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Sierra Sierra SCI0-era appreciation thread – any other games like this?

What is your favorite Sierra SCI0 game?

  • King’s Quest 4 (SIMP!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • King’s Quest 1 remake (GRAFIXFAG!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Leisure Suit Larry 3 (TRANNY!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Police Quest 2 (LITERAL NAZI!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Codename: ICEMAN (AUTIST!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mixed-Up Mother Goose remake (PEDO!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15

Fatberg Slim

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I have a soft spot for the Sierra adventure games made using the initial versions of the SCI parser (SCI0, in use from around 1988 – 1990). I expect they are mostly considered as a kind of interim step in the evolution from the older AGI games to the better graphics and icon-based input of the later Sierra games, let alone the Lucasfilm games which generally had higher production values all around, but I think they have a unique charm and they represent the high point of Sierra adventure gaming for me.

While they still had the 16-color graphics of the AGI games, the doubled resolution allowed for more atmosphere and detail along with a greater appreciation of the skills and techniques the artists used, before making good graphics became much easier with 256-color (S)VGA and digitization. I think the SCI0 games were also the first to use SoundBlaster or other sound cards for sound/music rather than just the PC speaker, but I could be wrong there. I also preferred the text-based parser (especially in SCI0 which froze the onscreen action while typing in commands, unlike AGI) which made for more complex puzzle-solving than the later games. The parser was certainly still frustrating, but since I had played a lot of text adventures prior to getting a computer that could run Sierra’s games I was used to treating the parser as a kind of “puzzle” of its own. Completing one of these games without help felt like a real accomplishment and I can’t say the same for many of Sierra’s later games, if any.

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Are there any other adventure games worth playing that use text-based input and have a similar graphic style? I only know of The Crimson Diamond, thanks to hearing about it here. I’m sure I’ll play it out of obligation, even though it’s heavily based on Colonel’s Bequest which is near my bottom tier of SCI0 games (I liked the atmosphere and concept a lot better than the actual gameplay).
 
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Morpheus Kitami

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There's something about late-era EGA games that look so nice. This isn't necessarily unique to Sierra, of course, but the forced limitation of 16-colors meant a lot of artists had to be creative in how they did things. Interestingly, this didn't apply to CGA games for the most part, they were just lazy there, yet B&W Macintoshes had a similar level of high quality artwork despite a low color palette.

I don't have any real statements about the games themselves or directly comparable games, except that you shouldn't play the Hugo series, which was similar. That said, a sort of similar, but first-person game is Personal Nightmare, from Horrorsoft. Be warned though, its very difficult, but ultimately not as unreasonable as its reputation suggests.
 

Fictive Cunt

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I have a soft spot for the Sierra adventure games made using the initial versions of the SCI parser (SCI0, in use from around 1988 – 1990). I expect they are mostly considered as a kind of interim step in the evolution from the older AGI games to the better graphics and icon-based input of the later Sierra games, let alone the Lucasfilm games which generally had higher production values all around, but I think they have a unique charm and they represent the high point of Sierra adventure gaming for me.

While they still had the 16-color graphics of the AGI games, the doubled resolution allowed for more atmosphere and detail along with a greater appreciation of the skills and techniques the artists used, before making good graphics became much easier with 256-color (S)VGA and digitization. I think the SCI0 games were also the first to use SoundBlaster or other sound cards for sound/music rather than just the PC speaker, but I could be wrong there. I also preferred the text-based parser (especially in SCI0 which froze the onscreen action while typing in commands, unlike AGI) which made for more complex puzzle-solving than the later games. The parser was certainly still frustrating, but since I had played a lot of text adventures prior to getting a computer that could run Sierra’s games I was used to treating the parser as a kind of “puzzle” of its own. Completing one of these games without help felt like a real accomplishment and I can’t say the same for many of Sierra’s later games, if any.

Are there any other adventure games worth playing that use text-based input and have a similar graphic style? I only know of The Crimson Diamond, thanks to hearing about it here. I’m sure I’ll play it out of obligation, even though it’s heavily based on Colonel’s Bequest which is near my bottom tier of SCI0 games (I liked the atmosphere and concept a lot better than the actual gameplay).
You might want to check out Betrayed Alliance Chapter 1 which is sort of a QfG wannabe, and is actually made in the SCI engine. Version 1.2 was out for years and it's fine, 1.3 has updated art backgrounds but gets permanently stuck right before the climax. (It may be updated by now, who knows.)

