I didn't intend to play three different takes on the "old school" in a row. Or maybe I did, but didn't realize how different they would be.
Warning: This is the sort of post where I talk about games I enjoyed and mostly focus on what didn't work for me. I recommend all these games!
But endings are hard. Adventure games have always been tricky to wrap up. Adventure, the original, ended with a "master game" which both broke the fourth wall of the cave-world and handed you an uncharacteristically nasty final puzzle. Myst left you trailing around a bunch of worlds you'd fully explored while Atrus told you to buzz off and wait for a sequel. Monkey Island -- but we'll get there.
Naively, you want hit a dramatic, world-changing climax in the story while also smashing through the game's best puzzle. These ideas are, shall we say, in tension. So do you put the big puzzle before the big story beat? Do you make the final puzzle a cakewalk and give the player a victory lap? Or try to make the finale thematically satisfying rather than relying on pure challenge for the high? Can you keep your theme from being undermined by the focus on puzzles or game mechanics? There's a lot of ways you can play it, and a half-century of adventure gaming is still coming up with new ones.
So let's talk games!
- One Dreamer
- The Excavation of Hob's Barrow
- Return to Monkey Island
- The Past Within