A lot of people became aware of Telltale Games when the developer released the critically acclaimed The Walking Dead adaptation, so it’s easy to forget the company’s humble beginnings. One of Telltale’s early successes was the episodic series Sam & Max which had three seasons (Save the World, Beyond Time and Space and The Devil’s Playhouse.) Those games were a triumph for Telltale not only because Sam & Max was a universally revered property from the point-and-click adventure era, but also because the episodic series captured the magic of both the game and the genre. So what if Telltale had the chance to pick any property they liked and they could adapt it to the episodic format? In my opinion, these are the titles that Telltale should work on.
Not only is Maniac Mansion one of the best point-and-click adventure games ever made, but its sequel Day of the Tentacle’s also my personal favorite game of all time, so needless to say I want to see something new in that series. Time-traveling, great sense of humor, cartoony graphics and simplistic controls are a trademark of the series and I think Telltale would do a great job of bringing this classic to a new generation. Most of these adaptations aren’t likely to happen, but that didn’t stop me from including it on this list.
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
I’ve never finished Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, so I don’t appreciate this game as most people who completed this adventure. Although one of the earliest games released by Lucas Arts, Zak was critically praised for audiovisual style and sense of humor. There were also a ton of references to other games, movies and cartoons from the era, so a new version could use that to its advantages. There were a couple of fan sequels over the years, which means that excitement about the game hasn’t died down.
Most of the people who had the chance to play Grim Fandango say that the game is a masterpiece. An episodic series based on Grim Fandango will be terrific, since Telltale could explore this universe two hours at a time. Double Fine’s working on a remastered version that will be exclusive to Sony platforms and the PC, so those who missed the classic game back in the day (or those who weren’t even born back then) will be able to play the game in glorious 1080p.
The Longest Journey
The Longest Journey stood out as a well-written game that had mature storytelling and compelling characters. Taking into account that those are some of the main characteristics of the latest Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones), I think The Longest Journey would be a great addition to the Telltale lineup. It’s worth pointing out that Dreamfall Chapters came out a few weeks ago and while it didn’t set the world on fire, fans of the series really liked it.
It’s almost impossible to say something new about Monkey Island that hasn’t been said before. The reasons why I included this game on the list are obvious, but I think the Monkey Island series shares some similarities with Sam and Max, making it a terrific adaptation for Telltale. If they can replicate the sense of humor, I’m in.
Myst’s strengths aren’t storytelling, character development or action, but what the game does have is a palpable atmosphere that sets the mood for this eerie adventure. Its revolutionary visual design and the convoluted puzzles are some of the highlights here, but maybe it would be time to make some changes. A controversial choice, I know. But if there’s a company that could modernize Myst, I’m pretty sure that’s Telltale.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
Apart from having a terrific game, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a post-apocalyptic adventure that’s mature in ways games usually aren’t. The ethical dilemmas include themes of insanity, rape and genocide. Needless to say this isn’t a game for everybody, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find something more appropriate for a Telltale episodic series.
Whenever I read or hear something about the “Quest” adventure games, those comments usually have the words creative, bold and unique attached to them, so it was natural that I included them here. Fans loved the fourth entry in the series for its love story, unique characters and challenging puzzles. There were also branching paths and multiple endings, so this is something Telltale could work with. Telltale working on this game will probably never happened, since the company got the rights to work on a game (which they announced in 2011) and they canceled that game in 2013. Not only did the game never saw the light of day, but the title didn’t even receive a name other than King’s Quest 9.
Police Quest and SWAT were a series of police simulation games that were produced and published by Sierra. Over the years, there were different attempts to continue the series (Kickstarter campaigns, spiritual successors and so on,) but none of these have been successful. A few months ago, Activision resurrected the Sierra brand, so maybe there’s hope for something that has the words Police Quest attached to it.
The 7th Guest
One of the few classic adventure games that ‘s available on Steam. Usually regarded as the game that started the CD-ROM boom back in the day, The 7th Guest was a campy survival horror adventure game that was played from a first-person perspective. Thanks to a series of re-releases, The 7th Guest and its sequel The 11th Hour have been introduced to a new audience who I’m pretty sure wouldn’t mind playing something new.