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The List 2008: Comments and Surprises

Posted By: Space Quest Fan

The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 12:42 AM

Well what does everybody think of this years list? What was rated too high and what was rated too low? I was just wondering what eveyone thought. I was impressed at how well the older gmaes like Grim Fandango, Gabriel Knight 2, and Sanitarium did this year. The biggest surprise to me is that I expected the Monkey Island,Simon the Sorcerer, and Discworld games get a few more mentions. What surprised you?
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 02:08 AM

Hmmmmm....I am not really surprised at the results as much as I am a little dissapointed that many games mentioned are so very old. I hope every year that it will become a bit more current.

Ana wave
Posted By: Rushes

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 10:37 AM

I was surprised that an old game such as Grim Fandango could jump up 9 places from last year's #12 to this year's #3. Similarly, Riven also did very well, rising from #15 to #5. Lots of new members voting, no doubt. smile

I expected Culpa Innata to rank higher than it did.

Good to see The Lost Crown in at #7. (Although it didn't quite manage to make it onto my own list, I had too many others squawking for attention.) grin

But only 2 new games of the past year in the top 20?
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 01:42 PM

Quote:
But only 2 new games of the past year in the top 20?


This doesn't surprise me at all. In fact, the only reason a lot of games are on that list is because people played them most recently, and they are fresh in the mind when trying to come up with a list of games that you would recommend.

How else would the decidedly mediocre Jack Keane make it into the list (of what are supposed to be your favourite games of all time, remember?), right underneath Gabriel Knight 3, which really is an enduring classic... unless I'm missing the point, and this is instead supposed to be a list of "games that I played recently and would recommend because nobody's making anything really good any more"

I've only played a few adventure games in the past five years that made any sort of lasting impression on me. They would be:

Syberia II
Still Life
The Moment of Silence
Secret Files: Tunguska
DreamFall: The Longest Journey
The Lost Crown

And that's a pretty sad indictment of our favourite genre. IMO, most of the stuff that's being produced nowadays is all flash and very little substance. That would be, like:

Anything Frogwares ever made
Keepsake (very nice graphics, sorry about the puzzles)
Dead Reefs (seriously flawed controls and obtuse puzzles)
Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder (meh)

Of course, I realise that every game is going to have its fans. We all have different tastes. And the list does provide some good recommendations if you apply some filtering. From the reviews I've read, Culpa Innata may be worth seeking out...

*sigh* Oh well, at least there's flotsam's Dark Side list to look forward to,
MetzO'Magic
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 02:31 PM

The List allows a compilation of various gamer's favorites and/or the games they would recommend to others. Some people lean towards recommending the newer games (myself included) because in general it is easier to get them to run on the current crop of computers. grin

I also lean towards recommending newer games, because I want the developers to continue to create new games.

Newer games may have been played more recently by some gamers -- but they are also LESS likely to have made it to the computers of many gamers overall than a game that was released, say, three years ago. In that sense, it's actually harder for a brand new game to garner lots of votes -- especially one that's released in the last 2 or 3 months before The List is voted on.

Any game that garners a substantial number of votes means that, to a portion of the adventure gaming public, it's a game worth trying. Sometimes, if you like analyzing the details, it's helpful to look at the individual lists posted on the voting thread and see what another gamer with similar tastes has also listed, as tastes do differ.
Posted By: old lady

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 02:43 PM

Well said Becky. thumbsup Amazing that Lost Crown got so many votes when it is not due for release in the UK until July 18th, not sure about the rest of the world.
Posted By: Mad

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 03:48 PM

Hi smile

Whilst I'm definitely in favour of recommending some of the latest games I've played and enjoyed, I wouldn't necessarily put them on the list I give flotsam.
I thought THAT list had to reflect the games a person had enjoyed playing the most out of ALL the games they'd ever played think

Has the criteria been altered then ??

If old games that can be difficult to get running are not to be included maybe it would be best to say so in advance.
Such a guide line would certainly change the list I would submit lol

Personally I don't think it does "modern" developers the least bit of harm to see what kind of older games might be topping flotsam's chart if that chart is supposed to reflect gamers' preferences.

Ahhhhhhh !!
But maybe preferences aren't always the same as recommendations.
Is that where a difference of "listings" might lie ??

Cheers.

Mad wave

Posted By: Marian

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 04:12 PM

I thought The Lost Crown was terrific, and I'm still playing most of the newer adventures. But my criteria for the list was, simply, the best adventure games ever; and, in all conscience, I couldn't recommend something new over something older merely due to the fact that the older game might take an additional fifteen or twenty minutes to get running. I'm actually very glad to see so many older games on the list, because it demonstrates that others share my view that quality and excellence are worth what is sometimes a little bit of extra effort (or, to put it another way, I'm not going to recommend a book published in the last year as one of the best of all time, rather than Jane Eyre, just because the newer book might be more "accessible" on some levels).

So, I thought the list was a pretty good mix of the newer and the older games. It breaks my heart, though, when I contemplate that there may be some avid adventure-game fans out there who will balk at experiencing Pandora Directive, for example, because it might require DOSBox, and who will have to settle for some newer games that don't even come close to Pandora Directive in terms of value and entertainment. And that is why I consider metzomagic's and inferno's websites on this subject (that of getting older games running), invaluable, and a great service to gamers. wave
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 04:28 PM

Mad, here were the guidelines:

Quote:
The method is simple. You list 20 games you would recommend to someone looking for opinions on which games to play. They might not be your own top 20 games but they might be. You might decide instead to recommend a cross-section of styles or types, from all the games you have played. You might not recommend one of your personal favourites because your passion for the game is too much a result of your own idiosyncracies - not everyone likes 20 myst clones. You also might not recommend it because it is notoriously hard to get running on anything later than an abacus, scummv and dosbox notwithstanding.
But there is no rule that says you can’t; it is entirely up to you.


There is no wrong or right, my preference leans towards mixing in the new ones that are good so that folks go out and buy them and try them. If I was a developer I would feel very discouraged if I no matter what I did, I would always be second rate. I like to give them a boost of encouragement and let them know that they are doing a fine job.

Ana wave

Posted By: Mad

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 04:47 PM

Hi smile

"I like to give them a boost of encouragement and let them know that they are doing a fine job"

I personally don't feel that our submissions to flotsam's list should be compromised because of the chance that a new developer might be disappointed with what he sees there ....

Maybe we should start a separate thread for newer releases only that would allow players to give their opinions all in the one place - for any developers that happen to be looking in ??

Although new developers that DO look in on any kind of regular basis will already know that Gameboomer members are some of their greatest supporters thumbsup

Cheers.

Mad wave
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 04:57 PM

Mad, I feel you are getting defensive where it is not necessary to do so. As has been stated, there is no right or wrong. This thread asked for comments and surprises, and we are stating them. No one is picking on anyone nor saying that anyones opinion is wrong.

Ana wave



Posted By: Mad

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 07:31 PM

Hi BrownEyedTigre smile

I don't feel I have anything to be defensive about and I am certainly not accusing anyone of being right or wrong.

I was merely following up and offering my comments on the post in which you talk about new developers possibly getting discouraged.

This led me to question the purpose of flotsam's list.

