I’ve been thinking a lot about games I used to play as a kid, in no small part thanks to some games I’ve been playing as an adult in similar styles.
The point and click genre is always going to have a special place in my heart. I can’t tell you how many hours I sunk into King’s Quest and Mixed Up Mother Goose, even after current Windows stopped supporting them and I had to resort to using DOSBox to get them to play.
Oh, DOSBox. I told my 16-year-old brother about you and he had no idea what I was talking about. Heck, I told my 16-year-old brother about DOS and he had no idea what I was talking about. Hats off to you. For the most part you aren’t missed but there is a certain bitter “oh god I’m old now” feeling that comes along with teenagers today never having used you.
Best of both worlds with point and click games
And then Wadjet Eye Games reminded me with The Blackwell Legacy.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed playing through these games. They were simultaneously a new experience – being point and clicks I had not played before – and also a very familiar and nostalgic one simply based on the interface and art style.
There are five games in the Blackwell series: Legacy, Unbound, Convergence, Deception and Epiphany. Let me put cards out on the table really fast. I still haven’t gotten to play the last one yet. It is sitting on my hard drive, installed, ready to go, and I am saving it for a rainy day when I really need it. That’s how confident I am it’s going to be good.
That said, the first four were amazing, fully voice acted, the art was phenomenal, the puzzles were challenging without sending me running to the guidebook every five minutes (oh hi there Google), and most importantly I love the characters.
The Blackwell Series is, for the most part, about medium Rosangela Blackwell and her spirit guide, Joey, as they tackle the difficult problems attached to sorting out the lingering dead. Ghosts, is what I’m saying. It all reads like a mystery, though, as you go through and try to find more about these dead people so Rosa and Joey can help them.
There’s just something incredibly satisfying about getting to circle back to the same characters over and over again and watch their story develop like this, and something about the medium (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist, you can punish me later) of point and click that I just know wouldn’t have carried through with any other kind of game.
I’ve also acquired and played through Kathy Rain, which is another mystery point and click set in the ’90s surrounding a journalism student investigating the death of her grandfather. While I can honestly say I liked Blackwell better, it was still good enough that I woke up in the middle of the night to play just a little bit more when I knew I needed the sleep. Absolutely cannot resist a good mystery, this is the bane of my existence.
I’ve got Gemini Rue sitting installed, too, but I haven’t started playing it yet, either, because I know it’s going to lock me in (hello, it is both point and click and cyberpunk) and I won’t be able to put it down. I have responsibilities, don’t you know.
That said? I’m just ecstatic that point and click as a genre isn’t dead. This really feels like something I was missing for a long time and just didn’t know it because it had been so long. It happened though, I’ve tasted blood and it was infected by whatever vampiric plague causes people to compulsively need to play pixelated puzzly pointy clicky games.
So here’s my advice for the week: go find a game genre you haven’t played in a while. Find out what is new in that genre. I don’t care what it is, platformers, RTS, point and click (-insert big goo goo eyes here-), what have you, just go see what’s new in a game genre you used to love. Maybe you’ll find you still love it.