AU Diary: A Grand Old Adventure

Adventures games are back in a big way, the once-declared-dead genre now resurgent on the back of digital distribution platforms such as Steam, WiiWare, XBLA and the iPhone.

We've seen LucasArts plundering their back catalogue to bring Indiana Jones and The Dig to Steam. Guybrush Threepwood has been given an HD refresh with the remake of Secret of Monkey Island and the all-new episodic Tales of Monkey Island games.

Activision has dug up a bunch of old King's Quests and Space Quests from its Sierra archives and put them on a trestle table out front of Valve's garage sale. (Well, for our American friends only, at this stage.)

UK developer Revolution has followed up its Wii and DS resurrection of Broken Sword by announcing an iPhone version of dystopian sci-fi adventure Beneath A Steel Sky.

Telltale Games has been at the forefront of this resurgence thanks to its work over the past couple of years with Sam & Max, Wallace & Gromit, Bone and the Strong Bad series.

Indie developers have been flying the point-and-click flag too. Wadjet Eye Games, headed up by LucasArts veteran Dave Gilbert, has given us the excellent Emerald City Confidential and Blackwell Conspiracy series, while Zombie Cow's Ben There, Dan That and Time Gentlemen, Please are wonderfully written comedies.

As a lifelong fan of the graphic adventure, I couldn't be happier with the current turn of events. But there's still a rich vein of adventure history to mine. I've picked out ten titles I'd like to see remade or given a contemporary sequel.

Blade Runner (Westwood, 1997) Westwood nailed the moody art direction and introspective themes of the sci-fi classic. One of the great film-to-game conversions.

day-of-the-tentacleDay of the Tentacle (LucasArts, 1993) My personal fave LucasArts game. Yeah, I know it'll come to Steam some time soon. But I would love to see Bernard, Laverne and Hoagie return in a new game...

I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream (Cyberdreams, 1996) Based on the writings of famed sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth... intertwined the dark and melancholy tales of the last five humans alive. Confronting, intelligent and more than a little depressing.

The Last Express (Smoking Car, 1997) A hugely ambitious and very adult (in a mature way) tale of murder and political intrigue on the eve of World War I. Probably Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner's finest hour.

The Longest Journey (Funcom, 1999) Ragnar Tørnquist crafted an amazing (dual) universe populated by a cast of genuine, flawed characters in this and its sequel, Dreamfall. The ending of the latter leaves you crying out for a third. Please?

neuromancerNeuromancer (Interplay, 1988) Pitch-perfect take on William Gibson's novel, Interplay delivered just the right amount of grit and sleaze as you hacked into cyberspace and uncovered a host of corporate conspiracies.

Quest For Glory series (Sierra, 1989) Slightly different to the typical Sierra Quest games in that it added some role-playing elements with character classes, stats and even combat. The 2nd and 3rd in the series were fascinating worlds to explore.

Sanitarium (Dreamforge, 1998) Wonderfully imaginative and seriously disturbing trip inside a mental asylum. You journey into the mind of a madman in a manner reminiscent of Psychonauts, albeit with fewer jokes.

Shenmue (Sega, 1999) If only so we can verify that series visionary Yu Suzuki is actually still alive.

Twinsen series (Adeline, 1994) More action-oriented than many of the other titles in this list, Twinsen's two adventures are nonetheless worthy of inclusion (and updating!) for their strong narratives and utterly adorable characterisations. How can you say no to that top-knot?

There's my list. What adventure games would you like to see given a reboot or modern update?


    Couldn't agree with you more. Quest for glory 4 i would LOVE to see re-made. There's something still so cool about a secluded small european village that quickly shuts its town doors from the outside world when the sun begins to set.

    I'd also recommend Darkseed, Included H.R Gigers works (best known as the designer on Aliens), story about a normal guy in his apartment who begins to feel severe migrains and enters a surreal and morbid world.

    Woah years since I've heard anyone talk about Twinsen and Little Big Adventure. Completed both of them back in the day, very awesome.

    Yes before that other Little Big game.

    errr Mr Wildgoose? Adventure games can never be declared dead as long as memories of their greatness live on in the minds of people like yourself and I.

    I agree with the Twinsen series remark. Relentless is one of my favourite games. Ever.

