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Most Overrated Point and Click Adventure Games

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I decided to compile the results so far. The recurring answers so far, in no particular order, are:

- The Longest Journey, for poor storytelling and puzzles

- Myst, for its emptiness and being too cryptic

- Syberia, for its lack of direction

- Sierra adventure games, for being too unforgiving

I find that very interesting because I've played all of these and they too are in my list of disappointing games. I didn't even beat Syberia because I got completely lost at some point.

I have to mention one more game to the thread since I just beat it: Gemini Rue. While the graphics, voice acting and setting are very good, I just find the game design and story very amateurish. Kudos to Wadjet Eye Games for making a game of this quality with such a small budget, but unfortunately I just wasn't satisfied with the overall experience.

I'll probably have rocks thrown at me for this, but Grim Fandango. Cool characters, funny plot, but it felt like I was trudging through mud. I couldn't figure ANYTHING out without looking at a walk through! Felt like such an idiot.

You know what? Even though I really like this game, I have to agree with you. It's one of those rare games I had to refer to a walkthrough several times in order to complete it.

Heh. I just realized you were also the person talking about Portal 2 co-op in thread about puzzles you didn't like. Portal 2 co-op and The Longest Journey are two of my favorite gaming experiences of all time. Diverging opinions indeed. :)

Yes indeed. I guess there has to be something for everybody, so that's OK with me! :lol:

I knew you would come, sooner or later. There's no way out of here. Did you know that? There's no way out of Victory Hotel. All exits just...they just lead back inside.

Errr... what? I don't get it.

Oh wait, you're just quoting The Longest Journey. Nevermind. :P

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- The Longest Journey, for poor storytelling and puzzles

The puzzles suck... yes, but if you think this is "poor storytelling" then I must tell you there are only a handful of adventures over the past 13 years that do significantly better.

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- The Longest Journey, for poor storytelling and puzzles

The puzzles suck... yes, but if you think this is "poor storytelling" then I must tell you there are only a handful of adventures over the past 13 years that do significantly better.

I was just picking up the popular answers from this thread so far. You are of course free to disagree, and I encourage you to explain your point of view further. In fact, I'm under the impression that fans of The Longest Journey liked the game because of the storytelling. It's just not a style that suits everybody.

I'm actually thinking of creating a separate thread soon to discuss what made these same games so good to people who actually liked them and then compare the answers with those of this thread...

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If you want to point out certain things that were annoying to some people or plainly bad in an otherwise great game, I can think of these on the top of my mind:

- Indiana Jones 3: The Last Crusade: there was literally a 1x1 pixel object which you had to pick up. It was a bit of sticky tape beneath a bookcase at Henry's if I remember correctly. However I must say that at the time, it didn't bother me since I loved pixel-hunting :)

- Grim Fandango: This game is fantastic in so many ways. The atmosphere, music, voice, dialogs, characters, etc. But they were so-so or bad things here and there: the control, I think it is universally agreed upon. The worst puzzle for me were the ones you had to "interact" during something happening. For example, having to MOVE FORWARD using the forklift during the elevator moving sequence. Another case was the horrendously annoying piece of sea-crap singing "This little light of mine.." which you had to grab, THEN TURN TOWARD GLOTTIS. Incredibly boring and frustrating sequence. Also the underwater part with the treadmill: it was dull and unexciting even back in the days, and today with a fast machine it is simply unplayable without a patch due to speed issue.

- Sam 'N Max: a lot of puzzles didn't make sense. The cartoon animation and jokes saved the game a made in enjoyable (or tolerable anyhow), but it would be the worst adventure game by Lucasart in my opinion.

But the Grand Winner would be:

- King Quest V: who in the world cannot hate Sierra's way of letting you make a fatal mistake but keep going on (and overwrite your save game of course), to later realize the game is now impossible? You want an example? Buy a pie. Eat it. Your freakin' stupid character even goes saying "hmm that was good." or some idiotic thing like that. Then hours and hours of tedious gameplay later, encounter a mountain yeti. Oh, I guess you needed that yeti-killing-berry-pie after all. And I don't want to start talking about the owl. It had to be the most despicable NPC ever invented. I don't know why but rage overloads me every time I think about this game. I absolutely hated every bit of it. If this game is rated anything above 0/10, it is overrated.

