I was looking over the site, GamePeople, which seems to be a gaming site aimed at a slightly older audience who are not harcore gaming fanboys and also not the “typical” casual game player. In a sense, it caters to gamers who might not other wise be properly served by the bigger sites that seem to have almost created a strong polarisation with little overlap. The GamePeople audience seems to fit into another area of the Venn diagram.
It was while I was looking over the site that I found the page with the heading Adventure Game Genre Reviews. Having been involved in different aspects of the creation of adventure games over the last seventeen years, I was a little surprised to find that games as different as Assassin’s Creed and Animal Crossing. Admittedly, there are more traditional adventures like Ceville and Monkey Island in their list, but most are what I would class as action games.
And yet, part of me has always felt that the adventure label is slightly wrong for games that are essentially point-and-click inventory and dialogue games. Somewhere along the line the sense of “adventure” has been played down quite considerably. There’s nothing wrong with the style of game that is the traditional adventure – I love creating them myself, after all – but it’s clear that for many people not brought up on a type of gameplay that is now seen as a niche genre, the word “adventure” conjours up something more exciting that often goes hand in hand with a certain amount of action. I can’t help but feel that they’re probably right. Or at least, not wrong.
A few years ago I tried to break free of the restrictions of the old adventure genre (while still making adventure games) by referring to the games I created as “escapades”. Needless to say, I’m still waiting for that term to catch on.