I had always considered it to be a way of taking note and sharing the titles of the best loved or highest recommended games by members (purely to see which games attracted the most mentions) for the benefit of members.
I had never considered that it was to be a sounding board for new developers as that could surely change which games people might include in their selections.

Perhaps it would have been better to have followed up and given my opinion in a separate thread.

Cheers.

Mad wave
Posted By: Space Quest Fan

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 07:39 PM

I must say Lost Crown was a surprise for me. I had only heard of it recently and it seems like I need to give it a try after so many people had it on their lists. thumbsup
Posted By: smulan

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 07:49 PM

I´m a little surprised that nintendo ds is represented by 2 games only - each with one (my) vote. (smiley)
Haven't you heard DS is the future of adventuregaming? (smiley two)
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 07:58 PM

I'm a little confused about the whole list of 2008 smirk

I thought 2008 means newer or games played a little before 2008..
There are alot of Great games from 2005 to 2008...

If I'm wrong...Please someone correct me...Its just that every year this list is done...There are always OLD games from 1995 put on the list...Is this Fair duh

thanks
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 08:09 PM

Darleen -- you can vote for old adventure games or new adventure games while voting for The List. It's completely up to you.

Flotsam explains the voting at the beginning of the list here. In some of the examples, flotsam mentions the Tex Murphy games, which are older games, for instance.

As flotsam says in his initial post at the link above:

Quote:
No game is excluded, if it meets the criteria of being an adventure game. We all know what that is when we see it, so don’t get too hung up on the detail.

Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 08:17 PM

Thanks, Becky

I just thought maybe its getting a little old every year voting for the same old games....The newer games I think doesn't have a chance against some of the older games...

For example: I did love, & enjoy Sanitarium, but I don't feel its fair to have that game on the list after some years gone by..

Just my thoughts.. think
Posted By: chrissie

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 08:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Mad
.......

This led me to question the purpose of flotsam's list.

I had always considered it to be a way of taking note and sharing the titles of the best loved or highest recommended games by members (purely to see which games attracted the most mentions) for the benefit of members.
I had never considered that it was to be a sounding board for new developers as that could surely change which games people might include in their selections.
.........


Hi Mad wave flotsam set some basic guidelines which clearly stated that your list of game recommendations don't have to necessarily include your own personal favourites but, it was up to the individual. So no rights or wrongs!

To me the purpose is to compile a cross-section of games we have each enjoyed playing that other players may also enjoy.

I have personally included a few older games, many more recent to newer ones & a few from Independant Developers. Not because I am carrying a torch for any of them, but because I enjoyed playing them all immensely & I hope that they can all be played on more up-to-date systems.

Unfortunately the latter was a big consideration for me as, aside from the more modern games with bugs/action sequences, I see many older games listed which are problematic or impossible to play on modern systems. E.g. what is the point of several people recommending "Amber" to me - I for one can't play that on the system I've got!

While it's interesting to see many older games being listed, how useful are recommendations of games that are either difficult to get hold of or to get running? smile

Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 08:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Becky
The List allows a compilation of various gamer's favorites and/or the games they would recommend to others. Some people lean towards recommending the newer games (myself included) because in general it is easier to get them to run on the current crop of computers. grin

I also lean towards recommending newer games, because I want the developers to continue to create new games.

Newer games may have been played more recently by some gamers -- but they are also LESS likely to have made it to the computers of many gamers overall than a game that was released, say, three years ago. In that sense, it's actually harder for a brand new game to garner lots of votes -- especially one that's released in the last 2 or 3 months before The List is voted on.

Any game that garners a substantial number of votes means that, to a portion of the adventure gaming public, it's a game worth trying. Sometimes, if you like analyzing the details, it's helpful to look at the individual lists posted on the voting thread and see what another gamer with similar tastes has also listed, as tastes do differ.


Well, what Becky says makes a lot of sense. All I was trying to say was... that The List seems to be a bit cluttered with *very average* stuff that's on there only because it was just recently released. And it doesn't give the developers valuable feedback if you 'vote' for their stuff this way, when it isn't actually very good, right?

OK, so the older stuff may be a bit tougher to get running on newer systems. But some of us techies that lurk here can help out with that, no? rolleyes

Regards,
MetzO'Magic
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 08:56 PM

Originally Posted By: metzomagic
[
Well, what Becky says makes a lot of sense. All I was trying to say was... that The List seems to be a bit cluttered with *very average* stuff that's on there only because it was just recently released. And it doesn't give the developers valuable feedback if you 'vote' for their stuff this way, when it isn't actually very good, right?

Regards,
MetzO'Magic


I would never put a game on my list that I did not think was great. My new ones were most definitely games that I would love to see set as standard for others. I have bookshelves overflowing with games here, so I was not lacking in choices.

Ana
Posted By: GBC

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 10:26 PM

I agree Darleen....Wouldn't it be nice to have two seperate lists. One for the all-time best and one for the best games of the year. I have played some really fabulous games way back but I have recently played some really fantastic ones. Lost Crown for one--yet Syberia was incredible-so it's really hard to combine the two . Good for the older games but I think the newer games need to be recognized more . With more of us running Win Vista--most of the older games won't play anyway. idea
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/06/08 11:06 PM

Metzo -- I should defend to the death your right to say that four of my choices for this year's list are "...all flash and very little substance." lol But I also strongly disagree with your assessment of them, or I wouldn't have voted for them.

GBC -- flotsam already does this list for us and the DarkSide List for us. It is a tremendous amount of work. Hours and hours, actually.

Yet another vote, for games from the past year only, would add even more work, and I'm not sure that the results would be much different than if you went through the current final List we just finished and noted the games that released in 2007/2008.

I do understand that it's difficult to compare games that are ten or more years apart. But 20 choices does afford the chance to include both new and old games on everyone's list.
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 12:22 AM

Becky, hi,

Look, I know I've ruffled some fur here, but all I'm trying to say is... I have seen a marked decline in the quality of adventure games being produced in the last 5 years or so. To lend some perspective to this observation, I have about 100 of these games sitting on my shelf, and have been reviewing them semi-professionally since... circa 1997.

Because I consider my gaming time to be valuable, I try to read reviews from a few reputable sites before I opt to purchase a game. Focusing on the past 3 years, this practice has led me to play exactly *5 adventure games* in those 3 years, which were:

2006
----
Keepsake (because the graphics looked really good, I thought I might review it for Quandary. Alas, I disliked the puzzle design so much that I opted to let someone else review it because I would have trashed it)

Dreamfall (not your typical adventure, but the story was so good it turned out to be another 5-star effort from Ragnar)

Secret Files: Tunguska (finally, good graphics *and* good puzzles. A rare find these days)

2007
----
Secrets of Atlantis (again, nice graphics but weak puzzles)

2008
----
The Lost Crown (another solid effort from Jonathan Boakes)

The main point here is that whereas before I would have played at least 10 adventure games or so a year, I'm down to playing about 1 or 2 a year. The rest of my time I spend *replaying older games* or playing RPGs.

In fact, this is one of the primary reasons Rosemary and Gordon are throwing in the towel over at Quandary: the games just aren't fun to play any more. It's typically more of a chore than a joy to play (or should I say, slog through) one of the latest releases.

Far be it from me to dis games just because they are new. I just don't think they make 'em like they used to sad

Has anyone else noticed this trend, or is it just me?!