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If you want to point out certain things that were annoying to some people or plainly bad in an otherwise great game, I can think of these on the top of my mind:

- Indiana Jones 3: The Last Crusade: there was literally a 1x1 pixel object which you had to pick up. It was a bit of sticky tape beneath a bookcase at Henry's if I remember correctly. However I must say that at the time, it didn't bother me since I loved pixel-hunting.

- Grim Fandango: This game is fantastic in so many ways. The atmosphere, music, voice, dialogs, characters, etc. But they were so-so or bad things here and there: the control, I think it is universally agreed upon. The worst puzzle for me were the ones you had to "interact" during something happening. For example, having to MOVE FORWARD using the forklift during the elevator moving sequence. Another case was the horrendously annoying piece of sea-crap singing "This little light of mine.." which you had to grab, THEN TURN TOWARD GLOTTIS. Incredibly boring and frustrating sequence. Also the underwater part with the treadmill: it was dull and unexciting even back in the days, and today with a fast machine it is simply unplayable without a patch due to speed issue.

- Sam 'N Max: a lot of puzzles didn't make sense. The cartoon animation and jokes saved the game a made in enjoyable (or tolerable anyhow), but it would be the worst adventure game by Lucasart in my opinion.

But the Grand Winner would be:

- King Quest V: who in the world cannot hate Sierra's way of letting you make a fatal mistake but keep going on (and overwrite your save game of course), to later realize the game is now impossible? You want an example? Buy a pie. Eat it. Your freakin' stupid character even goes saying "hmm that was good." or some idiotic thing like that. Then hours and hours of tedious gameplay later, encounter a mountain yeti. Oh, I guess you needed that yeti-killing-berry-pie after all. And I don't want to start talking about the owl. It had to be the most despicable NPC ever invented. I don't know why but rage overloads me every time I think about this game. I absolutely hated every bit of it. If this game is rated anything above 0/10, it is overrated.

Indy 3: IMO you forget when this game was released - 1989. A lot games during the 80s look like the pixel you're critizising. Maybe up to this date, people were kinda used to it and that's why such puzzles still happened and most people didn't care. But I like Crusade. Not my fav adventure but it's doing a lot things right and doesn't really feel like an 80's game.

Grim Fandango: I'd say you're ignoring the historical context. At the end of the 90's 3D elements and this type of control was unusual in the genre and especially for LA. If your're trying something, that has not been done often, you are open for mistakes. As for the puzzles... new control gives new options for other ways to play an adventure. I think the "negative" examples you're naming are mostly a consequence of this type of control - for some puzzles it maybe wasn't as flexible as needed. Anyhow didn't matter a lot to me and I really love this game.

Sam&Max;: That's somewhat the whole point of this game. You have to think a bit differently to work this game... another game I very much enjoy.

Kings Quest: Yeah I also hate that, but if you read some of the postings here, that's just what a lot people like about Sierra games. And it's always been a controversy about these games...

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Wasn't the sticky tape from Indy 3 part of an optional puzzle?

As much as I love Grim Fandango, I never completely understood the cat race puzzle - this was the only instance in the game where I had to refer to a walkthrough, and even after reading the solution I still didn't quite get how you were supposed to figure out all the necessary details.

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- Important objects lying at places you don't even think is part of the playable area.

Example?

Metal object lying on the subway rails which looked like part of the rails. I don't remember what it was though, only that I never thought something critical was hidden there.

I think I remember this one. Worst puzzle in the game (and there's a fine selection to choose from!) I believe that was a key. Except you don't really know what the key is or what it's for until you get it. In order to get it you have to build a ridiculous contraption out of a big pair of industrial pliers or something, with an inflatable dingy wrapped around it, which you need to then let the air out of slowly to close the pliers.

