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Controversial adventure game preferences and opinions?

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I was just wondering if anybody held any opinions on adventure games that seem to go against the popular consensus?

Here’s one from me: I don’t want to see multiple solutions to puzzles, which is something I often see suggested as a way of pushing adventure games forward. Now I’m not talking about tiny alternatives, like being able to carry the orange juice in the glass bottle or the porcelain mug - but anything more than that I actually think is a mistake.

On the small scale, it makes me think that the puzzles aren’t particularly well honed to the game - if they’re so generic that multiple solutions can be found, I don’t think you’ll get that ‘aha!’ moment of figuring out something really specific and well-crafted to the situation, where the obstruction and the solution have been carefully integrated into the world.

On the big scale, it often means that you have to replay the game entirely again, where 90% of the content is exactly the same, just to see the missed 10%. Firstly it’s annoying, but more importantly it means that a portion of the budget has been spent on one section of the game twice.

Now of course Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is one of games to do all of the above, and I absolutely love the game ... but I think I’d love it even more if the money used on the three paths was instead used for an additional section in the game, in a new location. I think it’s quite telling that FoA’s approach didn’t become the new way of doing adventure games after its release.

     
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I definitely think multiple puzzle solutions is not meant for every game. They can be just super if implemented well, but they are not essential to adventures and aiming for them just because it’s trending or something can indeed be a bad choice.

I don’t really see how it would force anyone to play the game again though. I’m somewhat a completionist myself and can easily leave those alternative methods alone. They might be fun when I play the game again much later on and have already forgotten most of it. Alternative endings though, those I cannot skip.

     

Currently playing: Requiescence, Divinity II
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@Mouseketeer:
My love for multiple puzzle solutions is well documented on this forum, and I think for me it mostly boils down to that I don’t have to follow the prescribed path.  (I mean you do still, but it feels less like it.) or that I’m more likely to find a solution if there are multiple ways to approach it.

Yesterday in Star Trek 25th, I threw a rock at a menacing alien, and hit him.  And the game was like…
“... Okay, not very admirable of you Kirk.”

The alien is still there.  The game is giving me a 2nd chance to give this puzzle another go.

I pick a new rock and throw it at the alien’s head and this time, he’s unconscious.

Yay I win!

I mean Bones scolded me, and I lost some of my StarFleet commendation points, but I like that I’m allowed to be a fuck up.  Prime directive can suck it.
Later, I’ll go back and see what it intended for me to try.

@Millenia

It’s kind of hard right?

When I beat Shadow of Memories/Destiny,  I wanted to immediately play it over again, but god so much of that game is the exact same, and I’m not even sure where the branching paths were.

At least with the zero escape series, the different branching paths are clearly indicated.

Although both games have fast forward through already viewed scenes which is nice.

But with SoM/D I eventually just gave up because the differences weren’t keeping me engaged.  However, I have a rule that if something turns me off about a game, or if I want to try a new path etc, sometimes I wait for a year or two, and come back to it.

I look up a hint for Sanitarium, and I waited 5 years to forget the hint so I could play it again.

     

Occuluncus: No, no.  The eye stays closed!

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Multiple paths/puzzle solutions is the whole game as far as Tesla Effect is concerned. Personally, I liked the different approaches to some of the puzzles—depending on which path you had Tex on—and thought for the most part those differences were well implemented. Others have said they didn’t vary enough.

Finding those differences definitely required replaying the game multiple times which a LOT of people don’t like to do. I guess I’m a sucker for punishment, as the stats show I’ve put right about 80 hours into the game, and I still haven’t completed all the different paths Tex could go down.

     

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I loath hidden object games and think they hurt adventuring gaming, in general, more than helping. I get drawing in the casual crowd can help keep the genre alive, but it can also be a detriment too. Most hidden object players aren’t going to look farther than hidden object games, and the ones that do won’t stick around for more than one game.

