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30 Genres of Christmas
Graphic Adventures
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 08, 2009   |   Episode 13 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



Telltale Games has become successful by delivering some of the best Graphic Adventures of the 21st century!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Graphic Adventure? You know how most games give you complete control over your character? Well, that's not true in Graphic Adventures. Instead of directly influencing the protagonist, you often are stuck controlling a cursor and merely suggesting where the hero should go. This does have its benefits, as you are able to pick up new items and clues, solve puzzles easier and look around the world without worrying about where your character is. Better still, in many Graphic Adventure games you cannot die, leading to a mellower video game experience.

Patron Saint: The classic Text Adventures of the 1970s and 80s.

Typical Story: Uh oh ... something's happened. And even though we don't know the full extent of the catastrophe, we're going to investigate and figure it out. This means that we're going to need to find a stick, a rock and an otter, all which he combines into a key that will open

Whoever gets tapped to make Full Throttle 2, promise me that you'll do a better job turning the lead into polygons!
the door to another area full of weird objects and wild creatures. Even though the story says he needs a raft to sail from on island to the end, we know that we're going to need to combine a damaged door, super glue and a guitar in order to get the job done. Once there we learn about the mysteries of the island and solve some more puzzles.

What Your Stoner Friend Says: "Whoa, dude, what are you going to do with that big piece of wood you picked up? I bet you can turn that into a bomb-ass bong! Serious. And that mouse you have in your inventory? You can turn that into a bong, too. That apple would make a good bong. So would that candy bar you combined with a lightning bolt. Man, this game is starting to make me hungry."

Not a Graphic Adventure: There are a lot of people who would argue that the classic point and click Graphic Adventures

Not every Graphic Adventure was meant to be funny, such as Dave Gibbons' amazing Beneath the Steel Sky!
didn't die out, but rather morphed into the survival horror genre. These people do have some convincing arguments, what with similar pacing and the fact that the puzzles are largely made up of you piecing disparate items together. But as similar as they are, a game like Resident Evil cannot be considered a Graphic Adventure. So don't get them confused ... not that anybody was.

Then vs. Now? If you had asked me this question a few years ago I wouldn't have even had to think about my answer. Of course the old school Graphic Adventure games are the best. But that's because a few years ago there were no modern day Graphic Adventures. But thanks in large part to Telltale Games, a whole new generation of gamers are having a chance to discover the wit, puzzles and frustration of point and click adventure games. The Sam & Max series has really come into its own, besting even the classic 1990s game. Since then we've had a Monkey Island resurrection, CSI games and even a few Wallace & Gromit adventures. While I definitely love the classic Graphic Adventure games, part of me wants to root for this new batch of adventures. I say it's a toss-up.
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