Adventure games tickle the puzzle-solving spot in the gamer’s brain. Adventure games such as the Myst series give beautiful, interactive environments that guide the player through a story filled with danger, intrigue and generally lots of puzzles. They can even avoid that “you’ll never solve this stupid Sudoku” feeling so many of us get.
Typically these games lack the violence of FPS and action-adventure games, but that is not the case for all of them. The Walking Dead series has created the feel of being a part of a graphic novel, with your actions determining plot events.
Some of the most popular games in the adventure genre are listed below. Click on a couple and you’ll get the idea for the type of play these games involve:
- Monkey Island
- Kings Quest (it’s a series. I linked to KQ5)
- Walking Dead (Includes swearing/blood)
- The Grim Fandango
*Note: some of these games are classics, so they don’t have modern graphics.
A Little Background
Adventure games have been around a long time (1982), as far as video games are concerned. These games often pride themselves on using the best graphics available at the time and creating an interactive experience between the gamer and the story.
The best graphics available for the original King’s Quest (1983) when this genre was just getting started show that it was a different era of gaming.
Compare that to the Myst series twenty years later and you’ll see that getting out of trouble looks a lot better these days. It may not be any easier, but it sure is prettier.
CAUTIONS FOR ADVENTURE GAMES
While adventure games often lack the raw violence and fast pace of other games, some still include significant violence in their storylines as well as other adult themes. Games like Leisure Suit Larry are adult soft-porn that use the same rules as other adventure games but all of the puzzles lead you to a range of pornographic content. Other adventure games include intense horror themes.
The Walking Dead is an excellent example of both the immersive ability of an adventure game, as well as the caution that must be used due to content including both mature themes and images.
POSITIVES OF ADVENTURE GAMES
There are still many adventure games that are excellent for a wide range of gamers thanks to their ability to create suspense, develop characters, and get players to work through some seriously difficult puzzles in an interactive storyline.
Older adventure games are also be heavily text-focused, which is a benefit because they require reading and typing. These games are typically slower paced than an First Person Shooter or similar action-adventure game, which leads to more contemplative gaming.
The puzzles in adventure games also encourage trial and error, as well as use of evidence to find solutions.
The Loom and Kings Quest are two excellent older games, and the Myst series and Minecraft are two modern adventure games that are great for a range of player ages and interest.
ASK THE NEXT QUESTION
It can be easy when talking video games to simply ask “What are you playing?” and leave it at that. That’s a great place to start, but we then need to ask the next question. As parents we want to know the heart of the game and what it brings out in our gamers. You know your gamer best, so some questions for starters may be:
- What is the goal of the game?
- What do you have to do to accomplish that goal?
- What’s been the toughest part of the game so far?
- What’s been your favorite part so far?
REMEMBER THE GOAL
God calls us as parents to love our children, which includes helping them choose the highest good for themselves and others. In light of what God has done for us in Christ, this is always to point them back to who God is and what he’s already done. We are to direct their hearts to grow towards their purpose in God. Conversations sparked by games, and certainly a good adventure game, can be great building blocks in the bigger conversation about purpose and who God is to your gamer.
In the next post I address the question “What makes a great adventure game?“.