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.
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?
Neuromancer (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?