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Top 5 Point and Click Adventure Games March 27, 2013

Filed under: Video Games — cowboyography @ 11:44 pm
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For years Lucasarts dominated the point and click adventure genre and rightfully so, with awesome titles such as Zach McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders and the entire Indy saga, they put out some great products in the 80’s and early 90’s. I made this list not excluding them but only ended up with one Lucas game on the list and that brings us to number five:

#5 Loom

Released June 1990

Loom was a beautiful game that combined great interface and graphics and for the time brought a music theme to the table. As Bobbin Threadbearer you must uncover different spells that you can weave on your distaff. The game had very serious undertones but with the notion laid out early that you can never die, and will never have to go back, your just play and explore mentality was able to take over. I remember experimenting at great lengths to uncover different spells and their effects on the world. Guilds rules the world and as a member of the weavers guild you very early on must venture out into the world and seek the help, or hindrance of other guilds including the blacksmiths, glass makers, and Shepard’s. The game has top notch story telling and a climatic ending worthy of my top 5!


#4 Maniac Mansion

Released October 1987

Maniac Mansion is one of those classic games that most gamers especially pc gamers remember fondly but few ever truly finished. That’s because this game was hard, damn hard! As the game opens you must choose two characters to join the protagonist on his adventure into the Edison mansion, this is a crucial point as each character has abilities and ethics, some things one could do within the mansion, another couldn’t, such as place the gerbil in the microwave (c’mon we all did it!) The game was unique in that events occurred in almost real time and the player was treated to cut scenes of the evil characters in the mansion going about their business as your three kids wandered around, the only clear goal was to save Dave’s girlfriend. This game has so many memorable sequences, such as the bullying purple tentacle , or finding dead cousin ted in the shower! With 5 different endings and a feeling of freedom rarely seen at this time in gaming Maniac Mansion still holds it own, and there are many dedicated fans who still cherish this title.


#3 Legend of Kyrandia Book One

Released 1992

This is one of the lesser known games in the point and click world which is a shame because its one of the best! With amazing story telling, a great bad guy, a love story, and simplistic but elegant game play Kyrandia was an easy choice for my number 3 slot. The game starts with an evil Jester, Malcom having just slain the King and Queen of the realm, Malcom this goes on a killing spree against nature, destroying trees and turning people to stone, he is one powerful and evil little dude. As Brandon you must explore the treacherous world of Kyrandia and figure out how to stop the Evil Jester. The game has some awesome puzzles and top notch cut scenes. The birthstone puzzle still haunts me from time to time and the grotto is one of the coolest location ever put into a point and click adventure! If you never played it I suggest you find yourself a copy of this gem and give it a whirl, for fans of point and click games you wont be disappointed.


#2 Shadowgate

Released July 30 1987

This was my first jaunt into the point and click genre and boy was it a doosy! Shadowgate still stands as one of my most memorable gaming experiences of all time, never before had I played a game that had so much freedom and so many pitfalls, in an era dominated by the platformers, this game broke convention and threw a curve ball at my little brain! As an unnamed hero you awake outside Castle Shadowgate and must find the key to even open the front door, once inside a torch must always be lit or you will die, and yes there is only a finite number of torches thus giving the game a constant since of urgency. Shadowgate is filled with some ingenious puzzles and foes at every turn, careful thought must be applied for any progression to be accomplished, but don’t tarry to long as the torches are constantly burning away. I remember being so often frustrated at how to advance sometimes that the game became a constant source of agony but the AH HA moments when you finally solved a puzzle was so much greater! I still recall being stuck at that damn Wraith for days, before I finally realized I had a “Special Torch” and the Warlock Lord/Behemoth at the end was a trick that I believe may have been figured out by calling the Nintendo hot line! So many fond memories as my best friend and I toiled away days of our lives inside Castle Shadowgate, that’s why it belongs at number 2 on my list.


#1 Kings Quest 5 Absence Makes the Go Yonder

Released November 9 1990

I purchased two of my favorite games of all time on the same visit to the game store and for months had to split my gaming evenings between Kings Quest 5 and Covert Action. KQ5 is as classic as PC gaming comes as the only member of the royal family to escape the tragedy at Castle Daventry, the protagonist Graham and his trusty talking owl sidekick Cedric set out on an epic quest that will take you over the great mountains and across the sea to far away lands. You will battle Yeti’s, bump into Sirens, and eventually confront Mordack and his pesky cat to save your family. This game contains some of the toughest puzzles I can recall, and it also required the player to create their own maps, the desert and the labyrinth come to mind. I recall talking with friends who were also playing through the game all of us stuck at different locations but helping each other through. Who would have guessed that the pie from the bakery was the ultimate weapon against yetis or that the old man could only hear you if he held a seashell to his ear. Some parts required precise movements and timing while others parts required deep thought and everything required proper order, one thing always led to the next. So many nights, so many memories, such a great series, and such a perfect game!



