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Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games"

Posted By: Jenny100

Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/07/04 06:43 PM

Which games do you know of were designed to be played by adults, and which aren't what is usually referred to as "adult games."

In another thread, Salammbo and Blackstone Chronicles were mentioned. I think the Gabriel Knight games also qualify. The main feature of these games would be that the story and characters have some complexity and aren't "dumbed down" or simplified to make them more "palatable" for little kids or what is perceived by the media to be the average teenager's mental capacity.
Posted By: Fongo

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/07/04 07:37 PM

Morpheus and Sanitarium definitely had some adult-level complexity and subtext to them. Amber and Faust (boo!) as well.
Posted By: JohnBoy

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/07/04 09:23 PM

The Orion Conspiracy.
Posted By: Becky

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/07/04 10:03 PM

I think a lot of adventure games qualify. I'd add Syberia, The Longest Journey, the Broken Sword games, Shadow of Destiny, and Ring. As soon as I post this, I'll think of ten more!

Edit: Hitchcock: The Final Cut, Zork Nemesis, The Last Express, Grim Fandango, Titanic: An Adventure Out of Time.

Question: Are the Myst games "games for adults"? Or don't they contain enough character development to qualify?
Posted By: trudysgarden

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/07/04 11:35 PM

Black Dahlia, Sanitarium, Faust for sure.

happy trails,

Carolyn
Posted By: LadyKestrel

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/08/04 02:09 AM

Obsidian, Golden Gate, and The Castle come to mind as games for grownups.
Posted By: Bryansmom

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/08/04 05:00 AM

Phantasmagoria I and II are definitely on the list, although they may have been classified as adult games on the box. I seem to remember Phantasmagoria's box had a warning on it?
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/09/04 05:49 AM

List updated in a later post...
Posted By: C'ris

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/09/04 11:25 AM

I thought of Zork Nemesis - that might not have much kid appeal.
I do think there are kids out there who play all the Myst games and are really looking forward to Expansion Packs for URU and Myst 4 Revelation. Just check out the URU Obsession Forums wink
Some kids are growing up into it I think. My mother, for instance, plays the Mysts as well as other adventure games with her grandsons (and now a great grandson) and kids with that kind of experience have fun memories of growing up with these games and will want more thumbsup
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/09/04 06:07 PM

Zork Nemesis is now added.
For some reason I missed it earlier.
Posted By: Melanie1

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/09/04 08:09 PM

I think Post Mortem & Dark Fall should be added to the list.

Weekend in Capri also seems like more of an adult game to me.

Melanie
Posted By: Bryansmom

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/10/04 12:47 AM

I don't want to upset anyone with my opinion, but I don't think Syberia should be there. I don't think I would have a problem with my 11-year-old son playing it. I also don't see anything about Dark Fall that would be adult in nature, other than the fact that it is scary. However, the scares are not graphic in nature, so I guess it would depend on the age of the child.
Happy gaming,
Beth
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/10/04 01:18 AM

I do think that Syberia is sort of borderline, like some of the others I mentioned. But the criteria is not so much whether you're OK with a kid playing the game so much as that the characters and story have enough depth and are thought-provoking enough that adults can enjoy them on a different level than younger gamers.

So a game with nothing more "mature" than a deep story and realistic characters would qualify while one that was full of profanity and/or violence, etc might not (even though the former might be rated E and the latter M in the ESRB system).

After reading a review of it, I'm unsure if The Orion Conspiracy would qualify. Has anyone else played it? The reviewer thought the story was too fragmented to have any depth. The fact that it's full of profanity (according to the reviewer) doesn't qualify it one way or the other, but I'm looking for games with better than average stories or characters.
Posted By: Llewton

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/10/04 01:36 AM

There is nothing on that list I would consider to be an adult game.I see nothing wrong with the Broken Sword and Gabriel Knight games.I played them with my niece when she was 10-12 years old. In fact I have no problem with kids playing any of the games listed above (10 years and above) other than the 2 phantasmagorias (played Phantasmagoria with her when she was 13). Most kids I know (some 10 and all 12 and above love horror plots and as long as they aren't loded with nudity and/or sex I see nothing wrong with them playing them. Many kids 10 and up I know to have loved the Indiana Jones pictures so I see no problem with Black Dahlia (it's practically theIndiana jones formula, chasing Nazis encounter the occult).Going along with this I also see nothing wrong with Zork Nemesis. I would add Blue Heat and Midnight Nowhere, which I would consider true adult games, to the list.

