Tonight I am very happy to introduce a new guest poster: Julie. Julie, or Julie Jules as she is occasionally known, is a great game-player and expert puzzle solver. She’s also a big movie buff and mom to two precious little girls. Julie writes:
There are few (I mean very few) PC or video games that I, as a woman, like to play. I prefer the ones that challenge me into thinking out-of-the-box vs. testing my game hand-eye coordination speed, which is poor and will never improve. There are, however, a couple adventure games that I have played that both men and women will enjoy.
Several years ago my husband Scott and I were introduced to two Lucas Arts Entertainment games by a co-worker. We spent many nights working together to solve the out-of-the-box puzzles presented to us.
The first game Grim Fandango, with a top 5-star Amazon rating, features a Mexican/Aztec/Mayan art style with a theme based on skeletons and witty dialogues and comebacks. This is truly an incredible experience. Playing this game is like participating in an interactive movie that lasts through four years in the life of the main character Manny Calaveras (skull in Spanish). However, in order to move onto the next scene, you have to piece together clues in order to determine the correct sequence of actions, with the additional aid of conversations with characters.
After completing the game, we searched for its successor, or at least one like it, but, alas, LucasArts did not have plans to release another game like Grim Fandango, despite the rave reviews. So, we moved onto the co-worker's other recommended LucasArts game: Curse of Monkey Island.
I like this game because it made us laugh. How often do you catch yourself laughing while playing a computer game? This game is the third in a series of Monkey Island games. This game has insults and comebacks that you give/take from a selection of choices, along with off-the-cuff humorous comments from various characters. There are numerous subtle references, including a nod to Grim Fandango.
I suppose this type of game brings back memories of the 1980s text-only adventure games that I used to play on my Apple. The text games only accepted two-word commands, like "go north" or "get ___". You didn't have graphics, audio, or a mouse to guide you. You had to rely on your own visual-mapping and memory skills.
As part of a game called The Count, I remember being thrilled when I realized that I had to hide in a dumbwaiter to light a match in order to progress to the next set of events. Before that moment, I felt like I was randomly choosing things to carry with me while wandering around. (Come to think of it, these old games sound like Myst without the graphics and extreme complexity.) I tracked down the Windows downloadable version of The Count from the creator Scott Adams (not related to Dilbert), along with Web Java playable versions of all his games, including Ghost Town and Adventureland. I hope that you find them as enjoyable as I have.