Posted in 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games, Video Games

The Curse Of Monkey Island – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 52

And so we come to the end of this year long slog through adventure games. It could, of course, only end with one game, the one that is, after all this time and so many games, still my favourite. Probably. Maybe.

Making a sequel to a profitable well-received game is usually a bit of a no-brainer. Why would you not want to repeat all that money-making success with a second game that will once again rake in the cash delight players and make you feel proud of yourself? Continue reading “The Curse Of Monkey Island – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 52”

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Sam & Max Hit The Road – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 50

It’s kind of incredible that LucasArts made a Sam & Max game.

It seems obvious now, four/17 games (depending on how you count it) and an animated series later, but back in the day Sam & Max was just an occasional indie comic that one of the company’s artists, Steve Purcell, did on the side. But after a couple of years of Purcell being at LucasArts, the dog and rabbit duo found themselves appearing in the company newsletter, in an internal training program and as hidden cameos in games like Secret of Monkey Island.

Then, in 1993, they starred in a full length, big budget adventure game. It’s quite a coup for the characters and the only other instance even close to this I can think of is when Rare, for some reason, released a Mr Pants game.

Thankfully, Sam & Max are much better than Mr Pants. Continue reading “Sam & Max Hit The Road – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 50”

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The Archers – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 49

And now for something rather different. By which I mean weird. Very weird.

The Archers is the world’s longest running radio soap opera, likely due to the fact that it’s quite probably the world’s only radio soap opera these days. Since the 1950s, Radio 4 listeners have delighted (one assumes) in hearing a load of “hunting, shooting and fishing” types burble on about their love lives and local intrigue and, er, lambing, I guess. I don’t know, I don’t listen to it. The Archers appeals to a very specific section of the population and all I know about it is that I’m not in it and I wouldn’t want to be trapped in a lift with them.

Also that, by and large, they’re probably not video gamers. Maybe that’s short-sighted prejudice on my part, especially these days as games become ever more an ingrained part of the media landscape, but your stereotypical Archers listener is more likely to sign up to some newspaper campaign trying to ban Fortnite than play it themselves. That may well not be accurate, but I can’t imagine it being any less accurate back in 1986, when video games really were a new and strange thing seen warily by the establishment and older people.

Which makes it really weird that someone (namely Level 9 Computing) decided to put time and money into making an Archers adventure game for the Commodore 64. Why? Did this thing sell? It’s hard to imagine who would have wanted to buy it.

Continue reading “The Archers – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 49”

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Blackwell Unbound – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 48

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to any of the Blackwell games in this series. Not because I don’t like them or don’t want to talk about them, but because there’s five of them and while they were all released individually, they make a cohesive whole. Replaying all five was a bit daunting and throwing them all into one piece would have done them a disservice.

But if any of them can stand alone entirely it’s Unbound. Well, ok, the first game, the Blackwell Legacy probably could too, but I really wanted to replay Unbound more.

Continue reading “Blackwell Unbound – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 48”

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The Lost Files Of Sherlock Holmes – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 47

I’m not particularly a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Whether it’s modern TV adaptations or the original stories, I find the character a bit of a bore. His central gimmick of being a brilliant detective is just him making wildly improbably extrapolations from scant evidence and Doyle having him always be right simply because he’s brilliant.

I’m in a minority in my Holmes-hating (I don’t really hate him, but, you know, alliteration) as evidenced not only by two concurrent, popular TV adaptations in recent years but also the cottage industry of Holmes adventure games that’s existed for about 30 years now. I’ve broadly ignored most of this – they often seem to want to involve Jack the Ripper, for some reason – but decided to give 1992’s The Lost Files Of Sherlock Holmes (The Case Of The Serrated Scalpel) a go anyway. Continue reading “The Lost Files Of Sherlock Holmes – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 47”

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Lamplight City – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 46

Lamplight City is the latest game by Francisco Gonzalez, developer of Shardlight, (which I loved), A Golden Wake (which I’ve not played) and the Ben Jordan series (which I can never play, because it shares its name with one of my best friends and that’s just too weird for me).

I really did love Shardlight though, so I had high hopes and expectations for Lamplight City as soon as I heard about it. It was described as a detective game set in an alternate history USA with steampunk elements, where your actions across half a dozen separate cases would affect the final outcome of the game. Which sounds pretty great.

The result is a bit disappointing though.

Continue reading “Lamplight City – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 46”

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The Shivah – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 45

The great thing about video games is that they allow the player to enter the lives of such a huge variety of people. From space marines fighting demons on Mars to bubble blowing dinosaurs to outlaws in the dying days of the old west to sentient unicycles, there’s seemingly nothing and no-one a video won’t let you be. Even a relatively hardline conservative, middle-aged New York Rabbi.

Continue reading “The Shivah – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 45”

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Maniac Mansion – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 44

You know what’s not particularly good? Disney’s Snow White. Any poor unfortunate who’s been reading my site for a while may remember (if they’ve not blocked it out) my Disney guide, where I took Snow White to task for being pretty unenjoyable and, in terms of quality, completely over-shadowed by later productions. And I stand by that. For all its historical importance, it’s not that fun in and of itself.

Say hello to the Snow White of adventure games.

Continue reading “Maniac Mansion – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 44”

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Back To The Future – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 43

If ever there was a film that didn’t need a sequel, it was The Matrix. And if there was a second, it was Back To The Future.

Look, I liked Back To The Future Part 2 as much as anyone and the third one is… also a film that exists. But the thing about Back To The Future is that it’s not really a film about time travel. Well, ok, it is, clearly, but the root of the original film isn’t “hey, wouldn’t it be great to travel in time”, it’s “if I had known my father in high school, would we have been friends?” Time travel is just a convenient plot device to be able to explore that question and it’s really just a happy fluke that the method of time travel was immensely cool and lodged itself firmly in the mainstream consciousness.

Continue reading “Back To The Future – 52 Weeks Of Adventure Games Week 43”