If Jenny's criteria is the only guide than i'd go along with all on the list as far as being enjoyable for adults as well as kids. In this aspect why aren't all the Tex Murphy games on the list? I stand by what I said before though if you want to use and adults only, not for kids criteria.

Happy gaming all,
Bill
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/10/04 04:07 AM

I see your point about Tex Murphy. He's added to the list.

The idea is not to list games that are "inappropriate" in some way for kids or that kids can't enjoy on some level. I've never played a game I couldn't have played and enjoyed on some level at 10 years old (unless it's a bad game to start with). But I don't think I'd have appreciated everything in Faust or Zork Nemesis or the Gabriel Knight games at the age of 10 the way I can now that I'm older. There's more to these games than is necessary to satisfy a 10 year old.

It's easy to pick out games that have the usual M-rated stuff in them - excessive violence, gore, profanity, sex (or some distorted version of it). It's harder to find games that are intelligent enough that adults can enjoy them (though at least some younger gamers can also).

And I agree with you about horror plots. I can remember some other kids liking horror movies when I was in 2nd grade. But it wasn't any kind of psychological stuff they were interested in. They just wanted the thrill of being scared - or of seeing a lot of gross and icky stuff. It wasn't like they thought about character motivations or anything like that afterward.
Posted By: Becky

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/10/04 01:53 PM

Hey Jenny100 -- as for Syberia, if a game can inspire this , I'd say it's the kind of game that makes you think.

P.S. -- The Last Express and Grim Fandango didn't make your final list. Although Grim Fandango IS somewhat borderline in terms of your definition, I think The Last Express clearly qualifies.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/10/04 04:53 PM

The list isn't final yet, and probably should remain open. I'll add those two.
Posted By: feardust

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/11/04 11:40 AM

Jenny, would The Dagger of Amon Ra qualify, based on your criteria?
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 05/11/04 07:08 PM

I don't know. I haven't played it.
I haven't played everything on the list, though I've played most of it. I'll add Dagger of Amon Ra.
Posted By: gatorlaw

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 01:43 AM

I am not so sure I would list them so much as adult games as games for those with a certain level of abilities and/or experience.

Many of those games my eldest son played solo and beat Myst solo,(his first MAC adventure game) without any hints/help or aid in a weeks time. He was 11 when he beat the game. I wasn't playing as Myst didn't interest me that much then.
Posted By: mszv

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 02:17 AM

So, it's not that you didn't pick good games, but I'm still unsure what you mean by "adult" exactly. They games you mentioned have some story to them, and some complexity, but I would not call most of them more adult then some of the good children's, or more appropriately young adult literature out there. I consider most of the games on your list to be in the vein of decent genre literature. Are you talking about a story driven game?

Oh, I'm not complaining about the stories, mostly, except that for most games, adults do not seem to have adult relationships. I guess that's OK, given that it's genre stuff, and it telling an adventure story, but most adventure games seem to put the protagonist in the equivalent of a cloister, at least for the duration of the game.

Grim Fandango is interesting. I'm not sure of the rating, but it's got some similarities to Finding Nemo. In Finding Nemo (very, very, very G rated!) there were some jokes and themes that could only be understood by adults.
Posted By: LadyKestrel

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 03:10 AM

Quote:
In Finding Nemo (very, very, very G rated!) there were some jokes and themes that could only be understood by adults.
That was true of many of the cartoons we used to watch as kids. They were funny on several levels. smile
Posted By: Cilla

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 03:37 AM

I would definitely put In Memoriam/Missing on the list. The whole premise of the game -the internet links- and the video clips are far too realistic.
EDIT And the E-Mails

Of course, you need a child nearby you can call on to do the arcade puzzles (well I did, anyway)


-------------------------------------------------
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 04:13 AM

I'd forgotten all about this thread.

Quote:
Originally posted by gatorlaw:
I am not so sure I would list them so much as adult games as games for those with a certain level of abilities and/or experience.
That's another way of saying it.

Quote:

Many of those games my eldest son played solo and beat Myst solo,(his first MAC adventure game) without any hints/help or aid in a weeks time. He was 11 when he beat the game. I wasn't playing as Myst didn't interest me that much then.
I don't think games like Myst were what I was originally thinking of when I posted this thread (though after all this time I can't be sure what I was thinking of). After all, even if a 6 year old is too young to solve the puzzles, he can still watch while his grandmother does it. The story is not something he couldn't understand. And there are all those pretty pictures.

I think I was thinking of something more along these lines - games with a mature theme, which aren't just "dirty" for the sake of being dirty - i.e. not full of profanity or sex or naked people just for the sake of trying to shock people or raise ratings or whatever. These things may or may not be present in the game, but if they're there, it isn't gratuitous.

