Hi, and Namaste from New Delhi, India!
In 1983, my father brought home a ZX Spectrum and cassettes of Maze Chase and Horace Goes Skiing. I was seven, my brother was four. We spent countless breathless hours evading capture by the four monsters on our brand new colour television (though, given our tropical upbringing, the skiing was definitely awkward).
Then came our laptop, a Bondwell 286 with a monochrome screen, and floppies of DigDug, Pac-Man, Professional Write, and Wishbringer. The last – a text adventure – baffled us. But with a dogged perseverance now lost in the mists of time, endless walk left, search tree, open door later, we figured it out. Life has been virtually crazy since.
I must admit, we were spoiled by the heydays of adventure games. The Quest for Glory titles, Monkey Island I, Gabriel Knight I – affectionately embraced classics now, were the games du jour, and disciples fell to their knees at the mention of the word Sierra. In the absence of forums and walkthroughs (how did we ever manage without the ‘net?!), we took MONTHS to complete each game, bleary-eyed with pixel-hunting, confounded by inventories jam-packed with items like ‘snot’ and ‘grog’, blissfully immersed in lives that bore no resemblance to our real ones.
Till someone shouted action. Actually, a lot of people must have. The ice age (or the meteor, take your pick) hit and suddenly, adventure games were the new dinosaurs. But when one door shuts, another opens (if it doesn’t, use the crowbar languishing in the inventory). The dark night ended with the advent of RPGs, and I was back in business, trawling through endless realms chasing fantastic monsters and running mundane errands, helped by my AI pal through combat sequences. And yet, I missed my first love.
The resurgence of adventure games thus brings me both relief and joy. The classic formats, of course. But I have a new interest too - the ‘casual adventures’ that are blazing a trail of glory through audiences that earlier stayed away, finding the genre boring, tedious and unapproachable. I find this development super-exciting, because these fun-blends are taking adventure games mainstream at an unprecedented rate, stripping off the cloak of pseudo-exclusivity and blowing the lid off the myth that intelligent=uncool. That revelation was long overdue.
In my spare time, I serve as the Chief Operating Officer of a medium-sized company that develops corporate communication portals.
Adventures: Gabriel Knight I, Quest for Glory IV, Monkey Island I, Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis, Syberia I, Black Mirror I & II, Broken Sword I, Secret Files: Tunguska
RPG: Baldur’s Gate II, KotOR I, The Witcher, Fallout II, Dragon Age: Origins, Planescape: Torment, Arcanum
Others: Age of Empires, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Empire At War, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, Company of Heroes, Desperadoes: Wanted Dead Or Alive
My blog: http://gamrgrl.com
Play and let play!
Articles by Shuva Raha:
Bigger but not better, the second installment is plagued by both technical issues and poor design choices.