The adventure genre was pretty much always one of my favorites, starting way back in the early 90s when I had my first PC. I loved the often-creative stories and characters (my first few experiences with the genre very much helped with THAT) and the games being easy to get into (usually no timing-based puzzles, time limits, resource-management etc.) contributed as well. The 90s were a good time for the genre, so going through my list, I found a decent amount of games that I completed. I won’t be mentioning ALL of the adventures that I played, because some I only tried out as they were demos on a collection disc, or I don’t have much of a memory left in regards to them. The list won’t be strictly in the order that I played them, because I definitely don’t remember THAT anymore. Anyways, on to the show:
Back in the days when I was still relatively new to gaming, advertisement games had become pretty popular. Around the corner from our home, there was a “Dresdner Bank” (as the name suggests, a bank for finances). After seeing an advertisement for a free game from them, I visited there and took a copy home to play. This was one of the first games in the point & click adventure genre that I played, in my opinion a pretty good one at that, especially for a free advergame. I’m not sure how I would think about the product placements in the game if I played it today (might have a go at it for a future post), but at the time I thought they were integrated into the story in a neat way. It helped that the story didn’t take itself really seriously, I mean how could you do that when the start of the game is your character being shrunk and transported into a computer system and your clothes in that “world” take the form of some kind of superhero costume, cape and all. Gameplay-wise the game was pretty standard for a P&C adventure, find items to put in your inventory, solve puzzles with those items, talk a lot with different characters… but this was one of the games that made me a long time fan of adventures and partial to advergames as well.
Day of the Tentacle
Now THIS one is a classic that I don’t have to tell adventure game fans a lot about! If you’ve been one for any significant amount of time, you’ll know what it’s about… and if not: what are you doing? Go and play it! It’s out in Remastered form and even though I don’t like to give Double Fine any money, this game is a must-play if you haven’t already! My first experience with it was me borrowing it from a friend at school in its DOS version. I’m pretty sure I beat it once more some years later. More recently, I beat the Remastered version as well, when I got access it as part of Playstation Plus.
Dunkle Schatten 1 & 2
(title translates to “Dark Shadows”) While games clumsily pushing specific beliefs/ideologies have been causing some negative reactions in recent times, looking back at my gaming history, games with social/political messages have been around for a long time, with “Dunkle Schatten” being a rather good example. It was only released in German, as it was targeting a specific scenario and was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. The main areas the game covered were racism, ableism and tolerance in general. The story of the game did integrate these things rather neatly, without being too heavy-handed (mostly). The good thing about it was that the game built the stuff into the overarching story instead of making them the only focus, building it up gradually until it comes to a head in the end. The game even got 2 more sequels, though I only played the first two. The second game came out 2 years later and also set the story 2 years after the first, with the same main character and some new and some returning characters to interact with. Both of these games I got through CDs packaged with the video game magazines I was reading at the time. But generally, with these games you could order them from the Ministry for free as well, as far as I remember.
To be continued
These three (or four, depending on how you count the two games in the third entry) titles are but the beginning, in the future I will return to this topic and talk about more of the classic adventure games that I enjoyed to play. Until then, have a good time and maybe try out some of these old titles along the way.