By far my most favourite genres of game, point and click adventures became popular back in the mid 80s, first appearing on the Apple Macintosh. The genre has touched many computers and consoles over the years and still to this day, new games are been produced and old ones reimagined.
As a massive fan of the Dizzy games on the 8-bits, hours would be spent going back and forth picking up and dropping objects, talking to people and solving puzzles. My love for these adventure/puzzle games started here. Also an appeal was the idea of getting hours and hours of gameplay for only £2.99. Now that is value for money!
My first ever experience though of an adventure game was a text based adventure on the C64 called Seabase Delta. I can remember been about 7 or 8 or thinking how amazing it was that you could type commands into a computer and it would respond! I didn’t have a clue how to play it properly but spent ages messing around.
Then when I got my Amiga, I discovered the point and click style of game. I loved the way that you were drawn into the story and they were a genuine challenge to progress in. The story lines were amazing and kept you coming back for more and more.
Here is a list of my top 10 favourites, let me know if you agree or disagree!
10. Nippon Safes Inc.
Developed by a small Italian indie outfit Dynafield Systems in 1992 for DOS and Amiga, Nippon Safes Inc. is one of the more lesser known point and clicks. Similar to Day of the Tentacle, you can control 3 separate characters at different points in the story. Set in Tokyo, this rather obscure and at times pretty basic adventure game, felt different back in the day as it was set in the modern time. Some genuine moments of humour and some dodgy english translation add to the charm. Colourful and detailed graphics. Worth a look.
9. Lure of the Temptress
Developed by Revolution Software and released in 1992, Lure of the Temptress is a fanstasy adventure game. You play the character Diermot and must rid Turnvale of the Temptress’ menace in this fairytale inspired adventure. Gorgeous graphics and VGA cut scenes make this an excellent adventure game. Pretty unique at the time as it used a pop up box system instead of the standard pick up, drop, open command buttons. Not the best but a good game nonetheless.
8. Zac Mckraken and the Alien Mindbenders
Next up is a real classic and the second game released by LucasArts to use the SCUMM point and click engine. Released in 1988, this bonkers adventure game is pretty underrated. You play Zac, a journalist for a supermarket tabloid. When he discovers a story about an extraterrestrial takeover of the phone company and their IQ reduction scheme, he’s off on the adventure of his life! The graphics may be primative but the great storyline makes up for it. Your advneture takes you round the world, and into space. Believe it or not it was also released on the C64! Well worth a go, you won’t be disapointed!
7. Flight of the Amazon Queen
Back in the day, I never actually played Flight of The Amazon Queen but recently got for the iPhone. Very heavily inspired by the Monkey Island series, FOTAQ was released in 1995 by Interactive Binary Illusions. The graphics are standard and visually its average but it’s an excellent adventure game. You play Joe King (get it), an american pilot who crash lands his plane into the Amazon Jungle. He then has to save not only his passenger, the famous movie star Faye Russel, but also an entire tribe of Amazon women! Unprepared for the Amazon rain forest, baseball loving Joe fumbles his way though this great little game that feels different enough from the classic Lucasarts games but owes a lot to them. Very funny and great storyline.
6. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
The second Indiana Jones franchise tie up released by Lucasarts in 1992. The first being Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Not based on a film story, the game sees Nazi agents get their hands on a weapon more dangerous than the atom bomb. Cue Indy to save the day! The archeologist sets off on this epic and huge advenure with is littered with genuine humour, really challenging puzzles and beautful colourful graphics. Constantly and unfairly always compared to Monkey Island 2, The Fate of Atlantis is in some peoples view, the ultimate point and click adventure game. Highly recommended.
5. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
The first game on my list that originally came out on a console. Released in 1996 by Revolution Software on various platforms, I first played it on the PS1. I can remember been really excited that this type of game was been released on a console. How would it work with a pad and not a mouse? Perfectly is the answer. You play George Stobbart, an American tourist in Paris, as he attempts to unravel a conspiracy. The game takes place in both real and fictional locations in Europe and the Middle East.
The graphics and overall presentation are stunning. CD quality speech, gorgeous cut-scenes and an epic story. Borrowing elements from Monkey Island, the homour is there and main character George is similar to Guybrush in that he isn’t very cool and laways seems to end up in dangerous situations!
Think Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and you would be close. Overall an epic game that is challenging and full of variety.
4. Simon the Sorcerer
Released by Adventure Soft in 1993 for Amiga and DOS, Simon The Sorcerer parodies various popular books and fairy tales, including Rapunzel, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Simon is voiced in this game by Chris Barrie, known for his roles in Red Dwarf and The Brittas Empire! Beautiful colourful graphics that really make you feel like you are in a fairy tale world. Full of genuine humour and challenging puzzles, it borrows heavily from other point and click adventures of the time but managed to repackage it a unique way. The whole wizard fairytake idea was original and really fun. I remember been stuck for absolutly ages on one bit where you have to give the princess a green pea. Should have brushed bp on my fairy tales! Also available on iOS, its an absolute blast.
3. Monkey Island 2
Spread over 11 floppies, Monkey Island 2 was a big game!! The sequel to the legendary Monkey island 1, it took the formula and transformed it to a whole new level. Sure the disk swapping was a huge pain but it was worth it as this is one epic story! Again, Guybrush must defeat the evil ghost pirate Le Chuck and his quest takes him around the carribean in search of his nemesis. Visually Monkey Island 2 is absolutly stunning. The backgrounds have been painstakingly drawn and are amazingly detailed and add a lot of variety. Just like the first one, Monkey Island 2 is full of slapstick humour and a genuinely gripping storyline. Back in the day before google, me and a bunch of mates would all be trying to complete Monkey Island 2 and would share tips as someone managed to solve a puzzle. Great memories and a truly classic adveture game. Has been stunningly reimagined in iOS.
2. Monkey Island 1
Some may disagree but I actually prefer the first installment of the Monkey Island series. The disk swapping was less of an issue and also it just felt so raw and stripped back. It doesnt have the gorgeous graphics of the sequel but it makes up for it with a storyline that will have you hooked, laughing out loud and also tearing your hair out! It was the first point and click I ever played and the one that really got me into the genre of game so holds a special place in the gaming heart. Again, has as been stunningly reimagined in iOS.
1. Beneath A Steel Sky
Now we arrive at the my number one point and click adventure game. Maybe a suprise to some people but for me Beneath a Steel Sky is where the genre really peaked. It took all the learnings and best bits from the games that came before it. Released by Revolution Software in 1994 Beneath a Steel Sky is set in a sci-fi environment. You play a character called Robert Foster. As a child, he was adopted by a group of local Indigenous Australians, gradually adjusting to his life in the wilderness. After many years, armed security officers arrive, killing the locals and taking Robert back to Union City.
Set in the future the style of graphics is very much in the comic book style. This unique and stunning look was created by comic book artist Dave Gibbons. The story is dark but sprinkled with humour. The backgrounds are works of art in their own right and must have taken ages.
The control system is stripped back. There are no SCUMM style controls, just the 2 mouse buttons which built on Revolutions original game Lure of the Temptress.
Overall the perfect blend of story, darkness, humour, playability and beautiful visuals. A must play point and click that will keep you entertained for a long long time! Also available on iOS.
I know I have missed off loads of classics and some of you will disagree with my choices. Where is Loom, Cruise for a Corpe, Police Quest, Lesuire Suit Larry I can hear you say!
Comment below and let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices.