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Top 5: Sierra Adventure Games
By Julie
2009-04-22

It was my original intention to write a review of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for the DS today, but unfortunately I haven’t finished it yet, so that rant will have to wait.  I’m on chapter 8 of 10, though, so next week for sure.

Instead, for your reading pleasure, I’m going to pull a 1Up and write a top 5 list.  So here you go folks, my Top 5 Sierra Adventure Games.  Remember those?  Back in the day, before people gave up using their brains in favour of using the internet, Sierra made some of the best adventure games every created.

1) King’s Quest VI.  It would have been pretty easy for me to fill most of this list with KQ games, but instead I’ll pick the best one of the lot, which is without a doubt KQ6.  If you’re like me, and all the games tend to blur together in your mind, KQ6 was the one with the magic map that transported you to different islands.   I’ve tried replaying this several times, but after all these years, I still remember most of the puzzles, which spoils it a bit.  Also, one time I got pretty far, and my copy of the game froze.  Stupid stick in the mud animation crashing my game.  Grrrrr.

2) Conquests of the Longbow:The Legend of Robin Hood. The only thing I really remember about this game was that if you tried to talk to a horse, you would ask it “horse, can you talk?”, and it would answer “nay”.  When I was ten, this was pretty much the funniest thing I’d ever heard.  Even now, I still get a chuckle out of it.

3) Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel.  This is actually the only Police Quest game I ever played, but I know that Chris was a big fan of the series, as well as the Space Quest series, which I unfortunately never played.  Remember how hard driving was in PQ1?  Crazy.  The game came out in 1987, but I have a feeling I didn’t play it until several years later, as I would hope my parents didn’t let me play it when I was five.

4) Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.  While losing points for the title (always avoid alliteration), this game presented one of the biggest challenges of my childhood.  This challenge appeared, not in the game itself, but in the age testing questions you were required to answer before you were allowed to play.  Of all the times I tried to sneak my way into Larry’s perverted world, I only got in twice.  The thrill I felt at having correctly answered three grown-up questions in a row totally eclipsed the fact that I didn’t understand this game at all.  I did finally play it years later, though, and while not as thrilling as my previous covert-ops experience, it was still clever and entertaining.

5) Mixed-Up Mother Goose.  I don’t care what anybody says, this game was awesome.  Everything I know about nursery rhymes (which is a lot), I learned from this game.  It wasn’t aimed at adults, but compared to kid games nowadays, Mother Goose was really, really hard.  At least, I remember it being hard.  Though, when I last played this, I was so young that I was completely un-phased by the expression “ride a cock horse”.  So maybe it was easier than I remember.

It’s a damn shame that Sierra stopped making games like these. King’s Quest VII was terrible, and the one that came after was not even really a King’s Quest game.  Police Quest turned into the SWAT series, which was kind of lame.  Even when they were still releasing real adventure games (Torin’s Passage), they took all the challenge out of them. I remember when I was little my parents spending entire nights on the computer trying to figure out one KQ puzzle (after I went to bed, they weren’t neglecting me to game or anything).  In KQ1, you needed to show a carrot to a goat to get him to follow you to the bridge troll.  If you just fed the carrot to the goat, he’d eat it, and you’d be no further ahead.  If that game came out now, as soon as you picked up the carrot, your character would muse aloud to himself “hey, don’t goats like carrots?”, and if you tried to feed it to one instead of just flashing it, he would ponder “hmmm, I wonder how I can use this to get him to follow me to the bridge?”.  Once internet faqs came into the picture, people lost the will to solve these puzzles themselves.  More and more hints and cheats started showing up in the actual games, and once the challenge was gone, what was the point?  While the internet is one of my favourite things ever, I wish it hadn’t killed Sierra adventure games.

This post is especially sad considering the (somewhat) recent merger of Activision and Blizzard which resulted in the effective end of Sierra Entertainment.  Of course, the company in no way resembled its former glorious self so it’s essentially just the end of a name…the product died long ago.  Julie’s correct in stating that the Police Quest games were my favourite.  PQ1 and PQ4 both stand out in my mind as being among the best Sierra games, although King’s Quest V is up there.  I also played Mixed-Up Mother Goose and that’s all I have to say about that.

Julie and I have discussed creating our own game in the the vein of the old Sierra adventurers and maybe someday we will.  It will be horribly unpopular for the reasons that Julie mentioned above.  Something to look forward to…

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Comments
8 Comments • Comments RSSTrackBack URI
  1. kdogoblingbling
    2009-04-22 16:50

    Police Quest was awesome, but I would also rank Space Quest up there. For me SQ2 was the best sierra game.

  2. Tim
    2009-04-27 0:03

    If you want a super easy to relive those glory days, check out http://sarien.net/ They have several Sierra classics built entirely in Java that play in your browser. Pretty neat!

  3. 2009-04-27 6:37

    ummm, I think you forgot the chart topper which is Hero’s Quest??? Hands down best game in all those types! I remember typing the command, ctrl+c, then ctrl+v when needed because if you weren’t fast enough you got owned.

    Also, I was pleased when Luc showed me the super character that could be Fighter/Thief/Mage all in one by spending your talents properly! GO LUC!

  4. 2009-04-27 7:02

    You’re right, I completely forgot about Hero’s Quest. I hereby officially remove Police Quest from this list and replace it with Hero’s Quest.

  5. 2009-04-27 7:24

    Tim, thanks for the link, that’s awesome. (I may revoke those thanks when I get fired from my job, though.) Also, I can’t believe I forgot about Hero’s Quest and Black Cauldron. I should have made this a top 10 list.

  6. 2009-04-28 8:42

    Yeah, hard to call out a top 5 for sierra games considering how awesome they were in the 90s =)

  7. NawtSoMuch
    2009-05-12 1:39

    You have listed ALL sierra adventure games from yonder and said here’s my Top X List of Sierra Adventure games.
    I’m going to say that the best adventure game of ALL TIME was definitely Interplay’s Star Trek 25th Anniversary. I DARE any of you to pass the final mission. Near impossible.

  8. 2009-05-12 7:09

    How is it the best game of all time if you can’t pass the last mission?

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