You do this in order to get a key to open a box, in order to help solve a puzzle to break into (if memory serves) a movie theater. The reason you want to get in is I think because you heard someone might be there, or something. I can't remember the exact reason, I just remember thinking 'nobody would go to all this trouble to get a metal object which might by some miracle be the key you need to break your way into a theater on the basis that you heard a vague rumour that someone you should maybe talk to might be inside!'

I really, really, really hate that puzzle...

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Interesting topic... and might need a lot more thinking, i might name an adventure game now, but the other day i could also remember that -truly- one overrated adventure game. Every point and click has it's bad sides of course, so i think we shouldnt name an overall good adventure game, but it has that one puzzle that is annoying, or that one Jar Jar that you'd love to "let's not set for stun on this one" :P

Grim Fandango btw underrated i think! I read here and there it didn't sell that good. Which is a shame, because it was one of the last truly great adventure from the late 90's.

For this moment i would like to say those Under a Killing Moon hype-stuff. Great character, interesting setting and if done right i would really be thrilled to play such a game. But this cd-rom media hype from back then totally screwed it up. Terrible. I also really don't understand why Sierra moved to such games, like Phantasmagoria and Gabriel Knight: Beast Within. Again, while there was nothing wrong with the setting, story, characters, etc.. Bad choices! Point and click killers i'd say.

I played Gray Matter recently. While it was a delight to play such a game again (on the console!!), and while the story was ok, locations and characters interesting, it felt a little bland, linear and typical Sierra-style gameplay. Jane Jensen could have made it way better! Therefor for me: overrated (because of a lot of good reviews and positive forum reactions i came across).

Last thing i would like to add: the most underrated point and click! Personally i'd say: Dragonsphere. That game is a real gem! One of the greatest stories found in a point and click. I admit it starts slow, and you need to get into it a little... but give it a serious try, and you'll be suprised. Oh btw you can get this one for free nowadays (i think gog.com has it).

Best regards,

Ronald

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Leisure Suit Larry Series

Tried it as a teenager, didn't get it.

Tried it in my twenties, also didn't get it. It just wasn't fun.

Not going to try it again, thanks.

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Secret of Monkey Island for having only one monkey in it :D

Actually there are 2 monkeys. But I disgress.

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Secret of Monkey Island for having only one monkey in it :D

And it doesn't even have (or reveal) a Secret :P :P

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Last thing i would like to add: the most underrated point and click! Personally i'd say: Dragonsphere. That game is a real gem! One of the greatest stories found in a point and click. I admit it starts slow, and you need to get into it a little... but give it a serious try, and you'll be suprised. Oh btw you can get this one for free nowadays (i think gog.com has it).

Best regards,

Ronald

OMFG You are my hero, Ronald! I have been trying to remember this game for YEARS but could only remember random bits and pieces of it that were never enough for me to successfully find it.

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I may be killed for this but I say Zak McKraken. I didn't really like the story and the ending sucked. Some puzzles were good (expecially when you use the blue crystal) but the rest were meh.

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Broken Sword, IMHO. It had some great puzzles, but...

From a technical stand point, the 1996 Virtual Theatre engine lacked functions that had become standard in adventure games at the time, such as the ability to skip needless animations and walking. And man, that game has a lot of needless animations and walking.

The story didn't click with me, either. A cold blooded killer that dresses up in funny costumes? Huh? The neo-templars were sadly underdeveloped as antagonists. The whole Indiana Jones-style treasure hunt theme seemed more unrealistic than usual. The protagonist had no motivation what-so-ever to get involved. And the romance felt cold and implausible, even before the creepy border-line sexual assault in the train wagon. (I know there's a long tradition for romanticizing things like male protagonists forcibly kissing the love interest, but while she's bound? Really? Not to mention the animation which suggests more than a kiss.) Overall, the PC came off as bit of a douche, even before that scene.

