warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/taxonomy/ on line 33.
Matt Barton's picture

King's Quest: Your Thoughts on Roberta Williams' Masterpiece

King's Quest: Your thoughts on the world's most influential GAG.King's Quest: Your thoughts on the world's most influential GAG.Well, the time has come for me to turn my attention to King's Quest, having recently finished the drafts of Pac-Man and Myst. I played through the original King's Quest and a few of the later games, though again they're blurring together somewhat in my mind (will have to go back in to refresh my memory). Naturally, a discussion of KQ will let me talk about the PcJr as well as EGA and the early PC game industry. It'll be fun to talk about the many spin-offs, though I don't want to get too far away from the original game.

Matt Barton's picture

Steve Meretzky on the Idiocy of Modern Gaming

Steve Meretzky has some comments up at Game Set Watch from an interview at GDC. If the name "Meretzky" doesn't ring a bell, you may not have played some of the finest text adventure games ever made.

Matt Barton's picture


***UPDATE: Links to my reviews of all the Myst games below.***
Whew. I've been working all day on the Myst chapter of the book. I'm actually a good choice for this chapter, since I've played ALL the Myst games from start to finish and have a great love and respect for this venerable series. That said, it's been challenging; the games tend to blur together in my mind. I still think Myst IV: Revelation is the greatest of them all, simply because it had the best graphics and puzzles. Still, I admire III because of its brilliant marble puzzle and voice acting, and the final game for its luxury car interface that I still think is the best ever made for an adventure game. It's *comfortable.* I love it.

Matt Barton's picture

Natalie Brooks and Thoughts on Casual Gaming

Natalie Brooks: Casual adventure games seem to be the future, but do they necessarily have to be casual?Natalie Brooks: Casual adventure games seem to be the future, but do they necessarily have to be casual?I've been taking a few minutes here and there to check out the extensive casual gaming library that shipped with my new computer (an HP Pavilion).

Bill Loguidice's picture

Breaking News on another New Leisure Suit Larry Game

I'm sure this is already common knowledge (I haven't researched this yet or have much interest to at the moment), but apparently another new Leisure Suit Larry game is in development. Listening to the Howard Stern show this morning on Sirius Satellite Radio heading in to work, co-host and comedian Artie Lange is apparently doing a recording session today for a character named "Big Al". He didn't disclose what he's getting paid for what is expected to be around 3 hours or so of work, but apparently it's in the range of "what a person in his 20's makes in a year" (go perspective, go!). It was kind of funny to hear how little all on the Howard Stern knew of Leisure Suit Larry (and obviously gaming in general), but at least Howard himself was vaguely familiar with the basic premise of the original classic computer adventure games in trying to "enlighten" Artie and the crew. I'm sure this new one is just like the middling 3D "reimagining" of a few years back for PC and consoles, but it's still interesting to get a mini and unexpected behind-the-scenes-during-the-making-of from an unexpected place...

Matt Barton's picture

Sam and Max Season One: Some Reflections

You may have noticed (hopefully with some sadness!) that I haven't been posting as much as I usually do here on Armchair Arcade. Part of the reason is that I've been overloaded with school work (this is finals week), but the true reason is that I've become a GameTapaholic. Don't get me wrong--the system is not without its faults, and is not available in Europe. However, it's far too easy to get sucked into games like Baldur's Gate again and end up losing days and even weeks of productivity. It's really hard to believe how much is available! Nevertheless, while there are plenty of classic games to keep you busy, we can't ignore the Sam & Max series. As far as I know, these are only available on GameTap, and well worth the price of admission.

Matt Barton's picture

Review: FunCom's "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" (2006)

There are so many critics nowadays who like to scoff at the venerable old graphical adventure game (GAG) genre. All I can say is that the news of the GAG's demise is highly exaggerated. If you desire proof, then I suggest you give FunCom's Dreamfall a chance. This epic-sized adventure game is an amazing achievement, and certainly ranks as one of the finest GAGs of all time. Although it's certainly not flawless, Dreamfall capitalizes on its key assets: Interesting and well-developed characters, a fascinating storyline, and excellent pacing. Although some GAG fans will dismiss any game that doesn't burden the player down with "puzzles" and other distractions, I'm refreshed by FunCom's focus on story, characters, and dialog. If videogames are ever going to move beyond just simple diversions for young men, we're going to need more games like Dreamfall.

Matt Barton's picture

Review: Nucleosys' "Scratches" (2006)

Nucleosys' Scratches, developed by Agustin Cordes and published by Got Game, is one of the scariest graphical adventure games I've played to date. However, it's suspense is much more subtle and relies more on extended tension than "boo!" moments (although there are a few). What I'd like to talk about in this review are the techniques the game relies on to generate so much anxiety despite its point-and-click interface: a brilliant story, masterful pacing, incredible ambiance, and uncanny artwork.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Two New Limited Edition Cartridge Games Released for the ColecoVision

Search for the Stolen Crown Jewels (2006) screenshot: ColecoVision - Adam formatSearch for the Stolen Crown Jewels (2006) screenshot: ColecoVision - Adam formatNot much more to say here than in the blurbs provided below, but two new cartridge games, "Search for the Stolen Crown Jewels", which is loosely based on the 1981 Rock-Ola arcade game, "Fantasy", and "Schlange CV", which is a "Snake" remake, are available in cartridge form for the ColecoVision/Adam in limited supply from the Website. Downloadable trial ROM versions provide a nice demo-before-you-buy option in the emulator of your choice or for direct transfer to a flash device.

GAGs are dead! Long live the GAG!

Game design blog Sirlin had an article about the death of the Graphical Adventure Game genre. While this is nothing new, he has a theory on how to craft a GAG with more dynamic gameplay elements. Here's a clip.

It’s probably not technically feasible to allow different outcomes to branch into a huge tree of totally different stories, nor is it even desirable. The opponents of interactive fiction state that any story is really 1,000 possible stories where the author intelligently chose the one, single best story to tell. It would still be possible, though, to create a game world whose major story arc was resistant to change, while allowing change on the smaller scale. It might even be fun.

Syndicate content