It's late and I don't know if I'm making sense. Like I said, I'd forgotten all about this thread and my original reason for making it kind of got lost in people naming any game that adults could enjoy and not necessarily those with mature themes that aren't "dirty for dirty's sake." (Maybe there's a less pejorative word than "dirty" that I could use, but it's late and I'm too lazy to drag out the thesaurus).
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 04:56 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by mszv:
So, it's not that you didn't pick good games, but I'm still unsure what you mean by "adult" exactly.
I don't blame you. I think what happened here (4 months ago) is I had this idea in my head of what I was looking for, and tried to explain it but didn't do a very good job. People misunderstood and listed games that could be enjoyed by adults, but not specifically those with mature themes or themes that a child probably wouldn't "get." I decided to go with the flow rather than saying, "No that's not what I mean" to a bunch of people. And that ended up confusing you (and others too, no doubt). I think the list would really end up looking more like this (though some of these are borderline and I haven't played some others so have put question marks by them)


Amber: Journeys Beyond
Amerzone
Black Dahlia
Black Mirror
Blackstone Chronicles
The Castle (?)
The Dagger of Amon Ra (Laura Bow) (?)
The Dark Eye
Dark Fall
Faust
Gabriel Knight 1, 2, and 3
Golden Gate
Grim Fandango
The Last Express
The Longest Journey
Morpheus
Phantasmagoria 2 (?)
Post Mortem
Ring
Salammbo
Sanitarium
Shadow of Destiny (?)
Syberia
Tex Murphy
Titanic: Adventure out of Time
Zork Nemesis

A lot of these are horror games, but the idea is that it's more psychological horror than blood and guts. Important is that the characters have some depth. And there are "dark" themes in the game - not necessarily evil and corruption, but death, aging, madness, sickness, loneliness, isolation, that sort of thing.
Posted By: gatorlaw

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 05:19 AM

I didn;t even realize this was an old ressurected thread smile

Hmmm I see what you mean now. I think GK2 is an excellent example, because even though my son played much of this - there were nuamces about the story line that he would not have gotten due to his age. Like the sexual tension and conflicted way Von Gower felt towards Gabriel. This was a strong hint as to future actions on Von Gowers part.
Posted By: Becky

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 11:28 AM

I'd add Of Light and Darkness.
Posted By: mszv

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 03:19 PM

Think I got it!

Good list.
Posted By: wysewomon

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/17/04 04:03 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by gatorlaw:
I didn;t even realize this was an old ressurected thread smile

Hmmm I see what you mean now. I think GK2 is an excellent example, because even though my son played much of this - there were nuamces about the story line that he would not have gotten due to his age. Like the sexual tension and conflicted way Von Gower felt towards Gabriel. This was a strong hint as to future actions on Von Gowers part.
I really agree with this.

I'm wracking my brains to think of other things, but I can't just now. All I can think of is books... but I feel the need to say--maybe as a way of clarifying the topic with parallel circumstances?--that I was an extremely advanced reader as a kid, and though I read books by, say, Irving Stone and Mary Renault and all from 2nd grade on,and enjoyed them, re-reading them as an adult I realise that there was a lot going on there I didn't pick up on, because a child just doesn't have the life experience to appreciate the nuances etc. I think that's what Jenny's talking about.

Good thread!

WW
Posted By: ron.etti

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/19/04 05:11 PM

I would not think Amerzone is a adult game.
There is no blood or gore,just a neat airplane,
and some cool looking animals. duh
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/19/04 09:55 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by ron.etti:
I would not think Amerzone is a adult game.
There is no blood or gore,just a neat airplane,
and some cool looking animals. duh
Look at what you're calling "adult" - blood and gore?

What we are talking about is games that will have more meaning for gamers that have a little more life experience. In Amerzone,

*
*
*
m
a
y
b
e
*
s
p
o
i
l
e
r
*
*
*

think of the characters - the old man in the lighthouse,who used to be a scientist, the priest, the dictator... They used to be friends, but it all fell apart somehow and their lives took very different paths. Their dreams of "improving" Amerzone brought it to ruin. How did that happen? Their original motivations weren't so bad, were they?
Posted By: Skinter

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/19/04 11:36 PM

What about Amber: Journeys Beyond?? I don't think anybody has mentioned that game in this post, yet. If I remember correctly, that had some complex subjects in it. wave wave
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Games designed to be played by adults, not "adult games" - 09/20/04 06:35 AM

I think you're right about that.
I've added it.
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