I was digging through the AGS boards looking for stuff like this lately, someone even remade Police Quest 4 in the style of PQ2. There's actually a lot of EGA/parser games made in AGS. I just don't think the art style appeals to normies the way the VGA games do. Like Crimson Diamond art is coming along nicely with some cool cutscenes but the gameplay still looks just like Colonel's Bequest, which is fine with me, I'm looking forward to the full game. Not sure if it will attract attention outside people who like the style and genre.
 

Infinitron

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Are there any other adventure games worth playing that use text-based input and have a similar graphic style? I only know of The Crimson Diamond, thanks to hearing about it here. I’m sure I’ll play it out of obligation, even though it’s heavily based on Colonel’s Bequest which is near my bottom tier of SCI0 games (I liked the atmosphere and concept a lot better than the actual gameplay).

https://store.steampowered.com/app/751280/Snail_Trek__Chapter_1_Intershellar/
 
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Fatberg Slim

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I wasn't aware there were AGS games with a text-based parser, but I'll check it out. I'm guessing it's like RPG Maker where there are some decent games and a lot of shit to wade through to find them.

Accolade's Search for The King from the early 90s is the one game I can think of from that period that's closest to Sierra's in terms of design and aesthetics, but it was probably the most frustrating adventure game I've ever played. Great premise but with a lot of bullshit and seemingly designed and programmed by people who actively hated the player. Accolade also made Altered Destiny which I think also had a text-based parser but I stayed far away from it.
 

Fictive Cunt

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Accolade's Search for The King from the early 90s is the one game I can think of from that period that's closest to Sierra's in terms of design and aesthetics, but it was probably the most frustrating adventure game I've ever played. Great premise but with a lot of bullshit and seemingly designed and programmed by people who actively hated the player. Accolade also made Altered Destiny which I think also had a text-based parser but I stayed far away from it.
Never heard of either of those games, though Altered Destiny looks pretty cool. Why stay away from it?
 

Fatberg Slim

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Accolade's Search for The King from the early 90s is the one game I can think of from that period that's closest to Sierra's in terms of design and aesthetics, but it was probably the most frustrating adventure game I've ever played. Great premise but with a lot of bullshit and seemingly designed and programmed by people who actively hated the player. Accolade also made Altered Destiny which I think also had a text-based parser but I stayed far away from it.
Never heard of either of those games, though Altered Destiny looks pretty cool. Why stay away from it?

Search for the King was really painful to get through - unfair puzzles and shitty parser, even by the standards of that time. I hold that against Altered Destiny since it was made by the same company and I think using the same engine, but I'd be willing to try it if it addresses the many shortcomings of SFTK.
 

Morpheus Kitami

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I wasn't aware there were AGS games with a text-based parser, but I'll check it out. I'm guessing it's like RPG Maker where there are some decent games and a lot of shit to wade through to find them.
Being someone who understands the engine, its a lot of work so the only such games are made by people who truly care about having a parser. If I had to guess, such things select out a lot of the trash. Plus you don't have to worry about someone using the default and somewhat crappy action icons.
Search for the King was really painful to get through - unfair puzzles and shitty parser, even by the standards of that time. I hold that against Altered Destiny since it was made by the same company and I think using the same engine, but I'd be willing to try it if it addresses the many shortcomings of SFTK.
Altered Destiny is supposedly better, but not by much. Being better than a Les Manley game is not an achievement, its a basic standard of decency in gameplay.
 
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Conquests of Camelot is my favourite. Amazing game full of atmosphere and good writing. I still replay it every once in awhile.

Hero's Quest (later renamed Quest for Glory) is a close 2nd. I still prefer the EGA version to the VGA remake.

SCI games were a significant part of my preteen years, I played them all even if I was unable to finish some of them (Iceman I found particularly dry).
 

Fatberg Slim

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Favorite? Laura Bow
Conquests of Camelot is my favourite. Amazing game full of atmosphere and good writing. I still replay it every once in awhile.

These two games are very similar for me, in that both were very atmospheric (CoC actually made me want to learn more about what life was really like in Dark Ages Britain) but a letdown in terms of actual gameplay. CoC had some weird design choices, like all of the action sequences which had their unique but very basic mechanics and weren’t particularly fun (except for killing the infidel thief at the end :salute: ), but the last half of the game played better and more like a “traditional” adventure. For CB I’m not much of a murder mystery fan (I managed to finish Infocom’s Witness and that’s about it) so I played the game more for completeness than anything else, but I can see how others would like it more.

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If anyone wants more hot Sierra taeks just step right up.
 

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