Given that the holidays is a good time to enjoy some cold ham, apple pie and slow down a little, it's a perfect fit for point-and-click adventures. And if you're after a few to play through, some of Sierra's greatest hits just went on sale.
There's two bundles running right now, and they both offer pretty similar value although the precise contents will vary a little. The first is, as you'd expect, a massive Humble Bundle dedicated to the publisher, which made its name in the 1980's and 1990's with a range of adventures ranging from point-and-clicks to FMV-heavy titles.
The Humble offering is broken up into four tiers, starting with the Phantasmagoria, Police Quest, Space Quest and Shiftlings games. That's not a bad for $1, although if you didn't grow up with Sierra games you would probably have difficulty enjoying anything bar Phantasmagoria 2 (although you might want some friends, or a heavy source of inebriation, nearby).
Here's the full list of what's on offer:
Tier 1: Pay $US1 or more
- Space Quest Collection
- Police Quest Collection
- Phantasmagoria 1 & 2
Tier 2: Pay more than the average (currently $US9.53)
- Quest for Glory 1-5
- Gabriel Knight 1-3
- Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Tier 3: Pay $US15 or more
- Caesar 3-4
- King's Quest Collection
- Velocity 2X
- Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved
Tier 1: Pay $US20 or more
- King's Quest: The Complete Collection
Not too bad. Just remember that the King's Quest Collection in the third tier is the older, classic adventures, while the Complete Collection is the recent reboot.
But that's not the only Sierra package on offer. For $US16.56, you can get the Classic Sierra Bundle from Steam. It doesn't come with Veolcity 2X or Geometry Wars 3, the latter of which might arguably be the best title on offer, but it does feature the superb Pharaoh and Cleopatra strategy games, and a pair of fantastic RPGs in Return to Krondor and Betrayal at Krondor.
You don't get Shiftlings either, but if you're going for nostalgia value then you're miles better off with Betrayal at Krondor. You'll have to tolerate a lack of widescreen support and truly ancient mechanics, but then you don't buy into a bundle with Gabriel Knight 1 and a bunch of Police Quest games if you weren't ready to accept that fact.
Whichever route you take, it's a good chance to catch up with why people loved Sierra so much back in the day. It's a tad disappointing that neither Humble Bundle or the Steam offering has perhaps the best retro title with the Sierra brand - The Incredible Machine series. But you can get that from Good Old Games for $10, even though TIM3 is the only one you need.