Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What You Know About The Death of Point & Click Games Is Wrong

The popular narrative about the history of point and click adventure games goes a little something like this: they were invented in the mid-80s with the rise of VGA graphics and mouse-based navigation and GUIs. Seirra On-Line pioneered the genre. LucasArts was responsible for the genre's golden age, starting with Maniac Mansion and ending with the released of Grim Fandango. then the genre lay dormant for a decade and a half until Telltale games single-handedly revived and rescued the genre,bringing it back from the dead and introducing a new generation to the joys of point and click, puzzle solving and managing inventory systems.

The problem with that notion? It's completely wrong. It ignores reality? Why? Penguin King Games' David J Prokopetz points out that some of it is tied to sexism in the video game press:
The fact of the matter is that point-and-click adventure games never died.
The chronology just doesn’t add up. To pose a few obvious examples:

  • The Nancy Drew series, a point-and-click adventure franchise as old-school as they come, put out over a dozen titles during the early 00s. 
  • Funcom’s Dreamfall: The Longest Journey was enormously successful, both critically and commercially, during a period when the gaming press would have us believe the genre was almost wholly moribund. 
  • Likewise, the Dream Chronicles series managed three sequels during a period when point-and-click adventure games allegedly weren’t a thing... 
When FPSes began to dominate the young male gaming audience in the mid 90s, point-and-click adventure games saw the writing on the wall, and shifted their target audience en masse to young girls. And it worked fantastically - but as far as the gaming press was concerned, that was high treason.

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