Today, I’m proud to say I am an avid gamer. I play a large variety of games and am rarely picky when it comes to the genre. I mainly avoid sports games and recently RTS (because it seems I’ve lost the patience for macro-management). Yet, there is one genre that I’ve always loved to death. I usually notice them when I see that large inanimate background; that character in the corner waiting for your next command; and especially those stationary objects and people waiting for some sort of interaction… Hell yes! I’m talking about those awesome Point-and-Click Adventure games.
PCs always proved to have superior graphics to consoles and P&C showed them how. I admit that I was lucky enough to have enjoyed this genre when the graphics were pretty much comical illustrations. There were three games I loved the most – These games changed the way I looked at gaming and general problem solving. I will forever credit them for being some of the best games in time for the countless hours of fun spent on playing and re-playing them over and over again!
The first of these, is Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail. Sure, the story is about a dirty old pervert but it was the animation, jokes and puzzles that really caught me. I was probably way too young to play this game, but I didn’t understand 80% of the adult humour in it anyway – Didn’t bother me… I just wanted to finish the game. Larry is an old pervert looking to get laid. That’s it. The whole game revolves around him trying to get into the pants of every babe he meets on the cruise ship. Obviously he gets up to no good as things never go his way – But we go through a hell of a journey to help get this desperate guy some loving.
If the 2D-ness from Leisure Suit Larry didn’t give it off already, the next one up is obviously the Curse of Monkey Island. This was the third installment in the Monkey Island series and the first (and unfortunately last) one to use beautifully drawn 2D art. Everything about this game was perfect – It wasn’t too hard as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and listen out for the hints nor was it too easy because play-throughs were never under 2 hours; the music scores are perfect and will ALWAYS be remembered by Monkey Island fans; the humour in this game is corny as hell and yet delivered exceptionally well; the story is exciting, touching and immersive…
There are so many things I want to say about this game but the one thing I have to highlight is the main character… Guybrush Threepwood. He is no Captain Sparrow but he is by far one of the most entertaining character ever created. I doubt anyone out there who’s played this game can say they didn’t feel something for this character. Whether you felt sorry for him, laughed with/at him or even felt annoyed by him – The impact of this character made the game what it was: Legendary.
So where does this leave us? The third and final game I have to mention isn’t just one game but two: Broken Sword. The first two installments, The Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror followed the adventures of George Stobbart. This game has been described time and time again as one of “the best adventure games” and it definitely is. Our protagonist travels the world uncovering ancient mysteries, saving his girlfriend and searching for treasure – Everything that any Indiana Jones fan back in the day dreamt of. Today at least, these two games have been remastered and are available on the iPad. If you haven’t yet played them, do take a look.
There are obviously plenty more I haven’t mentioned like Grim Fandango, Sam & Max, Discworld, Day of the Tentacle and heaps of other retro games like the King’s Quest series. But these three games (sorta’) were my favourite. I loved them to death and have played them over and over again growing up. These games were entertaining and (now looking back) very educational because they taught us how to think outside the box. We all wanted to be like MacGyver – combining a pen, chewed bubble gum and a battery to make a laser beam – and that’s what made these games brilliant. This was the closest to sandbox we had back then, and yet ironically the most linear. The idea of having to explore a world to find everyday objects to get past insane obstacles made us giggle like little school girls.
So what happened to the Point and Click genre? Why aren’t there any sequels? Well, I hope to talk about this in my next post… Stay tuned.