Author Topic: Worst adventure game you've ever played  (Read 12527 times)

nidoking

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Worst adventure game you've ever played
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:29:05 AM »
Looking to spur a bit of discussion here... so what's the worst adventure game you've ever played? I've heard a lot about Limbo of the Lost, of course, but it's hard to consider a game so plagiarized an honest effort. I have to nominate a little-known late 90s title called Fable, which was so obscure that most people think I must be talking about the Peter Molyneux RPG of the same name. No, Fable was a near-complete wreck of an adventure game that tried its best to be funny, but ruined most of its gags with terrible delivery, ruined most of its gameplay with a terrible interface, and ruined most of its puzzles with terrible puzzles. The fact that the main character's name is Quickthorpe should tell you something. (It told me that they desperately wanted to be like Monkey Island, anyway.) Even the original ending was so bad that they made a new one for the American re-release - and it's not much better, but at least it fits the story.

It's a pretty relevant topic for me because I'm slowly doing a Let's Play of the game for the Something Awful forums, and with each update, I'm writing a mini-essay about what makes an adventure game good or bad, in my opinion, and how Fable falls foul of almost every criterion. Here's the playlist if you want to follow along and compare your own least favorite to mine.

I have to give Jack Keane at least an honorable mention, though. I gave up on it pretty quickly when the strategy of "hold Tab to see what objects I can interact with" failed to give me any clues to progress. At least I can't remember any particularly cringe-worthy attempts at humor.

Blackthorne

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 10:08:37 AM »
I think Codename: Iceman ranks up there.  I dug the graphics, but the gameplay was really.... bad.  Lots of manual puzzles, difficult to navigate sub... it could have been great, but alas - it wasn't.

Bt
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sickfiction

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 01:42:45 PM »
Search for the king. Actually it was pretty funny and the music was top notch... But the puzzles were so so cryptic I had to buy a hint book and even then they didn't make sense.
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Lambonius

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 01:53:43 PM »
GK2?  ;)  It pops into my head almost immediately for its cringeworthy FMV and painfully slow pace, as well as the numerous "click every hotspot available in order to advance the story" sections.  The story's pretty interesting though, once you get past all that.  I've been replaying it again recently, and it IS enjoyable, but only if you can hold your nose at all the bad parts of the presentation.

I'd say Back to the Future by Telltale would be a good contender.  It was the last Telltale game that really billed itself as an adventure game, but was the first of Telltale's super-easy click-to-proceed type games.

Codename Iceman is definitely a contender if we're just looking at stuff from the old, pre-FMV days.  The first time you get to a sub sequence and the game lurches to a screeching halt...oy.  Not to even mention all of the ridiculous deadend possibilities, AND the awful chance-based dice game that you HAD to win to finish the game, but that punished you for using the save-load trick.  Fuck that game.  :)
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Collector

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 01:57:18 PM »
Search for the king. Actually it was pretty funny and the music was top notch... But the puzzles were so so cryptic I had to buy a hint book and even then they didn't make sense.

Add to it a parser interface so that you can also play "what word am I thinking of now" game with the developer along with cryptic puzzles.

sickfiction

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 04:09:12 PM »
Search for the king. Actually it was pretty funny and the music was top notch... But the puzzles were so so cryptic I had to buy a hint book and even then they didn't make sense.

Add to it a parser interface so that you can also play "what word am I thinking of now" game with the developer along with cryptic puzzles.
Yeah I remember a puzzle where you had to 'Ask for soda' from a lady in her house. There was no mention of soda or even that Les was thirsty. totally random. Then you had to spill it on the table.
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Collector

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 04:29:08 PM »
That has always been my main objection to the parser interface. Some see it as giving the user more control, but as with any other interface, what you get is mostly limited by the programmer. A parser is only as good as it is robust. Sierra was jealous of Infocom's parser for this reason. If the parser does not know enough synonyms or does not understand somewhat more complex grammar, it does not matter if the player knows what information the game wants. You can type into the game the exact meaning it wants, but it will not understand what the player put into it. Compound this with regional variations. How many would know what a "chifferobe" is outside of the Southern US and had not seen To Kill a Mockingbird?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 04:32:06 PM by Collector »

Blackthorne

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 05:00:00 PM »
Ahem... READ To Kill A Mockingbird.


