Creator of games, immersive media, and broken dreamthings.
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Developer of horror video games including Butterfly Collector, Valerie Paris joins Mark to discuss point-and-click adventure games you’ll remember, and one or two you’ll never forget, no matter how hard you try.
Valerie is too young to have played many of these games when they originally came out, but has made up for that
In order of discussion:
This wildly popular and hilarious swashbuckling RPG from LucasArts is close to so many hearts, and it is to Mark’s eternal chagrin that he has still yet to play it. Go north, pick up thing, put thing in other thing, and hope for a resolution.
Perhaps one of the most well-known and well-regarded games of the genre and era, the atmospheric Myst is Valerie’s second pick because of its genre-defining quality and because it ran everywhere.
A slightly more modern pick, Still Life is set in two different time periods, allowing you to play as two different characters — a police detective and her grandfather — solving related murder mysteries. Valerie describes it as “if David Fincher directed a serial killer murder mystery point-and-click”.
Perhaps one of the more obscure LucasArts offerings, Valerie’s fourth pick is a beautifully colourful and innovative game that turns the verbing-the-noun trope on its head, allowing you to perform spells and control time by playing musical notes in a particular direction.
This game is meant to be a little bit scary and creepy, but there’s a chance its uncanny valley nature has propelled it from creepy to nightmare-inducing. In order to complete the game, you have to play through as a number of different characters, to get the full horrifying perspective. It’s also possible to kill off the main characters, thus making the game impossible to complete, so that’s fun.
In order of discussion:
Mark’s list kicks off with another LucasArts classic, a story told in the past, the present, and the future, in which you play as three characters who have to save the world from the invasion of slimy tentacle creatures, hell bent on taking over the world.
Not to be confused with Little Big Planet, LBA (or Relentless: Twinsen’s Adventure) as it was for some reason known in North America, is a pretty chilled-out, cozy adventure in which you play a sort-of dissident whose prophetic dreams of your planet’s discovery make the ruler nervous.
This funny, very long and often infuriating point-and-click adventure set in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is perhaps better than it has any right to be, based on the voice talent alone.
This strange point-and-click first-person interactive movie combined slapstick comedy, gratuitous use of green screen and a Blade Runner aesthetic to create a detective film noir experience like nothing… except perhaps its sequels (one of which is still in development).
In this funny sequel within the popular Space Quest series published by Sierra, you play as space-janitor Roger Wilco. It is your job to avoid the Sequel Police who are intent on putting a stop to your existence, which sees you chased throughout space, ending up in a mall where you make burgers and try on women’s clothes.