MetzO'Magic
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 12:28 AM

Now I am more confused than ever. If you haven't played them, how can you judge them?

Ana
Posted By: alkis21

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 12:31 AM

Thanks to the people who mentioned my game, I appreciate it.
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 12:46 AM

MetzO'Magic ...I respect your views...

But my opinion wasn't about new games being not worth it....
My point was about the list not being fair to the newer games..Year after year its mostly everyones choice on the older games...Not the newer games...

I just think there are so many GREAT newer games that are out right now that I have played....Some of them you can't compare to the older games....Its not a FAIR Vote in my opinion... duh
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:01 AM

Well, (hoping that flotsam doesn't mind), I've taken my own advice and have compiled a list of the adventures drawn from the List 2008 that were released in 2007 and 2008 (since we're only partway through 2008). I'm going by the release dates in the PAGODA adventure game database.

Some of these games are so new that they have been released only in Europe but not in the US, or only in the US, but not in Europe, or only via download (though a release on CD/DVD is expected later). In a couple of cases, the games have (as far as I know) only been released as of today in languages other than English. grin

So -- here's the list of 2007-2008 adventure releases that made the List 2008, along with the number of votes each received. Let me know if I've left any games out (keeping this absolutely accurate is hard).

29 The Lost Crown
19 Culpa Innata
14 Jack Keane
13 Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder
13 Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis/vs Arsene Lupin
9 Dead Reefs
9 Dracula: Origin
8 Aura 2: The Sacred Rings
6 Art of Murder: FBI Confidential
6 Overclocked: A History of Violence
5 Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun
5 East Side Story
5 Destination: Treasure Island
5 Last Half of Darkness: Beyond the Spirit’s Eye
4 AGON: The Lost Sword of Toledo
4 Anacapri: The Dream
4 Perry Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim/ Immortals of Terra
4 Sam and Max: Season 1
4 Undercover: Operation Wintersun
3 Ankh 2: The Heart of Osiris
3 Belief and Betrayal
3 Diamonds in the Rough
3 Rhem 3: The Secret Library
3 Sam and Max: Season 2
2 Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb/A Queen’s Destiny
2 Ghost in the Sheet
2 Limbo of the Lost
2 Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull
2 Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
2 Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy
1 Delaware St. John: The Seacliff Tragedy
1 Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon
1 Hotel Dusk: Room 215
1 Portal
1 Sinking Island
1 Yoomurjak’s Ring

Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:05 AM

BECKY !!! You are the Best !!!! bravo

That is a Great list... bravo

Works for me...I hope all the developers of the newer games feel the same way....

Lost Crown is Tops for me... yay
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:07 AM

Wow! YOu did that fast Becky. Awesome! :Bravo:

Ana wave
Posted By: catsmom

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:10 AM

I thought the list was for your favorite games YOU would recommend to New players. Doesnt matter IF they were old or new.
smile
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:24 AM

Catsmom -- that's right, it doesn't matter if the games are old or new -- you vote for those you'd recommend.

I pulled this "recent release list" from the overall 2008 List to distinguish newer games from older games as another way to analyze/comment on the 2008 List, because people seemed interested in looking at the newer games. It's not meant in any way to detract from the overall, complete List that's stickied above.
Posted By: GBC

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:37 AM

Thanks Becky. You always do such a fantastic job keeping all of us so informed. thumbsup
Posted By: flotsam

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 07:25 AM

Awesome job Becky - and there is no way I would mind.
How we all use the list is up to each and every one of us. I confess I started it as a way for me to find out what I should play, as I had no idea there were so many adventure games out there. Its just continued since then.
I regularly look at the list to get an idea of the newer games that people rated well, in order to think what I might play next. I will do the same this year, and bump a few of my backlog up the order.
One reason for expanding the number of game selections is to take account of the ever growing number of games. We started with 10 choices, then went to 15, and now 20 (or 21). I think thats the best way to cover the field. If we start excluding older games, do we also exclude any games that are hard to find, that you can't buy retail, that haven't been released worldwide yet, anything that won't play on xp duh It gets a little arbitrary and a little difficult.
In the end, its a bit of fun, and hopefully a resource for those that want to use it that way.
Now I am off to see Nickie at the darkside devil
Posted By: catsmom

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 09:49 AM

Out of all the games I have played over the years I have liked probably 95% of them. Forever worlds and Limbo of the lost are the few I didnt like. I have a few friends who play adventure games and I only recommend games that would play on their systems, why recommend a game that wont?
But I do enjoy reading the list to see how my favorite games rate as favorites of other boomers.Also I like reading the list from the Darkside to see if there is a favorite game that I might try to play. I look forward to the list every year smile
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 12:54 PM

Ana, hi,

Well, if nothing else I at least got people talking about what The List really means...

Quote:
Now I am more confused than ever. If you haven't played them, how can you judge them?


That's what reviews are for. Or do you imagine that those of us who review games do it just for the heck of it? You see, we're not all BAAG (Buy All Adventure Games) specialists. I have a limited amount of time to spend gaming, and so I want to maximise that amount of time by playing games that are good. Since I do review games myself, I'll buy the occasional game 'on spec' because I think it might be good. Such was actually the case with The Lost Crown. It wasn't even released in Europe yet, but I imported it (at a ridiculously high price of $120 by the time I had paid all the import duties) from the U.S. and reviewed it for Quandary (now metzomagic.com):

metzomagic. com The Lost Crown review

But for the most part, I try to read reviews by at least 2 or 3 reviewers that I tend to see eye-to-eye with before purchasing a game. I don't typically go by the GameRankings or metacritics web average scores, because I know the mainstream sites are unfairly harsh on adventure games. But I do use those sites as a 'launch pad' for finding reviews. So believe me, I know when a game is a stinker, because I've taken the trouble to read several reviews of it.

Now... that list that Becky compiled of the games that were released in 2007 and 2008 is interesting. 9 people, for instance, recommended Dead Reefs. Aside from Limbo of the Lost, it's got the worst reviews for a (recent) adventure game that I can remember. So do you think it's a good idea that it's fairly high up on a list of games that you would recommend others to play?

So all I'm saying is that a lot of games appear to be on that list just because they were recently released, not because they are worth playing. And that is really all I'm saying.

Regards,
MetzO'Magic
P.S. And just because an older game might be a bit difficult to get running in XP or Vista is no reason it should be excluded from The List. There are plenty of us techies lurking here who can help out.
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 01:27 PM

Metzo -- I think you may be placing a lot of confidence in the opinions of reviewers, some of whom, as you mention, are not particularly interested in adventure games in general.

While it's fine to judge for yourself by placing confidence in what a reviewer has said, I find it a little strange to tell someone who has actually played a game like Dead Reefs that they aren't supposed to like it or vote to recommend it, based solely on the opinion of a reviewer or reviewers that you've read (and especially when you haven't even played or finished the game yourself).

Those of us who enjoyed Dead Reefs mostly didn't like the interface. We enjoyed the game for other reasons -- particularly (in my case) the story. It has been my observation from reading reviews from non-adventure sites, that the reviewers frequently don't finish the game before reviewing it -- so the impact of the story would not even make it into their review.

You mention gamerankings -- I've been meaning to do a comparison with that site, which might be interesting. Let me work on it a bit.



Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 02:34 PM

Below are the average review rankings of PC adventure games based on reviews by major sites. I got these 50 games by searching on this page. You can get a different list by using different search parameters. I searched for Adventure: General (note later changed to Adventure: All), all dates, PC platform, Best Ranking, Minimum Reviews was 10, Average score of Main Sites, 50 results.

EDIT: I did a second search for Adventure-All instead of Adventure-General, which turned up broader results. I'm editing the list below to reflect this.

You can change the parameters. For instance, I could have searched for a Minimum of 5 reviews, but that tends to give mostly just the reviews from the adventure gaming sites, and I wanted to show more of a general ranking, so I asked for a minimum of 10 reviews. You can also search for more than 10 reviews, but this restricts the numbers of games severely, because adventure games don't tend to be reviewed by lots of generalist sites (if that makes sense).

The results are below. You'll notice that a few of these games are not adventures -- so just mentally elimininate them. Despite this flaw, I think the results below do show you which adventure games the generalist sites/reviewers thought were superior.

I'll repost the top 50 from the 2008 Twisty List below that for comparison.


1. Grim Fandango 93.000%
2. The Curse of Monkey Island 89.900%
3. The Longest Journey 88.815%
4. Sam & Max: Season 1 88.063%
5. Sam & Max Episode 205: What's New, Beelzebub? 86.100%
6. Indigo Prophecy 84.898%
7. Sanitarium 84.105%
8. Syberia 83.587%
9. Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon 83.289%
10. Escape from Monkey Island PC LucasArts 83.138%
11. Sam & Max Episode 105: Reality 2.0 82.741%
12. Sam & Max Episode 201: Ice Station Santa 82.563%
13. Sam & Max Episode 202: Moai Better Blues 82.300%
14. Outcast 82.017%
15. Syberia II 81.712%
16. Sam & Max Episode 101: Culture Shock 81.500%
17. Myst IV: Revelation 81.278%
18. Sam & Max Episode 203: Night of the Raving Dead 81.231%
19. Sam & Max Episode 104: Abe Lincoln Must Die! 80.889%
20. Sam & Max Episode 106: Bright Side of the Moon 80.571%
21. Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned 79.333%
22. Sam & Max Episode 102: Situation: Comedy 79.289%
23. Myst V: End of Ages 79.143%
24. Myst III: Exile 78.890%
25. Evidence: The Last Ritual 78.059%
26. Blade Runner 78.031%
27. Return to Mysterious Island 77.773%
28. Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space 77.700%
29. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 77.058%
30. Uru: Ages Beyond Myst 76.981%
31. Law & Order: Justice is Served 76.793%
32. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 76.750%
33. Destination: Treasure Island 76.643%
34. The Egyptian Prophecy 76.455%
35. Runaway: A Road Adventure 76.338%
36. Still Life 75.895%
37. Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths 75.846%
38. Ankh 75.811%
39. AGON: The Mysterious Codex 75.750%
40. Omikron: The Nomad Soul 75.344%
41. Dracula: Origin 75.158%
42. Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis 74.921%
43. Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek 74.833%
44. Zork Grand Inquisitor 74.818%
45. Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game 74.774%
46. Echo: Secrets of the Lost Cavern 74.750%
47. A Quiet Weekend in Capri 74.364%
48. Sam & Max Episode 103: The Mole, the Mob and the Meatball 74.267%
49. Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne 74.235%
50. Bone: The Great Cow Race 74.192%
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 02:38 PM

The result of the top 50 in the 2008 Twisty List (taken from here ), going from game #1 to game #50 (numbers on the right are the numbers of votes each game received):

1. Syberia 55
2. The Longest Journey 51
3. Grim Fandango 36
4. Syberia 2 36
5. Riven 32
6. Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within 30
7. The Lost Crown 29
8. Black Mirror 28
9. Keepsake 27
10. Dark Fall: The Journal 26
11. Sanitarium 26
12. Dreamfall 26
13. Still Life 25
14. Myst/RealMyst 24
15. Myst 3: Exile 22
16. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 21
17. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars/Circle of Blood 20
18. Secret Files: Tunguska 20
19. AmerZone: The Explorer’s Legacy 19
20. Culpa Innata 19
21. Moment of Silence 19
22. Zork Nemesis 19
23. Runaway: A Road Adventure 18
24. Scratches 18
25. Tex Murphy: Pandora Directive 18
26. Nibiru 16
27. Zork Grand Inquisitor 16
28. Barrow Hill 15
29. The Secret of Monkey Island 15
30. Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened 15
31. Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned 14
32. Jack Keane 14
33. Uru Chronicles 14
34. Return to Mysterious Island 14
35. Shivers 14
36. Amber: Journeys Beyond 13
37. Aura: Fate of the Ages 13
38. Blackstone Chronicles 13
39. Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder 13
40. Day of the Tentacle 13
41. The Curse of Monkey Island 13
42. The Neverhood 13
43. Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis/vs Arsene Lupin 13
44. Black Dahlia 12
45. Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror 12
46. Obsidian 12
47. Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon 12
48. 80 Days 11
49. Riddle of the Sphinx: An Egyptian Adventure 11
50. Timelapse 11
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 03:14 PM

Thanks Becky, that was a lot of work, very impressive!

Ana wave
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 03:17 PM

Becky, hi,

Quote:
Metzo -- I think you may be placing a lot of confidence in the opinions of reviewers, some of whom, as you mention, are not particularly interested in adventure games in general.


Obviously, I have enough experience with adventure games to only trust reviews from certain sites, and over the years I've managed to find certain reviewers whose slant I've largely agreed with across the games we've both played. I also tend to steer clear of fan sites who give every adventure game a glowing review just because it's an adventure game.

As I said before, the numbers mean very little when it comes to adventure games, because the bad scores given by the mainstream sites inevitably drag the average down. You have to do the dirty work and actually read through a cross section of the reviews for every title. If I can tell the reviewer obviously doesn't like adventure games, then I take that review with a *very* large grain of salt. You might find this article interesting:

http://metzomagic.com/showArticle.php?index=679

It explains why I'm not especially enamoured with the way the mainstream sites normally treat adventure games ;-)

And finally... I do respect the fact that some people may have enjoyed something like Dead Reefs. Every game has its legion of followers. What I'm wondering though, is why it would appear on someone's top 20 list, which is what The List is supposed to be, no? If you're new to the genre and haven't played that many games, there's no need to go padding your submission with all the games you happened to play even if they're garbage. That just dilutes the value of The List.

Regards,
MetzO'Magic

Posted By: MaG

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 03:23 PM

I loved Dead Reefs.
One man's garbage is another man's treasure.

Do you think I should play more games?


It is on my top 21 list. lol
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 06:55 PM

Quote:
One man's garbage is another man's treasure.


Fair play MaG, you are indeed correct praise

I suppose if someone is just going by the recommendations and doesn't bother to supplement what they glean from The List with a little research before shelling out for a game... then it's their own fault if they wind up with a stinker!

Well, I suppose we've beat this one to death, so time to call it a day. I'll admit that I can be a bit heavy-going at times...

Regards,
MetzO'Magic
Posted By: chrissie

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: metzomagic


........All I was trying to say was... that The List seems to be a bit cluttered with *very average* stuff that's on there only because it was just recently released......

