Sunday, July 12, 2009

The cautious return of LucasArts

In the early 90's, LucasArts owned the PC adventure game market. Each new title they released broke new ground. First they perfected the straight-forward point-and-click combine-the-what-with-the-what-now??! adventure game with Monkey Island 1 and 2, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Then they really began to innovate, with games like Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max Hit the Road.

As the 90's ended, LucasArts gave up on adventure games to focus on their Yet Another Bloody Star Wars Game strategy. Other major gaming companies did likewise, leading some people to think that the adventure game today is dead. Not so: the mantle has been picked up by smaller companies such as Telltale Games, who are doing well with LucasArts's old Sam & Max franchise.

Someone at LucasArts must have recently asked themselves: Hey, people used to love us back in '92, whatever happened with that?! So this summer they're re-releasing Monkey Island 1 with modern graphics, they're allowing Telltale Games to make new episodic Monkey Island games, (the first was released this week), and they're releasing their own classics on Steam, the iTunes of PC gaming.

That's fantastic. I'm going to look at some games I didn't play in the 90's, such as LOOM and The Dig. Am I still able to play such old games? At least I'll finally be able to .. uhm, pay for Fate of Atlantis. And the first new game from Telltale looks good, (it's actually funny.) Will be back with more.



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