My fondest ever memory of gaming… Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge by Lucasarts (released 1991). The atmosphere, art style and story was (still is) incredible. I loved the 2D hand drawn art in those earlier games. They had so much more character than anything 3D shaders can throw at us.

All Lucasarts titles were top notch quality in every way, but at the age of 16 playing in my darkened bedroom, MI2 had me totally captivated!

What has happened to my beloved Point & Click games??!!

The most recent games are of course all geared up for joypad control systems. Fine… but where have the ideas gone?

The writing of any Lucasarts game was so sophisticated, subtle and most importantly just plain funny!!

The most recent Monkey Island 5 (Tales of Monkey Island) is now developed by Telltale Games as an episodic release in 5 parts, but with a cohesive storyline betwen all episodes. I have not played all the way through yet… somehow it just doesn’t feel quite right although it is of a very good standard – better than their previous games of this ilk, Sam & Max and Wallace & Gromit. It’s on my “to play” list so will report back with a mini review when I’m done.

Other more recent P’n’C games I have tried are:-

  • Ceville (a bit slow and trying too hard to be whacky)
  • A Vampyre Story (quite good story with some good puzzles and stylish 3D graphics)
  • Sam & Max season 1 (episodic approach makes the puzzles a bit too self-confined and sequential)
  • Wallace & Gromit season  1 (good fun if you like W&G – very kid friendly!)

But they really can’t compare with the Lucasarts Classics such as:-

  • All the Monkey Island games (a class of their own… well 1, 2 and 3 stand out as the best, 4 was a bit off but that was semi-3D where you moved the character with the cursor keys, so not a real point and click any more)
  • Day of the Tentacle (sublime story, amazing puzzles, original game mechanics, beautiful pace, great characters and voice acting)
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road (funny story and lines, great locations)
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (very clever mechanical puzzles, long story)
  • Grim Fandango (stunning visual art style, brilliant script, imaginative story)
  • Beneath a Steel Sky
  • Full Throttle

…I will post more detailed reviews of these at some point!

So going back to my first question… What HAS happened to Point & Click games?!

Has the audience changed THAT much? Are the development costs too high now? Have the writers all gone on holiday?

What are your thoughts?

And… what was your favourite of the pointy clicky games?

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