About a year ago, Infamous Adventures released an unofficial VGA remake of King's Quest III: To Heir is Human. While graphically it is impressive with a nice MIDI score, the voice-acting is so cringe-worthy one wonders if it was done on purpose to pay homage to early CD-ROM video game voice-acting! It's worth a try for those who enjoyed the original and it was developed with Adventure Game Studio, a great Graphical Adventure Game toolkit that I need to start tooling around with.
Just a quick note to let you know that I've recently published two more GAG reviews on our friend website Adventure Classic Gaming. Check out my reviews for Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle and Ankh 2: Heart of Osiris. They're both good games, and I agree with David's earlier assessment of Runaway 2. These types of games don't get nearly enough exposure nowadays, so it's worthwhile checking out sites like ACG every so often to keep up to date with them. Enjoy!
I recently was visiting the Adventure Classic Gaming site and enjoyed a review of The Secret of Monkey Island, Gilbert's 1990 classic point-and-click that, for many people, represents the very pinnacle of the genre. While I have played all of the Monkey Island games and enjoyed each one immensely, I sometimes wonder if people don't seem a little too enthusiastic. For the same reason that I'd be dubious of someone who claimed that The Princess Bride or The Pirates of the Caribbean was the best movie ever made, I'm a bit leery of people who make similar claims about Monkey Island. Fun, definitely. Well crafted, sure. Classic--I agree. But I find that my list of the best GAGs looks much different from most that I've found on the net, mostly because I think a truly great GAG has to do more than amuse you.
Kheops Studio's "Voyage: Insired by Jules Verne," published in the US by the Adventure Company in 2005, is one of the best graphical adventure games I've seen in recent years. It features compelling gameplay, multiple ways to solve puzzles, and a good, solid story based on the works of celebrated French author Jules Verne (one of the true godfathers of science fiction). The puzzles are clever, the script is fun--in short, it's worth checking out, even if you aren't normally a fan of Myst-style games.
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.
No doubt following Telltale Games' lead with the success of Sam & Max Season One, Funcom recently announced plans to develop Dreamfall Chapters, an online episodic sequel to the recent GAG Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.
Here's a bit from the press release:
. Funcom naturally welcomes the continued cultural acceptance of computer games as a medium comparable to film and television. Fans can now look forward to new online chapters in one of the most popular adventure sagas of all time.
Each new installment of â€˜Dreamfall Chaptersâ€™ will initially be delivered as online-only content, but there may be retail releases with combined chapters, both for console and PC, at a later stage.
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.
Amazing Media's Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster is a fantastic game, and I'm stunned that it hasn't received more attention from serious GAG fans. Tim Curry's performance as the demented Dr. Frankenstein is wonderful, but that's not all this game has to offer. Great atmosphere, story, black humor, and intuitive puzzles--what more could a GAG fan ask for? I give this one two thumbs up--(and who knows whom those thumbs used to belong to?)
Malcolm McDowell is one of my favorite actors, so naturally when I found a graphical adventure game (GAG) starring him for only $1 (and that was a dual pack including a Frankenstein game), it was really a no-brainer. When games come that cheap, the only question is whether it's worth the time investment. Verdict?