Adventure games have always had a place in my heart. From a young age, I have been subject to a vast variety of different game genres. I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades when it comes to gaming. Honestly, I love every genre for different reasons. My love for the adventure genre has always been one of my deepest passions compared to most other types of games.
It all started at a very young age. My parents had bought a brand new computer for Christmas, and along with it, a few games. Among the list was The Sims, Diablo and what would be my very first adventure game: Gabriel Knight 3. Now, anyone who is familiar with the Gabriel Knight series knows that it’s not the sort of game that a kid would understand, it’s a game that has very dark tones based around the kidnapping of a child. This sees the protagonist, a man named Gabriel Knight, follow the kidnappers to a remote French village called Rennes-le-Chateau.
During your playthrough you are tasked with questioning subjects and interacting with an eclectic cast of characters. In short, it’s not really the type of game that a 10 year old can really grasp. I loved interacting with the characters and trying to solve the mystery; I felt like a mini Sherlock. The world had felt so real, and I would soon find out that Rennes-le-Chateau is an actual place in France. Jane Jensen, the creator of the Gabriel Knight series had visited Rennes-le-Chateau in preparation for the game. It’s extremely interesting as there is a lot of mysteries around the area involving Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail. This of course, is delved into deeply in Gabriel Knight 3, which makes for an extremely fascinating playthrough.
I’ve always had a fondness for narrative, whether it be books or films. I love to care about characters and see their personalities fully realised. Games to me aren’t just about gameplay mechanics, they’re so much more. They are about experiences. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for games like Gabriel Knight.
For me, when it comes to adventure games, my love for them is almost completely driven by nostalgia. To put it frankly, I was pretty horrible at figuring out puzzles when I was a kid. Playing adventure games was almost always out of the question because I’d just end up getting stuck and asking my brothers for help. The solution was obvious of course: just let my brother play the game and help where I could.
Me and my older brother Brady bonded endlessly on the LucasArts adventure games. From Monkey Island to Maniac Mansion, even to Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, we played them all, and though I never really touched the mouse and keyboard, I did help where I could. Maybe figuring out what the rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle actually did was a stretch for my older brother, but that’s why I was around: to add in the crazy factor of youth.
Growing up around such a high pedigree of adventure and puzzle led me to my love of adventure today. Seeing things like Broken Age come from Tim Schafer again brings a very special kind of magic back for me. Maybe adventure games are going the way of Telltale, which is to say away from point and click, but my appreciation for their foundation is still there. I played the original Sam and Max games, so seeing their Telltale iterations was a great pull at my nostalgia-chords, and renewed my faith in them as far as the genre is concerned.
To pick a favorite, I’d have to say it’s Day of the Tentacle. Nothing was funnier, crazier, or even on the same plane when I was a kid. For me, that was the apex of cartoons, funny, writing, and everything in between.