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20 years later..

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at this decade Century, what are the adventures you played that could have easily competed with the best of the Golden Age? or there is nothing that would ever be that close?

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I don’t know the exact definition of the Golden Age, so I’ll define it as 198X - Grim Fandango?

Hmmm….

Okay, Thimbleweed Park, easy. I like it more than anything LucasArts made in their adventure gaming days, with the exception of Day of the Tentacle. I also might prefer Full Throttle and Curse of Monkey Island, but I know that most of that is down to nostalgia.

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension, easily. Not only that, it is a game that is distinctly contemporary, yet it is just as enjoyable as most of the best games from back when.

Machinarium—is this not recent enough? I thought it was fantastic.

The Book of Unwritten Tales Games were both very good. I prefer the second to the first. As good as my favorite 90’s adventure games? I don’t know about that, but had they been released back then (all things graphical being equal), I would have gladly played them along side the others.

Detective Di was very good, as well. Gameplay-wise, superior to much of what came out in the golden age. It’s missing a little bit in the writing and atmosphere department, though, which is really where those games excelled.

Yeah, I think that last point about Detective Di is worth mentioning. The very good modern adventure games have more refined gameplay than the older ones, but they don’t enable escapism like the best of the old games do. Speaking generally.

I’m sure I could think of more. I will continue my contribution later.

     

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I have to recommend “A New Beginning.” This game the whole time I was playing it reminded me of Golden Age Adventure games like Broken Sword. It’s graphics, characterization and story reminded me of how fun playing the old classics were.

Can’t wait to play “A New Beginning ”  for a second play through!

Another good choice is, of course, Kathy Rain, that’s a trip down memory lane big time for those that like classic point and click adventure games.

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I am looking forward to playing A New Beginning and Kathy Rain. I am waiting for the Kathy Rain ‘director’s cut’ that I heard about a little while ago.

Ceville was wonderful, with great voice acting, a smart and unique plot, likable (or likably hatable) characters, and some really fun puzzles. Unfortunately, the latter half of the game is less refined than the first, and poor translation and a couple of bugs drag the game down from ‘great’  to ‘very good’. Still, this is another one that I would have gladly played, even in the adventure game years of plenty.

I would also add that the first half of Broken Age had me calling up my adventure loving family members insisting that this is the best game since Curse of Monkey Island and that everyone must download it right away so we can talk about it…and then the second half happened and man, what a disappointment that was. Good thing my family never rarely takes my game recommendations.

How about Broken Sword 5? I haven’t played it yet, but hear it is very good, maybe even second best in the series. (My ranking is 1, 3, 2…...................................4. Yes, I really enjoyed 3 when I played it on XBOX right when it came out, and I think 4 is an abomination in almost every way. It starts well, and then everything from the meat factory onward is just abysmal. It’s hard to believe that Revolution would let themselves be associated with it, even if they didn’t develop it.)

     

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I would say Primordia and Technobabylon should be close to the classics…

     
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Let’s see… Ghost Trick Smile Yeah, maybe I need some time to cool down, but right now it’s up there with my favourite adventure classics. I’d also add Return of the Obra Dinn, Hypnospace Outlaw, Botanicula and Disco Elysium (as long as we consider it an adventure game) to the pile. Memoria and There Is No Game were great, but maybe a little bit behind those high standards of mine.

And since my standards change all the time, I really need to replay those few other games I used to like a lot, but hardly remember today, like Dark Fall, Experience112, Penumbra 2, games by Kheops Studio, Pathologic, Primordia. Also while I’m at it, I want to experience other DS adventure titles like Another Code, Hotel Dusk and whatever else I can find.

     

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Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:00 PM

How about Broken Sword 5? I haven’t played it yet, but hear it is very good, maybe even second best in the series.

That’s what I thought when I played it upon release. Played the first part of the game, then replayed it after the second part was released and was totally happy with the whole thing, probably the most satisfying Kickstarter I’ve witness. But after the last year’s community playthrough of The Shadow of the Templars which I found not exactly as good as I used to think… having doubts now Confused

     

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Doom - 06 March 2021 05:27 PM
Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:00 PM

How about Broken Sword 5? I haven’t played it yet, but hear it is very good, maybe even second best in the series.

That’s what I thought when I played it upon release. Played the first part of the game, then replayed it after the second part was released and was totally happy with the whole thing, probably the most satisfying Kickstarter I’ve witness. But after the last year’s community playthrough of The Shadow of the Templars which I found not exactly as good as I used to think… having doubts now Confused

Interesting take on Shadow of the Templars. I played through the whole series a few months ago (barring 5) and was amazed that it actually surpassed my expectations. I’ve played it a few times since it was released (bad memory can be a blessing), and this was my most enjoyable play. This was the Director’s Cut as well. I’m cool with the changes -the new puzzles are a little generic, but they are not too difficult so did not keep me from progressing the plot. Had those been 32x32 slide puzzles, I might have felt differently!

