There are 21 games. This is a huge year for adventure games and if you already know about most of these, you’ll see why this was a ridiculous hard choice to make for top 3.
#3 – Myst
It’s hard to see it now, but at the time, Myst was quite revolutionary. I say it’s hard to see it now because it’s been remade and ported to pretty much every console in HISTORY, but I suppose that’s a testament to how popular it was. And it’s hard to say exactly why besides the tech behind the game. Sure, the artwork was nice and it was definitely an adventure trying to figure stuff out, but in reality, I think what drew a lot of us to it were the high quality Quicktime movies.
See, I really wanted to put something else here such as Return to Zork, which I absolutely loved and also had some pretty spiffy movies, but they were based on old tech and they looked grainy as hell. It was a major toss up for a while because while I thought Myst was pretty revolutionary, I really wanted to put something else here instead. All the same, if you HAVEN’T played Myst for whatever reason, boot it up on your console of choice and prepare for some instant nostalgia.
#2 – Quest for Glory 4
I kinda wanted to put something else here as a sort of “psych, gotcha” in reference to what I’d said earlier about this making the list. Truth is, it really is that good, though. I personally believe this is the strongest QFG title and strangely, not because of its RPG elements. No, I felt like the RPG elements gave you something to do while you were stalking around the land of Mordavia, which is deeply rooted in Slavic lore.
Everything from the environments to the characters to the dialogue to the puzzles is finely crafted and a perfect example of adventure gaming genius. The RPG elements, to me, are just icing on the cake. You might be wondering why this didn’t make #1, then. Well, my friends…
#1 – Gabriel Knight – Sins of the Fathers
…that’s because there is no beating this game in the same year. Gabriel Knight was masterfully written, had some of the best graphics I’d seen in an adventure game ever up to that point, a very dark and awesome story, awesome characters and dialogue, and Tim motherfucking Curry voicing the role of Gabriel Knight. The game takes place in a (then) modern day New Orleans as Knight goes around trying to solve the mysteries of the voodoo murders for his new book.
Naturally he gets in over his head…and that’s all I’m going to tell you. The game is FANTASTIC.
This was truly a year of “must haves.” I see plenty of titles in the runner ups list that I gladly would’ve added to a top 5 or 10 list as well, but truly none of them rival the top 3.
Call of Cthulhu – Shadow of the Comet
EcoQuest 2 – Lost Secret of the Rainforest
Eric the Unready
Freddy Pharkas – Frontier Pharmacist
Goblins Quest 3
Innocent Until Caught
Legend of Kyrandia 2
Leisure Suit Larry 6
Maniac Mansion 2 – Day of the Tentacle
Pepper’s Adventures in Time
Police Quest 4
Return of the Phantom
Return to Zork
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Simon the Sorcerer
Space Quest 5
Star Trek – Judgment Rites