  • old_jolly2old_jolly2 Member Posts: 453
    It's VG on all kinds today having an attention problem , I'm not implying they are not popular still , but the demands have been simplified to include lesser referencing/artistic density , to open more space for easy integrity for a hope to appeal to more people , these are all relevant.

    The thing that puts obstacle on adventure-like genre is I think firstly the F2P problem. While games like Isolation or The New Order may still get attention , even Blizzard can still today open bottles of champagnes to enjoy a costly game sell-out success , I think that will not be the case for adventure genre that has lesser effort in visuals/audial , so even the little revenue they need to make , they can not. And if you're going to just hype up your adventure game with graphics ( well just forget about us 80's in gaming , we're not even in the edge area of target audience anymore , which you may make I would say here , rejections that a make-up heavy game cannot be an adventure game ) , you will still need to put some easy details to distract players , while from backchannels you can tell the story you want ; which will increase your costs , in the end making up a nothing-of-everything. As @LadyRhian once said in a post in Role Playing forum , which I agree in terms of artistic expression , you need to show more and tell less. Now , the people will demand they really really need to see more at this generation , at least , which they are looking for some integral effort here on visuals , and yes , I'm implying about the quality also. Because they will feel like cheated and you know that , if you are going to raise a game with Grim Fandango graphics today. In case of games like Kentucky ZA you can still make if you are not assertive , you also can see they are indie , and game companies don't like unassertive projects. It'll be a luck run for you , one jump , two jumps aaand... you're likely done. They all want Half-Lifes , Starcrafts , Marios and in terms of adventure gaming I think that might be the problem in needs a look at. Adventure games are like books , and who likes books anyway ? For most people it sounds like an assault , like an attempted breach to their freedom ; let me tell you , "to read 'your' story, 'your' tale, 'your' fantasy, 'your' interpretation..." from what I can tell... Amongst all the trash , I don't think they are wrong too. That's why , more sex appeal/colorless playthroughs/play&forget , which as I state again and for last time :) is against adventure gaming , which will make up the second obstacle.

    Adventure games are no longer what giants play today. They are not forgotten , but crumbled and are left to the ants , if you get what I mean. Hail to the Queen if they can pull out something great , but I say just , "move-on , there's nothing to look here".

  • old_jolly2old_jolly2 Member Posts: 453
    edited October 2014
    I mean you can say something like a massive "artist's block" is happening or something like that,

    but what I say is "you're gonna get all kinds of blocks if you're not walking on the shoulders of giants" , as the world is getting higher and denser obstacles , even some giants are stumbling and tripping over today. And your will is going to be tested by each drill you're gonna make , which is a very good thing actually , it let me see that my own VG fantasies or sci-fi's were just fantasies and worthless for this amount of pressure. Reality and virtuality can not be compared , and even the most dreadful reality is valuable.

    I don't like to state everytime that everything I express is "in my opinion". Even if I'm quoting someone it's still and always will be imo.

  • CoryNewbCoryNewb Member Posts: 1,330
    Shadowgate! Shadowgate is out on steam, and is available for sale on the humble store. This might be in your wheelhouse to check out @TheElf‌ .

  • old_jolly2old_jolly2 Member Posts: 453
    Never touch an artist's 'hand'. Do not make deals , do not "lead" and do not block.

    Excuse : Most relevant thread for it.

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    The whispered World is one of my favourites. The atmosphere is just so tight and charming, it's hard to discribe. Over all, it has a rather fairy tail ish feel to it and without spoiling anything, it really really pays off to play to the end.

    The Deponia Trilogy was simply hilarious, though I don't know how well the humor translates into other languages (for example, there are some cameos that most foreigners won't get. Though I heard that a lot of people dislike the game, because the protagonist is such a douche, depends on if you can work with that or not.

    Runaway. The series had it's ups and downs but I had my fun with it. Fun fact, I actually played the first game without sound, because my speakers where defect :'D

    Tales of Monkey Island from TellTale was awesome. The humor and tone was spot on, the characters, especially Morgan, where very likable and sometimes it even hit me right in the feels. Also, dayum was Guybrush handsome in this one :O

    Sam & Max, also TellTale. I have mixed feelings about that one. Hit the Road was my very first game I ever *really* played as a kid and Steve Purcell is an idol of mine, so it obviously hits me right in the nostalgia. But some episodes where better than others and not all of the characters where interesting. They also did a lot of level recycling.

    The Book of unwritten Tales. Iiii .... I actually liked this game, even though it's objectively speaking nothing but fanservice for nerds. To be fair, I think I was like 17 or 18 when I played it, so the teenager factor still tainted my perception.

    Broken Age was beautiful and very refreshing but also sadly very short. Ever since Grim Fandango, Tim Schafer's games always where exelent and absolutely outstanding in certain aspects but always failed in others (Brütal Legend *sigh*). We have to wait for what the second part brings.

    Edna Escapes (or whatever the English title is). I never finished that game, because my hard drive died halfway through and I was too lazy to replay it :I But till that point, it was very charming and the humor was so lovely evil.

    Machinarium was adorable but some of the minigames where infuriating.

    A new Beginning. That one was awfully preachy and in your face about it's message about protecting the environment and the female protagonist was terribly annoying. Wouldn't recommend it, unless you are into that kind of stuff.

    Tony Tough. This one looks like it's from the 90s, but it's actually just made to look that way. The style and humor reminded me a lot of Day of the Tentacle, it was very wacky.

    There are some more games, but I either didn't play them or not far enough to form an opinion on them.
    Ceville, Simon the Sorcerer 4 to I don't know, Night of the Rabbit, Boatnicular, Randal's Monday, Bone, Homestar Runner, Wallace and Grommit, etc.

  • Amber_ScottAmber_Scott Member Posts: 513
    I second the mention of Wadjet Eye. Their games are great. Gemini Rue and the Blackwell series especially.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017

    RPGs used to be... turn-based combat simulators? XD

    This kinda hurts. Truthful, but painful.

    Ah right. When Tomb Raider came out, we called it an adventure game or action-adventure game instead of a 3rd person shooter. :)

    Back then Tomb Raider WAS an action-adventure game.

  • wubblewubble Member Posts: 3,156
    edited March 2015
    I'd have preferred the latest tomb raider to have (much) less killing and more stealthing and puzzle solving but it was still a great game . Oh and the newest lara was way hotter than the old 'giant pointy bewbs' lara.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    It's nothing against them, though: I truly enjoy turn-based games with engaging combat. And I'll make up my own stories around them, especially if I can create my own characters.

    Ah, the original Tomb Raider was much wandering around with little puzzles and less fighting, right? (For once, it does seem like more than a week ago. -_-) The rumors of a nude mod sort of overshadowed the gameplay at the time. XD

  • TeflonTeflon Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 517
    Well some titles are "remastered" and there is a company make adventure games like telltale.
    But if you mean elegant 2D point and click -like maniac mansion or loom- adventure game then I fear they are extinct. Although I play those using scummvm on phone, by the way.
    It is sad to watch things gone I have loved.

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    Teflon said:

    But if you mean elegant 2D point and click -like maniac mansion or loom- adventure game then I fear they are extinct.

    You should google Daedalic Entertainment.

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