Bt
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MusicallyInspired

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 07:53:53 PM »
I'm really not sure what I can rate as worst adventure game ever. I can give examples of most disappointing adventure games ever, though. BTTF is definitely one. Jurassic Park as well, though you can't really call it an adventure game. Still, it has remnants of being one, if only because the developers kept referring to it as the "betterment" of an adventure game. Saying things like "so we eliminated walking, because obviously the most annoying part of an adventure game is the long time it takes to walk back and forth between different screens." Oh yeah...OBVIOUSLY. Pro tip, if you're going to try to "progress" and "advance" adventures into the modern more accessible era then you don't go alienating the original fanbase by telling them why and how the games they've loved for years suck and need to be improved upon. That guy was pretentious as all get out. Oh well, at least the game did terribly.

I was disappointed in Escape from Monkey Island before I even got too far into it. It just bored me to death. Everything seemed like it was going so political in the story and it wasn't really about being a pirate anymore. I didn't care about what was happening and I didn't care about the characters anymore. I gladly left it on the shelf and never returned to it. Maybe I'll get back to it one day.

There are probably more but I can't think of any right now. What is the worst of these examples? Probably Jurassic Park....but it's not really an adventure, so BTTF, then. But do I think it was the worst adventure game ever? No, probably not. I'm happy to think that I haven't in all these years run into the worst adventure game ever yet. :)

Lambonius

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 08:28:29 PM »
I feel like this topic is a little too general.  I think a more interesting conversation would be "worst adventure games you've ever played that are widely loved by many others."  Then we'd definitely be talking GK2.  ;)
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Klytos

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 09:12:46 PM »
GK2 is both a contender and not. I think the FMV is horrid, but the story itself I think surpasses GK1 and is really quite good. Iceman is terrible, but as BT said, it could have been awesome. Search for the King was great.
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Bad2DaBone

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 09:26:11 PM »
Teenagent was horrendous.

It sounds promising, and the first stage is a lot of fun, but once you enter stage 2 the game enters into pure suck-mode.  Almost NONE of the puzzles make ANY sense whatsoever... it was a weak attempt at starting a new franchise.

Lambonius

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2013, 09:35:44 PM »
Being the first FMV game I ever played (I was lucky enough to basically entirely skip that era of adventure gaming), GK2 only served to confirm what I had already grown to believe about FMV gaming, that it generally sucks balls.  :)  For me, it's not even so much the FMV as the digitally manipulated photo backgrounds and sprites.  It just completely kills the magic for me--real world photographs cannot capture the same level of interest for me as genuine hand-painted artwork.  It feels cheap by comparison.  GK2 would have been so much better with hand-painted artwork.  SO MUCH BETTER.  I love historical fiction, and GK2 has some really nicely researched stuff, but the presentation just kills it for me.  I wouldn't really go so far as to call it "worst adventure game ever" though...unless I was trying to get a rise out of Cesar Bittar.  ;)
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Bad2DaBone

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 12:26:15 AM »
Btw, Teenagent is free on GOG.com- probably the only reason why I played it!  :P


Thankfully some of their other freeware games are quite enjoyable.

Collector

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Re: Worst adventure game you've ever played
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 01:35:47 PM »
Ahem... READ To Kill A Mockingbird.


Bt

Of course, but as good as the book is, the movie is one that I especially like, so it is what first came to mind. By the way, Harper Lee was completely involved in the making of the movie and thought that it was a great portrayal of her book. She had modeled Atticus after her own father. She was amazed with how much Gregory Peck reminded her of her father.

While obviously there is content in the novel omitted from the movie, it is not just another example of a mediocre movie made from a great book.