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Adventure Games Thread 2020 - Get To The POINT Where It All CLICKS

Oct 14, 2010
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Welcome to the 2020 NeoGAF Adventure Games thread! This thread is a venue for discussion on all things related to the adventure genre. It's also a resource for keeping track of all the interesting new titles that can otherwise be so easily lost in the shuffle. Last year started off with great promise, there were some hits, some misses and a few delays. This year, there is a very large amount of extremely promising titles. The stage is set for 2020 to be a stand out year for adventure games. So let's talk about 'em.

What are adventure games? "Adventure" is a genre of narrative lead games. They consists of two or more of the following elements: narrative, exploration or problem solving. They are distinct from other genres in that, for adventures, narrative informs gameplay rather than gameplay informing narrative. Whereas a typical puzzle game may have you solving increasingly complex variations of the same concept, in adventure games narrative context is the foundation for every puzzle or obstacle you encounter. For this reason, within gaming, adventures are home to a wide array of unique stories, characters and worlds that otherwise don't conform to the traditional gameplay loops of other genres.




Throughout the years there have been many different iterations, styles and trends within the adventure genre. In the interest of finishing this thread sometime before finishing my life, I'll keep things relatively brief. Or at least that's what I've typed before starting this.

Early Years - 70's ~ 80's
The genesis of adventure games was the text adventure. In recent years referred to as interactive fiction or "IF." These games contained no graphical element aside from text on a screen but nevertheless set the foundation of what the genre would later become. The genre's namesake is derived from "Colossal Cave Adventure," which released in 1976 and developed by Will Crowther. Players would explore locations, navigate mazes and solve puzzles by inputting commands into a text parser. The most notable developer of this era was Infocom. Which developed games like: "Zork," "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" and "Planetfall."

Graphical Years - 80's ~ 90's
Eventually computer technology would advance sufficiently to allow the genre's next leap. Legendary game developer, Roberta Williams, created the graphic adventure in 1980 with the release of "Mystery House." At the start, these games were still very similar to text adventures. Only now with an accompaniment of crude, static artwork to represent where you were and what you did. Williams, and her company Sierra, would innovate on this with their seminal "King's Quest" series. Which added player controlled movement and a more dynamic game world. In 1987 Ron Gilbert would popularize the influential point & click interface for graphic adventures with the early Lucas Arts classic "Maniac Mansion."

Golden Years - 90's ~ 00's
As technology continued the advance, allowing for a more sophisticated audio-visual experience, and developers like Lucas Arts and Sierra found their footing; adventure games entered a golden age of top quality releases. When most people think of "adventure games" chances are they're thinking of a title from this era. In 1990 LucasArts released The Secret of Monkey Island which to this day is still one of the most influential and highly revered games of all time. LucasArts would establish itself as the masters of the adventure genre through a string of classic releases like: "Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis," "Sam & Max: Hit The Road" and "Day of The Tentacle" just to name a few. Sierra would release many of it's most beloved and successful titles such as: "King's Quest VI: Heir Today Gone Tomorrow," "Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and The Time Rippers" and "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers."

Other prominent developers would also make notable contributions like Revolution Software's "Broken Sword" series and Infocom's "The Longest Journey." In addition to Seirra and LucasArts iterating on their formula, a lot of experimentation occurred during these years. In 1993 Cyan Worlds released "Myst." Its distinct visuals and narrative approach of exploring a mostly vacant world spawned a vast legion of imitators. Myst would go on to become the highest selling PC game of all time until being surpassed by The Sims in 2002. However, not all experiments yielded positive results. At the end of the 90's more developers were focusing on fleeting trends like FMV and struggling with early 3D development. This would set the stage for the next period of the genre's history.

Dead Years - 00's ~ 10's
In the late 90's many developers, in attempt to keep pace with the ever increasing technical fidelity of ascendant genres like the FPS, scoped up production budgets and transitioned to 3D development. Something that they struggled with producing clunky, visually ugly games like "Simon The Sorcerer 3D" or "Gabriel Knight 3." Famously, LucasArts' Grim Fandango under performed, despite a bigger budget, longer development time and even attaining great critical reception. In 2003 LucasArts formally halted it's production of adventure games, cancelling the then in development Sam & Max sequel as well as the planned sequel to Full Throttle.

