LucasArts vs Sierra Part Two: The Remembering

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
Released: 1991

Guybrush Threepwood returns to search for the greatest pirate treasure of all, the Big Whoop. The game was simply gorgeous with great graphics and a catchy soundtrack. But it was Monkey Island 2’s piratical humor and unforgettable characters that still make a pleasure to play today.

Above: The sequel was full of hilarious moments that often made fun of the player

Above: It also included an easy mode for beginners and game reviewers who still like to complain about difficult puzzles

The Adventures of Willy Beamish
Released: 1991

Breaking ties with its usual cast of protagonists, Sierra’s The Adventures of Willy Beamish put you in the shoes of an all-American kid. Like most young boys, Willy loves science fiction, shenanigans, and videogames. But his dreams of entering the world “Nintari” gaming competition seem doomed to fail when his videogame privileges are revoked.

To make matters worse, his father has lost his job, the ghost of his grandfather won’t leave him alone, and it looks like his babysitter may be a vampire. Although he comes off as a total brat at times, there’s a Calvin & Hobbes-like charm to The Adventures of Willy Beamish, which made his character easy to relate to as you worked your way through the title’s puzzles while avoiding getting shipped off to military school.

Above: On the last day of school before summer break, Willy dreams of entering the Nintari Championship…

Above: …where he faces an Asian StarCraft pro with a sweet bowl haircut

Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work
Released: 1991

Although the title clearly suggests that this is the fifth Leisure Suit Larry game, Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work is actually the fourth game in the series. If you recall, the third game ended quite neatly, with Larry and Patti programming adventure games for Sierra in a state of undress.

However, in this title Larry and Patti can’t really remember what their relationship was or how exactly they know each other. It winds up placing the burden of explaining what happened on the fourth phantom chapter, allowing the series to move forward with a fresh new plot.

This time, Larry finds himself working in the adult film industry, scouting models for America’s Sexiest Home Videos. Meanwhile, Patti gets picked up by the FBI and is recruited to investigate record companies who are suspected of slipping insidious subliminal messages into their songs. 

Police Quest III:  The Kindred
Released: 1991

Players once again step into the shoes of detective Sonny Bonds. As always, the series prides itself on presenting an ultra realistic depiction of the life of a police officer. Managing evidence, filing reports, and handing out traffic citations sound like distracting chores - when a series of surreal murderers need investigating. But the seemingly mundane puzzles added tons of believability, giving you a taste of a day in the life of a police detective.

Above: The Police Quest series has always prided itself on presenting players with a realistic portrayal of a police officer…

Above: …so why is figuring out how to sneak into the women’s bathroom at your headquarters the most memorable puzzle in the game?


  • dacole78 - May 29, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    for a great lucasfilm game that wasn't mentioned here try loom great game that I wish my disks still worked on..
  • pinoklin - May 28, 2009 8:21 p.m.

  • CARLINNIT - May 28, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    Ah, Grim Fandango. The stuff dreams are made of...
  • solsunforge - May 28, 2009 9:19 a.m.

    Well I shake my head in a left and right fashion as I read your verdict. True scum vm was a awesome landmark achivement and you actually forgot to mention loom for lucas arts. But this argument is a toss up I suppose but you did forget a lot of sierra point and clicks such as torins passage(created by al lowe the maker of leisure suit larry) you forgot laura bowe murder mysteries . True monkey island is awesome and is stil lawesome but you can play the sierra games still but you said you couldnt. Ever hear of dosbox? Its how all old games are played. On a side note someone mentioned some game from westwood must not of read that this piece was on sierra vs lucas arts. Those 2 companies are not westwood/bullfrog/maxis/ea (I mentioned all of those because they were subsidiaries of each other who got bought out by ea. Anyways I still maintain sierra as the winner and fan favorite. Captcha: ceiling ranger
  • iggzy880 - May 27, 2009 9:30 p.m.

    I gotta say, what this shows me is that Sierra kinda flooded the market and Lucas Arts had a handful of truly memorable games
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 27, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    Lol, just cuz of this im now guna go hunt down my copy of Monkey Island 1, 2 and maybe even 3 nd re-install, try nd find a way to make em work on vista, and play the best adventure games ever. Monky Island was actually my first game which i picked up when i was six, nd i still blame it and Toomb Raider 1 & 2 for making me a gaming nut.
  • cookie23q - May 27, 2009 9:18 a.m.

    lucasarts ftw
  • Sandman89 - May 27, 2009 5:03 a.m.

    Shit...typo :-p
  • 435 - May 27, 2009 3:11 a.m.

    Neglect for the Laura Bow adventures saddens me, Mr. Nagata.
  • RedOutlive10 - May 27, 2009 3:02 a.m.

    I remember Grim Fandango, story and characters. That game was so awesome... Remake pretty please? Or maybe another adventure game with the same flavor.
  • usmovers_02 - May 27, 2009 12:40 a.m.

    It's Myst or bust for me. I wasn't a gamer in the 80's and was only just starting in the 90's. When it comes to adventure games, I've gotta have at LEAST the graphic quality of Myst. I just can't do old games anymore (except for you Prince of Persia! You'll always be #1!) reCAPTCHA: who outlines (not me)
  • Wizrai - May 26, 2009 10:59 p.m.

  • Starplatinum - May 26, 2009 10:47 p.m.

    Nice trip through memory lane. Almost makes me want to play through Monkey Island again. Great article but needs more Gabriel Knight!
  • Shartdragon - May 29, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    Lucas arts is with out a doubt the winner. The Monkey Island series and my favorite Grim Fandango were the shit. I am getting ready to load Fandango now for another run through the after life with Manny. My only wish is that they would still make games like these. Tim Schafer's Psychonauts is the closes thing any body has come to capturing these classic adventure games. And I hope that Brutal Legend will another great game from Schafer.
  • Master_Leep - May 29, 2009 8:04 p.m.

    Sierra wins in my book.
  • TanookiMan - May 28, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    Has anyone ever played I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream? That adventure was messed up!
  • cassadinechik - May 27, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    Ah - Phantasmagoria gave me such nightmares! I still get shivers. Thanks for the memories, this was my intro to gaming so many years ago...
  • GlassPants - May 27, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    I totally agree with the Lucas Arts choice. I still proudly wear my Monkey Island 2 T-shirt anytime I can
  • notthatgoodthanks - May 27, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    Yeah lucasarts deserve the win. The 90's were full of so many classic adventures that they can't not win. Monkey island 1+2, grim fandango, sam and max, day of the tentacle... just amazing games, that are tough and decent fun.
  • Bashar - May 27, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    Doesn't need thinking. Lucasarts are the best. Well were at least at the time :). Sierra did some good games, but they lost focus and they took pride in how many different ways you can die, missing the real point of the game. FUN!

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000