For the past few weeks, I’ve been playing several point-and-click adventure games for the purposes of review and I came to the conclusion that while there are some things I’m not a fan of, I love the genre. So I decided to work on a two-part article that focuses on my favorite and least favorite aspects about the genre. Note that this is my personal opinion and that I don’t have anything against the genre. In fact, some of my favorite games are point-and-click adventure games and they were the reason why I started this website. Let’s start this feature with the ten reasons why I love the genre.
There’s nothing quite like graphic adventure games
There are dozens and dozens of video game genres and even if you tried hard, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another genre similar to point-and-click adventure games. Without a doubt adventure games caters to a specific audience that’s not interested in bombastic action scenes, spectacle and loud noises and that’s fine. Which leads me to the next point…
The pace is deliberately slow
While most modern games are linear, way too easy and full of explosions or flashy effects, point-and-click adventures encourages exploration, interacting with characters, combining items and thinking about everything that you do. This takes some time, but when you finally crack that puzzle that has been bothering for a while, you feel like the smartest person alive and there aren’t that many genres that make you feel that way.
Interaction and visual human perception are paramount
Paying attention to what every character’s saying is important and all those items in the background is important and your painstaking attention to detail is rewarded constantly. Of course, this isn’t for everyone, but if you’re one of those people who have a keen eye for detail, point-and-click adventure games might be for you.
Clicking on things can be entertaining
There’s something about the rudimentary action of just pointing and clicking on things and that scratches an itch that not a lot of other games pay attention to (with the exception of action role-playing games like Diablo.) Also, when you’re performing those simple actions, you enter in a zen-like state that’s hard to get away from.
The audio-visual aspect is usually really appealing
Certain graphic adventures have always characterized for its audio-visual aspect and humor (more on this later.) Even since Lucas Arts started developing games, they focused on celebrity voice acting and on games that look outstanding. Day of the Tentacle for instance, looked like a Warner Bros. cartoon and at time, there was nothing remotely similar.
There’s a style of humor that you can’t find in any other genre
This is also a reference to developer Lucas Arts, which is in part maintained by Double Fine to this day. There’s something about the genre that allows for humorous instances and that’s definitely an important draw for most players. Even when you’re frustrated about a specific puzzle, you just want to push forward so that you can listen to more jokes.
Interacting with characters and the environment is relaxing
A lot of people likes to play video games because they can escape and almost everyone can relate to that. Although it can definitely feel frustrating to some people, to others, interacting with items, combining them in creative new ways and going through dialogue options is relaxing and that’s why this is their favorite genre.
There are graphic adventures for everyone
In the early 2000’s, graphic adventures started declining, but the genre never really went away completely. As of this writing, there are several developers working on point-and-click adventure games and these are some of the titles that are available: Broken Age, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Tales from the Borderlands, . Additionally, you can always go back and play text adventures, dating simulators, interactive movies, puzzle adventures or games developed by legendary companies like Lucas Arts or Sierra.
Graphic adventures may decline, but the genre’s here to stay
Point-and-Click adventures might be a niche genre, but the people who play those games are way into them and they will never go away completely. Developers will always find a way to release new adventure games and while that won’t always be in the form of a milt-million production like Broken Age, maybe you can download episodic games on Steam, small games on iOS or European-developed adventures like The Whispered World.
They are just getting more popular
I’ve never heard about the genre until I was in college. A humorous TV program about video games was making a dossier about Day of the Tentacle and I immediately fell in love with the game. The tricky part was finding a copy which I eventually did in a PC store that had dozens of old CDs that the owner wanted to get rid of. I eventually played the game and loved it, so I moved on to Sam & Max: Hit the Road and other adventure games. I definitely have some problems with the genre (which I’ll be focusing on in the next entry of this article,) but there’s something about the genre that’s undeniably charming.