Adventure games

Adventure games have been the most story-driven computer game genre for over 40 years. Many people have found adventure games to have a true immersive quality that can be compared to reading a book or watching a movie since its inception in 1976 with ADVENT (aka Colossal Cave Adventure, or simply Adventure). You’ve come to the right place if you want to play games that are insightful, entertaining, and intellectual while still providing a mental challenge.

It’s all about unravelling myths, discovering worlds, and solving puzzles in adventure games. In Blade Runner, you can play as Ray McCoy on a quest to find replicants, in Grim Fandango, you can go on a four-year trip through the mystical Land Of The Dead, or in Broken Sword, you can travel the globe confronting ancient conspiracies. You never know what you’re going to get when you’re playing an adventure game. There’s an adventure game for everyone: fantasies, comedies, westerns, mysteries, horror, and science fiction.

Indeed, there are so many adventure games to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, this article should be of assistance to you.

Definition of a genre

Adventure games primarily focus on puzzle solving within a narrative framework, with little or no action. This genre is also known as “graphic adventure” or “point-and-click adventure,” but these terms refer to a much broader and more diverse set of games.

Adventure games do not follow the dictionary definition of the word “adventure.” Some are, but many others prefer to forego danger and excitement in favour of more relaxed, thoughtful pursuits. They’re also not role-playing games with a lot of combat, team-building, and point management; action/adventure games like Uncharted and Prince of Persia, where puzzle-solving is clearly a secondary focus; side-scrolling platform games like Mario or LittleBigPlanet; and pure puzzle games like Bejeweled or Tetris.

Labels, on the other hand, can only take us so far. Many games, while remaining adventure games at their heart, push conventional genre boundaries in new and interesting ways. The sequel to the point-and-click classic The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, features stealth and battle scenes. Heavy Rain is a new type of immersive movie adventure game that incorporates motion controls and Quick Time Events. On the other hand, games like Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove incorporate a lot of Where’s Waldo? Scavenger hunts with a twist. Even Portal, which gives you a gun and asks you to solve physics-based puzzles instead of killing, qualifies as an adventure.

Of course, tales, puzzles, and discovery aren’t just for adventure games. Adventure game elements are increasingly being incorporated into games outside of the genre, such as Scribblenauts, Braid, and Limbo. We will sometimes cover these as special “games of interest” due to their common features, but always with the understanding that they fall outside the reach of our adventure game concept.

Identifying Features

In an adventure game, there are three characteristics that are always present to some degree. Certain sub-genres place a greater emphasis on one feature over another.

Storytelling

The plot is also crucial in adventure games. Plots, like movies and novels, vary in scope, tone, and setting. For example, in Gabriel Knight, you must solve a voodoo murder mystery in New Orleans, whereas in Day of the Tentacle, three odd friends travel through time in a portable toilet in order to defeat the toxically tainted Purple Tentacle. The only limit to ideas is one’s imagination, and adventure games are known for their unique stories.

However, in some adventures, the plot is more of a blank canvas to be filled in by open-ended exploration than a sequence of scripted events unfolding around you. On the rails between Paris and Constantinople, you’ll eavesdrop on conversations, search compartments, and engage your fellow passengers in conversation in The Last Express. As a defence attorney in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, you’ll spend a lot of time in the same courtroom, interviewing witnesses and pressuring witnesses for answers. What you do is much less important in games like these than what you experience through discovery, dialogue, and careful observation.

Research and development

Depending on the type of interface, adventure games typically involve some exploration. You had to navigate early text parser adventures by typing in directions like “GO NORTH.” Modern adventures provide more intuitive navigation, often requiring the player to shift the cursor around the screen to locate “hotspots” (objects that can be looked at or manipulated). Others still allow for more direct interactions, illustrating objects of interest simply by bringing the characters closer to them. Some escape-the-room games, such as Samorost 2, are more streamlined than others, forcing you to finish all activities on one screen before moving on to the next, but you must also carefully explore your immediate surroundings.

