Adventure games have been around for a while. Especially the point-and-click variant. Many have spoken about how adventure games suck and what they should or shouldn’t do in order to make them enjoyable. Even the adventure game expert, Ron Gilbert has struggled with making something that is unanimously accepted as brilliant. Broken Age, the crown jewel and supposed redeemer of the adventure games genre did many things well when it comes to the storytelling, but made many frustrating mistakes in its puzzle design. Does this mean they’re close to becoming a relic? Possibly. But not quite.
Adventure games have taken on many forms over the years. Developers have picked the storytelling and puzzle aspects of adventure games and incorporated them into intense action sequences. This has allowed for a varied spread of mechanics that work well with these elements. But what about the classic point-and-click mechanic? Is it something that should be allowed to die a slow and painful death? Maybe not. There are a few games in the recent past that have used mechanics that are more or less point and click.
One example is Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. Even though they use the keyboard to provide a semblance of freedom of movement, the core of the game is still based on the fixed camera exploration of a scene. For one thing, there aren’t as many puzzles as a classic adventure game. The focus here is on the story and the emotion of the player. There are no puzzles in The Walking Dead. It’s more of an interactive novel as this rant seems to suggest. Another example is Doki Doki Literature Club, that is also a visual novel that focuses on the story and emotions of the player. Maybe there is something to be considered in eliminating the puzzle aspect of classic adventure games and also provide branching story lines.
On the flip side, there is a sizable portion of players that want to play adventure games solely for the puzzles they offer. These would then become a puzzle loving, completion-driven variant of the classic adventure games like Antichamber or Monument Valley. Here, the focus is the puzzle and the story is only loosely tied to it. You could ignore the story if you chose to, at your loss and yet complete the puzzles in the game to your satisfaction.
This brings me to my quick-to-judge conclusion. The days of classic point-and-click adventure games are gone. They are quickly becoming something of a fading memory in player’s minds. As have other genres, adventure games also need to evolve and branch out if they need to survive. Look at me, talking about adventure games as though they were a person.