OK, so the older stuff may be a bit tougher to get running on newer systems. But some of us techies that lurk here can help out with that, no? rolleyes

Regards,
MetzO'Magic


What's great about the list is that it is so diverse! I did wonder though how many of the games that you put into the category of "very average" you've actually played as you have admitted on a later post that you haven't played many new games! smile

As for the older stuff, I've got quite a few games that were listed that will mean a visit over to your site when I have time to get round to them - & will be grateful for the help! But what about games you just can't find? smile

I'll just add that I loved Dead Reefs also! lol

Posted By: colpet

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 07:58 PM

I seem to be one of the culprits that have old games on my list, Rhem 2 (2005) and Alida (2004) being the most current. However, to put it in perspective, I've played over 160 games, so I've got to know exactly what kind of games I like.
I don't play many new games now, but I have experienced a few - Voyage, which I never finished and Keepsake which I liked. The newer games just don't interest me, mostly because I like the Myst-type ones, and they are not in vogue right now.
Posted By: gatorlaw

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 09:29 PM

Some of us (at least myself) are somewhat influenced by the thrust or intent as I saw it of the list when it first began. Wow has been a while with the twisty list Thanks Flotsam, as long as the GB christmas poem appears I guess you have to hang in there with the twisty list smile Thank you.

So mine always have been my favorite in a critical and also just sheer gaming pleasure sense The ones that when I heard that opening music (Rose Tattoo, CMI or Syberia etc) just made me glow deep down. Others were the same but they also stood out from many other games and contributed something unique to the genre.

As for Dead Reefs, I really enjoyed it and not in spite of the poor interface ( it really did suffer) but because of the unique story and plot basis. Didn't make my top 20 of all time list but definitely was one of my top 10 of recent games to play. smile
Posted By: Space Quest Fan

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 09:30 PM

Some things never change. Becky never ceases to amaze me. All I can say is I feel very lucky to belong to an awesome site like Gameboomers. Years ago I read a post about Faust written by Becky that just left me in awe. I just wanted Becky to know just how much I appreciate her hard work and dedication to making this the friendliest site on the web. bravo
Posted By: Space Quest Fan

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 10:10 PM

It was a breeze to compile my list. I just put down my 21 favorite games of all time. I never even gave a thought to when a game came out. My all time favorite game was an oldie. Gabriel Knight 2 The Beast Within. wave
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Space Quest Fan
Some things never change. Becky never ceases to amaze me. All I can say is I feel very lucky to belong to an awesome site like Gameboomers. Years ago I read a post about Faust written by Becky that just left me in awe. I just wanted Becky to know just how much I appreciate her hard work and dedication to making this the friendliest site on the web. bravo


I second that .... Becky is very fair...Appreciation in order for all the hard work she does to make us all happy. bravo
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/07/08 11:09 PM

Metzo -- your "We're Not Dead Yet" article brought back memories from the first time I read it! Some great commentary in it.

Space Quest Fan and Darlene -- wow -- thanks for that vote of confidence. grin

Well, I've done some comparisons of the GameRankings list and the 2008 Twisty List.

The GameRankings list is a compilation of review scores from various sites across the web (including both adventure sites and general gaming sites) and game magazines. So I would characterize the comparison as "professional" reviewers, many of whom play and review several different game genres (the GameRankings scores), as compared to the votes of (mostly) avid adventure game players grin (the 2008 Twisty List results).

Two further explanations -- sometimes GameRankings includes a game that our community would not label as an adventure game. Those I've just left alone. The other issue is that Sam & Max is ranked in GameRankings by individual episode and also as Sam & Max Season One, while on The List we voted only for Season One and Season Two, not the episodes. Since the Sam & Max games rank so highly on GameRankings, they dominate the top twenty available slots there.

Similarities:

Games that made the top 50 on both GameRankings and the 2008 Twisty List (although there are some differences in the place rankings within the top 50 here, simply ending up anywhere in the top 50 on both lists is, I feel, an indication that this is a very good game).

Grim Fandango
The Curse of Monkey Island
The Longest Journey
Sanitarium
Syberia
Syberia II
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
Myst III: Exile
Return to Mysterious Island
Dreamfall
Uru
Runaway: A Road Adventure
Still Life
Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis
Zork Grand Inquisitor

Similarities, Part Deux

These are games that were rated highly on the Twisty List, but didn't meet the search parameters I chose for the GameRankings list because they had fewer than 10 reviews -- usually these are older games or (in the case of The Lost Crown) much newer games that were reviewed mostly by the adventure sites, with just a few reviews from generalist sites. I'm including their GameRankings percentages, but keep in mind that a significant portion of the grade comes from adventure sites, so these percentages do not fully reflect the views of generalist reviewers.

Riven 84 percent
Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within 92 percent
The Lost Crown 79 percent
Myst 90 percent
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 93 percent
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars/Circle of Blood 84 percent


Significant Differences

There are three games that made the top 50 on GameRankings, but did not garner even one vote on this year's Twisty List.

Escape from Monkey Island
Evidence: The Last Ritual
Bone: The Great Cow Race

Although Sam & Max Season One and Season Two did garner a few votes on the Twisty List, there is a remarkable gap between the way these adventures are regarded by generalist reviewers and by the Twisty List voters. They took up 9 of the top 20 slots in GameRankings, but received only a handful of votes on the Twisty List.

Significant Differences Part Deux

These are games that made the top twenty on the Twisty List, but were ranked much lower than that by generalist reviewers. For contrast, I'm including both the Twisty List Ranking (TLR) and the GameRankings Percentage (GRP).

The Black Mirror TLR #8, GRP 64 percent
Keepsake TLR #9, GRP 69 percent
DarkFall: The Journal TLR #10, GRP 73 percent
Secret Files: Tunguska TLR tied for #17, GRP 73 percent
AmerZone: The Explorer's Legacy TLR tied for #19, GRP 73 percent
Culpa Innata TLR tied for #19, GRP 70 percent

I'm still thinking about what all this means. Is there a common factor in the games that are appreciated by both the reviewers at various generalist sites and by avid adventure gamers? Why do adventure gamers love (for instance) Black Mirror when the professional reviewers are so unimpressed with it? And why aren't more avid adventure gamers playing the Sam & Max games?
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 03:22 AM

Becky....

I do not like the Sam & Max games....Maybe cause its too babiest for me duh Where as the Monkey games & Jack Keane game to me were different....

Sam & MaX were so matter of fact games...I can't explain it...Too Stupid in a sense....That's my opinion...

Maybe it was the Characters ...I don't really know...WHY...? I thought the Sam & Max games were for kids... UMMM duh
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 03:35 AM

Hi Darleen -- Sam & Max seems...unsophisticated? lol Just curious -- did you play the demos, or was your impression formed by the trailers, screenshots, etc.?

I'm looking at the list of games that did much better on the Twisty List than on GameRankings. One thing that they have in common is that many of the games (DarkFall is an exception here) were translated into English. This may just be a coincidence, though.
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 03:40 AM

Becky...

I got Sam & Max Season One on a trade from GB's...I really hadn't a clue about the game at all...I seen trailers ...I thought I would love it...

When I played I was 15 minutes into it...That was enough for me..
I just can't explain it...This game was too Stupid I still have the game...Will trade it at some point....

