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You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread


   

What does it mean to “go on an adventure”?

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I was playing the Lost Chronicles of Zerzura recently when it occurred to me that this was actually the first game I’ve played in 2012 that I would describe as “an adventure”. Not an adventure game, but an adventure. This year I’ve solved crimes as Sherlock Holmes, been scared senseless in Anna, counselled a dying old man in To The Moon. I can’t even remember what I did in Yesterday or Dear Esther. Zerzura had me roaming across deserts, exploring ancient tombs, deciphering old languages - why is it that I think of these things as more “adventurey” than those other games?

It’s the “Adventure” part of “Adventure Game” that just isn’t very descriptive to me. What does it mean to go on an adventure? In the history of adventure games, we have had:
-crime-solving and espionage adventures,
-traditional catacomb-and-jungle adventures,
-escape-the-scary-monster adventures
-romance “adventures” where the goal is to win the girl/boy,
-the “adventures” of a cop and a lawyer (hah! Grin)

and even had “adventures” consisting of navigating through a series of everyday bureaucratic scenarios. Literally anything can be an adventure.

If we pool together all the adventure game stories ever made, the only common description which could be made for the type of adventure we experience in an adventure game would be… “doing stuff”. And an adventure game can even be centered around not doing stuff (I’m sure it has been done!), so even that definition is out.  And yet when a friend tells me “I’ve just been on an adventure”, I am more likely to think of a perilous 2-week mountain-climbing journey than a crime-solving escapade or quest-for-love à la Larry Laffer.

We know the gameplay in adventure games is very different from other games - the puzzles, the inventory, the dialogues. But what I would like to know is: is there anything about the stories in adventure games which make them stand out from the stories in other types of games? Because I can’t help but wonder whether players of other game genres find it insulting that we’re implying that their dragon-slaying quest in their Role-Playing Game isn’t an adventure Wink

     

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We already had pretty much the same topic, here.

     
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Blah - 16 November 2012 10:31 AM

We already had pretty much the same topic, here.

Really? I don’t think it’s the same at all, but oh well.

     
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Actually, I thought it was the same as well. There was also this thread from a few months back, but you’re not really talking about the “gameplay” genre, more about the “content” genre, right?

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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It was a bad thread title choice on my part. I didn’t want to talk about the “adventure” name, more about the kinds of stories we get in adventure games compared with other genres. This thread is about what people would name adventure games had we been around 30 years ago.

If I had called the thread “What does it mean to go on an adventure?”, would you have left it alone?

     
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Zifnab - 17 November 2012 09:21 AM

If I had called the thread “What does it mean to go on an adventure?”, would you have left it alone?

I’ve modified the title. Wink


On-topic:
As a description of a story genre, I’ve always considered the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as the very definition of an “adventure”.

While we’re stuck with the name “adventure games” for our genre, you’re right that very few games actually qualify as an “adventure”.
I can think of the King’s Quest games, Monkey Island games, Indiana Jones games, The Longest Journey, Jack Keane and Lost Horizon among others. Most of these also have fantasy elements in them.
A lot of other games are not even close to being an adventure. While for a lot of games, the difference is going to be mirky, games like ‘To the Moon’ and investigative games like ‘L.A. Noire’ are hardly to be called “adventures”.

When I think of an “adventure”, I think of visiting vastly different exotic locations all over the globe, often on the hunt for something ancient or mythical.
Forbidding locations like jungles, mountains and deserts are canon.

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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sorry for being off topic Zifnab
but do you suggest not playing tLCoZ, i mean is it really as you said not a traditional adventure ?

     

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