E3 is fast approaching. But right now, our thoughts are still stuck on the works of past designers like Roberta Williams, Al Lowe, Ron Gilbert, and Tim Schaefer. That’s why a few weeks ago, we looked back on the grand age of adventure games, when LucasArts and Sierra produced some of the most memorable point-and-clickers of all time. As we approached the late 80s, it looked like Sierra was far ahead with great titles like King’s Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry in its library. But before we could declare the early 80s as a landslide victory for Sierra, team Lucas struck back with the release of Maniac Mansion, one of the most hilarious and loved adventure games of all time. So join us as we say goodbye to the last great adventures of the 80s, and say hello to the best Sierra and LucasArts adventures of the 90s.
Above: Sierra’s in the lead with a cotton gin and two Gelflings. But LucasArts has a David Bowie and Bruce Campbell. It’s still anyone’s game
Does our amazing scoring system confound you? Don’t worry. Just head here to catch up on what went down in part one of our retrospective.
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
Lucasfilms’ second adventure game that used their proprietary SCUMM engine introduced adventurers to Francis Zachary McKracken, a tabloid reporter who finds himself roped into a quest to save Earth from hostile aliens who want to make humans dumber than they already are.
Above: Zakku Makkurakken-san sure looks in the Japanese version of the game
Above: You’ll find out that Elvis is an alien along with other “truths” that tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists have known for years
King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
The fourth entry in the King’s Quest series introduced Princess Rosella, one of the first major adventure game protagonists to be widely recognized for her lack of a penis. The game sent you on a quest to the land Tamir to search for a magical fruit that could heal King Graham, who suffered a near fatal heart attack.
King Graham: “I’m not quite dead yet.”
Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places)
The smarmy protagonist still has a gigantic forehead and is still looking to get laid. The sequel slightly played down the sexual content and discarded the dating sim-like gameplay in favor of a more linear design, disappointing many pre-pubescent gamers looking for hot pixelated action.
Above: The game begins with Larry mowing the lawn of the woman he lusted after in the finale of the original. Unfortunately, she can’t remember who he is
Police Quest II: The Vengeance
Police Quest II put you back in the role of Sonny Bonds. This time, we found our hero once again in pursuit of the drug dealer Jessie Bains, who has escaped prison and plans to extract his revenge on everyone involved with his capture in the original. The sequel also featured a little more gunplay, but as always, the focus is on good detective work and following the proper procedures.
Tangent: Having a gun is one of the coolest things about being a cop
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