I think a bigger push for walking simulators with some puzzles and games like Samorost, Machinarium, and Botanicula would do more than hidden object games to bring people in.


I also like the idea of multiple puzzle solutions, as long as they don’t make the puzzle seem to generic.

     

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Phantom88 - 14 June 2020 02:49 PM

I loath hidden object games and think they hurt adventuring gaming, in general, more than helping. I get drawing in the casual crowd can help keep the genre alive, but it can also be a detriment too. Most hidden object players aren’t going to look farther than hidden object games, and the ones that do won’t stick around for more than one game.

Participation by “regular” adventure players in both the Casual Games thread and the Casual Games Community Playthroughs would suggest you are wrong. Plus, not all “casual games” are hidden object games. Most are to some degree, but to equate one with the other is a disservice.

     

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Ok, here’s mine. Adventure games died sometimes around 2000 and there was no “recovery”. No comeback, no revival.

     
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I think I’ve been the devil’s advocate since I was born.

Also, since it’s the “controversial opinions” I suppose we just expect people to disagree.

I don’t have a controversial adventure game opinion, so much as a controversial opinion for gaming in general, but it applies here I think too.
My controversial opinion is that when I was growing up, I wished that everyone would get into gaming as a hobby.  I thought instead of being picked on for being nerdy, then I would be a regular gaming hero!

Instead what happened, is gaming became more mainstream, and now I wish it wasn’t because people outside the gaming world think it’s just murder-simulators and bad MMO style dances where middle school kids scream and call each other gay.  I was really pumped up for the thing that I love to become mainstream, and then the mainstream ruined the thing that I love and now I can’t recognize it anymore.

An example of this would be like cell phone games.

When cell phones became improved to ‘smart phone’ status with a larger screen, more intuitive control etc, I was excited to see a new world of gaming and for a very short time it WAS a new frontier of gaming.  And then every game became a free game with ADS, and micro-transaction because they got the most downloads and would stay at the top of the mobile gaming charts.

Phantom88 - 14 June 2020 02:49 PM

I loath hidden object games and think they hurt adventuring gaming, in general, more than helping. I get drawing in the casual crowd can help keep the genre alive, but it can also be a detriment too. Most hidden object players aren’t going to look farther than hidden object games, and the ones that do won’t stick around for more than one game.

I think a bigger push for walking simulators with some puzzles and games like Samorost, Machinarium, and Botanicula would do more than hidden object games to bring people in.

I think my opinion flows into this one well.

I’m not a big fan either of these hidden object games.  It’s kind of weird because as a kid I loved to look at highlights hidden pictures and the ISPY books.

I appreciate that they have tried to expand them a little more.  I have played one I think called Queen’s Quest, and I watched someone play a nutcracker-christmas game on youtube, and despite them both being hidden object games, there’s really more classic point and clicking than hidden object finding.  I mean they still have gross art-style and animation, banal puzzles etc.
I think for me it’s mostly the inconsistency.  QQ, has decent puzzles sometimes, and then sometimes it’s like can you match colors?  Yea. I’m almost 30, I would hope I could match colors.  It seems Big Fish, and probably other companies like them, have went for a quantity over quality approach, and that’s unfortunate.

Where I definitely have to disagree with you though, is the idea that walking simulators would bring more people in.

I enjoy some of these games, but some of them just overstay their welcome.

One of the best examples is Firewatch.  I Love that game, but I don’t think it would convince others to play.  I played it on my friend’s PS4, and I wanted to discuss my theories about some of the weirdness that doesn’t match up, and he just didn’t care at all.  He was like I beat it, and I think your making stuff up and looking too much into it. But I’m not!

I LOVE what remains of Edith Finch, and that one is a little more fun or intriguing.

But I can see people not knowing what to do with a game like that.

There’s many of these ‘walking sims’ I’ve missed out on, so maybe if I play more of them, I will come around to your opinion,
but as far as I can tell, when it comes to attracting new players to a genre, ease of control is one of the most important, and while my mom or parents, or baby cousin could point and click on a screen, they probably could not control walking with one hand, camera with another hand, and then possibly a jump button or use button as well.

Luhr28 - 14 June 2020 09:30 PM

Ok, here’s mine. Adventure games died sometimes around 2000 and there was no “recovery”. No comeback, no revival.

Since joining this site, I have had some modern AG’s recommended to me that have blown my mind with enjoyment.

I guess my question to you is, do you not like the modern AGs or do you think they have become something else entirely [not an AG?]?

 

 

     

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Celebreon - 15 June 2020 04:19 AM

Since joining this site, I have had some modern AG’s recommended to me that have blown my mind with enjoyment.

I guess my question to you is, do you not like the modern AGs or do you think they have become something else entirely [not an AG?]?

 

It’s not that there aren’t good games anymore. There are usually few a year that are really good. Very rarely a year passes where an AG comes out that compares with the 80s and 90s, but that’s okay.

Main point is, most of these newer games don’t even consider themselves “adventure games”. Hypnospace Outlaw was an “internet sim”. Outer Wilds was an “open world mystery”. Those were last year’s two big adventure games according to this side, and one had a time limit which almost turned it into an action game. And you tell a gamer anywhere but here that you’re into adventure games, they’ll reply “what, you mean like Zelda?”. Most people are confused if you happen to mention Tomb Raider is not an adventure game. I can’t blame them.

In the old days, there was what you could call a scene. It was Lucasarts, Sierra, Westwood. Cyan. Somehow they belonged together, shared something. That’s what is dead. The boundaries are kind of gone, or maybe they were never there. I think that at this point, the concept is definitely a dead thing. The thing we call “adventure games” barely exists outside this place, not even to developers.

     

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Between a game with great puzzles but an uninteresting story/lead character and a game with rather boring puzzles but an interesting story/lead character I’d pick the one that delivers the better writing.

Adventure games are pretty much the only game where I kinda care about that; but for me the puzzles are just never why I actually play a game.

Doesn’t mean that I don’t prefer to have both ideally, but that’s a rare combination obviously ...

     
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Luhr28 - 15 June 2020 04:44 AM

It’s not that there aren’t good games anymore. There are usually few a year that are really good. Very rarely a year passes where an AG comes out that compares with the 80s and 90s, but that’s okay.

I don’t remember any graphical adventures from the 80s that have stood the test of time. Infocom’s text adventures were/are very good, but I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about.

Main point is, most of these newer games don’t even consider themselves “adventure games”. Hypnospace Outlaw was an “internet sim”. Outer Wilds was an “open world mystery”. Those were last year’s two big adventure games according to this side, and one had a time limit which almost turned it into an action game. And you tell a gamer anywhere but here that you’re into adventure games, they’ll reply “what, you mean like Zelda?”. Most people are confused if you happen to mention Tomb Raider is not an adventure game. I can’t blame them.

In the old days, there was what you could call a scene. It was Lucasarts, Sierra, Westwood. Cyan. Somehow they belonged together, shared something. That’s what is dead. The boundaries are kind of gone, or maybe they were never there. I think that at this point, the concept is definitely a dead thing. The thing we call “adventure games” barely exists outside this place, not even to developers.

Very true. Even Adventure Gamers reviews what I would call “puzzle platformers” and many reviewers only casually - if at all - mention the platforming. I was always in favor of broadening the horizon and including more diverse games in the adventure scene, like walking sims, but now I’m sitting on the fence.

     

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I agree to an extent that multiple solutions/paths is extra work for developers who could’ve spent this time polishing the game. Especially this part

mouseketeer - 13 June 2020 07:30 PM

I think I’d love it even more if the money used on the three paths was instead used for an additional section in the game, in a new location.