 

     

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Doom - 06 March 2021 05:15 PM

Let’s see… Ghost Trick Smile Yeah, maybe I need some time to cool down, but right now it’s up there with my favourite adventure classics. I’d also add Return of the Obra Dinn, Hypnospace Outlaw, Botanicula and Disco Elysium (as long as we consider it an adventure game) to the pile. Memoria and There Is No Game were great, but maybe a little bit behind those high standards of mine.

And since my standards change all the time, I really need to replay those few other games I used to like a lot, but hardly remember today, like Dark Fall, Experience112, Penumbra 2, games by Kheops Studio, Pathologic, Primordia. Also while I’m at it, I want to experience other DS adventure titles like Another Code, Hotel Dusk and whatever else I can find.

Disco Elysium is my most ‘can’t wait to play it’ game at the moment. I finally downloaded it when it went on sale on my birthday, and then promptly heard about the big update coming later this month…so am waiting.

Another Code (Trace Memory for me) is excellent. Hotel Dusk is good if you like interactive fiction/novel adventure games. I prefer my games to be more puzzle based and inventory based—I don’t like having to make every single last possible click in order to progress the game—, but this was definitely one of the better IF’s on DS. Good writing and really fun characters. In fact…I want to play it again now.

 

 

     

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Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 04:01 PM

I don’t know the exact definition of the Golden Age, so I’ll define it as 198X - Grim Fandango?

Machinarium—is this not recent enough? I thought it was fantastic.

The Book of Unwritten Tales Games were both very good. I prefer the second to the first. As good as my favorite 90’s adventure games? I don’t know about that, but had they been released back then (all things graphical being equal), I would have gladly played them along side the others.

.

The peak of the Golden Age was between 92-98 when gaming, was the adventure-gaming, and the genre was on the top of the industry, but most consider all of the 80s and the 90s all are the Golden Age too.

yeah… Machinarium, i guess this would have had the effect of Myst, and maybe a lot of companies would have followed in this direction when they had the money the publishers to make it.

i wish i’ve included both decades the 2000-2010 and 2010- 2019 in conversation, so if you excuse me, I will edit the OP, and exchange the word Decade with Century.

TBoUT, hardly, if you excluded its beautiful graphics and exchanged with AGI or ScummVM’s, it would have been average at best surrounded by KQ6 or DoTT gameplay.

     
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Advie - 06 March 2021 06:07 PM


TBoUT, hardly, if you excluded its beautiful graphics and exchanged with AGI or ScummVM’s, it would have been average at best surrounded by KQ6 or DoTT gameplay.

It starts very poorly. Way too easy, too many unasked for giveaway clues, too many low hanging fruit fantasy-fiction references from games, books, and movies. The first one gets better as it goes, and the second one comes into its own. Yeah, neither is *close* DoTT, but that’s the best adventure game ever made. Closer to KQ6, but not quite there. Still, I would have bought it and been very pleased with it back in the day. Or, to be more precise, someone would have bought it for me and I would h ave been pleased with it.

     

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walas74 - 06 March 2021 05:07 PM

I would say Primordia and Technobabylon should be close to the classics…

and Gemini rue and Shardlight, too,i don’t know why the latter is so underrated, its music alone can elevate it to that stature   Wink
anyways, Wadjet Eyes games have been so good, that they all could have had their place at the Golden Age

Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 06:17 PM

DoTT, but that’s the best adventure game ever made. .

but that is the idea, what are those close to those classics, doesn’t have to be as good.

     
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Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:38 PM

Interesting take on Shadow of the Templars. I played through the whole series a few months ago (barring 5) and was amazed that it actually surpassed my expectations. I’ve played it a few times since it was released (bad memory can be a blessing), and this was my most enjoyable play.

It used to be my Top-10 adventure since our first encounter back in the 1990s. But that last time it lost part of its appeal to me. I found characters to be way over the top, story - not so engaging this time, puzzles felt too easy (yes, it was never a hard game, but it often felt like I was literally clicking through them since many are dialogue-based). And I missed that special atmosphere of Paris in the fall I used to love so much.

Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:41 PM

Another Code (Trace Memory for me) is excellent. Hotel Dusk is good if you like interactive fiction/novel adventure games. I prefer my games to be more puzzle based and inventory based—I don’t like having to make every single last possible click in order to progress the game—, but this was definitely one of the better IF’s on DS. Good writing and really fun characters. In fact…I want to play it again now.

