Top 5 PC Adventure Games of All Time
Back in the day, before the rise of the First Person Shooter genre, when console machines still had pixelated graphics and crappy sound, discerning gamers who demanded more had only one place to go: The PC.
The PC was light years ahead of consoles when it came to complex games, graphics, and sound. Nowadays the gap isn't as large, and it's easy for newcomers to miss what was great about PC gaming. Amongst the dying legacy of the PC lies one of the most successful and creative genres known to man... The PC adventure game.
Their simplistic point-and-click nature didn't require much motor skill from players, but they did have other requirements, namely, curiosity, patience, persistence, and above all, a good sense of humor. In today's fast food MTV society, these games are largely at odds with the modern gaming audience, and when you ask a young gamer what his or her favorite adventure game is, they'll likely say Tomb Raider. Little do they know, Tomb Raider is hardly the adventure game we speak of.
Luckily, we at TrustyGamer are here to remind the world about how great gaming used to be on the PC, and in particular, how the Adventure Game ushered in a Golden Age of gaming that is now long dead and forgotten.
Without further delay, we bring you the Top 5 PC Adventure Games of All Time!
5) Space Quest
Space Quest was a great series of games from the giant juggernaut publisher of yesteryear, Sierra. Among the Quest series of games, like Kings Quest and Police Quest, Space Quest was one of the first adventure games to grace the PC, and initially it was driven only by keyboard input alone. When the mouse became mainstream (and 256 color graphics), the series slowly modernized, bringing it's gaming audience with it to explore such wonders as midi music, and synthesized speech. Wikipedia can do a far better job at exploring the long series of Space Quest games, but we present a nostalgic video that makes us want to play all over again:
4) Grim Fandango
Grim Fandango was one of the last true adventure games to ever grace the PC. At the time of its release, it became somewhat of a paradox. High production values, excellent story, and an original studio soundtrack all contributed to what was really a game ahead of its time, yet it belonged to an era of gaming that was being buried to make room for the rise of the FPS and RTS. It gave us a glimpse of the future of game development, with its big budget voice acting, music, and design, while at the same time serving as the last gasp of a dying breed. I encourage you to download the soundtrack to the game, it alone is enough to make you understand the feelings of cool evoked when playing Grim Fandango.
3) Police Quest
There is already a Quest series mentioned in this list, however Police Quest deserves special attention. More than an adventure game, Police Quest was actually considered to be a simulation. Playing the role of a police officer (and later, a detective), you had to follow procedure, gather evidence, and use appropriate force when dealing with the scum and villainy you encountered throughout the game. Somehow Sierra actually made this fun, and this series saw much success and developed a devoted following. One of the great moments in the series came when you had to deal with a naked crazy guy (Fun Fact: the latter Police Quest games were some of the first to feature digitized graphics):
2) Monkey Island
The Monkey Island series of games pretty much put LucasArts (then, known as LucasFilm Games) on the map, and helped solidify its position as an adventure game powerhouse. The success of LucasArts's early adventure games propelled the company forward and set a sturdy foundation and standard of quality that we can still see influencing the games they are developing today. Monkey Island's humor and level of interactivity were basically unheard of when the first title was initially released, and it was truly a unique and groundbreaking experience for many gamers at the time. Look no further than the SCUMMVM community to see how influential this series and other LucasArts titles were on an entire generation. The SCUMM engine has even been ported to the iPhone.
1) Maniac Mansion (Day of the Tentacle!!!)
What many consider to be the crowned jewel of adventure gaming, the Maniac Mansion series represented the quintessential adventure game, and in conjunction with Monkey Island, pretty much defined the entire genre. The flagship title of the series, Day of the Tentacle, featured innovative gameplay, incredible graphics, digitized sound, and some of the funniest jokes and situations ever to be found in a game. The storyline set it apart from any other adventure game that came before it, raising the bar so high that even titles that came years after it could not duplicate its perfection. Day of the Tentacle represented adventure gaming in its finest hour, and it was unforgettable. Luckily this title still lives on through the SCUMM engine, and the image for the game can be found abundantly online.
In reality, no adventure gaming list could be complete without mentioning Sam & Max, Full Throttle, or King's Quest, all of which deserve to be on this list. In truth, almost all adventure games starting with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy deserve their time in the limelight. It's a shame that we don't see the kind of innovation and thoughtfulness that went into these games too much anymore. Here's to hoping that future developers will consider reviving the genre, while at the same time bringing into the modern age... Until next time, happy SCUMMing!