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ADVENTure Game Calendar - Day 1

I have considered how to get back into Gameinformer Online blogging and in a big way. After much thought, I have sorted it out. From now until Christmas Day, I will be celebrating the season with an Advent Calendar of sorts...I call it the ADVENTure Game Calendar. Over the coming days, I will pay homage to some of my favorite games from the adventure game genre, old and new. Games some of you may not have heard of before but should know along with some amazing titles just about everyone should know.

 

Without further ado, I present the first series of adventure games I ever played:

Space Quest was a series developed Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe of Sierra On-line. This six title series chronicles the humorous adventures of a space janitor (complete with a mop) named Roger Wilco... and not a very good janitor. According to the title sequence of the first episode you "would probably have been sacked and replaced" if the star ship you were serving on were closer to a colonized planet. Regardless of his skills with a mop, Wilco saves the day time and time again, only to be punished for breaking some minor regulation and in some cases outright ignored.

The series is a humorous adventure set in distant future in space. The series parodies everything from Star Wars and Star Trek to McDonalds and Microsoft. As the series progresses, it carries over its own series of inside jokes including a super hero in a chicken suit, dehydrated water, and the developers of the game cleverly disguised as half men/half pigs from Andromeda.

My dad brought a copy of Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter home from work one day on an old school floppy disk m(for you young folk that was what we had instead of jump drives and flash cards and they would have been hard pressed to hold a single digital picture on them). Once my dad booted it up and I heard the old school song playing from the crappy PC speakers, I was hooked.

With the release of each new game, my dad and I would drive two hours to the closest town with a computer game store (either Software Etc. or Electronics Boutique) just to pick up the newest installment. From Vohaul's Revenge to Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier, my dad and I loved these games. But, to be honest, the first play-through generally wanted to make you hurt yourself, especially when all of the commands had to be typed into the computer rather than clicked with a mouse. But that made finding something new or making something new such a thrill. I would play when my homework was done and report to my dad anything new I had found and when I woke up in the morning, he would go through anything he had found the night before. We would scheme and plan on what we would try next. Sometimes, we would find out that we had put ourselves in an unwinnable situation and would have to restore a prior save point...by the way, save points in early adventure games...do it often and make tons of new files...seriously.

Due partly to the hilarity, especially in the later games, as well as the fond memories with my dad Space Quest has remained one of my favorite adventure titles. Sure, the graphics of the original EGA graphics make Minecraft look like a 1080p HD game, the content itself was incredible.

Unfortunately, due to perceived waning interest in adventure games, the series was cancelled after Sierra was purchased by Vivendi Games. However, the fan base for Space Quest remains. As I searched for information to make sure I got my facts straight from my hazy memories, I found that fans had gotten together and made sequels of their own, some of them quite exceptional like Vohaul Strikes Back. To top it all off, the original designers Crowe and Murphy got back together and have started making a spiritual successor, SpaceVenture, via a very successful Kickstarter program. I am now very excited for the future of PC gaming.

Thanks for reading, and look out tomorrow for day 2 of the ADVENTure Calendar and beware of genetically engineered door-to-door life insurance salesmen!

 

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