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What is an Adventure Game ?


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With the plethora of computer and console games on the market that focus on

combat and killing, Adventure games can be a 'breath-of-fresh-air' alternative to the

carnage and mayhem frequently encountered in other types of video game.


By their very nature, a large majority of Adventure games are non-violent and are

frequently regarded as family-friendly games. Each of the graphic Adventures featured

in the Adventure Point database is supplied with age-of-player recommendations, based

on information from the game's developer or publisher.


Many definitions have been propounded for what we know to be a graphic

Adventure game. In many respects, a graphic Adventure can be compared to a movie

or a book, but with player interaction. The vast majority of Adventure games are built

upon narrative exploration, in a non-threatening and non-competitive context. They

usually have a main character and, nearly always, have some sort of story. The game will

often, but not always, include puzzles; in shorter games, there can be three or four and,

in longer games, as many as thirty or forty. It would be wrong to try to separate

Adventure games from other games by saying that they involve intellect, as many other

games do also. However, in Adventure games, there is far less action and reaction,

and manual dexterity rarely comes into it. The mental challenge is important but, moreso,

is the patience of the player to play the game at a leisurely pace, and to solve puzzles

and riddles through guile, cunning and, sometimes, lateral thinking.


Exploration is an important factor in Adventure games. The desire to find out what

lies around the next corner is one aspect of this. But, also, exploration can take the form

of discovering what will happen next if a particular conversation 'path' is chosen in

preference to another, or if the player solves, by logic, or, in some cases, trial and error,

a perplexing puzzle. That "Ah-ha!" moment is characteristic of well written Adventure

games. As I think I've already mentioned . . . . patience is the key.


Most Adventure games involve a 'hero'; that's you! The 'hero'  usually embarks on

a quest, or adventure, during which he/she will move in a 'world' in which he/she

looks at, or examines, items and clues, collecting them, or keeping note of what was

learned. Interaction with both objects and characters can be frequent and, in the case

of the latter, conversations take place, involving choice of 'dialogue path'. Many

Adventure games are dialogue based and this means they are very good for language

learners as dialogue is either written as subtitles, spoken or, in many Adventure

games, both.


Adventure games are excellent for exercising mental agility and are very good

motivational tools. That moment when a puzzle is solved, or a clue is recognised, can

give the player enormous rewards in the form of satisfaction at having

accomplished a goal. Finding a solution to a problem allows the all-important

story to progress.


To conclude, it can be said that fans of Adventure games have something of the

detective about them. They like a challenge that requires both patience and

fortitude and, whereas in a minority of Adventure games it is possible for your character

to die, this is almost invariably due to the player's failure to correctly address a logical

(or, sometimes, illogical), problem, rather than having been caused by an enemy, or

trap, 'blowing your head off'.

What Is An Adventure Game?

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