Escape From Mount Stupid - Point and Click Adventures

From Maniac Mansion to Monkey Island, Danny takes a look at the history of point and click adventure games.

Do you know how many adventure games there are? From all my researching for this episode, I reckon about five billion. For the sake of brevity and focus, I decided to concentrate on the point and click sub-genre, and even then it was heartbreaking having to cut so many games out.

If I'm honest, I was pretty shocked about how many of these incredible games I'd forgotten about. I was very young when I started playing point and clicks, and though I've played most of the classics, there are many more that passed me by. I'm now expecting a lot of packages from eBay over the coming weeks.

What interests me the most about point and clicks is their value in the modern world. Though the genre has produced some of the most memorably stories in gaming, mechanically they are incredibly basic. Modern gamers demand a lot more, and development teams and budgets are sized accordingly. While the growing independent market could be seen as the perfect place for new adventures, big budget adventure games are definitely still a possibility. After years of experimentation, Telltale Games are making a good argument for it with The Walking Dead.

For the first time in a long time the adventure game genre is exciting. So while you wait for Double Fine Adventure and the latest Walking Dead episode to come out, I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. Just log out of eBay first to be safe.

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Written By

Long time community member. Creator of video nonsense. Apologies in advance.dannyodwyer.tumblr.com@dannyodwyer

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Discussion

2 comments
antillon
antillon

Phoenix Online Studios actually is producing some adventure games like The Silver Line (free), Cognition and others

antillon
antillon

To theKiwiMantis: Look at Abandonia, Abandonia Reloaded, Squakenet and all the friends sites they have for abandonware

subrawk
subrawk

phantasmagoria seriously messed me up because it was mostly trial and error, and error meant having to endure watching your live action character go through a really graphic and horrific death. i remember having to watch a close up of my live action, photo realistic character, get her head split in half by a pendulum over and over again until i figured out what to do finally. and then when you finally got past that part, it was another game of trial and error, and this time error meant having to endure a different but equally horrific death over and over again until you figured out what to do. and then after that part......knowing that i beat this game, i'm worried what kind of psychological effects it had on me...

Red_lath
Red_lath

I shall blame Monkey Island for my addiction to video games jejejeje lies. I really give my respects to Lucas Arts /Lucas film for work so hard on that genre. I 'll always go back to play more point'n click adventure games with a good story....

RIIIIKU
RIIIIKU

Freddi Fish  anyone ??

avatarIVN
avatarIVN

Point and click games are not death. They just got absorbed into the gameplay of other games. Also, the games for tablets and mobile devices seem like the closest to the old point-and-click games nowadays

lidster_uk
lidster_uk

Dragonsphere! you can download it free at www.gog.com/en/gamecard/dragonsphere

Braddah_B
Braddah_B

Anyone remember Enchanted Scepters on the Mac?  I was addicted to that game as a kid.

Aleubon
Aleubon

You could have mentioned Prisoner of Ice and Chronomaster. Chronomaster is a very marking game.

FireProphet
FireProphet

all hail Point and Click!! The Dig, Gemini Rue, Monkey Island 1, 2 and 3

0239666
0239666

Every time I smell asphalt, I think of Maureen.......

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

im playing walking dead and machinarium atm and there both ace..

Gojomez
Gojomez

I have to say, as much as I'd enjoy another run through with Commander Blood. I feel that the genre no longer gives you what you want from a game. I would much rather play ANY of the uncharted games, than Heavy Rain. As good as that game was, it was really only worth playing through ONE time. And the control nuances were a HUGE turn off. The uncharted games gave you the same third person perspective of a MUCH better, more action packed adventure. The only times I was truly having fun in heavy Rain were those melee fight scenes. Also, the new thing with games these days, if it doesn't sell 400 million copies, its a failure and EA fires everyone on the team. As perhaps an XBOXlive arcade or something, these games could be successful. Mobile apps, that kind of thing. But id never expect to see an Adventure game as part of the main Oct-Dec lineup or a E3 Show stealer. I don't think the modern day "easy mode / instant gratification" crowd will have it. Sure, there are tons of shooters today, but remember when shooters had HEALTH BARS? Hell, the new splinter cell game actually gave you infinite ammo. Where is the challenge in that? Adventure games required intelligence and patients, two things that today's gamer does not have much of. Spend an hour playing Modern Warfare 3 online, you'll see.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

Darn you Danny!  I am a senior in computer science and there are so many classics to reliv!That being said, I don't know how I feel about solving puzzle games with convoluted puzzles.  I loved the few Monkey Island games that I played, but I always got confused and impatient at some point and looked up a guide to solve a puzzle or two.  I think that the adventure genre is vital to the health of the game industry, even if guides are readily available.  I don't mind a 15-20hr single player adventure game costing $50-60 IF it is so good that I would like to go play it again on a weekend (Zelda 64, for example), especially if co-op can be worked into it.  Player-altered stories are all well and good, but I prefer a more solid and guided narrative that can take me on an adventure in another world.  The game industry is relatively young and will see genre shifts over the years.  We saw point-and-click adventures, then side-scrollers, then flight sims (X-Wing Alliance FTW), more recently we have seen a barrage (non pun intended) of first person shooters, and now the mobile app and xbox arcade market have opened up a new playing field for small developers, and we are starting to see great adventure and puzzle games again.  I look forward to new adventure games!

tstrem
tstrem

He was born in old St Louie, By the age of four Dad knew he was the Best little crackshot the West had ever seen. By the time he reached pubescence,  He could outshoot all the adolescents West of Durango and north of Abilene.

Pharkas, Freddy Pharkas. Famous gunslingin' deputy. Freddy Pharkas, Freddy Pharkas, Frontier hero-to-be.