Top five NES (Nintendo) games of all time!

In the 1980’s the arcades ruled the gaming world, but when Nintendo released its home console, the NES ushered in a new era of gaming. Yes there had been previuos attempts, such as the Atari 2600 and Coleco Vision, but nothing could touch the Nintendo revolution! Here is my top 5 list of games that glued us all to our small TV monitors back in the 80’s!

#5 Legend of Zelda II The Adventures of Link

Released January 14, 1987

Many believe that the first legend of Zelda is the superior game, I on the other hand feel that the sequel is the better game overall. The graphics were vastly improved, the story telling was better, the game was more playable by the masses, and it was still a gold cartridge with a battery that saved your game, no passwords needed, and back in the day that was huge! I rememeber the night my Grandpa brought this game home and gave it to me, as a january release, christmas had already passed and I thought I would have to wait until June for my birthday to receive this little gem, but no, Grandpa listened to my plea and gave it to me for no reason beyond that he knew how much it meant to me! I still remember the rush of adrenaline I got as I faced off against horse head for the first time, and then the hours upon hours I put into this title following that first boss battle, finding the hammer, locating all the old men with spells, who for some reason always stayed in their basements and giant slimes from above! In my opinion it was this game that truly brought Link to the American public, and for those reasons, it gets number 5 on my list!


#4 Final Fantasy

Released December 17, 1987

This is the one that started it all, the first game I ever played that set up the classic turn based RPG that has come to dominate the console world. Final Fantasy 1 set the stage for the series to come that has pushed the limits of what consoles are capable of over the years. I remember being dumbfounded at the setup, I got to choose and name all four party members, then customize what they were going to be, and though the classes were limited, the options to put four thiefs, or four black mages together was astounding! I played this first at my friends house and had to have a copy of my own, I was quickly hooked and RPG’s became my favorite genre. The feeling of accomplishment was so great when I final collected all four orbs in this hefty little game I had to brag around the playground about my fea,t although my party wasn’t four black mages… Finding  the canoe, then the airship, being able to openly roam around a huge world, this game had it all, in a time of linear progression FF1 broke every mold!


#3 Mike Tysons Punch Out

Released November 21, 1987

Forget Mr Dream, the 80s was all about Iron Mike and his game was one of the first memories I have of the NES. I still recall my first bout, my friend had brought his copy over to my house, and I suffered a humiliating round 2 loss to Glass Joe! But I recovered and went on all the way to knocking out Iron Mike himself, ok never a KO, but a TKO! I consider this today to be a puzzle game as each unique fighter was a puzzle all their own that required skill, memory, reflex, and timing to figure out. I recall fighting Super Macho Man for days before I figured out how to survive his super whirlwind punches, and the second Bald Bull was no easy task either. Then there was the ultimate challenge, Iron Mike himself with his lightning uppercuts and super fast jabs! Such a joy to behold this game is easily a top three of all time!

mike tysons

#2 Dragon Warrior

Released May 27, 1986

Before Final Fantasy walked into the arena, the original gangsta Dragon Warrior blasted on to the scene. I little backstory for ya, I wanted this game so bad that I threatned my parents that if I didn’t receive this game for christmas I would tell my younger sister and all my cousins that Santa Clause wasn’t real, straight up blackmail! Needless to say I got what I wanted and months of my life were dumped into this little amazing game. I had posters that showed every enemy and how many hit points they had, I had posters of all the weapons and a map of where I could get said weapons, I had town item lists, and all this before the internet, thank you Nintendo power! This game was my first true RPG and it changed the way I looked at games, I will never forget the first time I encountered a Wyvern or a Gold Golem, or a metal slime! In a time ruled by Mario, this was my game of choice. It had an open world in which to explore and random encounters were a new thing I had never seen before, the game only had 10 spells throughout but each one had a specific purpose and it felt so great to add a new one to the list. Decking out my little warrior I sought out the Dragonlord and was going to get him eventually, it was at least a year of gaming before he finally fell before me, but what an acomplishment it was!


#1 Super Mario Bros. 3

Released October 23, 1988

Its number one on so many lists for a reason, it was and still holds up as one of the greatest platformers of all time. It had everything, hidden worlds and secrets galore, Mario and Luigi in a very ituitive two player mode, and of course it had the best marketing campaign of the day. My buddies birthday was in October and I recall watching him and his older brother play for hours one evening and without even touching a controller I deemed it my favorite game of all time. Then The Wizard came out in theaters, I still find this movie very entertaining and it is a guilty pleasure of mine. The film revealed where to find the first warp whistle and that there was hope for us video game nerds to be accepted in society, actually it set us back a decade but I digress. The game was an absolute blast and was played in my NES for years after its release, in my opinion its 8 bit perfection!