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Agree wholeheartedly with the above, for all of the mentioned reasons. I don't think Broken Sword is the most overrated adventure, but it's certainly one of the most highly regarded which I found to be thoroughly mediocre (though not downright bad).

I listened to every line of dialogue in that game, hoping that at some point the story would grab me, but it never did. This made the pub scene particularly tedious, as there must be about an hour worth of dialogue there.

George Stobbard was just unlikeable and totally one dimensional (something of a precursor to Cole Phelps of LA Noire fame). He is an American in foreign countries and foreign things are odd: that's pretty much the entire basis for his character.

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Machinarium was really disappointing for me.

Splendid art direction, nice story... and filled with lots of minigames I completely hate. Boring, boring, boring...

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Maybe I'm crazy, but the Tales of Monkey island really only held my interest until about the end of Episode 2. I know that this is homg Monkey Island and that there's good talent on there, but because they wanted to make it episodic every episode just felt so restrictive. I liked feeling like I was doing all of these crazy things in the Caribbean working towards a goal that didn't involve buying another episode to buy weeks later so I could have some semblance of continuity.

By comparison, the Secret of Monkey Island remastered edition was absolutely awesome to me. I refuse to believe it's entirely due to nostalgia. They really nailed it with Monkey Island I, and I feel the episodic model just did a huge disservice to franchise.

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Maybe I'm crazy, but the Tales of Monkey island really only held my interest until about the end of Episode 2. I know that this is homg Monkey Island and that there's good talent on there, but because they wanted to make it episodic every episode just felt so restrictive. I liked feeling like I was doing all of these crazy things in the Caribbean working towards a goal that didn't involve buying another episode to buy weeks later so I could have some semblance of continuity.

By comparison, the Secret of Monkey Island remastered edition was absolutely awesome to me. I refuse to believe it's entirely due to nostalgia. They really nailed it with Monkey Island I, and I feel the episodic model just did a huge disservice to franchise.

I'm not sure I understand your point. All Monkey Island games are divided into chapters which are occurring in separate areas. The only difference in Tales of Monkey Island is that the chapters are sold separately. Wouldn't you feel the same way in MI1 if you were asked to switch to the next episode immediately after leaving Melee Island?

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Maybe I'm crazy, but the Tales of Monkey island really only held my interest until about the end of Episode 2. I know that this is homg Monkey Island and that there's good talent on there, but because they wanted to make it episodic every episode just felt so restrictive. I liked feeling like I was doing all of these crazy things in the Caribbean working towards a goal that didn't involve buying another episode to buy weeks later so I could have some semblance of continuity.

By comparison, the Secret of Monkey Island remastered edition was absolutely awesome to me. I refuse to believe it's entirely due to nostalgia. They really nailed it with Monkey Island I, and I feel the episodic model just did a huge disservice to franchise.

I'm not sure I understand your point. All Monkey Island games are divided into chapters which are occurring in separate areas. The only difference in Tales of Monkey Island is that the chapters are sold separately. Wouldn't you feel the same way in MI1 if you were asked to switch to the next episode immediately after leaving Melee Island?

To elaborate a bit. In Monkey Island, they had a similar model of... go to a place, resolve story there, get another piece of the main story, move on to the next area. Which worked well with the pacing and writing of that story. In Tales of Monkey Island, because it was designed as an episodic adventure, and given the size and asset constraints that it entails, the story feels very different. It feels jagged, almost. Unfocused. Whatever I am dealing with in any given episode, unless it specifically is building to a cliffhanger, feels disconnected from everything else. I think the model affected the pacing and delivery of the story, both within each episode and overall. I did play past Episode 2, but it didn't take long before I realized I was playing this game because I really loved Monkey Island 1-3, not because I was enjoying the thing in front of me.

