Adventure Games
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Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition

Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition

It's great to revisit an old adventure classic with a remastered appearance. The gameplay, scenes and puzzles are all exactly the same. But the graphics have be redrawn, voices added and sound effects. While the graphics are very impressive in some parts of the game, there are some scenes that look downright unfinished. Monkey Island in particular, the last part of the game, looked very average and a few scenes looked like they were still in the drafting stage, so I do wish LucasArts put a bit more effort into some of the scenes. But many of the scenes look good, particular on Melee Island, which makes up most of the game.

The control scheme is also really bad for a modern puzzler, forcing you to revisit the control menu several times trying to remember the mulitude of keys to press.

But overall The Secret of Monkey Island is still a great adventure game, sometimes silly but always fun, and it's aged well.

So Blonde

So Blonde

Believe it or not I was actually looking forward to playing So Blonde more than most adventure titles in 2008. Playing as an adorable and gorgeous blonde, with a slightly ditzy yet happy-go-lucky attitude. She's stranded on a forgotten island where the inhabitants are stuck and time has stopped, with an overbearing ruler controlling them. So it's up to Sunny Blonde (yes, that's really her name) to save them all. Nice 2.5D visuals and art style in somewhat of a throwback to the Monkey Island series. The graphics aren't fantastic, but art is what the game as about I guess. Okay puzzles, good story. So Blonde's only major flaw is having to go back-and-forth over the same areas more times than you can count, especially with some poor hotspots at times and the characters reluctance to respond to double-clicks to make her run. A bit more humour would have been nice. But overall it's decent.

Sinking Island

Sinking Island

I never finished this one, only getting 1/3 of the way in. The game crashed on me and I couldn't pull myself to resume. While some of the environments were nice early on, the characters looked horrible and the entire game seemed awfully boring. What put me off was the idea of reading through reports and comparing evidence, sitting through long pointless conversations and never actually getting puzzles to solve or interesting dialogue and story.
Sam & Max Save the World

Sam & Max Save the World

2007 wasn't a great year for adventure games. Sam & Max Season 1 being the undisputed overall favourite among adventure fans proves that. It's a good game, but for sequels I'd love to see the graphics and levels expanded on a bit more. Less 'downloadable indie game', more triple-A. It does however, make a nice change from a decade so far void of any humour in it's adventure games. Let's be honest; Kate Walker is pretty sour. For everyone wanting an entertaining sitcom type story, full of amusing jokes (I won't say hilarious as I only laughed out loud a few times), then Sam & Max is perfect.

 

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Secret Files: Tunguska

Secret Files: Tunguska

Yet another adventure game with a young female protaganist, this time trying to save daddy after he's kidnapped. The plot involves a mysterious catastrophe in 1908 and experiments he was a part of. Just solid visuals for 2006, typical adventure style 2.5D point and click, although I was quite happy that the you could jump scene-to-scene instantly instead of having to painfully wait while the character walks. Two problems with Tunguska; poor voice acting and silly puzzles. They're mostly made up of putting inventory items together to create new objects, but it becomes an exercise in clicking anything and everything just to see what works. Also, why does every room have to have some sort of secret compartment? Overall, just an okay puzzle game but there wasn't much else in 2006.

Samorost 2

Samorost 2

Samorost 2 is a cute, small, Flash-based game that can be played in-browser. It'll take less than an hour (50mins way my playtime) and is physically only 640x480, almost a 2D side-scroller, in some ways too small as some things were a bit hard to see. The quaint little alien world is nicely done, very similar to Machinarium. Some very basic puzzles, some featuring certain timing to complete. Fun for an hour, but can't really be compared to full adventure titles so my rating is less relevant than normal.

Still Life

Still Life

I'm normally not a fan of the CSI type detective/murder-mystery games, or even movies and TV series. Collecting evidence, taking photos, coraborating data and reading through pages of words, I can't think of anything more boring in a video game. While Still Life starts out this way as you collect photos and blood samples, it quickly changes to blossom into a standard point-and-click adventure game. Where Still Life differs from your standard Sherlock Holmes murder mystery is it's grittiness. Whether it's on the grainy Prague streets of 1930's as Gus works with the local prostitues to catch a serial killer, or with Victoria in modern day in constantly dark and somewhat morbid settings. The game has a good mood to it. To go with that a decent storyline between the settings, which had me eager to keep playing to see the conclusion - of which there wasn't one since it continues in Still Life 2. Certainly one of the best adventure games of the early decade.

Syberia II

Syberia II

Syberia II is basically a continuation of Syberia, not only in storyline but the graphics and puzzles are all very similar. The engine is exactly the same, so don't expect 2 years of improved graphics. Fortunately, I enjoyed Syberia II much more than the first, quite simply because the settings were far more interesting. It's starts off a little too similar to Syberia with a cold steampunk village where you have to go back and forth an absolutely stupid number of times, but then you get to more interesting landscapes particularly with a tribal village and eventually the island of Syberia. Atmosphere is highly important in adventure games, and this is what makes Syberia II much better than the first, although the puzzles and gameplay are of the same nature. There's probably less repetition as well, as I found myself quite bored in the first game at times. But not so in Syberia II. Both of these games could have been merged into a single title, however.

Syberia

Syberia

One of the more popular adventure games post 2000. However I felt it lacked the charm and character of a lot of adventure titles. Instead it felt very cold and empty. Perhaps this is the feeling they were hoping to achieve. But for me it was quite a boring game, with a lacklustre story which really goes nowhere. I'm sure it'll get better with the sequel though. A lot of slow walking around, dull and sometimes silly conversations, some of which overlap as different characters talk. The visuals and art are great though. Some really creative and inspiring environments, which I suppose is why this was a well-received game.