Indeed, there are so many adventure games to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, this essay should be of assistance to you.
Definition of a genre
Adventure games mostly focus on puzzle solving inside 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 considerably 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 thrill in favour of more relaxing, intellectual 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 core, push traditional genre limits in new and exciting ways. The sequel to the point-and-click classic The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, has stealth and fight scenarios. Heavy Rain is a new type of interactive 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?-style scavenger hunts. Even Portal, which offers you a pistol and asks you to solve physics-based puzzles instead of killing, qualifies as an adventure.
Of course, tales, riddles, and exploration aren’t only for adventure games. Adventure game themes are increasingly being included into games outside of the genre, such as Scribblenauts, Braid, and Limbo. We will occasionally cover these as special “games of interest” due to their common elements, but always with the understanding that they fall outside the scope of our adventure game classification.
In an adventure game, there are three traits that are always present to some degree. Certain sub-genres place a greater emphasis on one aspect over another.
The storey is typically crucial in adventure games. Plots, like movies and novels, vary in scope, tone, and place. For example, in Gabriel Knight, you must solve a voodoo murder mystery in New Orleans, yet in Day of the Tentacle, three weird pals travel across time in a portable toilet in order to combat the toxically polluted Purple Tentacle. The only limit to ideas is one’s imagination, and adventure games are famed for their unique plots.
However, in some adventures, the tale is more of a blank canvas to be filled in by open-ended exploration than a set of predefined events unfolding around you. On the tracks 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, interrogating witnesses and pressuring witnesses for answers. What you do is significantly less important in games like these than what you learn through exploration, dialogue, and attentive observation.
There are many different types of puzzles, some of which are better suited for organic incorporation into stories than others. Here are a few examples of the more popular sorts of puzzles:
Inventory puzzles entail building up a stockpile of goods that are then used to solve riddles. Some are as easy as putting one object on top of another in the environment, while others are significantly more complicated. Return to Mysterious Island allows you to combine five or six objects into one new object before using it.
Interacting with side characters to get clues and directions, or persuade them to aid your purpose, is a dialogue-based puzzle. To defeat the most quick-witted, sharp-tongued opponents, The Secret of Monkey Island’s legendary insult swordfighting demands mastering all of the finest quips.