Goodness, this one is late. Let me be another in a long line of people to say that blogging catches up to you when you work, especially this time of year. Normally, I would have hours of work stockpiled on my desk, but trying to take next week off just adds to the pile and that is why today's entry is a bit later in the day than normal. As we round the corner towards the week of Christmas, we are going to celebrate the season by remembering one of the greatest adventure games of all time and sadly the adventure game that heralded the end of the golden age of adventure titles. Yes, today we discuss:

Take heed of the following story, oh ye fans of shooters, to the cautionary tale of Grim Fandango. This amazing adventure title is proof that a popular genre that finally gets a game that gives you everything you might want in the genre does not mean the genre is at its peak, for it could mean it is at its end.

Grim Fandango was released in 1998 to solid critical acclaim and at a time where adventure games were bigger and better than ever before. It is a title that stands on many professional game designers' list of favorite and most influential games they played. It is a title that could easily be considered as the best adventure game of all time. It is a title that was a commercial flop and lead to the decision for LucasArts to close its adventure game titles, cancelling a number of highly anticipated and looked-forward-to sequels.

Grim Fandango was a dark comedy game put out by one of the giants of adventure games, LucasArts, and was the brain child of the venerable Tim Schafer. The game broke ground in so many ways from the amazing combination of pre-rendered backgrounds with 3D models to the darkly humorous story that drew on film noir inspirations and even inspired much of the recent, and grossly over-rated, LA Noir game.

In Grim Fandango, the player takes the role of Manny, a travel agent for the dead, who helps to assign the final destination for the recently deceased in the underworld. The characters are all rendered to look like Mexican calaca figures that appear in celebrations for the Day of the Dead. I loved the story from beginning to end, having been hooked on it from the second the disc found its way onto my CD-ROM tray. I believe I ended up finishing the game my first time in just over a week, taking breaks from my job at a local guitar store, sports practices, and homework as often as I could to play. It remains, to this day, my favorite adventure game of all time.

But the story of the Grim Fandango game is truly a sad one. It showed that genres really aren't forever when it comes to popular opinion. For those who have read my blogs and have mocked to themselves or thought that the titles I have mentioned are old and nobody cares about the adventure genre anymore. I ask you to consider for a moment what can happen to your favorite genre over the next fifteen years. Will that genre be nothing more than an influence for newer games while younger gamers will continue to say they'll "get around to playing them"? No genre is too big to fail.

This is one title I cannot recommend enough. I am not sure where this game can be tracked down at the moment, but it is worth the search. Don't believe me, go to the fan site ( and get the free demo. Once you are hooked, find it, get it, and make your gaming life that much better by playing one of the best games I have ever played. Thanks for reading.

"Run, you pigeons. It's Robert Frost!" - Manny

Check out prior entries in the ADVENTure Game Calendar 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

Day 17 - Simon the Sorcerer