Adventure games have been the most story-driven computer game genre for over 40 years. Many people have found adventure games to have a true immersive quality that can be compared to reading a book or watching a movie since its inception in 1976 with ADVENT (aka Colossal Cave Adventure, or simply Adventure). You’ve come to the right place if you want to play games that are insightful, entertaining, and intellectual while still providing a mental challenge.

It’s all about unravelling myths, discovering worlds, and solving puzzles in adventure games. In Blade Runner, you can play as Ray McCoy on a quest to find replicants, in Grim Fandango, you can go on a four-year trip through the mystical Land Of The Dead, or in Broken Sword, you can travel the globe confronting ancient conspiracies. You never know what you’re going to get when you’re playing an adventure game. There’s an adventure game for everyone: fantasies, comedies, westerns, mysteries, horror, and science fiction.

Indeed, there are so many adventure games to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, this article should be of assistance to you.

Definition of a genre

Adventure games primarily focus on puzzle solving within a narrative framework, with little or no action. This genre is also known as “graphic adventure” or “point-and-click adventure,” but these terms refer to a much broader and more diverse set of games.

Adventure games do not follow the dictionary definition of the word “adventure.” Some are, but many others prefer to forego danger and excitement in favour of more relaxed, thoughtful pursuits. They’re also not role-playing games with a lot of combat, team-building, and point management; action/adventure games like Uncharted and Prince of Persia, where puzzle-solving is clearly a secondary focus; side-scrolling platform games like Mario or LittleBigPlanet; and pure puzzle games like Bejeweled or Tetris.

Labels, on the other hand, can only take us so far. Many games, while remaining adventure games at their heart, push conventional genre boundaries in new and interesting ways. The sequel to the point-and-click classic The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, features stealth and battle scenes. Heavy Rain is a new type of immersive movie adventure game that incorporates motion controls and Quick Time Events. On the other hand, games like Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove incorporate a lot of Where’s Waldo? Scavenger hunts with a twist. Even Portal, which gives you a gun and asks you to solve physics-based puzzles instead of killing, qualifies as an adventure.

Of course, tales, puzzles, and discovery aren’t just for adventure games. Adventure game elements are increasingly being incorporated into games outside of the genre, such as Scribblenauts, Braid, and Limbo. We will sometimes cover these as special “games of interest” due to their common features, but always with the understanding that they fall outside the reach of our adventure game concept.

Identifying Features

In an adventure game, there are three characteristics that are always present to some degree. Certain sub-genres place a greater emphasis on one feature over another.

Storytelling

The plot is also crucial in adventure games. Plots, like movies and novels, vary in scope, tone, and setting. For example, in Gabriel Knight, you must solve a voodoo murder mystery in New Orleans, whereas in Day of the Tentacle, three odd friends travel through time in a portable toilet in order to defeat the toxically tainted Purple Tentacle. The only limit to ideas is one’s imagination, and adventure games are known for their unique stories.

However, in some adventures, the plot is more of a blank canvas to be filled in by open-ended exploration than a sequence of scripted events unfolding around you. On the rails between Paris and Constantinople, you’ll eavesdrop on conversations, search compartments, and engage your fellow passengers in conversation in The Last Express. As a defence attorney in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, you’ll spend a lot of time in the same courtroom, interviewing witnesses and pressuring witnesses for answers. What you do is much less important in games like these than what you experience through discovery, dialogue, and careful observation.

Research and development

Depending on the type of interface, adventure games typically involve some exploration. You had to navigate early text parser adventures by typing in directions like “GO NORTH.” Modern adventures provide more intuitive navigation, often requiring the player to shift the cursor around the screen to locate “hotspots” (objects that can be looked at or manipulated). Others still allow for more direct interactions, illustrating objects of interest simply by bringing the characters closer to them. Some escape-the-room games, such as Samorost 2, are more streamlined than others, forcing you to finish all activities on one screen before moving on to the next, but you must also carefully explore your immediate surroundings.

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