Tag Archives: adventure games

short;Play: Rise of the Dragon

Adventure games — particularly point-and-click affairs from the ’90s — are a genre I’ve loved for a long time. And one of my all-time favourites from back in the day is Rise of the Dragon, a futuristic dystopian adventure by Dynamix that feels all the more plausible today.

Taking on the role of William “Blade” Hunter, trenchcoat-wearing private detective extraordinaire, it’s your job to investigate the strange and horrifying death of the mayor’s daughter, stop the spread of a deadly DNA-altering drug and prevent the resurrection of an ancient Chinese wizard who really wants to take over Los Angeles for some reason. I say he’s welcome to it; LA’s a shithole now, and it looks even worse in the future.

Check out my full playthrough of this adventure game classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Brok the InvestiGator: Punch and Click Adventuring

It’s been a good few years since the point-and-click adventure was a “mainstream” part of gaming now. That’s not to say the genre is dead, mind — more that these days it tends to be the exclusive preserve of smaller, independent developers rather than big studios like LucasArts.

And those games from smaller, independent developers aren’t in any way “lesser” than the games from the golden age of adventure games, either — in fact, in the case of games like Brok the InvestiGator, they represent what would have been the natural evolution of the genre if the mainstream hadn’t become so obsessed with gritty photorealism and cinematic open-world experiences.

In short, Brok the InvestiGator, whose Prologue chapter is presently available for free from both Steam and GOG.com at the time of writing, is something very special indeed. And it deserves your attention. So let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Brok the InvestiGator: Punch and Click Adventuring

The Immortal: How To Kill Your Wizard

If you are a glutton for punishment, or just feel that modern video games are a touch on the easy and/or fair side for you, it’s high time you checked out Will Harvey’s classic 1990 title, The Immortal.

As it happens, at the time of writing it’s just become easily accessible in not one, but two different places: you can now play the NES version as part of a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and the Mega Drive version appears as part of the Piko Interactive Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system.

It’s the latter version we’ll be focusing on today, but expect similar amounts of death in both. Roll up your sleeves, and let’s get mortal.

Continue reading The Immortal: How To Kill Your Wizard

Check Out My Prison Princess Review!

Full article coming later today, but this is super-important to acknowledge: the commercial, mainstream outlet Nintendo Life was kind enough to give me the opportunity to write about qureate’s new point-and-click puzzle adventure game for Nintendo Switch, Prison Princess.

This is noteworthy because it marks a substantial shift in the site’s editorial policy: they’re now keen to specifically seek out specialist writers for more niche-interest games such as shoot ’em ups or games with provocative ecchi content, rather than passing them to staff writers less familiar with the cultural context or background of such works. This will hopefully lead to fewer situations where there’s a huge disconnect between a critic and the target audience of a particular game. And hopefully more articles from people like me and their new, frighteningly knowledgeable shmup specialist!

I’d like to heartily thank Damien McFerran from Nintendo Life for the kind opportunity to write about this game — and for the site’s admirable new approach. And I would please encourage you, dear reader, to support this change in outlook: it’s exactly the sort of thing we need to see happening on more mainstream sites. It deserves rewarding.

And a great way to do that is simply to go and check out my review of Prison Princess over on Nintendo Life — you can do that by clicking right here!

Thanks for your support, and I hope you enjoy the review.

Pete

My Big Sister: Blood-Red Pixels

I’m not sure exactly when a lo-fi pixel art aesthetic came to be associated with horror games, but I’ve always rather liked the juxtaposition between supposedly “primitive” visuals and the primal emotion that is fear.

We can probably trace the whole thing back to classic NES survival horror RPG Sweet Home, but it seems to have become particularly popular with the indie sphere in recent years, with titles such as Lone Survivor, Home and various rereleases of Corpse Party all fully embracing the “retro horror” aesthetic.

My Big Sister, a pixel art horror adventure for all the current major platforms, follows this mould, but does a few interesting things all of its own. So let’s take a step into the darkness and see what’s going on!

Continue reading My Big Sister: Blood-Red Pixels

Atari ST A to Z: King’s Quest

A few of you have been asking for full playthroughs of adventure games after the episodes on Uninvited and Borrowed Time — so here you go!

Today’s game is an all-time classic that probably needs very little introduction. It’s Roberta Williams’ King’s Quest for Sierra, a fairytale adventure with a penchant for killing off its protagonist in a variety of unpleasant ways.

I remember getting stuck for months on these games as a kid. Turns out you can clear them in a couple of hours if you know (mostly) what you’re doing…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Summer Daze at Hero-U: Corey Cole Talks Kickstarter, Characters as Puzzles and More

While the idea of the “gaming auteur” is a relatively recent concept thanks to modern creators such as Hideo Kojima, Taro Yoko and Goichi Suda, those of you who have been gaming for as long as I have will doubtless be able to name some “big names” from much earlier in the evolution of the medium.

Many of these names were associated with Sierra, a company established at the very dawn of computer gaming history in 1979 that became primarily known for its adventure games — though this was far from the only type of software they put out.

One of Sierra’s most beloved franchises from “back in the day”, was Quest for Glory, a series of five games that offered an engaging blend of point-and-click adventuring, role-playing game mechanics and a pun-tastic sense of humour. These were the creation of Lori Ann and Corey Cole, a married couple who, between them, displayed considerable flair for both game design and entertaining writing.

In 2018, the Coles brought us Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, a long-awaited spiritual successor to Quest for Glory that featured the pair’s iconic blend of good humour and solid design. Now, in the year of Quest for Glory’s 30th anniversary, development has begun on a new Hero-U title, so I took some time to chat with Corey about its influences, what the pair learned from the previous game, and how we can expect to be enjoying our Summer Daze at Hero-U.

Continue reading Summer Daze at Hero-U: Corey Cole Talks Kickstarter, Characters as Puzzles and More

Atari ST A to Z: Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood

Nostalgia is a funny old thing. Since starting this project, I’ve found myself really appreciating some of the games that, for one reason or another, had an impact on me growing up. Not necessarily the best games, but those which have some sort of meaning to me.

One of my favourite examples to date is today’s game: Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood, an early title from Sierra during their partnership with Disney. As well as being a game I loved playing with my family as a child and possibly one of the most charming, kid-friendly adventures of all time, it’s an interesting game from a historical perspective, too, since it’s one of the earliest titles Al Lowe put out.

Al Lowe, if you’re unfamiliar with your Sierra history, is the man who would later give us the Leisure Suit Larry series, a mainstay of Sierra’s portfolio alongside King’s Quest, Space Quest and Police Quest for many years… but a little different in subject matter to what we have here!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.