I think I will put it on my list at the Trading forum lol

Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 04:26 AM

Darlene -- thanks for the info. lol It sounds like the humor in the game either "grabs" you or...it really doesn't.
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 12:35 PM

Becky, hi again,

Firstly, thanks for the analysis. Awesome! Then:

Quote:
I'm still thinking about what all this means. Is there a common factor in the games that are appreciated by both the reviewers at various generalist sites and by avid adventure gamers? Why do adventure gamers love (for instance) Black Mirror when the professional reviewers are so unimpressed with it? And why aren't more avid adventure gamers playing the Sam & Max games?


From my experience, the generalist reviewers just don't have the patience to sit through an adventure game of any appreciable length, no matter how good it is (unless LucasArts made it, and they have fond memories of playing it when they were 15). They especially don't like:

* Long, expositional dialogues
* Difficult/contrived inventory-based puzzles (like the 'ducky' one in The Longest Journey, or Gabe having to disguise himself in GK3)

The reason they like the Telltale Sam & Max series is the same reason I (and I'm assuming other avid adventure gamers) *don't* like them: they're short.

Of course, there are generalist reviewers that can transcend all that and actually give an adventure game a fair review, but they are few and far between these days.

MetzO'Magic
Posted By: sierramindy

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 03:42 PM

For me, Sam and Max just didn't translate well into 3D characters. I liked them as cartoons in Sam and Max Hit the road, but Season One just turned me completely off (too realistic in some way that I couldn't stomach maybe?) so I didn't even bother with Season Two although I could have played it on GameTap since I was still a subscriber at that time.
Posted By: catsmom

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 08:50 PM

What qualifications does a reviewer have? Is it just a gamer who writes his/her opinions well? Or do they sit all day and play games and then write their reviews, and get paid for it? I usually read reviews after I have played the game just to see if the reviewer and I agree.
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:07 PM

Hi catsmom -- I think that qualifications vary widely for reviewers, depending on the particular website. I wouldn't say that there is one overall profile for a reviewer to which all websites adhere, except (perhaps) the ability to write well.

Posted By: catsmom

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:23 PM

Thanks Becky smile I only read reviews from this site smile BTW thanks for all you do here, you are appreciated very much smile I hope you do get some time to Play the games too.
Posted By: flotsam

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:28 PM

I think you are probably correct Becky - except of course that GB reviewers get paid handsomly and are the envy of the rest of us praise
Perhaps we over-analyse things too much? Nothing is perfect, least of all a list of impressions. I don't think we try and pretend that the GB list is the font of all wisdom - its just what a bunch of like-ish minded people suggest to their forum friends they might like to play.
Posted By: HeavenlyJoy

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:28 PM

I played Grim Fandango Recently, I think there was alot of trading it on the Trade forum recently anyway, I LOVED it, it was the funniest game I have ever played LOL... it really was a GREAT surprise still that it got that high a rating...

I REALLY didnt like the Ending of the Black Mirror, although I thought it was a good game, I couldnt recommend it for that REASON,

I am not surprised the Lost Crown did so well, I loved it myself, and think even if I played it 5 or 6 years ago, it would be on my top 10,
I do agree also, we tend to remember what is FRESH in our minds
and pick that way too..

GREAT list, I am also printing it, so I can look for games I haven't played and review others...
Marcia
Posted By: Becky

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:30 PM

Hi flotsam -- you are so right. lol Over-analyzing things is what I do best.
Posted By: MaG

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: flotsam
...except of course that GB reviewers get paid handsomly...


Okay - reviewers - No laughing from the bleachers please.
Posted By: looney4labs

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 09:50 PM

Awwww MaG, I wanted to keep that our deep dark secret puppy
Posted By: chrissie

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 10:01 PM

Hi flotsam, I've got to thank you again for making the effort for doing this list. It may be a list of impressions & it may not be "the font of all wisdom" but it is interesting enough for me to look at games mentioned a few times to read up on reviews on them. In the case of older games, if they appeal to me (analytical reviews are best!) & I think there is any possibility that I can play them on my system via "Steve's XP corner" I will buy if I do come across them!

But it was a little sad, I thought, that there was so many negative/cynical comments aimed at the motives of players who included either newer or Independent games over older games in their lists (& personally I found that insulting!). But the final list, hopefully, reflects a diversity of the best games, old & new, that include somthing to cater for all tastes! smile praise
Posted By: catsmom

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 11:17 PM

If your voting for YOUR favorite game How can you be wrong! New games old games whats the difference..nada.95% of my games are my favorites it was hard to choose..If a reviever gave a bad review of blue cars I'd go out and buy one anyway, no difference in games..
Posted By: Phoebe

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/08/08 11:42 PM

For me not have surprises in the List, i like very much of the inclusion of The Lost Crown in the 6,but i think the Barrow Hill deserved a better place in the listgrin

Love Maria hearts
Posted By: Gandalf

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/09/08 04:11 PM

I was surprised that The Longest Journey didn't win and that the third person games were dominate.
Posted By: MaG

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/09/08 04:42 PM

Longest Journey is #2 - check here.
Are you meaning you want it #1?
It's been running as #2 for the last several years in our Annual recommendations. Check here.
Posted By: judith

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/09/08 06:56 PM

It just shows that what one person loves, another person hates. Yes, I loved Keepsake & all the myst like games, but my favorites are dark mysteries & spooky games. One of the games on my list was "Shady Brook". I loved that game, but it looks like I was the only one. Thats what I love about GB. We're all different but the same. LOL. Judy
Posted By: chrissie

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/09/08 07:43 PM

Hi judith, I'm sure that I'm not the only one where there are so many games that I loved that I just couldn't include in a list of 20 - 21!

I really liked Shady Brook too & I know many others did also. smile
Posted By: Benedict

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/09/08 10:01 PM

We should, really, really narrow down the games list to games released within the last few years. Otherwise how would the newer games be recognised? They could never compete with Tex Murphy Series or Gabriel Knight series or Myst series with 4-8 disks and lots of FMVs starring hollywood actors because these games were from a golden age when game companies like Sierra and Cyan, Access, Lucasarts and Take 2 etc had huge budgets that new developers don't.

Even with a moderate budget, Games from the newer generation developers could never take the place of vintage classics like these as the classics have a permanent place in gamers' hearts. If there is a need to put everything together in a list, then let's have two separate lists - a list for the best games of all times and a list for the best games within the last five years.

Let us keep the golden games on a separate pedestal and let gamers recognise and choose gems among the newer games.
Posted By: Mary

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 12:45 AM

Sounds like it might be a bit complicated to try and figure out if a particular game fits in the "past 5 years" category. I know, you can look that information up, but will people do that? I think of this list as a "fun" thing to do, but if I have to start worrying about the timing of a game: not so much fun anymore. Just my opinion.
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 01:07 AM

Benedict, hi,

I had earlier promised to bow out of this discussion, because I'm afraid it was moi that was causing most of the controversy with my comments about the latest crop of adventure games being 'average'. But I'd like to use your comments as the launch pad for a hopefully constructive continuation of this thread, in order to discuss why I feel this way. What prompted me to re-enter the fray was this:

Quote:
We should, really, really narrow down the games list to games released within the last few years. Otherwise how would the newer games be recognised? They could never compete with Tex Murphy Series or Gabriel Knight series or Myst series with 4-8 disks and lots of FMVs starring hollywood actors because these games were from a golden age when game companies like Sierra and Cyan, Access, Lucasarts and Take 2 etc had huge budgets that new developers don't.


