Here’s a little something about me: I love point-and-click adventure games. However, I’m not particularly versed in the genre, so to speak. I’m like that kid who says he’s a huge fan of a band, when in reality he’s only actually heard a couple of tracks off of a greatest hits album. The first two Broken Sword games, Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror, respectively, are two games that defined my childhood. If I were to make one, they would both appear pretty high in a list of my favourite games of all time. They’re two games that I know like the back of my hand, having played through them many, many times throughout the years. Anyone who has an interest in classic point-and-clicks who hasn’t played them, should play them. My bias aside, they’re generally considered to be among the best classic adventure games ever made, the first in particular often finding itself in best-of lists.

"Life went on around me, but the explosion was to change my life forever."

Point-and-click adventure games are among the few types of video games that, in my opinion, generally age pretty well. Good 2D art will always age better than bad 3D graphics, and there’s not much room for improvement on the basic point-and-click gameplay of classic adventure games. And because the main focus of adventure games is the story, which obviously doesn’t “age” in the same way that other aspects of a game would, means that adventure games are generally much easier to enjoy years down the line. With other types of games, playing them after they’ve aged isn’t always easy, due to the lack of gameplay features and innovations that’ve come since and that we’re used to and often can’t look past. Not to mention the old-looking graphics in the case of 3D games (go back and look at some early 3D games from the mid-to-late-90s, that shit ain’t pretty). Adventure games generally don’t have that problem.

So, why haven’t I played all that many adventure games? Truth is, I have no idea. Another thing about me: I love a game with a compelling story, which makes it all the more strange I have played all that many of these games, what with compelling stories being the main focus of them. This is something I plan to correct, with a reasonable number of point-and-click adventures sitting on my massive backlog of games.

In fact, I’ve already started. I played through Beneath a Steel Sky last week, a very highly revered game by Revolution, the same dudes who made those Broken Sword games I love so much. Because of that, I figured it would be a good place to start. That and the fact the game has been completely free since around 2004 or so. I would like to pick up a physical copy at some point, since I love having physical copies of games. The day gaming becomes purely digital will be a sad, sad day. But that’s a story for another day.

The plot and setting are of BaSS is pretty different than that of Broken Sword, although Revolution’s charm and humour are definitely there. Steel Sky is set somewhere in a dystopian future in Australia, where most of the NPCs have ridiculous British accents. The game is worth playing for that alone. Some of the voice acting is absolutely hilarious. While the scope of the game is pretty limited compared to their later offerings (Steel Sky only being Revolution’s second release, after Lure of the Temptress, another game on my hit-list), the world is surprisingly well realised, even if the majority of the game only takes place in a handful of different areas.

The game isn’t terribly long, but then again, most classic adventure games (to my knowledge) aren’t particularly long. I can plough through Broken Sword in a couple of hours tops. The puzzles in BaSS are also pretty well done as well. Not super-easy, but not so hard that they make my primitive brain struggle and resort to a guide. The game, for the most part, does a decent job explaining what you need to do to continue, which is good because, in a story-focused game, more often than not the only thing I want to do is see more story. So, I guess I could call that a recommendation. If you have any sort of interest in adventure games and you haven’t played Beneath a Steel Sky, you really owe it to yourself to play it. And it is free, after all. Hard to argue at that price.

As for other games on my adventure hit-list? There’s certainly quite a few. I bought the remake of The Secret of Monkey Island off XBLA way back when, and got a couple of hours into it, though never finished it, so I probably owe it to myself to see that one through, as well as the second game which got a similar makeover. I plan to get around to playing the games that Tim Schafer is known for as well: Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. I’m actually eyeing up a copy of Full Throttle on eBay at the moment, and I’ve been trying to get an original big-box copy of Grim Fandango, though the past couple auctions have slipped me by, and the buy-it-now listings are a little more pricey than I’m willing to pay right now. One day though. One day.

As for more modern day games, I’m a couple of hours into Gemini Rue, which was on sale a little while ago on Steam, and I’m definitely enjoying that, even if it does have a pretty clunky combat mechanic. I’ve heard great things about the Blackwell series by the same guys as well, so I’d love to check them out. I also want to play some of the games by Pendulo Studios. Giant Bomb recently did a Quick Look of Yesterday and that definitely looked like something I wanted to play and I hear their back catalogue is of similar quality.

Having said all that, I currently have a fucktonne of other, non-adventure games on my backlog as well, which I would love to get through. I haven’t been doing all that much gaming lately, even with the amount of free-time I generally have. I’m often plagued by lack of motivation, and sometimes it’s almost as if I enjoy reading and talking about video games more than I enjoy playing them.

Maybe I’m just getting old.

Comment by > It’s Been Too Long, posted on August 26th, 2012 at 9:52 pm.

[…] last thing: Revolution, the company behind such games as Beneath a Steel Sky and those Broken Sword games I love so much, are developing a new, 2D Broken Sword game, and it's on Kickstarter. I don't think I've ever […]

Comment by » Joe’s Top 10 Totally Okay Games of 2013, posted on December 20th, 2013 at 6:45 pm.

[…] final part isn't out until early next year, The Serpents Curse, the latest, kickstarted entry into one of my most beloved series is a return to the more classic point-and-click style of the first two games, rather than the 3D […]

Hey there, feel free to add a comment below:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.