Can you feel it? Christmas is right around the corner in just a small handful of days. For me and for my family, it is a magical time of year, but it is also something of a dark time of the year as we remember the passing of my wife's parents who died right around the holiday season. So, today on the ADVENTure Day Calendar, we are going to take a look at a charming little adventure series surrounded by magic but sadly ended on a bad note for me. Today, we are going to talk about the undeniably British:

Simon was brought about in early 1993 by a UK based company called Adventure Soft. Unfortunately, many of the business decisions, including their later treatment of the Simon the Sorcerer series, would lead to their eventual demise. But before they left, they left behind a couple of gems in their Simon series.

Now, let's get the dark part of this post out of the way here and now. I have never finished Simon the Sorcerer 3D nor did I play parts four or five. I hated every moment of Simon the Sorcerer 3 because, for me, it had lost its charm in its attempt to be edgy and new. It placed more focus on being 3D than it did on trying to tell the continuing story of Simon and his dog, Chippy. Unfortunately, my failure to complete the series means that I am left with something of a cliffhanger ending from Simon the Sorcerer 2.

Now, with the harsh truth out there, let's focus on the joys that are Simon the Sorcerer parts one and two. Simon is an adventure series that follows the fate of teenage boy named Simon whose dog stumbles upon a magic book in that attic that transports the pair to a fantasy world where an evil sorcerer (Sordid) has kidnapped a good sorcerer (Calypso) and it is placed in Simon's hands to save him and eventually to save himself as the story progresses in the second entry.

Puzzles in this particular title are not horribly complicated but the payoff is rather funny. Jokes within the game include a troll on strike as he is sick of being picked on by the largest billy-goat gruff and Golem is the head of the Tolkien appreciation society, tasked with providing "the one piece of circular jewelry". Jokes are rampant throughout the story and even the sassy responses from Simon can evoke an occasional laugh or giggle from even the most serious game players.

I remember really enjoying the first two tiles in this series. In fact, memories of the fun I had came flooding back as I was considering what to write for this blog, so I went out and bought the first entry and played through it again. While some of the jokes won't translate well to the younger crowd, the 80's and 90's gamers or those who have decent knowledge of pop culture in that era will get a lot of the hidden jokes. But don't let that deter any of you younger gamers; the game has plenty of references to fairy tales we all know and love as well as fantasy references that have recently become very popular like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

While I cannot vouch for the later entries in the series, I can say that I loved the first two and the jokes in those titles are more than worth a play through or two. So get out there and find these games, get 'em, and play them.

"I can't help, I'm pedophobic." - Simon

Check out past entries in the ADVENTure Game Calendar in the series below:

Day 1 - Space Quest

Day 2 - Sam and Max

Day 3 - Full Throttle

Day 4 - Eco Quest

Day 5 - The Walking Dead

Day 6 - Still Life

Day 7 - Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist

Day 8 - Quest for Glory

Day 9 - The Adventures of Willy Beamish

Day 10 - Police Quest

Day 11 - Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Day 12 - Blade Runner

Day 13 - Gabriel Knight

Days 14 and 15 - The Wolf Among Us and King's Quest

Day 16 - Conquests of the Longbow: The Adventures of Robin Hood