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Adventure game

The Adventure game is a genre of the computer game. It is a broad genre, it takes in many game styles and really any subject could be turned to an adventure. Typically an adventure is very story driven with characters and locales that are consistent within the game world. The fundamental basis of most adventure games involves a main character, a game environment, non-player characters, and objects; the player controls the main character, and can interact with the other elements. Adventure games are based around puzzles, which are solved through these interactions. Adventure games heavily emphasise thought and problem-solving abilities over the fast reflexes of more action styled games.

The first adventure games to appear were text adventures (later called interactive fiction), which typically use a verb-noun parser to interact with the user. These were the first things to appear on mainframe computers after Spacewar, evolving from early titles like Hunt the Wumpus and Adventure (Will Crowther[?], c1975; expanded by Don Woods 1976) to the widely popular Zork series (1979-) which made its way onto the new Apple II as well as most of the other types of personal computers.

Adventure games blend very much into RPGs; the reader may note that the generic description above could almost as well describe the RPG. The two are generally differentiated by several features. Adventure games do not generally feature the points-based character attributes of RPGs. Adventures also have far less combat than RPGs, and most have none. Essentially, adventure games focus on a single gameplay element, the solving of puzzles; this is only one element out of a larger range to be found in the typical RPG.

Some companies that were important in bringing out text adventures were Adventure International, Infocom, Level 9[?], and Melbourne House[?].

Graphical adventure games, where the action is not related through lines of text appearing on the screen but represented graphically, were introduced by a new company called On-line Systems, which later changed its name to Sierra On-line. After the rudimentary Mystery House[?] (1980) they established themselves with the full adventure King's Quest (1984), appearing on various systems, and went on to further success with a variety of strong titles. In 1987 a second major developer entered the field, Lucasarts[?], with the release of Maniac Mansion, a game that replaced the text-based parser with a point-and-click interface. LucasArts also differentiated their titles from Sierra's by rethinking some of the design elements of the adventure game. In LucasArts adventures it is not possible for the player to die or become completely stuck (except through unintentional game bugs). Most LucasArts adventures also have no points system. The classic example of LucasArt work was with the Monkey Island series.

A variety of adventure game sometimes known as the action adventure was introduced by Nintendo with The Legend of Zelda (1985). In this game, the player controls the movements of the character directly, rather than simply clicking a location and having the game move the character itself, but still gathers items and solves puzzles. This type of game is even closer to the RPG genre, and some consider the Legend of Zelda series to be simplified RPGs. The term "action adventure" itself has become more generalised since its introduction, and can now be used to refer to virtually any game which combines elements of reflex-based play with some element of puzzle solving.

As of 2003, few commercial adventure games have been hits in the recent past. One possible reason may be the release of "massively multiplayer online role-playing games", in which the participation of other humans allows a more involving experience than the canned responses of an adventure game (though they lose the delicate plotting of single-player games).

Some notable games in the adventure game genre are:

Text adventures (also called interactive fiction)

Sierra adventures

LucasArts adventures

See SCUMM and GrimE.

Misc. graphic adventures

See also : Video game; Role-playing game; First-person shooter.



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