point-and-click adventure

PC classic commentary: King's Quest VI with Jane Jensen

Wes Fenlon at

PC Gamer's classic commentaries are special interviews with the developers of some of our favorite games. Join us for an hour with a classic game and the inside stories of its creation.

Zounds! Before legendary adventure game designer Jane Jensen worked on King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, she was, herself, a fan of King's Quest. Jensen and Sierra co-founder Roberta Williams collaborated on King's Quest VI, and Prince Alexander's adventures in the Land of the Green Isles may be the fan favorite of series. Over the course of an hour, Jane Jensen tells stories from the King's Quest's development and her career at Sierra as she plays the game for the first time in 20 years.

Procedural quest: Why there are so few police procedurals in gaming

Wes Fenlon at

Flip through the channels on cable TV for more than a minute, and there's a good chance the weathered face of Detective Lennie Briscoe or the salt-and-pepper shag of Jack McCoy will fill your screen. Law & Order reruns will be around forever; the original series ran for 456 episodes over 20 years. Throw in spin-offs and there are more than 1000 episodes. CSI and NCIS have run for hundreds of episodes. The popularity of procedural shows never wanes: day-in, day-out, the formula never changes, but we keep watching. Procedurals like Law & Order and CSI are the reliable backbone of entertainment: sturdy, consistent, always there to give you what you need without doing anything too new or exciting. We love procedurals. So why, if the genre is so enormously, enduringly popular, on TV and in books and even movies, are there so few police procedural video games?

Predictable-but-entertaining detective stories and courtroom dramas have dominated primetime for 60 years, but you can count the successful, well-known procedural games on a couple hands with fingers to spare. When HBO's True Detective did something bold and new with the formula, it became the most talked-about TV show in years. It also made me realize that police procedural games are practically nonexistent. I couldn't figure out why, so I decided to talk to game writers and designers, from the creator of Police Quest to the writer behind Spec Ops: The Line, to answer that question.


Last Life interview: Sam Farmer on the intersection of Total Recall, film noir, and point-and-click adventure

Wes Fenlon at

I love film noir and adventure games, so Sam Farmer's Last Life, currently in its final hours on Kickstarter, seems like a game made for me. When I talked to Farmer, though, I was surprised that our conversation veered away from fedoras and shadowy bars and more towards Last Life's sci-fi core. The game is set on Mars, which is weird, and it's about transhumanism—how society changes when 3d printing can indefinitely extend life and AI becomes as intelligent as humanity—which is even weirder. The strangest fact I picked up about Last Life, though, is that Farmer's making the game with his parents.


Grim Fandango finally a point-and-click adventure game, thanks to modder

Emanuel Maiberg at

Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made—an epic journey through a world that meshes Casablanca with Día de Muertos, as brilliantly imagined by Tim Schafer. First released in 1998, it was just about the peak of storytelling in the genre, but it always had one huge problem: the controls. But a new mod may solve those problems, changing the game's controls from keyboard-based "tank" movements to a point-and-click interface.


New adventure game The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief is out now

Katie Williams at

Adventure games aren't dead, okay? They're alive and kicking and with characters that only vaguely look as if they've been moulded out of plasticine. Now gather around, fellow fans, and we'll take a look at the newest story to hit the genre today—The Raven: Legacy of the Master Thief.


Kentucky Route Zero's next episode delayed a couple of weeks

Katie Williams at

It's that sad, age-old tale of a traveler never making it to his final destination. Or, in this case, the second part of an atmospheric adventure game not reaching its intended recipients in time. Cardboard Computer have announced, via email newsletter, that part two has been delayed by "a couple of weeks" - but to make up for it, they'll be releasing "small/weird screenshots" regularly on social media till then.


The Walking Dead's first season now available in boxed version

Omri Petitte at

Telltale's episodic Walking Dead series of drama-laced survival hit shelves today as a boxed edition compiling all five episodes of the first season. Retailing exclusively at Best Buy stores for $30, the collection charts the struggles of Lee, Clementine, Kenny, and other memorable characters as personalities clash and mesh during a widespread zombie outbreak.