In 2005 Ron Gilbert wrote, on his blog, "From first hand experience I can tell you that if you even utter the words 'Adventure Game' in a meeting with a publisher you can just pack up your spiffy concept art and leave. You'd get a better reaction by announcing that you have the plague."

However, despite this, adventure games never really died. In the mid 00's the genre enjoyed a miniature resurgence on the Nintendo DS with games like "Hotel Dusk: Room 215," "Another Code: Two Memories" and "Ace Attorney" among others. European developers Microids and Pendulo continued to develop popular games such as: "Syberia," "Still Life" and "Runaway: A Road Adventure". Some of which sold millions of copies. David Cage's Quantic Dream studio would take inspiration from Westwood's 1997 Blade Runner to make games like Indigo Prophecy. Eventually breaking into the mainstream with Heavy Rain. Freeware development tools like Chris Jones' Adventure Game Studio made small scale, DIY, development accessible for many. Which resulted in an entire underground scene of adventure games.

Meanwhile, in 2004, Ex-LucasArts developers would come together to form TellTale Games. Starting small and innovating with an episodic formula. A sign of things to come.

Revival Years - 10's ~ Now
Three major changes happened around the same time in the early 10's that brought adventures back from the "dead." Those were the rise of Telltale Games, indie development gaining prominence and Kickstarter. In the late 00's TellTale had been making its moderately successful episodic adventure games. They enjoyed good reviews and at that time their most popular game, Back to the Future, sold 500,000 units. This modest success would be eclipsed with the release of 2012's The Walking Dead. Taking notes from Quantic Dream, TellTale updated their formula. They simplified puzzles, adopted a darker tone and implemented choice and branching narrative mechanics. Their new take on the genre, at least initially, proved to be a massive success. The Walking Dead sold 28 million episodes and won many GOTY awards.

Also in 2012, Tim Schafer and his Double Fine studio would launch a KickStarter campaign. Initially asking for a modest budget of 300,000 dollars and an additional 100,000 dollars to produce a companion documentary series. However, "Double Fine Adventure" exceeded all expectations when their record breaking crowdfund campaign brought in 3.3 million dollars from over 80k backers. Double Fine had managed to subvert game publishers and show there was still a sizable demand for adventure games. This would inspire a massive wave of crowdfunding campaigns for games like "Broken Sword 5," "Thimbleweed Park" and "Kentucky Route Zero."

These first two changes in conjunction helped shape a new narrative in gaming. Publications that had previously mused over the death of adventures were now saying "adventures are back!" Which, along with the overall increasing popularity of indie games, helped give attention to the scene of DIY developers who had been chugging along for years keeping the genre alive using tools like Adventure Game Studio.

However, the successes of The Walking Dead and Double Fine's crowdfund campaign ultimately weren't sustained. After the overnight rise of TellTale, mismanagement and creative stagnation resulted in declining sales. Eventually culminating in the studio's closure in 2018. Broken Age, the game that DFA became was a good effort, but delays and an underwhelming 2nd act disappointed many fans. KickStarters were, overall, very hit or miss. The genre's comeback deflated somewhat after that initial spike of hype. But really it's more like things just leveled out a bit. The state of adventure games currently is a very good one, especially for fans. Every year there's a flood of cool games to play. You just might have to dig a bit to find some of them.


But that's what this thread is for, anyway.



Beyond A Steel Sky - Revolution Software - 2020

Kentucky Route Zero Act V - Cardboard Computer - January 28th 2020

Norco Faraway Lights - Geography of Robots - 2020


Beautiful Desolation - The Brotherhood - February 26th 2020

Chinatown Detective Agency - General Interactive - Winter 2020

Crowns & Pawns: Kingdom Of Deceit - Tag of Joy - 2020

Twin Mirror - DontNod Entertainment - 2020


LUNA The Shadow Dust - Lantern Studio - February 13th 2020

3 Minutes To Midnight - Scarecrow Studios - 2020

Ira Act One: Pilgrimage - Ore LLC - Coming Soon
 
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Dude, Where Is My Beer? - Arik Zurabain - 2020

Roki - Polygon Treehouse - 2020

When The Past Was Around - Mojiken Studio - Spring 2020

Tell Me Why - Dontnod Entertainment - 2020

The Button Witch - DDreams Games - Late 2020

The Blind Prophet - Ars Goetia - February 5th 2020 (NSFW)

VirtuaVerse - Theta Division - ... In A Future Not So Far Away

Papetura - Petums - Summer 2020

Born Punk - Insert Disk 22 - In The Near Future!

