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Adventure game recommendations for a newbie? (still oldfag PC nerd)

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Shaewaroz, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Shaewaroz Arcane

    Shaewaroz
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    I recently started playing Star Trek 25th Anniversary and I'm starting to love it more and more - one of the highest quality Interplay games of all time, no doubt. I have never enjoyed playing adventure games, but this game has finally sparked my interest.

    What are considered the best adventure games of all time by adventure game enthusiasts here? I don't want to play cryptic games where you have to hack a computer by combining a rotten banana peel with a cursed monkey paw. Something similar to Star Trek 25th Anniversary perhaps. I've watched through a Myst IV let's play and enjoyed it thoroughly, but Myst games are probably not my cup of tea.

    Are there any adventure games that are not too linear?

    Are there any decent adventure game hybrids? RPG adventure games or such?

    What adventure game would you recommend to a complete adventure game newbie who is an oldskool PC gamer? I don't mind early 90s graphics, as long as the gameplay and story are interesting.
     
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  2. Dedup Savant

    Dedup
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    For Adventure/RPG hybrids there's the Quest for Glory series by Sierra. The high points of the series are the 1st and 4th games with the 5th game being the low point. The first game is one of my personal all time favourite games.

    There's also Heroine's Quest and Quest for Infamy which are both excellent games inspired by the Quest for Glory series.
     
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  3. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Can’t go wrong with Quest for Glory/Quest for Infamy/Heroine’s Quest. Really aren’t too many other hybrids worth their salt.
    In terms of great introductory point and clicks (i.e. not reliant on moon-logic or genre familiarity):

    Monkey Island 1-3
    Day of the Tentacle (this one has some moon logic, but imo it works due to the premise)
    Primordia
    King’s Quest V and VI
    Loom
    Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail
    Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis


    Great adventure games that are poor introductions to the genre:
    Gabriel Knight 1
    Laura Bow 1
    Broken Sword 1
    Grim Fandango
    A Tale of Two Kingdoms
    I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
    Beneath a Steel Sky
    Conquests of the Longbow
     
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  4. Strange Fellow Arcane Patron

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    Hello. Anything by Legend Entertainment. That is all I have to add.
     
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  5. WallaceChambers Literate

    WallaceChambers
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    Secret of Monkey Island is a good intro to the genre. It's challenging but generally very fair so long as you're paying attention. For a Science Fiction adventure I'd go with Technobabylon, it's genuinely fantastic throughout. Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis is another good starting point. It's very fair and if you're an Indy fan you'll definitely enjoy the story.

    I'll also throw in a curve ball and say that, especially if you're a Homestar Runner fan, Strong Bad's Cool Game 4 Attractive people is a decent place to start as well. It's got a lot of the typical genre mechanics done well. You're never gonna get stuck but the puzzles still have a decent challenge to them.
     
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  6. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I think it's a bit crazy to consider playing a retro modern game when you haven't played the classics, so I would strike our Primordia from the list.

    The very best of the genre is probably QFG1 and Monkey Island 2. That said, I'm not sure I'd describe either as having an interesting story. To be honest, story was fairly secondary to adventure games -- I mean, they certainly had things happen, and characters, and whatnot, but they were generally either farces (Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Sam & Max, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Willy Beamish, etc.) or fairy tales (King's Quest, QFG, Kyrandia, etc.). I find those games great (as noted, my two favorites come from those categories), but they don't really lend themselves to story in the way that RPGs do.

    When the classics tried to be more story oriented, in my experience the gameplay suffered a bit (because any serious genre puts more strain on puzzle-solving than either farce or fairy tale), and the stories weren't particularly great. For instance, the pseudo-Blade Runner game Rise of the Dragon has a real story, but it's an extraordinary cliched one.

    There are a few classics that are more story oriented and have pretty good stories, but the puzzles in them are sometimes a bit more moon-logic-ish. Indeed, the most frustration I've ever had with puzzles was in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father, but that is probably the most defensible from a story-standpoint of 90s adventure games.

    Anyway, taking all this into account, here are some thoughts:

    LUCAS ARTS
    Loom: Easy puzzles, great setting, interesting gameplay, acceptable story.
    Indiana Jones: Fate of Atlantis: Some tricky (and some boring) puzzles, but nice branching structure, and an Indiana-Jones-worthy story.
    Full Throttle: Somewhat harder than Loom in terms of puzzles, but still quite easy, fun Saturday morning cartoon story, great art.
    Grim Fandago: Toughest puzzles of the bunch, including a few moon logic ones, but it's a very full game with a spectacular story. Probably my favorite adventure game story.

    SIERRA
    QFG1: Not much in the way of story, but a neat setting, the closest experience to playing P&P in a computer game I've ever had (in the sense of feeling like everything is custom-made content for me), puzzles are reasonable enough and there are plenty of paths.
    Gabriel Knight: Frustrating puzzles (including pixel hunting in two instances), but atmospheric setting and good story.

    OTHER
    Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars: Beautiful game, some goofy puzzles but not at the level of Gabriel Knight, kind of a cartoon version of the Da Vinci Code in terms of story.
     