I wrote exactly the same thing upon finishing Fate of Atlantis during last year’s community playthrough. I enjoyed the Indi+Sophia path, but found the other two quite unnecessary, with little of interest to offer, and replaying them just to experience the same last part seems like a weird design choice. There were few things and even locations though that could’ve been easily implemented and extended for the Indi+Sophia storyline. But that’s me, for many people multiple paths is what makes FoA so special.

Rarely I replay games after finishing them just to see alternative solutions. One example that comes to mind is King’s Quest 6 where I, like many others, missed the best path on my first playthrough and had to tinkle with the game until I found it. And the experience was very rewarding since they put a lot of effort into that particular part. Another great (and more recent) example is Hypnospace Outlaw - I missed lots of stuff first time around, some of it directly influence the plot (as I found out on Steam), and the game was really fun and engrossing to make me replay it.

I also think some RPG developers did a great job at alternative paths/solutions. Games by Troika in particular (Arcanum, Bloodlines) were absolutely fantastic in this regard - not only you gain experience/extra stuff from finding alternative routs, but a lot of fun lies in choosing various characters with different intellect, manners, sex, etc.

And speaking of RPG/adventures, I’ve been replaying Quest for Glory 4 recently. I’ve never played through it as a mage, only tried a bit, but at the time I wasn’t much into magic in games. I was pleasantly surprised how different it feels from the thief path and how much new abilities add to the experience, including new quests. It’s almost like experiencing the game for the first time, and it quickly went to my Top-5 (from my Top-10) favourite adventures Smile

     

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Karlok - 15 June 2020 07:38 AM
Luhr28 - 15 June 2020 04:44 AM

It’s not that there aren’t good games anymore. There are usually few a year that are really good. Very rarely a year passes where an AG comes out that compares with the 80s and 90s, but that’s okay.

I don’t remember any graphical adventures from the 80s that have stood the test of time. Infocom’s text adventures were/are very good, but I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about.

Define “the test of time”. There are plenty of great adventure games that are from the 80’s, starting with Leisure Suit Larry III which only happens to be one of the best adventure games ever made. Even today.

Karlok - 15 June 2020 07:38 AM
Luhr28 - 15 June 2020 04:44 AM

Main point is, most of these newer games don’t even consider themselves “adventure games”. Hypnospace Outlaw was an “internet sim”. Outer Wilds was an “open world mystery”. Those were last year’s two big adventure games according to this side, and one had a time limit which almost turned it into an action game. And you tell a gamer anywhere but here that you’re into adventure games, they’ll reply “what, you mean like Zelda?”. Most people are confused if you happen to mention Tomb Raider is not an adventure game. I can’t blame them.

In the old days, there was what you could call a scene. It was Lucasarts, Sierra, Westwood. Cyan. Somehow they belonged together, shared something. That’s what is dead. The boundaries are kind of gone, or maybe they were never there. I think that at this point, the concept is definitely a dead thing. The thing we call “adventure games” barely exists outside this place, not even to developers.

Very true. Even Adventure Gamers reviews what I would call “puzzle platformers” and many reviewers only casually - if at all - mention the platforming. I was always in favor of broadening the horizon and including more diverse games in the adventure scene, like walking sims, but now I’m sitting on the fence.

Yeah, there are plenty of hybrids these days. And I’m not at all against that. It’s good to experiment, otherwise we would still be playing the same old games over and over again, just with a different title. Especially the indie scene has produced some very interesting games, like combining point and click with first person shooter and so on.

Defining “adventure games” is tricky though. Back in the 80’s there were many who didn’t consider LucasFilm games as real adventures, because they were dumbed down with point and click interface and didn’t have a real challenge for the players with no deaths and all that.


And about controversial opinions: I think Broken Sword 4 is the second best game in the series, and it was refreshing to see Nico in such a small role in that game.

 

     
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Controversial opinion - I don’t really like when the play area is too big / you have too many things open at the same time. e.g. Thimbleweed park (and actually loads of adventure games). I find that I get to a point where I’ve done all the logical stuff and then I’m just walking around seeing what I’ve missed and the area to walk around in is too big then that just feels like a slog.

