Since the appearance of the first video games, one of the main objectives, both for developers and users, was to escape, to live a spectacular adventure through the computer or the console.
At the beginning of time, the line between an adventure or fantasy book and video games was very thin… so thin that one of the first variants in the genre was the conversational adventure.
First, only through dozens of meticulous text-only descriptions and, as soon as advances in computer science allowed it, with illustrations and images that took us to the most fascinating places.
There are quite a few conversational titles that remain in the memory of the oldest players, but if there is one thing that marked a milestone was the arrival of the graphic adventures or “point & click”. As soon as the computers had enough power, there was a company that took advantage of all the resources at its disposal to capture their original ideas and witty narrative: Lucasfilm Games.
Shortly after being hired at Lucasarts to port Atari 800 games to Commodore 64, Ron Gilbert had the opportunity to create his first videogame, which would introduce a new genre and bring into fashion the game mechanics that marked the videogame world in the late 80s and early 90s.
"Lucasfilm Games' first title, premiered the adventure game genre or "point and click" as we know it."
After two years “in the oven”, in 1987 Gilbert’s debut feature was released, first for Commodore 64 and Apple II and then for PC: Maniac Mansion, Lucasfilm Games’ first title, premiered the adventure game genre or “point & click” as we know it.
The hilarious title devised between Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick laid the foundation for a genre that, especially thanks to Lucasarts, was particularly prolific during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Its playable core, the SCUMM system (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion), gave life to authentic classics not only in the genre but also in the world of video games: The Day of the Tentacle (the sequel to Maniac Mansion), Full Throttle, Loom, The Dig, and of course the incredible adventure sagas of Indiana Jones and, of course, Monkey Island.
Lucasfilm Games wasn’t the only company that exploited the concept of graphic adventure, as along with its great success, other companies, such as Sierra, Microids (with its incredible Syberia saga) or Revolution Software, with the Broken Sword saga (which succeeded especially in the consoles sector), tried their luck in the genre with considerable success.
Even a small Spanish company was able to stand up to the hits of Lucas or Revolution, Péndulo Studios, creator of successful sagas such as Runaway and Hollywood Monsters.
With time and advances in the field of videogames, graphic adventures have been lost between combinations of genres that have also given great titles, but that can’t be described as just point & click, although there are still adepts and, of course, companies that dare to innovate in the genre.
From the creators of Maniac Mansion, relatively recently we had the opportunity to enjoy Thimbleweed Park, a point & click adventure in its purest form, with a visual department reminiscent of Lucasfilm Games classics.
Luckily, although now the adventures are much more than that and are mixed with genres like action or shoot’em-up, there is still a legion of followers of the classic point and click, something that will bring us some new developments in the near future.
Daedalic Entertainment is one of the companies that continues to bet on the genre and will soon surprise us with two more titles worthy of sharing genre with our beloved Monkey Island: Silence and Deponia.
"Deponia brings us closer to the world of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, as its hilarious staging and humorous gameplay."
The first of them presents a beautiful 3D environment and an original plot in which we will have to look for our little sister, lost in the universe of Silence, after suffering a bombing in a weird shelter.
Deponia brings us closer to the world of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, as its hilarious staging and humorous gameplay will be the core of the game, which boasts a 2D graphical section in the most pure cartoon style.
Although the point & click adventure game genre is not as popular as it was in the 90s, it is undeniable that it will always be among us and that there will be titles in the market capable of delighting its fans.