Technically, video games are constantly evolving. But they also told really good stories more than thirty years ago. These six adventure games from back then prove that.
Point’n’Click adventures are among the oldest genres in the gaming world. Since the mid-80s, fans have been clicking and puzzling through bizarre fever worlds, sci-fi dramas and classic knight stories. Hundreds of these games have appeared over the past four decades. We present six particularly good adventure games. And the best news: all of them are also available in revised versions for today’s computers.
1. Day of the Tentacle
“Day of the Tentacle” is downright bizarre from front to back. Three friends travel through time in Dixie toilets and have to stop a purple tentacle that suddenly has two little arms and a strong desire to subjugate the world after a chemical accident. This absurd story is presented in a feverish dream aesthetic full of impossible architectural elements, crooked angles and curved interiors.
And it is precisely this mix that makes “Day of the Tentacle” a real classic of its genre. Because although the story seems bizarre at first glance, it develops into an exciting time travel adventure with challenging but never unfair puzzles. And when else can you tear yourself into the 18th century with a construction site toilet and watch the American founding fathers at work?
Worth playing because: Day of The Tentacle may seem frighteningly bizarre at first. But behind the feverish dream facade hides a humorous and exciting time travel adventure.
Point’n’Click adventure “Day of the Tentacle”, Double Fine Productions, for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, approx. 15 euros
2. The Secret of Monkey Island
This strange exclamation comes from a real classic of the Point’n’Click adventures. “The Secret of Monkey Island”, a humorous adventure about the young Guybrush Threepwood, who wants nothing more than to finally become a pirate. Players help him on this mission and experience dozens of really funny moments on this journey. But also one or the other exciting showdown – because this unusual pirate story does not work entirely without a zombie villain.
How much fun “The Secret of Monkey Island” really is, proves its reputation among the fans. Despite being over 30 years old, the lovingly designed adventure is one of the best-known and most popular point’n’click titles. You couldn’t spell “game recommendation” any more clearly.
Worth playing because: pixel graphics with a love of detail, a catchy soundtrack, a clumsy pirate in training. With these ingredients, Lucasfilm Games conjured up an entertaining adventure game in 1990 that has lost none of its charm to this day.
Point’n’Click adventure “Monkey Island”, Disney, for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, approx. 9 euros
3. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
Alongside Lara Croft, Indiana Jones is probably the most famous archaeologist in the world. But the well-read daredevil actually whipped his way not only through Hollywood films, but also through pixelated game worlds: “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” was released in 1989 and is the first point’n’click adventure from Lucasfilm Games – a successful one Debut that sends the archaeologist in search of his father and the Holy Grail.
The game basically tells the same story as the movie that appeared in the same year. But the game repeatedly deviates from the original film. Dozens of puzzles await, as well as one of the most beautiful and elaborate intro sequences of the entire genre. It’s worth playing for that alone!
Worth playing because: The film hero Indiana Jones can also play games – and “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” proves this impressively. Lots of humor, lots of puzzles, including some real head nuts and beautiful pixel landscapes are waiting for the players.
Point’n’Click Adventure Adventure game “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, Disney, for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), approx. 5 euros
4. The Dig
“The Dig” is also about archeology. However, players do not rummage through old ruins and desert landscapes here, but on the surface of a meteorite. It rushes straight towards the earth. A small expedition team is supposed to blow up the dangerous rock and comes across a surprising discovery.
We don’t want to reveal more at this point, because “The Dig” is most exciting when you don’t know too much about the game. Originally, a movie of the same name was to be released at the same time as the game was released in 1995, but the budget was then cut in favor of the game’s development. Also exciting: Star director Steven Spielberg was part of the “The Dig” development team as a creative source of inspiration.
It’s worth playing because: “The Dig” stages an exciting chamber theater in the middle of space, in which five researchers play the leading role. Winding, dramatic – and now and then extremely tricky.
Point’n’Click adventure “The Dig”, Disney, for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), approx. 5 euros
5. Simon the Sorcerer
Actually, Simon, the eponymous main character in “Simon the Sorcerer”, is a completely normal youth who one day suddenly ends up in a fantasy world thanks to a magical book. With an astonishing amount of humor, Simon endures his new role as a magician, who now has to put an end to the main villain Sordid.
As heavy and epic as the subject of this point’n’click adventure sounds, many of the inhabitants of this world are bizarre and abstruse: the player will encounter socialist woodworms with ambition for revolution, a striking bridge troll and a princess in the shape of a pig . Humor is very important in this adventure from 1993 and makes “Simon the Sorcerer” a very entertaining adventure.
Worth playing because: Title character Simon endures his fate with a sympathetic long-suffering, which ensures many funny moments and encounters. All around, a solid point’n’click adventure awaits, including imaginative puzzles and beautifully pixelated sceneries.
Point’n’Click adventure “Simon the Sorcerer”, Adventure Soft / Mojo Touch, for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), around 9 euros, the iOS version costs just under 5 euros.
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“Myst” is an eccentric in this series of recommendations. Not a classic point’n’click adventure, but rather a global adventure. “Myst” is experienced from the first person perspective and in a three-dimensional game world. Players look at statistical scenarios in which individual points of interaction must be discovered, which then reveal new scenes.
Sounds a little dry, but it still has an impact today: “Myst” is like a mystery thriller that tells an exciting story in a bizarre, surreal world. Instead of humor, one or the other gruesome moment of horror awaits in the winding 3D scenes. “Myst” was one of the first games to be released on CD-ROM. The graphics were sensational for the time and already looked photorealistic to many eyes. If you see the look of the point’n’click adventure today, you wonder how this impression came about.
Worth playing because: “Myst” is not necessarily a particularly accessible game, but rewards the stubborn with an eerie story that takes place in a seemingly surreal world. The first-person perspective, which is unusual for the genre, the unusual soundscapes of the soundtrack and the challenging environment puzzles are all reasons to catch up on this classic from 1993 even today.
Point’n’Click adventure “Myst”, Cyan Worlds, for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), approx. 5 euros
With material from dpa