Adventure Game Girl

Arfle barfle Gloop? A nerdy girl in a pixelated world

Sunday, 6 July 2014


Hello guys and gals!

Snowball by Level 9 on a BBC Micro
I have so many blogs now, it's practically obscene, and I never keep up with any of them, but this is one I've been meaning to make for a long time, and kept putting off!

I've been a fan of the adventure game genre for my whole life pretty much. No really. My first computer, was a BBC Micro (ok it wasn't mine, it was my dad's!) and I loved the text adventures. I learnt how to spell using those things, and you had to get good pretty quickly, because if you spelt things wrong the text parser had no idea what you were on about. My tag line with "Arfle barfle gloop" is a homage to those Level 9 adventures and the frustrating text parser... I think that particular one was in Snowball?
Then, for me at least, there followed the beginning of the graphics adventure with text input! Enter Sierra On-line with such wonders as the Kings Quest, Space Quest, and Police Quest seriesesesesss I also played Leisure Suit Larry, but that's only because my dad was convinced we wouldn't be able to work out what we had to do with our innocent little minds, and I must say spelling "prophylactic" was challenging, but I managed it! When my dad worked it out, he took the disk away from me and my brother (until we found it again! BWAHAHA!) I still love all these Sierra games and they bring back a wonderful sense of nostalgia!

One of my favourite bits from Space Quest 4 by Sierra
The peak of adventure gaming, in my opinion at least, was the 1990s. My favourite games came about in the beginning of the 90s, with VGA and Sound Blaster around, things seemed more realistic (stop laughing at the back, kids, it WAS impressive at the time!) and when the point and click games arrived, and you know longer had to guess the exact phrasing the computer wanted from you, it became a little more user friendly, and more about the puzzles. My favourite games to this day include Space Quest 4 and Monkey Island 2. Two classic VGA point and clicks, from two classic studios, Sierra and Lucasarts (Yes, as in George Lucas and Star Wars!)

Sadly, when graphics got more and more realistic and with a dawn of new gaming for everyone, not just us geeky shut-ins, games changed. Adventure games slipped away quietly. A few would come out sporadically, but they were few and far between, with poor budgets. Sad times. I satisfied myself playing the retro games I'd already enjoyed using DOSbox (I still do this!) and sulking t anyone who would listen about how much I missed good gameplay.

A screenshot from The Blackwell Epiphany by Wadjet Eye Games
(made with AGS by Chris Jones)

BUT! Viva la revoluciĆ³n! Adventure games have been creeping back! The recent advent of such platforms as Kickstarter has meant games such as Leisure Suit Larry got remade, because of public support. Steam Greenlight has been helping developers put games out that the people want, not just a guy in an office who decides for us. My ultimate discovery, has been AGS, the  Adventure Game Studio . An engine which adventure game fans and enthusiasts can make their OWN adventure games in, and share them with the world! The majority of these games are free, and some of them are.. well, pretty dire, but amongst them are some wonderful gems, and some even worth paying for. I have paid personally for several of them, including every game Wadjet Eye has made to date. Their Blackwell series in particular is amazing. 

I made my own Simon the Sorcerer.
It was the first time I'd used this software too!

On a personal level, since those beautiful VGA backgrounds back in the '90s, I wanted to be an adventure game background artist. I was devastated that by the time I was grown up, it was all about 3D rendering and maths based art, which is not how my mind works. Seeing AGS, I feel a renewed enthusiasm, and I have started drawing my own backgrounds for fun, as practice, and I hope that one day I'll get my art into a game of my own! Watch this space. The rubbish little Simon sprite design to the left is one I made using a program called Pro Motion. Not bad for a first attempt!

So, what is this blog about? I've told you my life story about adventure games back there and probably bored you to tears, but it was necessary, sorry. In this blog, I'm going to review and discuss adventure games!. That might be retro ones from long, long ago, it could be a recent remake, an indie game, or something a lot more mainstream, and maybe look at ones currently being made too, but when I say adventure, be clear that I mean a true adventure like a point and click or text based, not something like Tomb Raider or even Final Fantasy, which are adventures of sorts, but action and RPG, not a TRUE adventure, in terms of my blog definition of them at least! (Don't get me wrong, I adore both those series, and I play more than just adventuress, but damn adventures are an under-appreciated genre!!)

OK, so enough waffle. I will take a bow and return with some actual content! I have downloaded MANY games in the Steam Summer sale recently, so I have a few to discuss...

All screenshots/images are used under creative licence and critical analysis and are not owned by me, but by the respective game creators who hold all copyright. I will happily remove any images used within this blog if they belong to you and you have a problem with them being here, just send me an email. I purely use them out of love for the genre!

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I’m useless at these "About Me" things. I’m an artistic type with goffick leanings who sits on her arse all day due to chronic illnesses. I'm a mad cat lady and I'll try my hand at most crafts. That will do for this little box! :D
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