    Further to that, nuts to a remake. Just put Relentless up on Steam / XBLA / PSN. Relentless was on the PSone wasn't it? Release it as a PSone classic, problem solved.

    Here here! 100% agree with everything you've said! I would absolutely love it if Quest for Glory 2 was re-released but all those games were classics. I was encouraged to see LucasArts and Activision re-releasing classic adventure games and only releasing them to Australia would make me happier.

    I have been worried about the lack of releases on PSN but hopefully that'll be rectified in the not-too-distant future.

    I would love to see a continuation of Zork Grand Inquisitor :(

    space quest 4 is all i can think of off the top of my head, i wonder tho how the graphics on those classics could be updated without changing the game too much

    Would be stoked on Blade Runner as well. Never played more than an hour of it back in the day =(

    LOOM. In the age of Guitar Hero & Rock Band etc, this is still the greatest music based game I've ever played (ahh nostalgia). It also made my bookworm self realise that games can tell pretty good stories too.

    Very glad that you mentioned Blade Runner. In all honesty, I do admit it is one of the most immersive adventure games I've ever played. It took the intuitive user interaction of SCUMM and turned it into something truly special. Plus, it was a freaking good game despite being inspired by the film!

    Hmm. Might have to do a re-install this weekend.

    Police quest. With the technology we have today it could be awesome

    Rainbow Six Style levels plus some adventuring elements and some other things.

    Or even a GTA in reverse.

    If nobody else is going to put their hand up for Full Throttle, I'm going to have to.

    That game was awesome.

    I would love to see the game 'Innocent until caught' come back. I never finished it cause it was buggy, but man i loved it.

    I think one of my fave adventures / point and click would have to be Countdown by Access Software.

    Used to play it for ages.

    It and the Tex Murphy Under a Killing moon were great with their cheesy FMV acting, etc.

    Little Big Adventure was great too.

    Beneath a Steel Sky was a good adventure game, I liked the unique Australian setting. A sequel to that game would be awesome.

    Maniac Mansion!

    I played it on the NES.

    Ringing the doorbell and knowing that Evil Owner Dude (can't remember his real name) was coming down the stairs to get you unless you managed to run away in time was scary as hell for me as a kid.

    The main story was challenging and suspenseful, but the most fun came from figuring out new ways to kill your characters. Having a glass full of pool water explode in the microwave was my personal favourite.

    Good Game know it's cool, so just remake it already.

    Does anyone remember Circuits Edge??

    Talk about: SEX
    Man: "Not with you buddy"

    Classic stuff.. someone should remake that..

    Adventure games might be back in the news, but don't think for a second that there is new life in the genre. Old products repackaged for sale is not a resurrection of the genre, it is more akin to necromancy; a grim reminder of the good times. The adventure game genre will be dead until publishers are willing to finance new adventure games.

    Whilst some publishers are indeed working on new adventure games, this is no different to how the situation has been for years. The adventure game genre is still as dead as it has ever been and it won't truly be back on it's feet until there are new projects with new IPs from major publishers.

    The Last Express is just such a fantastic adventure game. I always enjoy my time aboard the Orient.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Kotaku! Although I am certainly not a Lucas Arts veteran. You are thinking of either Ron Gilbert or Dave Grossman. My name is Dave Gilbert. :)

    (Wadjet Eye Games)

      Dave, are you sure you're not some kind of mutant hybrid of the two?

      Apologies for the mistake, but please consider it a compliment!

    Don't forget the AGDI remake of Quest for Glory II, and King's Quest I and II:

    Go on, you know you want to...

    Guys, get your facts straight. Dave Gilbert, although very talented and a great developer of adventure games, is NOT Ron Gilbert of LucasArts fame.

    What do you mean King’s Quests and Space Quests on Valve for our American friends only? I live in Spain and picked it up on steam, maybe a week ago. And we are usually the last ones to get stuff.

    Mixed up mother goose!

    There's an awesome QFG 2 VGA remake you fans of QFG should check out: It's a fan remake and in my opinion takes all the good parts of the original and improves on it, with updated graphics, plus you can import your original QFG1 character too. Get those disk boxes out!

    "Dave, are you sure you’re not some kind of mutant hybrid of the two?"

    Somewhere out there is my lost twin brother, Ron Grossman.

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