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To elaborate a bit. In Monkey Island, they had a similar model of... go to a place, resolve story there, get another piece of the main story, move on to the next area. Which worked well with the pacing and writing of that story. In Tales of Monkey Island, because it was designed as an episodic adventure, and given the size and asset constraints that it entails, the story feels very different. It feels jagged, almost. Unfocused. Whatever I am dealing with in any given episode, unless it specifically is building to a cliffhanger, feels disconnected from everything else. I think the model affected the pacing and delivery of the story, both within each episode and overall. I did play past Episode 2, but it didn't take long before I realized I was playing this game because I really loved Monkey Island 1-3, not because I was enjoying the thing in front of me.

I totally agree with you. The episodic set-up made the game feel like seperate parts with strong boundaries. As if like one episode ends at entering a locked door, then the next episode you would walk into the next area, but area before that locked door would be gone. Also by means of inventory and characters, there are some big boundaries here...

On the other hand it was great to revisit the Monkey Island world, humor, characters. I think what they did was good, and something i wouldn't want to miss. However it does miss that unique touch of the original Monkey Islands, which felt like one big journey.

So IMO: Tales of Monkey Island not overrated, but restricted.

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Leisure Suit Larry Series

Tried it as a teenager, didn't get it.

Tried it in my twenties, also didn't get it. It just wasn't fun.

Not going to try it again, thanks.

Ditto. Clammy puberty game about a twit who constantly tries to get laid. Never understood sex based humor like that. Ever since I tried those games, I've referred to humor like that as "Larry humor." To anyone who gives me vulgar jokes about the nether regions, I say to them "sorry, not into your Larry humor."

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I don't mean to pile on... but I'm going with Myst too... It can't really recall much about it but I know I played it, when it first came out, for a couple of hours... and I never considered playing it again... It was supposed to have an amazing "look" and "feel" to it, but I distinctly remember being unimpressed.

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Many german adventures, all Sierra adventures, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Back to the Future (kidding :o), ...

Most underrated adventure might be The Dig.

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I'm sorry, i never enjoyed one of their adventures but i'm glad they published games such as Ultima II, No one lives forever or Half Life.

I'm into LucasArts.

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I also vote for the Longest Journey. Im always a little bit confused why its so high up on many peoples favourite adventure lists.

I think one of the most important things in adventure games is the storytelling and writing and while The Longest Journey definitely has A LOT of it its just not very good imo.

It all feels a bit amateurish like fan fiction. I only played it halfway through before i gave up because of that.

I didnt play it when it originally came out but just a few months back so that may have something to do with why I was so unimpressed with it.

The only explanation i have for why people love it so much is that back in 1999 when it came out the graphics and the scope must have been so impressive for an adventure game that people didnt notice the writing and the bad dialouge (so much exposition, unedited, overly long, not very interesting).

But the kickstarter for their new game was really successful and it seems to be almost universally loved (i think its even NO 2 on top 100 adventure games of all time on adventuregames.com) which is a little bit frustrating for me because usually i love all the adventures everybody else loves haha

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When this list came out quite some adventure gamers were talking about it and it's so awfully/individually put together that, well, you better ignore it as a reliable source about the adventure genre. Despite everyones personal likes and dislikes i can't remember anyone being happy with it. You might use it as an inspiration for browsing through adventures you might not know about though but don't mix it up with a somehow more reasonably put together representative top 100.

For a more universally valid list it lacks a much higher amount of samples.

For a more individual list it's such weird horrible mix.

Hey, The Dig on place #92 with so many awful games before, they earned my eternal antipathy and i strongly disagree. :o)

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When this list came out quite some adventure gamers were talking about it and it's so awfully/individually put together that, well, you better ignore it as a reliable source about the adventure genre. Despite everyones personal likes and dislikes i can't remember anyone being happy with it. You might use it as an inspiration for browsing through adventures you might not know about though but don't mix it up with a somehow more reasonably put together representative top 100.

For a more universally valid list it lacks a much higher amount of samples.

For a more individual list it's such weird horrible mix.

Hey, The Dig on place #92 with so many awful games before, they earned my eternal antipathy and i strongly disagree. :o)

Yea the list is really stupid lol but its the only top 100 adventure list i found on the whole internet haha

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