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Added by Grisly Atoms on 12 May 2009 10:29
11456 Views 13 Comments

Golden Age Graphic Adventure Games (PC)

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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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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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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