Warning: this is gonna be... long!

Well then, how did Jonathan Boakes manage to capture the hearts of most of us adventurers with Darkfall, obviously made on a shoestring budget?

Let me put it another way: I think the graphics in all the games made by Frogwares are nothing short of fantastic. It was thus with Keepsake, and Runaway too. OK, there's the voice acting. But that wasn't the strong point of any of the Tex Murphy or Cyan games either. So what are the magical ingredients that must combine in a certain way to get your game on the all time greats list? I maintain they are (in no particular order):

* Bringing some fresh ideas to the table
* The game play and puzzles
* The story
* The dialogue and voice acting
* The graphics

It is a combination of being strong in most or all of those categories that makes a game an enduring classic. For instance, Myst, in it's time (which is important!) was a completely different departure from anything that came before it graphically (its peers were all 'cartoony'), and it also had good puzzles. On the other hand, Day of the Tentacle had great cartoon graphics, was extremely funny, and had *deviously* good puzzles. Not to mention a great premise (being able to pass objects between different time frames), and witty dialogue...

But back to the gist of this. All of those bullet points above, possibly with the exception of the voice acting (i.e. paying for professional actors) are within reach of most modern development houses.

But being *adventure* games, what I feel lets down most of the games being developed nowadays is... *the game play and puzzles*. Remember, I do agree that games like the Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes series, Keepsake, and Runaway are pretty solid in the graphics and sound departments. So now we must venture into spoiler territory as I attempt to explain why I didn't get more than a few hours into those games before giving up and putting them right back on my shelf to gather dust for the next couple of decades (I managed to see Keepsake through to the end, because I was going to review it for Quandary. But I found I really disliked it and had to turn it over to Rosemary and Gordon to review because I would have roundly trashed it).

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring
-----------------------------------------------
I found the pixel hunting just got to be too much, and trying to figure out what I had in inventory was beyond my powers of comprehension. To wit:

Click to reveal..
Within the first hour of play, I had acquired three samples of 'black powder' in my inventory, but there was no way to differentiate between them! I'm pretty sure there was going to be some big exposition at the end of the first chapter wherein Holmes would explain the subtle difference between the samples, but I never made it that far out of sheer boredom.


Keepsake
--------
I kept coming across puzzles that told me I didn't have the 'prerequisites to continue'. Huh? I finally managed to figure out that meant you had to attack the puzzles in a very particular order, which really put me off. Also, there were quite a few puzzles that didn't have sufficient clues to help you in solving them without trying random things. In other words, what we in the biz call 'twiddleware'. No thanks.

Runaway
-------
This one had so many artificial puzzle constructs that it completely ruined my suspension of disbelief. For instance:

Click to reveal..
You're wandering through a museum, and have explored all the locations throroughly. Then only after you talk to someone about coffee, if you revisit one of the rooms again, a bowl of coffe beans has mysteriously appeared on a shelf when nothing was there before? This completely defies all logic. Likewise, there is a coffee wrapper in a trash can, but you aren't allowed to pick it up intil you've spoken to someone about it. Those two things finished the game for me, less than a quarter of the way through, I think.


Now... I'm well aware that there are those who wouldn't be bothered in the slightest with issues like those, but the fact is... when you have been playing adventure games for 20-odd years, you build up certain expectations about what type of puzzles you can expect to find in a decent adventure game. And the puzzles in most of today's games just don't measure up at all to the likes of the ones you find in the classics.

So that is my point, as belaboured as it was. My tuppence worth, as it were.

Regards,
MetzO'Magic
Posted By: MaG

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 01:48 AM

I was just thinking of that today after reading some of the posts here.
That some of the gamers have expectations or preset ideas already before playing a game. Like in the case of Dracula: Origin. They expect it to be like the older Dracula games which is made by another developer. I was wondering if they expected it to be as horror filled and thus got disappointed. They might have missed the beauty of how the game is presented, the fun in playing it. It actually saddened me a bit, that they missed to me a work of art in its own way.

I am an adventure gamer of 31 years or so, I treat games like I treat people - no expectations and I take them for what they are. If they show themselves to be horrible then that is how I approach them but if they are well mannered and doesn't have a secret agenda - then it's a pleasure of knowing them.
I take the games I play for what I see during gameplay: if the game does not present the story well, if the dialogue is not clear, if the gameplay is loaded with glitches or finding the wonder of the graphics, the compatible music, the delivery of the story line. I get my pleasure in the wonder of the discovery or the frustration of disappointment.

I can't say that this is true for most gamers, but it makes gaming more pleasurable like finding new friends or a great book.
As I mentioned before, to each its own. We all differ and that is great.
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 02:40 AM

MaG...

That is very well said...I look to the beauty & art myself in a game..I am playing Perry now...The game is truly a work of art..

Dracula origin is also a work of art.. hearts
Posted By: Benedict

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 05:32 AM

Sometime ago there was a funny comment on how to finish Myst instantly, because the way to the final puzzle that leads to the final inventory item is there from the start of the game. If you know the combination to the puzzle which would normally take hours of exploration to find, you can finish the game by within a few minutes.

I know doing these steps would be meaningless because the gamer kills the game this way, but there could be some philosophy behind a deliberate design decision not to have puzzles that activate unknown to the gamer in a room that he has already thoroughly explored. In other games, the final door will never activate until you have "met the prerequisites".

As far as I could recall, a design "flaw" that involves inventory items appearing in a room that you have already visited are already in early Sierra games like Laura Bow 2. Hence it is not a "flaw" that only new games have.

Years ago there was a computer gaming magzine that has a hall of fame section where they enter the best games like Myst. We can do that for our old time favourites, then take them out of the competition, lest every new generation of game is always compared to an unbeatable game like Myst and never be recognised. Otherwise, when will we expect to see Dracula Origin in a top ten list?

As to how to know the release dates, we can provide the list of games for voting that are released within a time frame. That means we need help from a vendor/ online shop who can supply the data. Besides, the box or the manual should have a part that gives the copyright and the year of release.

Posted By: HeavenlyJoy

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 10:11 AM

I Agree with you, I think that is why I liked the Lost Crown so much, its been awhile since I have played something that brought together the GAME play so well with the Puzzles and time line, it was a labor of love, think the last game like this was Darkfall, I also liked the Light house once I got into it.. a bit...
I love Games that actually have you thinking not just seeing what inventory item can go with what,
I love REALLY GOOD PUZZLES and GOOD PLOTS!!
it was refreshing to play The Crown... to me it had all in your list expect for maybe the voices, but that is something I dont care as much about anyway smile
GOOD Points you have made, ..

by the way, I was thinking recently of trying to get a virtual pc or someway to play some of the older games I missed, I played back when they had text games and alot of Sierra, and Myst just came out, and then in the 90s went away for a while coming back again in the last 4 or so years, so I have missed alot of the older ones...

