There are so many different kinds of video games out there for the PC, consoles and handhelds. Some people love shooter games, tactical shooter, strategy, real time strategy, role playing games, and etc.
But for me i found my love in video games in a more simpler fashion. Story driven adventure games. I must admit that i dont play all adventure games out there but im lucky enough to be able to spot a few with really compelling storyline in my own opinion. Ive also played my fair share role playing games on the PC and Xbox and there were some really good ones out there.
As i think back through my early years, one of the main reasons why i fell in love with this genre was because of this particular game i played with my dad when i was very young. I remembered playing on my old “IPC” computer, this game called Kings Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. It was one of the game in King’s Quest series that i remember vividly while playing. During that time the visual caught my attention and while i wasnt really playing the game, watching my dad was really fun. It was as if i was watching the TV and if my dad got stuck then i would try to input my ideas. But all my ideas were childish at best.
The game was released in 1992, and back then i had a working PC, though ancient by today’s standards. I remember a few things in this game, but sadly not the storyline, because i was too young to understand them and the game was never completed to the end. I was only 5 years when i played this with my dad. It was the first game for me to have voice acting and to hear the characters speak was like an interactive storybook to a child like me at that time. So that could be one reason why i was captivated by this game. Even today i can still remember some sceneries and memories of that game. I can still remember some of the characters in the game like the begger, “Stick-in-the-mud” in the swamp, the angels, the minotaur in the catacombs, the talking chest pieces and a few others. This game was not completed because i remember one part where we had to move our character through the catacombs and we never managed to get out. Always dying inside. It was a scary experience for me as i remembered, because the catacombs was dark, and had those creepy sound at every turn you made. I still shiver at the thought!
The next adventure game that i remembered playing was Lighthouse: The Dark Being. It was developed by Sierra, the same company that created the King’s Quest series. This adventure game was dark a little too scary for me at that time. If i remembered correctly, my dad again played this game while i watched and gave my own inputs every now and then. It was released in 1996, and i was just 9 years old. At that time I already understood the mechanics of the game and the story behind it. It was relatively simple at the time. It uses the popular point-and-click mechanics that is very common in adventure games till today.
The story goes like this: You are the main character who happens to be a writer and you had a friend, a scientist living with his baby daughter. Your friend was researching in a way to travel through dimensions. He had a research lab in the lighthouse. When the moment of eureka happened, a warphole appeared. Then soon a grotesque (and scary looking) man crossed over to thier world and kidnapped his daughter as well as the scientist. So you are charged with the responsibility to save them by travelling to the other world and explore your way to reach them. Along the way you learn more about the alien world full of weird mechanical contraptions that you must overcome in order to advance through the game and find out the secret behind this world and the alien man you encountered.
I remember this game as being dark, scary and ominous. The puzzles were pretty difficult to crack and this game was more of a puzzler adventure than story driven adventure game. But the one compelling element of this game is that the puzzles are very interactive and by using the mouse i felt the true interactivity of the game itself. The power of the mouse to move and manipulate objects in the game was a very interesting experience.
At the same year, another adventure game was released. This title was a little bit different. It has a fictional story based on a factual, historical setting. Titanic, Adventure out of Time, was another game that i fondly remember. At his point, if i remember correct, Titanic gave my one of the best adventure experiences I ever had. Futhermore it was the first time that i felt truly satisfied with the ending. The ending was superb. Not only that, for the first time also the most beautiful game I had ever seen during that time.
This game was the first adventure in which i actually played the game through myself with the occasional help of my dad and maybe the walkthrough as well. In this game you play a role of Carlson, who is a British secret agent. Something went wrong during the World War II and you were caught in a fatal explosion. However by some twist of fate you were given a second chance and sent back in time on board the Titanic to make amends. While on board you are supposed to retrieve certain items from certain powerful people through solving puzzles and talking to people. At the same time while interacting with them you are also suppose to find out the motive and roles of certain characters in the game, characters who are involved in terrorist groups and espionage.
I truly loved this game because of the fact that i was able to explore the most legendary ship ever built, which is the Titanic. Furthermore, the locations featured in the game were very accurately portrayed and the sense of freedom exploring the virtual representation of the ship, was fantastic. The visual were beautiful, especially the Grand Staircase area, the Lift, the corridors and the different rooms inside.
Character wise, it was the first game i played that uses real character portraits to represent them and insert them on a 2D background. Furthermore they even had facial animations as well which accurately follows the dialogue and voice overs that were accompanied with it. All these elements created a truly immersive experience and a true sense of adventure that ive never felt before.
This game made me obsessed with the Titanic for a time. When the blockbuster movie came out a year later, it further fueled my interest in the ship, its history and her tragic maiden voyage.