Last Stop - Variable State - 2020

 
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Incantamentum - Cloak And Dagger Games - 2020

Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask - Red Martyr Entertainment - Coming Soon

ENCODYA - Chaosmonger Studio - 2020

Zniw Adventure - Azure Mountain - Coming Soon

The Funny Boneyard - ZORPEK - 2020


Joel Mayor's Purgatory - Joel Mayor Productions - 2020

Someday You'll Return - CBE Software - April 14th 2020

The Darkside Detective Season 2 - Spooky Doorway - Q1 2020

Firmament - Cyan Worlds - July 2020


Slender Threads - Blyts - Q4 2020

 
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This section is intended for newcomers to the adventure game genre. A lot of people are interested in adventure games but also find themselves intimidated due to the genre's stigma for punishing and obtuse puzzle design. While there's a degree of truth to that, there are also many examples to the contrary. So, with that in mind, here is a small selection of games ranked by difficulty and suited for people who aren't too familiar with adventure games. These games may have some challenge but none of them should send you running for a walkthrough in frustration.

Feria D'Arles - Easy Difficulty
A late game surprise in 2019, easily one of the best adventures of last year. It looks great, it's genuinely well written and most importantly: It's a comedy game that's actually funny. Feria D'Arles is the story of a young girl and aspiring bullfighter. She travels to the famous city of Arles in France to fulfill her ambition and along the way she meets a cast of hilarious, well animated characters and winds up entangled in an odd conspiracy. This is an easy recommend for someone looking to dip their toe in adventure games. The puzzles are well designed, it's not a long game so it wont overstay its welcome and it's dirt cheap.



King's Quest (2015) - Easy ~ Medium Difficulty (Depending On The Episode)
The King's quest reboot by The Odd Gentlemen is a charming game. The narrative is framed through an aging King Graham recounting his past glory days as bed time stories to his eager and attentive young granddaughter. Their dynamic is great and serves as a strong foundation for King's Quest. It's also got great art, good controls and (mostly) solid puzzles. The tone is more comedic than the classic games it's re-imagining, which alienated some fans. It's also a touch inconsistent with notably lacking 4th episode. But the things it does right, it does very right. Especially in the games final episode with how it portrays Graham ageing. Play this if you want a comical fantasy story with some heart.



Technobabylon - Medium Difficulty
So, technically I already included this game in the recommendations for last year and I intended not to have repeat entries, but... Here's the thing: you gatta fucking play Technobabylon. Any of the AdventureGAF regulars already know how hard I stan for this game. There's a good reason for that. I genuinely believe Technobabylon is a modern classic and the best adventure game the indie scene has produced. If you have anything resembling an interest in science fiction, cyberpunk or cool shit in general then just play this game, already.

It's good, is what I'm trying to say.

 
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Here's some cool adventure game related media that you might be interested in checking out. Various content creators that cover or do entertainment based on adventure games.

Pushing Up Roses
Hands down the best adventure focused content creator on YouTube. Roses does various retrospectives, let's play's and video essays based on adventure games. She has a particular affinity for the classic Sierra games but there's a bit of everything on her channel. Lately she's been branching out to other topics but there's still a massive amount of adventure related content in the archives.

Mostly Walking
A weekly series dedicated to playing and riffing on adventure games hosted (in part) by popular Twitch streamer Day9. This show is part Let's Play series and part podcast. Expect many humerous anecdotes that, at times, are entirely unrelated to the game they're playing. What makes it work is that the three co-hosts Sean Plott (Day9), Sean Bloom and Leigh Graner have really solid chemistry. They're funny dudes. Sometimes they do get stuck because they're caught up in a riff and not paying attention to the game, which can be frustrating. But if you can look past issues like that it's a really funny Let's Play series.

Adventure Game Geek
A series of comedic reviews for classic adventure games in the vein of AVGN or old TGWTG reviewers. The reason why I like AGG's content is because his comedy is absurdly cheesy but he's well aware of that and plays into it for his gags. I find his videos have an early internet like charm to them. How YouTube content used to be before things got so produced. He also plays a lot of obscure ass games I'd never had heard of otherwise, which is cool too. But really it's all about that theme song, tho.