The I end up looking up a guide because I’ve spent the last 2 hours walking around everywhere and haven’t progressed at all Smile. I guess this is where things like Thimbleweed Park’s in game hint system come in handy.

Not to say I don’t like having multiple puzzles to solve at the same time, just that I prefer if the area to do it in isn’t too big.

     
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Monkan - 16 June 2020 04:19 AM

Controversial opinion - I don’t really like when the play area is too big / you have too many things open at the same time. e.g. Thimbleweed park (and actually loads of adventure games). I find that I get to a point where I’ve done all the logical stuff and then I’m just walking around seeing what I’ve missed and the area to walk around in is too big then that just feels like a slog.

The I end up looking up a guide because I’ve spent the last 2 hours walking around everywhere and haven’t progressed at all Smile. I guess this is where things like Thimbleweed Park’s in game hint system come in handy.

Not to say I don’t like having multiple puzzles to solve at the same time, just that I prefer if the area to do it in isn’t too big.

I actually agree with this. Don’t know about Thimbleweed Park specifically but I tend to get overwhelmed by too much freedom. The same applies also in open world games, which luckily usually have good quest logs and lots of extra stuff to do, so it isn’t as boring as going through the places in a traditional adventure, but it can still throw me off a bit. Especially if it’s a game that has had tons of updates and expansions. I will definitely feel lost and not get a good overall picture of the map. All the places need to be introduced properly and they shouldn’t be just dead weight after a certain point.

     

Currently playing: Requiescence, Divinity II
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Luhr28 - 15 June 2020 04:44 AM

In the old days, there was what you could call a scene. It was Lucasarts, Sierra, Westwood. Cyan. Somehow they belonged together, shared something. That’s what is dead. The boundaries are kind of gone, or maybe they were never there. I think that at this point, the concept is definitely a dead thing. The thing we call “adventure games” barely exists outside this place, not even to developers.

Yeah thanks for clarifying.  I think you’re right.  I mean I love Wadjet Eye games and stuff like that, but it certainly isn’t recognizable as it’s own genre anymore.

I always ask people at video game stores to recommend an adventure game to see what they say. 

And really, I love hybrids, but I usually emphasize the action part (like tomb raider), or the puzzle part (like layton). 

While in some ways, I think the genre needed new life, but you could argue that people that don’t enjoy action games have been largely deterred as too many mechanics were added.

@ Karlok I kind of agree with Gatekeeper on this one, I think some of the 80’s graphical adventures are just great fun to play.  I can’t even chalk it up to nostalgia since it’s been only recently that I’ve played games like KQ 3 and 4, shadow gate, and maniac mansion.  {Thinking of trying the laura bow games soon too!}

But I understand that I DO NOT speak for most people right.

Monkan - 16 June 2020 04:19 AM

The I end up looking up a guide because I’ve spent the last 2 hours walking around everywhere and haven’t progressed at all Smile. I guess this is where things like Thimbleweed Park’s in game hint system come in handy.

Not to say I don’t like having multiple puzzles to solve at the same time, just that I prefer if the area to do it in isn’t too big.

Monkan, I have kind of the opposite problem.  I don’t mind a big area to explore with multiple screens, provided they aren’t all empty.

My issue tends to be more with individually controlled characters.  And thimbleweed park would be a good example.  (Mr Gilbert gets a lot of criticism around here, but we love him and his games)  Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, and Thimbleweed Park all have characters that I need to control individually, and it’s just too much for me to keep up with! 

Contrast that against something like the unavowed, (different gilbert I think?) where you always have a group of characters to control, but because they all walk around together, you don’t constantly have to flip to other characters in other places, and figure out where you need them and how to get them there. 

MM, DOTT, TP all seem to be incredibly popular and well-received, but I honestly almost ignored them altogether once I realized how un-intuitive it is.

     

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