So this weekend, I played through one new three-part adventure game, as well as playing the demo of an only slightly older one.
Oh man, they made me rage.
The first thing I noticed was my complete lack of empathy with the player character (in BOTH games), which led to a lack of investment in the goals of the game. I only continued playing them because a) I’d paid $20 for the first, and b) I wanted to give the second a fair chance, considering it’s by an Australian developer.
But I couldn’t get over it. I also couldn’t get over how, despite the stories themselves being fairly interesting, the structure of the stories were so flawed that I was just irritated, left with feelings of “why am I doing this?” and “why isn’t this over?”
This isn’t to say that they didn’t do anything right. There were a few things that impressed me, such as well-planned puzzle arcs and interdependencies. I always like those. Proper reviews to come shortly. But, oh my God (the God of narratives/stories/I think that’s Dionysus? He’s also the God of wine and possibly orgies, so that’s pretty cool), do you want to know why point-and-click adventure games aren’t selling so well? Because the best part of them (the adventure) is so average. The writers… I seriously wonder whether they’ve ever learnt anything about writing for any medium where they have to try to keep the audience’s interest (as opposed to the kind of writing that fills time in transit between more interesting events/locations).