Assorted Content
Who Shot Guybrush Threepwood? - A 3 part series of fairly deep musings on the adventure game genre. One of the better video essays on the subject I've seen.
War Stories: How Blade Runner Reinvented Adventure Games - Cool mini doc on the making and impact of Westwood's 1997 Blade Runner.
RetroAhoy: The Secret of Monkey Island - Full length, well produced documentary about the history of Monkey Island as well as the adventure genre in general.
The Amazing Story of The Dig - 30 minute documentary video about The Dig's sordid production history.
 
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nikolino840

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I found hard continue thimbleweed park for the double characters...i forget the things to do If one remain in a stage... broken sword style Is the best...or one character like Kathy Rain

But lots are Indies...i want and awsome game like the still Life Trilogy
Now Is all quick time events like quantic dreams,but i want an inventory to connect items like in broken sword to solve a puzzle or to make an NPC busy so i can pass trough that door
 
Oct 14, 2010
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I found hard continue thimbleweed park for the double characters...i forget the things to do If one remain in a stage... broken sword style Is the best...or one character like Kathy Rain

But lots are Indies...i want and awsome game like the still Life Trilogy
Now Is all quick time events like quantic dreams,but i want an inventory to connect items like in broken sword to solve a puzzle or to make an NPC busy so i can pass trough that door
Of the games coming out this year, I'd say give a look to Saint Kotar and Crowns & Pawns. They're definitely indies but they've got that "polygonal models with pre-rendered background" style of presentation in a way that's similar to Still Life. They also appear to be telling more dramatic stories like Still Life did.

There's also that new Syberia on the horizon. I didn't include it on the list because there's no date as of right now but I hope that's good.
 
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Awesome OP, there's a few in there that you've put on my radar now, namely

Saint Koyar
Encodya
Someday you'll return
Awesome. The Saint Kotar devs Red_Martyr_Entertainment Red_Martyr_Entertainment occasionally post in this thread so I'm rooting for them off the strength of that bias alone. It also doesn't hurt that their game genuinely looks very good.

I honestly cant tell what type of game this is from the teaser. I do like the look of the art style, though, so I'm intrigued. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the tag, I always forget we have a new thread every year! :messenger_grinning_sweat:
No worries, it makes it a lot easier to be two weeks late on making threads that way >_>
 

RAIDEN1

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Have any of you played the 1997 classic: Callahan's crosstime saloon? And if you have is it possible to play on today's systems?
 

Fuz

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Have any of you played the 1997 classic: Callahan's crosstime saloon? And if you have is it possible to play on today's systems?
I think I saw it on Pushing Up Roses' channel. Looks pretty interesting, and I think it does works on modern systems.
 

Kazza

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Wow, there are a lot of new adventure games coming out this year - definitely not a "dead" genre!

Last year I completed Broken Sword 5 for the first time, and replayed monkey Island 2 and Curse of Monkey Island. I'm going to spend this year finishing off the games I already own:

Technobabylon
Beat Cop (not sure if this counts as an adventure game)
Full Throttle Remastered
Grim Fandango Remastered (didn't like this when I played it at release, but want to give it another chance)
The Journey Down: Chapter 1
Dramfall: Chapters
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
The Longest Journey (really wanted to play this series way back when it was released, but never got around to it for some reason)
Kathy Rain
Machinarium
Tales of Monkey Island: Chapters 1-5 (love Monkey Island, so I'm a little apprehensive about playing these - scared they will disappoint)

I didn't realise I had so many! If I complete one per month, then I should be able to get through them all. I should finish Timbleweed Park within the next few days (currently stuck and too stubborn to use the hints system).
 
Oct 14, 2010
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Wow, there are a lot of new adventure games coming out this year - definitely not a "dead" genre!

Last year I completed Broken Sword 5 for the first time, and replayed monkey Island 2 and Curse of Monkey Island. I'm going to spend this year finishing off the games I already own:

Technobabylon
Beat Cop (not sure if this counts as an adventure game)
Full Throttle Remastered
Grim Fandango Remastered (didn't like this when I played it at release, but want to give it another chance)
The Journey Down: Chapter 1
Dramfall: Chapters
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
The Longest Journey (really wanted to play this series way back when it was released, but never got around to it for some reason)
Kathy Rain
Machinarium
Tales of Monkey Island: Chapters 1-5 (love Monkey Island, so I'm a little apprehensive about playing these - scared they will disappoint)

I didn't realise I had so many! If I complete one per month, then I should be able to get through them all. I should finish Timbleweed Park within the next few days (currently stuck and too stubborn to use the hints system).
That's a really solid list of games to go through. There were definitely a few stumpers in Thimbleweed Park, for me as well. But that challenge always felt fair. I think it's probably the most fairly designed yet still challenging adventure game ever. A testament to Ron Gilbert's design chops. No shock here, but I'd recommend Technobabylon as your next pick.

