Earlier in the week someone lamented the passing of the Adventure Game genre. Adventure games were how a lot of us 30 and 40-somethings were introduced to PC gaming. Adventure games once ruled the Earth, and now we’re lucky if we get one a year. (And we’re even more lucky if it actually tells a full story and not a suckerpunch “installment”.)
I think Erik of the now-defunct Old Man Murray pretty much cut to the heart of things with adventure games and what killed them. The genre was really polluted with stupid titles and awful puzzles. For every Full Throttle and Grim Fandango (both of which I sadly missed) we got a half dozen “Pixel Hunt VII: Maximum Save and Restore”. I loved the humor of both Leisure Suit Larry and Space Quest, but those games had some absurd “puzzles” and a penchant for offing your character every three or four clicks. Ugh. Games from LucasArts were better, but they just don’t make them like that anymore.
But here is an interesting nod to the good old days of LucasArts adventure games: The White Chamber, a sci-fi horror point and click adventure game. You can download the full and complete game for free.
The game makes a poor first impression. I was put off by the anime style (even though I like anime, go figure) and the initial room is exceedingly dull. The very first “puzzle” isn’t much to write home about, either. If you can get through the first five minutes, the game gets a lot better and a lot more interesting. I don’t want to say too much more. It’s good to go into this one cold, without knowing too much about the plot.
You can beat the game in under two hours, but the game is designed to be played multiple times. Experiment with how you answer questions and how you solve problems in order to get the different endings.
The plot of this game isn't just dumb, it's actively hostile to the player. This game hates you and thinks you are stupid.
A Lack of Vision and Leadership
People fault EA for being greedy, but their real sin is just how terrible they are at it.
Silent Hill Origins
Here is a long look at a game that tries to live up to a big legacy and fails hilariously.
C++ is a wonderful language for making horrible code.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.