Adventure Games 101: Back To The Basics

Adventure games are a staple in many gamers' hearts. The first adventure game, Colossal Cave Adventure, was released by Will Crowther and his family on the UNIX operating system back in 1976. Despite being largely text-based, its engaging story of exploration and puzzle-solving introduced gaming to new genres and technologies for years to come. Many adventure online casino games were released throughout the '80s and '90s as computers advanced, but they eventually tapered off – why is that?

Today we're going to explore some reasons behind this phenomenon known as "The Adventure Game Drought", and then we'll see how it's starting to revive itself into the 21st century with indie developers taking risks and AAA developers reviving old series'. Let's start with the first reason.

1) Adventure games are dying because developers stopped innovating

Adventure games fell out of fashion around 2000 for a few reasons. First, they had become overly complex and cumbersome without adding anything new to the table. They were still about solving puzzles (or not), exploring worlds (or not), and interacting with NPCs/items/anything else in the game world (mostly). They were still static worlds where you could go anywhere but nothing changed unless you did it yourself, despite technological advancements allowing these worlds to come alive. The only thing that seemed to change from adventure game to adventure game was how incredibly convoluted their stories became within their beautifully rendered cartoon worlds. But why is this? Is the story really more important to gamers than an interactive world?

2) Adventure games are dying because of story-focus

As it turns out, maybe it isn't. For some reason, developers began focusing on the story above all else – even above interactivity. As you can imagine, this became incredibly frustrating for gamers who wanted to simply explore the environment around them and become part of the game world itself. Perhaps there was too much focus on Hollywood blockbuster storytelling? After all, many major motion pictures had begun using video games as promotional tools for their theatrical releases. It seems that developers listened to these movies rather than the actual fans playing their games. Suddenly cutscenes were everywhere! Gameplay was reduced further and further until they were nothing more than glorified slideshows.

3) Adventure games are dying because of gimmicks and acting

The final nail in the coffin for adventure games was attempting to gain mainstream success by adding in a popular gimmick or actor into the mix. Suddenly, it didn't matter that you couldn't really do anything unless you were solving yet another puzzle; we had Hollywood stars doing our heavy lifting! We also see this trend happening once again with Telltale Games' The Walking Dead series, which I think is partially responsible for the revitalization of not only zombie games (because they sell like hotcakes), but point-and-click adventures as well. Telltales' engine allows them to bring back classic adventure game mechanics such as timed button presses and character interactions without completely bogging down the game with actual puzzles.

4) Adventure games are reviving themselves by adding more gameplay features

Enter Telltale Games. Their engine allows them to create great stories while introducing modern mechanics such as quick-time events and player choice, allowing players to actually become part of the game world. This means that they don't need to focus on making their game necessarily more action-packed or dramatic simply by telling a new story; they can make it more engaging by giving players real choices. It seems like this has revitalized the adventure genre, but what does this mean for other genres? Could we see an influx of RPGs using similar storytelling mechanics? Perhaps FPSs adding multiplayer components without sacrificing single-player campaigns ('m looking at you, Halo 4)? Only time will tell.

But this doesn't mean that all hope is lost for fans of more traditional point-and-click adventures! After discussing the recent resurgence of adventure games with Tim, he confirmed that there are developers out there who still believe in the power of exploration and puzzle-solving over flashy graphics and acting. This means that you can expect to see some new adventure game revivals on Kickstarter soon.

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