Video games have come a long way in the past 40 years or so, we’ve seen them transform from the simple act of bouncing a ball across a screen to full on cinematic experiences that can take us days of our lives to complete. Throughout the era we’ve seen all sorts of genres come and go, one of those genres that seems to have made a sort of comeback in the last 10 years is the point and click adventure game. Naturally now it’s quite different, with less point and click motions and more action included, but nevertheless people are once again enjoying the adventure genre. I want to take a moment to look at the classics, many of which still hold up today as enjoyable, funny and sometimes impossibly difficult mysteries for you to solve. So, let’s take a look at some of the best of those golden oldies of the point and click golden age.
The Secret of Monkey Island
It should be mentioned that there is fun to be had in every single entry of the Monkey Island franchise, with the first two being perhaps the strongest (though personally I have a soft spot for the third). No list of adventure games would be complete without a Monkey Island entry and I’ve gone with the first, The Secret of Monkey Island. This game has a cracking story, hilarious dialog and some seriously tough puzzles that will certainly amuse you. The characters are fantastic and I challenge anyone not to love insult sword fighting. What more the game has recently undergone a ‘special edition’ treatment in which the graphics are improved with some lovely artwork and the addition of reworked music and a voice cast (that alone is worth the purchase). The Monkey Island games are incredibly influential to the adventure genre, particularly within the humour, so if you aren’t a fan of this it’s possible you won’t be of many.
Adventure games have a certain knack for being ‘out there’ in the premise and none are perhaps more so than Grim Fandango. Set in the Mexican Land of the dead, you play as Manny Calavera a smooth travel agent ground down by life hoping to save Mercedes Colomar, a woman Manny believes he’s wronged. It’s a tale of love and redemption with a heavy noir theme to the backdrop of Aztec mythology, a combination you never knew you needed until you play this charming classic. The characters are fantastic and worthy of any of Hollywood’s finest animated adventures. The story too is tight and enjoyable, arguably one of the best the genre has to offer. This combined with its unique visual style have garnered a sort of cult following, which is completely understandable. Though many of it’s puzzles can be tricky and sometimes perhaps too obscure, you’ll forget all about that once you enjoy this games marvellous world. Plus, there’s always online walkthroughs to help move things along.