A Brief History of Graphic Adventures

I was a Lucasarts child. As an education on what a good graphic adventure looks like, this was not really much of a disadvantage, but in order to be a more rounded student of the form I want to get a broader history. 

To help me craft a beautiful graphic adventure, I want to salvage the past for parts. I want to learn what works, what doesn’t, and, most importantly, what worked once but has somehow been forgotten—i.e. what I can steal, Tarantino-style. Everything is a remix

I have compiled the following list of games that I’ll be working my way through. I’m going chronologically to hopefully get a better sense of how the genre has developed over time, and there’s a solid mix of old beloved classics alongside more modern interpretations of the form. 

Except for the original Blade Runner, all of these games are currently available somewhere and I’ve linked to them where I can. 

  • Bureaucracy, 1987 (Abandonwear)
  • Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness, 1989 (GoG)
  • The Secret of Monkey Island, 1990 (Steam/GoG)
  • Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers, 1991 (GoG)
  • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, 1991 (Steam/GoG)
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, 1992 (GoG)
  • Simon the Sorcerer, 1993 (GoG)
  • Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, 1993 (GoG)
  • Day of the Tentacle, 1993 (GoG)
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road, 1993 (GoG)
  • Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, 1993 (GoG)
  • Beneath a Steel Sky, 1994 (GoG)
  • Full Throttle Remastered, 1995 (GoG)
  • Broken Sword, 1996 (GoG)
  • The Neverhood, 1996 (Abandonwear)
  • Blade Runner, 1997 (Unavailable online, but can be found in the darker places of the Internet)
  • Sanitarium, 1998 (GoG)
  • Discworld Noir, 1999 (Abandonwear)
  • The Longest Journey, 1999 (GoG)
  • Syberia, 2002 (GoG)
  • The Black Mirror, 2003 (GoG)
  • Syberia II, 2004 (GoG)
  • Sam and Max Save the World, 2006 (GoG)
  • Machinarium, 2009 (Steam)
  • L.A. Noire, 2011 (Steam)
  • To The Moon, 2011 (GoG)
  • The Dark Eye, 2012 (GoG)
  • Silent Age, 2012 (iPad)
  • Broken Age, 2014 (Steam)

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