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Added by Grisly Atoms on 12 May 2009 10:29
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Golden Age Graphic Adventure Games (PC)

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A list of graphic (as apposed to text) adventure games for the PC, from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s - also known as the golden age of adventure games. Working on sorting the list by company, and release date.

Whats an adventure game you ask? I'll let Wikipedia explain:

"An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of protagonist in an interactive story that is driven by exploration and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenges such as combat. The term originates from the 1970s game Adventure and relates to the style of gameplay pioneered in that game, rather than the kind of story being told."

And now a graphic adventure:

"A graphic adventure game is a form of adventure game. They are distinct from text adventures. Whereas a player must actively observe using commands such as "look" in a text-based adventure, graphic adventures revolutionized gameplay by making use of natural human perception. Eventually, the text parser interface associated with older adventure games was phased out in favor of a point-and-click interface, i.e., a game where the player interacts with the game environment and objects using an on-screen cursor. In many of these games, the mouse pointer is context sensitive in that it applies different actions to different objects."

I remember once going to a nearby library, with my dad, and brother, where they had a computer set up in this little nook in the library (this was in the mid 90s), and my brother discovering someone had installed King's Quest VI on the computer. I think I watched him play it a bit, and then I had a go, and it was love at first play. The funny part is that I wasn't even good at the game. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, or how to solve the puzzles, but it was still awesome. I am not sure what exactly I fell in love with, but there was something about the game that hooked me. Maybe it was the art, or the illusion of freedom, but every time we went back to that library, I would go straight to that computer, and start up King's Quest VI. I sometimes wonder if that computer is still there, and if it still has King's Quest VI on it. I doubt it.

Anyway, I could continue gushing, but really you should just find a way to play these old classics. I suggest buying them from GOG, where they sell a lot of the classics and they are really reasonably priced, and will run on modern computers with no "hassle". Otherwise, there is DOSbox, and abandonware sites. Those sites are in a legal grey area though, so use at your own risk.

This list is a work in progress.
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LucasArts

My favourite of the companies to produce adventure games during the golden age. Great writing, and some of finest pixel art to grace computer screens, combined to make for some fantastic games. They didn't make a ton of games, but the ones they did make were always thoroughly enjoyable. Quality over quantity.
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Sierra

The major player in the golden age of graphic adventure games, and a very close second favourite for me.

As you can see below, Sierra was quite prolific in the adventure game scene, and produced some of the best games to ever come out of that period. I'm sure everyone has played a game in the King's Quest, or Space Quest, or Police Quest series. If you haven't, and don't need 3D graphics and lots of explosions and guns, and action, to hold your interest, you should, because you are missing out on some great video games.

I credit Sierra as being the company that got me hooked on adventure games. Thanks, Sierra.
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Comments

Posted: 8 years, 5 months ago at May 13 15:39
You forgot the original Warcraft from 1994 I think it was, which was a great game even then. Or does it not fit into this category?
Posted: 8 years, 5 months ago at May 13 16:25
Good times!
Posted: 8 years, 5 months ago at May 13 20:59
Warcraft would not fit into this category. Warcraft was a RTS (Real Time Strategy) game. This list is strictly for graphic adventure games (check the list description). Thanks for the comments though! :)
Posted: 6 years, 3 months ago at Jul 2 0:44
Oh yes these are gods in the adventure gaming department.
Thing is though some of them are so freaking hard you need a walkthough for!
Posted: 5 years ago at Oct 10 19:53
Amazing list! Absolutely love it!
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Mar 6 13:58
Too late for this List, but I thank you also for this List!!!
Posted: 3 years, 4 months ago at Jun 4 6:02
My goal is to complete as many if not all of these adventure games on the list here.
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jul 12 9:45
I'm a big fan of graphic adventure! Do you have some suggestions? I mean, except the main titles such as Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Broken Sword, Sam & Max ...
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jul 14 21:40
@GreenPheasant
I am going to assume you've played every LucasArts graphic adventure, because they are all musts. I would consider all of them "main titles", and would recommend all of them. Also all of Sierra's "Quest" titles, and the Larry series.

A few others that you may not have played (mind you, I have not completed most of these, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt):

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender
Basically MicroProse's one off answer to Space Quest. A bit more adult themed. Actually pretty good though, thanks to some decent writing. If you like Space Quest, you'll likely enjoy this one.

Beneath A Steel Sky
It's a fantastic dystopian sci-fi adventure, with art direction by Dave Gibbons, and it's free. You can't go wrong.

Star Trek 25th Anniversary
A great game, based on a great series. Pretty well written, with some interesting added elements, such as simplistic space combat, and a performance rating, depending on how you handle missions. Non-violently is always better, of course.

Star Trek: Judgment Rites
Same as the above, and equally as good, if not better.

Star Trek The Next Generation: A Final Unity
Yes, another Star Trek game. Sorry. But it's actually pretty damn good. On par with other two. This time set in the Next Generation universe.

Blade Runner
Doesn't really follow the movie, but that's alright. It's a solid graphic adventure, that is bit tough (at least for me).

Normality
An unusual, but interesting first person, "3D" point and click adventure, where the main character is voiced by none other than Corey Feldman.

Sorry the list is so short, and sorry that they are almost all sci-fi themed. That is just my cup of tea. I know there are others I am forgetting. I'll have to come back to this.
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 1 9:55
Ah.... memories. =) Great list!
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Sep 6 0:02
Excellent list! I have played a bunch of the games on the list, but there are tons on the list that I have either never heard of or had forgotten about. Thanks for reminding me! I really like this style of games.
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Sep 15 0:00
Thanks, glad I could stir up some nostalgia. I've always had a fondness for this particular genre for some reason. Apparently I am not the only one. Not really surprising I guess. Who doesn't like a good puzzle, especially if it's accompanied by some good storytelling and/or humour, and great pixel art?

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