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Adventure Games

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a series of terms that is applicable to video games:  Adventure Game

In this genre the player is the protagonist of an interactive story driven by exploration, narrative, puzzle solving, or a combination of the three. These games are story based and can vary widely by content. Play is single-player. The majority of adventure games do not have action elements.

The adventure game has evolved from text-based command and prompt games into full graphic immersive stories and exploration. One of the first text-based adventure games was Zork I. The game describes player locations and actions, while the player types responses to these text prompts creating interactive fiction. You can find the Zork Anthology on Steam here.

Text-only prompts have evolved into graphic explorations such as Myst and Monkey Island where puzzles were entwined in the experience. As players move through the game, they are trying to solve a big problem or series of problems. To reach this goal, you need to complete many subtasks, in a chain of activities to work closer and closer to your goal. For example, you need a key to open a door, but to get the key you need to go solve a farmer’s problem (and in order to solve his problem you need to find some other object.)

Other subgenres of adventure games can include choosing your own adventure games and visual novel games. Many visual novels are intended for older teens or adults.

Examples of This Genre Include:

  • Dreamfall
  • Portal
  • Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove
  • The Last Express
  • Monkey Island series
  • Telltale games

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I saw a lot of interesting indie titles while I wandered the show floor at PAX East. Only a few of them stood out to me as something that needed real attention. Treasure Adventure World was one of the best.

Developed by Robit Studios, a team of three people, Treasures Adventure World looks like a treat. The story follows common video game tropes: a young girl with amnesia, a companion with ambiguous intentions, and an adventure to discover her past. The adorable aesthetic, however, more than pushes it ahead of the pack. This is a gorgeous game to watch. Characters are well animated (even at this early stage of development) and the levels are beautifully done.

Treasure Adventure World takes a Metroidvania style adventure game and makes it accessible to a younger audience. Simple controls and a straight forward premise will let younger players enjoy this richly animated world without getting confused. The protagonist does slowly acquire new tools that will allow players to explore different areas for secrets, but these changes are brought on slowly to avoid overwhelming anyone.

Robit Studios is doing amazing things with this game and I cannot wait to share more with you. Stay tuned to Engaged Family Gaming in the near future for more updates.

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