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  7. Alienman Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Since you played Star Trek, you might like:

    Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity
     
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  8. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Don’t listen to MRY, everyone knows he’s a raving loon; Primordia is one of the all time greats.
     
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  9. Alpan Savant Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I would recommend The Dream Machine, which is the best adventure game I've ever played.
     
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  10. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    [​IMG]

    The Zork Trilogy, i.e. Zork I: The Great Underground Empire, Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz, and Zork III: The Dungeon Master
    Planetfall / Stationfall
    Enchanter / Sorcerer / Spellbreaker
    Wishbringer (designed to be relatively easy, so perhaps a good introduction to text adventures if you've never played one)
    Moonmist
    The Lurking Horror
     
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  11. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I'd missed this detail. I don't think he's asking for text adventures.

    Generally, I would say that the QFG series and Day of the Tentacle stand out as very non-linear.
     
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  12. polo Erudite

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    This is a very good list, i would add The dig, and indy jones.

    Also i dont see how Grim Fandango is a poor introduction except for the controls.
     
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  13. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Puzzles are finicky and steps are easy to miss, dialogues are very long-winded. Controls are fixed in the enhanced edition, but even with proper controls, the skew toward dialogue means it doesn’t feel like a classic adventure to me. (My kids gave up on it for that reason, even though they were fine with harder adventures like DOTT.)
     
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  14. polo Erudite

    polo
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    What would skew toward dialogue mean? Im not sure im understanding what you mean.
     
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  15. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    The amount of your time spent inside vs. outside dialogues. Classic adventures are not mostly about receiving story in dialogues, they’re about solving puzzles, exploring, experimenting. GF has a lot of puzzles but also a ton of dialogue, much of whic is passive—the player just clicks down the list. That’s now common in adventures, but not the right way to start IMO.
     
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  16. Strange Fellow Arcane Patron

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    I don't see why not. I'm assuming he's not new to video games, and since he's here on RPG Codex he's probably familiar with dialogue-heavy games as well. And Grim Fandango's dialogue is some of the most enjoyable you'll find in gaming, so it's not like you're pitching him Pillars here.
     
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  17. Alpan Savant Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Speaking of non-linear games, Thimbleweed Park is a good candidate: A relatively recent adventure that harkens back to the LucasArts classics (it's made by Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer's partner in crime from that company).

    Though not a very well known game (or even a good adventure game, strictly speaking), Oxenfree features one of the best-executed dialogue systems I've seen in a narrative-heavy game.
     
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  18. polo Erudite

    polo
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    I never tought of adventure games as short of dialogue tbh, but yeah most are not like RPGs.

    But idk, for me it was love at first play with GF, loved everything, visuals, story, dialogues, characters, and oh that sweet music and art. I think about it and i want to play it just to be in Ruvacaba watching the city and listening to the music.
     
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  19. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I too love GF (as I indicated, I think it’s the best adventure game story ever), but I’m still not sure it’s the right entry point. :)
     
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  20. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    It’s also worth noting if you’re unawares Shaewaroz that Sierra games are, as a rule, full of bullshit, untelegraphed fail states that lock you into an unwinnable game (for example in KQVI there is a totally missable npc that if you do not find and correctly interact with at a very specific point in the game, you will find your game is unwinnable a few hours later).
    I’m pretty sure every Sierra game has at least one of these kinds of traps, and that it was just a general design directive in the studio at the time, which is bizarre, and has certainly caused Sierra games to overall age worse than LucasArts.

    The only real solution is to save often and in multiple slots, but your patience for this may vary.

    Edit: MRY is accurately calling out my hyperbole. It’s not every Sierra game, just most of them; especially those from the VGA era.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  21. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Is that true of QFG? It’s not my recollection.
     
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  22. Lemming42 Arcane

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    The Last Express. There's a one or two bullshit puzzle moments but nothing major, and you can rewind any decision you make to retry.
     
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  23. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    I think Broken Sword 1 & 2 are good for noobs.
    I'd avoid the Director Cut versions, though. At least for BS1 since it adds some extra story shit that's not needed, plus some crap puzzles.
     
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  24. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    It’s definitely true for Trial by Fire, and I’m almost positive it’s the case for both versions of QFG1, although it might not be the case for the EGA version; it’s been a while since I played it. Wages of War and Shadows of Darkness both do not have this as far as I know, but they both have multiple game-breaking bugs that prevent them from being completeable. Dragon’s Breath I’m not sure about. I haven’t played it in at least a decade, and I don’t really ever plan to play through it again unless my son really wants to.
    But yes, you’re correct that QFG is largely exempt from this phenomenon largely due to RPG hybrid elements. It’s also why imo QFG stands as the best franchise from Sierra (although I do still love Gabriel Knight and, especially, Laura Bow).
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  25. Blackthorne Infamous Quests Patron Developer

    Blackthorne
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    Codex 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Play the Quest for Glory games. If you like them, when you're done, play Quest for Infamy. If you like it, you can tell me directly - if you don't, you can bitch to me personally here too. I made it. There's so many good suggestions here, though, so do everything anyone here tells you.
     
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