In regards to Tales of Monkey Island, though... I can't speak for everyone but I love that game. Episode 4 in particular is one of the most fun adventure game experiences I've had. I do understand some of the common complaints: reused assets and the writing is occasionally too fanservice-y, but forgiving those minor issues I wouldn't hesitate to dive in.
 
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Kazza

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That's a really solid list of games to go through. There were definitely a few stumpers in Thimbleweed Park, for me as well. But that challenge always felt fair. I think it's probably the most fairly designed yet still challenging adventure game ever. A testament to Ron Gilbert's design chops. No shock here, but I'd recommend Technobabylon as your next pick.

In regards to Tales of Monkey Island, though... I can't speak for everyone but I love that game. Episode 4 in particular is one of the most fun adventure game experiences I've had. I do understand some of the common complaints: reused assets and the writing is occasionally too fanservice-y, but forgiving those minor issues I wouldn't hesitate to dive in.
The good thing about Thimbleweed is that you can switch to a different character for a while and try to make progress with them first. I initially thought multiple characters would harm the narrative, but it actually works great. Technobabylon will definitely be my next stop, followed by Tales. Fingers crossed that they don't disappoint.
 
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Fuz

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The good thing about Thimbleweed is that you can switch to a different character for a while and try to make progress with them first. I initially thought multiple characters would harm the narrative, but it actually works great. Technobabylon will definitely be my next stop, followed by Tales. Fingers crossed that they don't disappoint.
I hate tales. But I also hate curse.
My personal favourite in your list is The Longest Journey. Yes, I like it even more than Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.
 
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I don't think it's controversial to say The Longest Journey is better than Full Throttle. But better than Grim Fandango? Eh... They're both classics in their own right. Picking one almost like trying to choose between Pixar film and a Tolkien novel. Why I like either is so different. I'd probably go with Grim off the strength of how unique the setting and concept is. But TLJ has better puzzle design. It get's shit for the rubber duck joint but that's nothing compared to some of the shit in Grim lol. Destabilizing a hydraulic pump by running over electric lines with a wheel barrow? Really, Tim?

Btw, If anyone wants to check out the full illustrations that I made for this thread: here's an imgur album of them.
 

Fuz

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I'd probably go with Grim off the strength of how unique the setting and concept is.
The terrible control scheme and bad 3D made me hate it back then. It didn't really stick with me. I like it now, I think I would have loved it to death if they went with SCUMM, but as it is, I've never been a huge fan of it.
Btw, If anyone wants to check out the full illustrations that I made for this thread: here's an imgur album of them.
You did the illustrations yourself? They're awesome.
 
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Holgren

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Can you guys recommend some good adventure horror games? I just played The Devil Came Through Here trilogy (The Cat Lady + Downfall + Lorelai, highly recommended) and I want more.
 

nikolino840

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Can you guys recommend some good adventure horror games? I just played The Devil Came Through Here trilogy (The Cat Lady + Downfall + Lorelai, highly recommended) and I want more.
Still Life Trilogy (post mortem,still Life 1,still Life 2)

Black Mirror (never played the reboot,but the original one Is a must play)
 

Fuz

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Can you guys recommend some good adventure horror games? I just played The Devil Came Through Here trilogy (The Cat Lady + Downfall + Lorelai, highly recommended) and I want more.


Warning: it's hard as fuck.


EDIT: Just remembered about the Chzo mythos series: https://chzo.fandom.com/wiki/ITHURTS
They're awesome and also free.
 
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The terrible control scheme and bad 3D made me hate it back then. It didn't really stick with me. I like it now, I think I would have loved it to death if they went with SCUMM, but as it is, I've never been a huge fan of it.
Oh yeah, the tank controls in the original game were awful. I always forget about that because I played the remaster.

