Originally published on TheNerdistheWord August 2016
The Point-and-Click game genre is often overlooked in the vast console and PC world of today. While story-telling videogames a few decades ago were more akin to a long novel, the gaming expectations today remind us more of filmography, or a believable second reality. Do you miss games that used to be more focused on the plotline, instead of being thrilling and sensational? You might not have noticed, but Point-and-Click games have not yet disappeared. We at The Nerd is the Word want to tell you about a company which has brought back the genre with a bang: Double Fine Productions.
Benefits of Point-and-Click games are including their inexpensive retail price, they do not take a lot of space on a hard-drive, and can be put down and picked up again as you would any novel. In a Point-and-Click game, rather than moving a character and focusing on combat, the player must use logic and listen attentively to the narrative to advance. Double Fine Point-and-Click require the player to literally, point and click on different objects on an interactive painted background, collect items, discover their uses, and visit various NPCs, to figure out how to unwind the game’s plot. These games are considered low-stress inducing as they rarely require quick reaction time or the player to beat the clock; they usually allow the player to sit back and think of their next move thoroughly.
Depending on your age, you may have actually played some Point-and-Click games back in the 1990s, at home if you were lucky, or on the dinky computer you had access to at school. Back then, Double Fine developer Tim Schafer was still part of LucasArt (Entertainment Company, LLC) was involved in the making of The Secret of Monkey Island. This game was focused on exploration in a rich legend-inspired environment that would remind you of your favorite pirate epic. Games like The Secret of Monkey Island might require a bit of imagination to compare to the videogame graphics of today, but makes up for it with mysteries and treasures that are a blast to uncover.
Another game, this time co-led by Schafer, was the sequel to a game first published in 1987, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle. Day of the Tentacle, unlike it’s predecessor Maniac Mansion, which was a puzzle-solver to the core, is very focused on story-telling and investigation, with an educational and humorous twist. Using items collected and clues, three characters, separated into different time periods due to a time-travel experiment gone awry, struggle to save the course of history from a deranged detached world-dominating tentacle. If that doesn’t sound crazy awesome to you, we’re sorry, we just can’t help you. Day of the Tentacle has been very recently remastered and is available on PlayStation Consoles, PC and Mac.The epitome of Double Fine Point-and-Click, Broken Age, was (finally!) fully released last April 2015 for Playstation Consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linus and Ouya. With a simply amazing cast who voice-over absolutely everything, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Masassa Moyo, and Wil Wheaton, Broken Age is a fully original adventure. The player is taken along two separate storylines, and can choose freely when to switch, following two characters as they explore the strange happenings of their world, and attempt to free themselves of the conventional expectations they are burdened with. On one side, Vella is to be sacrificed to appease a large monster, as is tradition- on the other, Shay is seemingly alone on a spaceship where he is pampered like a toddler and dreams of independence. The game is full of riddles and puzzles, features incredible characters, peculiar concepts, and beautiful atmospheres. Many surprises and twist are simply mind-blowing, engrossing the player even more in this visually stunning narrative.Why not give Double Fine Productions a try? The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, and Broken Age, are all available for download at this very moment.