Then one day young Freddy Pharkas Stared at eyes as black and dark as night, the Eyes of an outlaw, well-known throughout the West. Oh, the tough kid's name was Kenny, And he outdrew Freddy Pharkas, when he Shot Freddy's ear off to prove who was the best.

Now our hero, Freddy Pharkas, With wounded pride and earless carcass, Vowed to the heavens to give up gunnery. He'd be better off, he reckoned, With the lifelong dream that always beckoned: Pestles, not pistols, and pharmacology.

Pharkas, Freddy Pharkas, Highest score on his S.A.T., Freddy Pharkas, Freddy Pharkas. Five-year college degree.

After Fred matriculated, Got his Ph.D. and graduated, Moved out to Coarsegold and bought a pharmacy. He's a real prescription writer, And they don't know he's an ex-gunfighter, Locked up his mem'ries, repressed them totally.

But his peaceful new survival Soon was shot to hell upon arrival Of Coarsegold's schoolmarm, the sweet Penelope. She has captured Fred's affection, But he's scared he'll get a huge ...rejection, Can't bear to tell her just what he used to be.

Pharkas, Freddy Pharkas. Frontier Pharmacist bourgeoisie, Freddy Pharkas, Freddy Pharkas. Peerless, earless, and free!

 

anarchy2010
anarchy2010

WTF happend the the "Mist" series. Danny go sit in the corner and think about what u have done.... shame on you.

TheKiwiMantis
TheKiwiMantis

Does anyone know where I can get these old classics other than ebay? Maybe some abandonware/freeware site or something? I know some of them are on steam and I may have them. But the others?

no_fear_in_hell
no_fear_in_hell

My favourites were "Phantasmagoria" and "Gabriel Knight2: The Beast Within", though Phantas was more an interactive movie than a game, I think.

 

Danny boy, I really think if you're gonna promote old adventure games you should at least make a shout out to GOG.com, which has plenty of them, AT RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES and WITHOUT DRM, instead of our friend STEAM.

 

But much thanks for your efforts nonetheless, good to see adventure games getting a bit of love here. :)

MrBlack81
MrBlack81

The dig was probably one of the most difficult of all the point and click games

DeathProofDelta
DeathProofDelta

Iv never played a point and click adventure before, i feel like iv missed out.

dj_dwn
dj_dwn

Great genre!! I miss it so!! You did miss out Normality though. 

 

And to a lesser extent Secret Files was ok too...

LordFranz
LordFranz

Um, hello, what about The 7th Guest, one of the first games on CD-ROM?

Mercaptan
Mercaptan

You left out  the Syberia series , probably one of the best in the genre

Blade_Runner22
Blade_Runner22

Is it sad to realise everyone who posts here and/or understands the contents of this episode is AT LEAST 25 years old? (please prove me wrong)

jamesbigmac
jamesbigmac

Which "best line" was he referring to?

Carlito2222
Carlito2222

Great show! My favorites: Monkey Island, Beneath a steel sky and the kings quest series...

 

hedmunky8472576
hedmunky8472576

What about Blade Runner? That was one of my favorites. I played the crap out of it trying to get all 4 endings.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Sadly, I hadn't played much adventure games in the 90s. But in recent times I enjoyed Telltale's Back to the future, Walking dead, Sam and Max. There definitely should be more games in this genre!

Tzunoy
Tzunoy

Syberia Hands down

lorantn
lorantn

Twinsen's odyssey Little big adventure 2

Hastur
Hastur

I've never been a big fan adventure games, the only one I've actually finished was The Longest Journey.

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

Full Throttle was amazing as was the Dig but i still remember playing Myst on my uncles PC and finding it incredibly hard.  It's still one of the few games i've started but ever finished (along with Myst 2!)

Karlsfsn
Karlsfsn

Lost Eden was an interesting, bazaar, and entertaining experience. It falls under the first person point and click like Myst. It definitely holds a special place in my heart.

 

King's Quest 1- 7. But particularly KQ: VI and Grim Fandango. 

JamieHubble
JamieHubble

I loved Broken Sword 1 & 2, would love to get it on XBLA

Codester_41
Codester_41

I'm suprised he hasn't talked about the Mario or Metroid Series... Then again, he'd probably be talking for more than 15 mins.

Codester_41
Codester_41

"ARE EITHER OF YOU BEING RAPED?" oh Danny, I love your humor.

pleasetakeabow
pleasetakeabow

Wait...the name of this video is "Point and Click Adventures" and "Myst" only got a 3 second name drop?!?!?

 

Do You know how many hours of people's lives were lost to that game? that game dissolved marriages! It deserves more than a brief mention!

Pyrobon
Pyrobon

 @Gojomez They are just not your type of game Gojomez. I feel the opposite, and the moments i was having less fun on Heavy Rain were the same fight scenes :S I hope you're wrong about the genre not longer giving what people needs from a game. I hope there's at least an important niche that find what they want in them

glack123
glack123

 @Blade_Runner22I'm 20 and while I haven't played a lot of them I've read about almost every one mentioned in this video. LONG LIVE ADVENTURE GAMES!

Blade_Runner22
Blade_Runner22

 @jamesbigmac I'm pretty sure it's "Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game". But then again I might be mislead by the scene they show when he says it.

antillon
antillon

@Karlsfsn If you like the King quests look at Phoenix Online Studios for The Silver Linen. They create the sequel of  the history with the colaboration of the creators of the original series

snxx
snxx

 @pleasetakeabow What you say may be true, but, personally I loved the fact that he almost didn't mention 1st person adventures and dedicated almost all the show to the 3rd person ones. I really dislike 1st person adventures - not that some of them didn't deserve more (like Myst or it's spiritual predecessor: The 7th Guest).