You did the illustrations yourself? They're awesome.
Yeah, I did. That's whats what took me an extra week to finish lol.
Thanks, by the way.

Can you guys recommend some good adventure horror games? I just played The Devil Came Through Here trilogy (The Cat Lady + Downfall + Lorelai, highly recommended) and I want more.
I'd mirror TheCockatrice TheCockatrice 's recommendation of Fran Bow. There's also The Charnel House Trilogy (which isn't quite a trilogy, just told in three chapters) which I played recently and enjoyed. It's a bit too linear and super easy puzzle wise but I liked the aesthetic and the creepy ambiguity of the game's story. Also, not to spoil anything, but Jim Sterling does voice acting for a rather weird character which was surreal in itself.

Also, people who enjoyed Fran Bow seem to also like Sally Face


I've not played it myself but It might be worth looking in to.
 
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Dont forget for all the new people checking out this thread to look at last years - there are a lot of off the radar adventures awaiting you. Thats one reason this thread series is the best!

Also - everytime i read this thread it makes me want to make a pnc :)
 
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Been playing through Miles Edgeworth: Ace Investigations because I never finished the whole game back in the day. It's even better than I remember it being. There's a real good pace between the investigations and the courtroom battles, which in this game are just arguments. You do a little of each at a steady clip as apposed to traditional AA where they're seperated into two distinct segments that last about an hour each.

Really good sprite work, too. They're incredibly expressive. Capcom got a lot of mileage out of those tiny pixels.



Also, like always, It's customary that you show your badge to everyone and this game has some of the funniest "badge banter" in the entire series.

 
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Another great episode of the War Stories series. For a 23 minute video this is a very in depth look at the technical hurdles of Myst's development with some interesting early Cyan history as well. Makes me want to do a proper playthrough of it as Myst is one of those classic adventure games I've never completed. I did own the Sega Saturn version back in the day, funnily enough. Way too young to solve the puzzles at that time, though.
 

RAIDEN1

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Does anyone know here if Saturn emulation can run the english patched version of Policenauts? And what would be a good emulator?
 

GymWolf

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I don't like the genre, i only played this one (and for some reason the 4th monkey island), it was my second game ever on a windows pc.

 
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Does anyone know here if Saturn emulation can run the english patched version of Policenauts? And what would be a good emulator?
Yeah, I got the game running fairly easily on SSF. I didn't play through the entire game but I played the first two hours or so and it ran perfectly for the duration.

Grim Fandango under performed? Didn't know that. It's one of my top 10 of all time.

Incredible game.
Yeah, it wasn't a massive flop but sales were a slow burn to 500k whereas Full Throttle had perviously sold 1 million copies on a smaller budget. It was released in '98 and wasn't profitable until '00. So decent numbers for what LucasArts adventure games typically sold but far from the hit they wanted. Especially considering the bigger budget, bigger team and longer dev time.

Dave Grossman summarizes in an SFweekly article:
Dave Grossman said:
But some blamed Grim Fandango for killing the genre it exemplified, if only because it didn't sell millions. Grossman doesn't agree that Grim Fandango was the nail in the coffin of adventure gaming, though he concedes that the game “might have killed it at LucasArts. It was pretty ambitious and expensive, and I don't think it made very much money back. People looking out for the bottom line were wondering, 'Should we be making these?'”
Of course now the game has gotten into many more hands due to the success of the remaster but at the time it, unfortunately, was an under performing critical darling. Story of Tim Schafer's life, really.
 

RAIDEN1

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Full Throttle to this day remains a game that has HUGE scope for expansion, stick to its roots and there is many a story to tell, unfortunatley Tim Shchafer had put paid to any sequel happening EVER...yes I am aware that the original actor for Ben is no longer alive, but that shouldn't mean the end of the story....and despite the setbacks from the early 2000's they could still make a great point and click game....
 
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Thanks for keeping these threads going.

As mentioned previously, I mostly play (P'n'C) adventure games with my wife, something we both enjoy in different ways, and a great way to enjoy talking out ideas and solutions together.