Marcia
Posted By: joanieS

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 12:45 PM

These responses are all quite interesting and describe the different tastes in gamers that embrace all adventure games. But, hey! Flotsam devised HIS list a long time ago for what HE thought was an interesting premise (and, so do I). So, if others want a list of just new games or whatever then create your own lists from whatever perspective you want. GameBoomers would welcome the variety. As for not being able to play old games, I bought a used pentium loaded with Windows 98 earlier this year and am enjoying all those old games. If you really really want to be able to play old adventure games you can do the same thing.
Posted By: metzomagic

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 01:12 PM

Benedict, hi again,

Quote:
As far as I could recall, a design "flaw" that involves inventory items appearing in a room that you have already visited are already in early Sierra games like Laura Bow 2. Hence it is not a "flaw" that only new games have.


Sorry, but to me the whole puzzle design in Runaway is fundamentally flawed, and completely turned me off. I should not have to talk to someone (to 'know' that I need it) before I'm allowed to pick up an object that is in plain sight duh That's just illogical, and puzzles are supposed to be about using logic to solve them.

So no matter how good the modern games are graphically, I think that most of them are sorely lacking in the puzzle department. People that haven't been playing adventure games since they were invented may not realise that, because they have nothing to compare against but the recent crop of games, where most of them suffer from poor/illogical or unimaginative puzzle design.

Regards,
MetzO'Magic

Posted By: Benedict

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 02:23 PM

Well, Dracula Origin had pretty nice logic puzzles. This game should meet at least part of your expectations for puzzle design, shouldn't it?
Posted By: Gandalf

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 04:26 PM

How well all the older games have held their support is a surprise to me. The graphics are so much better these days that it is hard for some of the older games to compete with the newer better looking games.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 04:50 PM

Beauty is more than skin deep.
Posted By: Andromus

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 09:08 PM

I guess I'm surprised that many people seem surprised there aren't more newer games on the list, considering the overwhelming amount of mediocre releases of recent years. In fact, there are too many newer games of so-so quality on the list for my taste. But then I'm one of those whose favorite adventure games tend to be 10-15 years old.
Posted By: Kickaha

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 09:42 PM

Originally Posted By: metzomagic
So no matter how good the modern games are graphically, I think that most of them are sorely lacking in the puzzle department. People that haven't been playing adventure games since they were invented may not realise that, because they have nothing to compare against but the recent crop of games, where most of them suffer from poor/illogical or unimaginative puzzle design.


I agree about modern games tending to lack in the puzzle department, though I might extend that to be puzzles and how they integrate with the story. One or two comments.

Firstly perhaps we tend to remember the best games from the past. I'm sure there were really bad games as well, now mercifully all but forgotten. Also some of the past games regarded as classics do have these flaws.

Secondly I think most people if they play enough recent games will gain a feeling of when a game has been well-written and when it hasn't been, when the puzzles are fair and when they're not.
Posted By: Benedict

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 09:42 PM

First, new games ARE getting better. Secondly, many of the new adventure games like Dracula Origin, Tunguska, Jack Keane and Belief and Betrayal are actually not that different in concept and in spirit from the classic adventure games of the past. In fact, the new developers have taken consideration of feedback and eliminated annoying sudden death sequences, timed sequences, mazes and sliders and dead ends. Do you remember Space Quest and King's Quest games? Your game can end suddenly with no warning at any time. Now, was that fun?

If we keep comparing them to the best of the best games of the past and keep saying the same thing that new games are not up to standard then I am afraid it might stay this way. I don't see action, RTS and RPG gamers having this kind of comparison like, "oh, Command and Conquer Gold and Dune 2 are the best games ever". Instead , their developers just keep churning out new games, and trying to make them bigger and better and the gamers just lap it up. Why can't the Adventure gamers cut the new games some slack and give the developers some encouragement and more recognition?

For people who have been saying that puzzles have become less well-designed and less challenging, perhaps they could give some CONCRETE ideas like "How to make better puzzles" on this forum, so that visiting developers can benefit from these constructive suggestions.
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 09:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Benedict
If we keep comparing them to the best of the best games of the past and keep saying the same thing that new games are not up to standard then I am afraid it might stay this way. Why can't the Adventure gamers cut the new games some slack and give the developers some encouragement and more recognition?


I agree ...Benedict... thumbsup

That is what I have been saying all along...
Posted By: Andromus

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/10/08 11:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Benedict
First, new games ARE getting better. Secondly, many of the new adventure games like Dracula Origin, Tunguska, Jack Keane and Belief and Betrayal are actually not that different in concept and in spirit from the classic adventure games of the past.


In concept, yes, in spirit, sometimes. In actual gameplay, not even close.


Quote:

If we keep comparing them to the best of the best games of the past and keep saying the same thing that new games are not up to standard then I am afraid it might stay this way.


And I say if we applaud average games, we'll continue to get average games. And I'm certainly not saying every new game has to be a Riven or Monkey Island or whatever. But I expect more than this almost unbroken string of consistently mediocre games.

Quote:

I don't see action, RTS and RPG gamers having this kind of comparison like, "oh, Command and Conquer Gold and Dune 2 are the best games ever". Instead , their developers just keep churning out new games, and trying to make them bigger and better and the gamers just lap it up.


Action gamers as a whole can afford to be more lenient -- they're getting a lot more games than adventure gamers are, and as a result have more opportunities to come across a good new game than adventure gamers do. They can weed through the average and bad action games and pick out the few gems that come along every year, if they want. Adventure gamers don't have that luxury.

Quote:

For people who have been saying that puzzles have become less well-designed and less challenging, perhaps they could give some CONCRETE ideas like "How to make better puzzles" on this forum, so that visiting developers can benefit from these constructive suggestions.


What the developers need to know already exists in what the classics got right. Let them study what successful companies like LucasArts or Cyan did right, and expand upon that with today's programming capabilities and their own unique creativity.
Posted By: nickie

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/11/08 05:59 AM

I sure agree with you Peter. I think we do sometimes think of old games with this dream like haze around them of superiority, like an old romance where we remember all the best parts and have forgotten the bad. Nothing wrong with that - it's human nature. But I think some dissatisfaction with newer games may be at least partially a function of zeitgeist rather than the games all being of lesser quality. There were plenty of average games back then, and there's plenty now. There were gems then, and there are now.
I would never put down anyone's choices for the twisty list, regardless if my personal analysis told me the game was in my opinion dreadful. It's not about me. It's about those intangibles perhaps that sing to the players and makes them happy -and if a large number of people pick that same game- isn't that the most important quality, after all?
Posted By: Kickaha

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/11/08 09:30 PM

"Intangibles" is a good word Nickie. Sometimes my liking or disliking a game is something unconscious, I can try rationalising it by talking about story or puzzles or graphics but that is only rationalisation.

The wonder of the first few games one plays, the amazement at the technical magic, is sadly lost forever after one's played a hundred. (Edit sometimes a new game can amaze but this is rare.)
Posted By: Mad

Re: The List 2008: Comments and Surprises - 07/13/08 03:23 AM

Hi Nickie and Peter smile

I agree with a lot of what you are both saying but I replay my old games (and I have LOTS with the oldest from around 1989/90) on a regular basis and I just wanted to say that I don't view any of them through a dream like haze wink

I'm fully aware of their shortcomings - as I am the shortcomings of modern games - and I have played stinkers both old and new lol

To me a good game is a good game regardless of age thumbsup

Cheers.

Mad happydance

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