Oh. I actually thought Another Code was more casual than Hotel Dusk. Read a bit about the game, and I guess I’ll skip it, not a big fan of interactive novels. I’m also trying to recall a DS game that caught my interest many years ago. At least I think it was a DS game. Something about escaping a (sinking?) ship through a series of rooms with complex puzzles…

     

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Advie - 06 March 2021 07:05 PM
Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 06:17 PM

DoTT, but that’s the best adventure game ever made. .

but that is the idea, what are those close to those classics, doesn’t have to be as good.

This is a bit of a digression from your original post question but…

Well, here’s the thing. In the late 80’s and through the late 90’s, adventure games might have been near the forefront of the industry, but how many of those games are truly classics? Before I proceed, let me say that I adore almost all of the old Sierra and LucasArts games, as well as many of the games from smaller publishers, such as Microprose, Access, and Revolution. I love the King’s Quest, Space Quest, Quest For Glory, Gabriel Knight, and others series, and I will continue to replay them all every 4-5 years. But how many games in those series are truly classics that would hold up if they were released today, even if we consider all things graphical being equal?
KQ6 is the only one in the series that is a nearly undisputed classic (and I like them *all* especially the VGA freeware remake of 2, as well as 4 and 7). In the QFG series, 2 is very very good, but only 4 is superlative. In Space Quest, none of the games save SQ 5 are very good games, although they are all fun experiences. Gabriel Knight? Great series, but again, the only stone cold classic is GK 1.

Lucas Arts is a bit more controversial. I personally don’t think Monkey Island 1 and 2 hold up well to repeated play throughs. The puzzles are just not very good, and insult sword fighting is a chore after you’ve experienced it once. MI2 is, to me one of the most overrated games of that era. Not to say it isn’t good—it’s very good—but it’s not even close to being a top 5 or 10 adventure game. That honor would belong to Curse of Monkey Island.
DoTT, Loom, Full Throttle, Sam & Max, The Dig, Fate of Atlantis are all varying degrees of awesome, though, for sure.

Here’s the thing: All of these classics came out over the course of a decade or more. Let’s say there are 10-15 of them. Everything else ranges from terrible to ‘very good’. Which is just about the same range that most adventure games fall into today. So the scene isn’t really all that different, except that perhaps, yeah, the top end is not quite as high as it used to be. Still, there are many adventure games from the past 20 years that can play on the same team as DoTT and Gabriel Knight, even if they might not necessarily be in the starting lineup.

     

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I think if the Blackwell games were released in the 1990s, we would include them in every conversation we have about about the Lucasarts and Sierra classics.

     
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Advie - 06 March 2021 12:59 PM

at this decade Century, what are the adventures you played that could have easily competed with the best of the Golden Age? or there is nothing that would ever be that close?

The Darkside Detective.

That game could compete with any “golden age” game, and in most cases come out as the winner.

Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:00 PM

How about Broken Sword 5? I haven’t played it yet, but hear it is very good, maybe even second best in the series. (My ranking is 1, 3, 2…...................................4. Yes, I really enjoyed 3 when I played it on XBOX right when it came out, and I think 4 is an abomination in almost every way. It starts well, and then everything from the meat factory onward is just abysmal. It’s hard to believe that Revolution would let themselves be associated with it, even if they didn’t develop it.)

No.
Broken Sword 5 feels like Broken Sword 2.5, a fan game that tries to have as much Broken Sword trademarks in it as possible, but the result is not a very good game.
While the graphics works better than BS in 3D, it’s inferior to the first two games. What really kills the experience is that areas are very small and self-contained, which limits the puzzles.

It’s kind of nice as a game that resurrects the legendary series with crowdfunding, but compared with what the first Broken Sword was, a brilliant game (and one of those that could easily beat The Darkside Detective), it just doesn’t come close to it.

About BS4, I think that’s the most underrated game in the adventure genre. Personally I think it’s the second best BS game. They did the right thing by (almost) getting rid of Nico, too bad they didn’t have the courage to ditch her entirely. But every game after the first one has suffered from changing Nico from a relatively unimportant NPC to a co-protagonist. The worst is of course the Director’s Cut of the first game, where having Nico as a playable character changes the whole narrative and rhythm of the game. In the second game her presence worked, as it was a change from the first game, but after that it really became an unnecessary burden. (I’m not even going into the ridiculous way of somehow accidentally meeting Nico in every game…)

Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 09:52 PM

In Space Quest, none of the games save SQ 5 are very good games, although they are all fun experiences.

Space Quest V is really underrated, possibly because it’s one of the very few Sierra adventure games that wasn’t actually developed by Sierra. I really don’t understand why everyone keeps saying that the fourth game is brilliant. The idea of jumping from one sequel to another is brilliant, of course, but the game otherwise doesn’t match the level of the third game before it, or the fifth one that followed.

     

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