Random list of just a few of our all-time favorite experiences, off the top of my head:

- everything by Amanita Design - hands-down the greatest maker of pure PnC games today, without any serious competition; all of their games are worth playing, but our favorite is probably Samorost 3, some of the best visual & musical design you'll find anywhere.
- Grim Fandango - worthy of its reputation, and consistently engaging in the voice acting & humor, which goes a long way for us.
- Sam & Max (classic, and TellTale) - once again, characters that entertain with witty remarks, and excellent voicing. I'm partial to the original game and its road-trip feel, but the later sequels are worth playing, and the final one (Devil's Playhouse) is actually quite inventive.
- Day of the Tentacle - another sentimental favorite. (Voice-acting works better for playing together, so you'll notice that we have a special place for early voice-acted entries, even though I personally enjoy many of their prior, silent works from the same teams).
- Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments - there are some rough edges on the Frogware games, but this entry stood out to us, and is surely the most engaging interactive Sherlock experience you can find.
- Lumino City - just beautiful paper-crafted sets constructed in the real world, and puzzles that are fun to play with.


Side note: I'm not personally a fan (nor is she) of one trend that shows up in a lot of recent indie games: the 2D-style graphics, or other ugly approaches to visuals. Now, I love pixel graphics from early games like Day of the Tentacle, but today's throwback attempts rarely seem to get why those older entries worked visually (for instance, ignoring all the wildly creative "camera" angles and stage-like projected proportions of the room designs on the classics), and just end up kind of shoehorning a platformer-like engine into an adventure game, where it looks terrible and ends up unplayable to us no matter what the story elements might be. I'd put Thimbleweed Park in this camp, which we tried but just... couldn't get into, and dropped it about 1.5 hours in.
 
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The Uncertain: Light At The End - CommonGames - Q2 2020
I forgot all about this one... I liked some of the aesthetics in the first episode, but never finished it due to losing interesting in the extremely dull gameplay. I'll wrap it up soon and see if I feel like giving them another shot at a second episode.

The Journey Down: Chapter 1
Curious to hear other reactions to these. We played all three parts, but the third was pretty terrible in our estimation, managing to fail at everything they'd set up in terms of the world & mystery in the prior chapters, IMO. The first 2 episodes were charming throwbacks, however.
 
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I forgot all about this one... I liked some of the aesthetics in the first episode, but never finished it due to losing interesting in the extremely dull gameplay. I'll wrap it up soon and see if I feel like giving them another shot at a second episode.
I've been following CommonGames' development diaries on the project and their are some positive signs for the sequel. For one, they've ditched the episodic format and are making Light At The End a proper standalone game. Set in the same universe of course but it'd be absurd to simply get another 3 hour episode after so many years since the first game (which I still need to finish). They've also hired a Russian novelist as their narrative designer. It's not like I'm familiar with his work but apparently he's somewhat accomplished and I'd imagine his writing is a step up from what the devs did in the first game. Lastly the visuals are looking good. Especially for an independent studio making a 3D adventure game, going for a realistic art style no less.




The clean but colorful futuristic look gives me Mirror's Edge vibes. Visually, they're easily contending in that AA tier with DontNod, BigBad Wolf and Neo-TTG. The character models actually look a cut above those studios. Although, I'd say DontNod's UE4 environments look better.

They haven't shown enough of the game for me to be hyped on it but i'm rooting for them. I sort of dig their universe and I never finished The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day but it had something going on conceptually. Imo the move to a human protagonist should make for a better game so we'll see.

Curious to hear other reactions to these. We played all three parts, but the third was pretty terrible in our estimation, managing to fail at everything they'd set up in terms of the world & mystery in the prior chapters, IMO. The first 2 episodes were charming throwbacks, however.
lol that's a bummer. I've only played the first two chapters and was looking forward to the 3rd off the strength of the adventure gamers review. I hope I enjoy it more than you did.
 
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lol that's a bummer. I've only played the first two chapters and was looking forward to the 3rd off the strength of the adventure gamers review. I hope I enjoy it more than you did.
Well I do tend to be opinionated, and nothing ever slots into "okay" for me, it's either hate or love once I've had to give hours of my life in a video game. But the problem for me relates to the sense of mystery being so good in the prior episodes; the "Underland" seemed so interesting as a concept, particularly with that foreboding you get from realizing that they travel upon a vast ocean of steam with ships, and wondering what kind of world was forgotten underneath or beyond it. But without any precise spoilers, I can say that it would have been far better to leave it all a mystery, because everything they presented in the final chapter on that topic was just ugly, unoriginal, and uninspired to me. Plus they pivoted the musical style for the final episode, and it doesn't work.