If you are looking to get into the world of video gaming, then there is one genre that can get you instantly hooked; that of action adventure games. The best adventure games are consistently ranked among the favorite genres of seasoned players, proving that the appeal of their classic gameplay never seems to fade. But why are these titles so widely loved in the gaming community? Let’s take a look at this genre and its history to find out.
Do you want to go on an epic journey where you will be tasked with overcoming challenges and exploring new environments? If so, adventure games are just the thing that you are looking for. When playing action adventure games, you assume control of a protagonist as they navigate an expansive fictional world. You can usually progress by solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles. The element of exploration is a definitive aspect of the genre, and sets the best adventure games apart from others.
Developers of these titles have a tricky task - they need to deliver the best experience possible for players looking to navigate a map with challenges while immersing them into a deep universe full of lore. Usually, adventure games are designed to be played by a single player, meaning that you remain in total control of how it all unfolds. The choices you make, the adventures you choose to undertake, and the puzzles you solve along the way all impact your experience.
Nowadays, there are both offline and online adventure games for PC, console, and, more recently, a variety of mobile devices. Several of the best adventure games are typically released simultaneously across more than one platform in order to reach a large demographic. Partly because of this, the adventure genre is not a niche gaming market and is designed to be widely accessible. This also helps to explain why the genre continues to succeed and evolve.
The reason why the best adventure games are so popular is simple: the ability to be in control of your own narrative. Sometimes all you want to do is load an FPS or platformer, and spend a few hours packed with fast-paced action and simple one-click dynamics. But, for those other times, you may be in the mood for a game that will unfold at its own pace, where the tasks you perform along the way will alter the progression of your experience.
An adventure game can also have plenty of depth since there can be a wide variety of tasks you have to perform in order to progress:
While there are many adventure offerings that combine the classic genre mechanics with your favorite elements from action adventure games, for example, the best titles are not always heavily focused on combat. Instead, motifs of conflict and action will be organically integrated into a world of lore that is much more expansive compared to traditional action-focused games.
Another important point to make is that adventure games are also distinct from collection RPGs. Popular modern collection RPGs are often not focused so much on world building and are usually centered around levelling up characters with elements of competitive and cooperative interaction with other players. By contrast, adventure games take you on a personal journey of discovery as you control the protagonist of the story. Due to the experience offered by online adventure games, it is common to see many titles implement RPG elements into their game mechanics. This gives the player the sense that they are leveling up and overcoming challenges throughout their journey.
The best adventure games will embrace the elements of their genre, and will offer players an enticing world full of secrets to be discovered. The key to this is to create an immersive world for the player to roam freely, with expansive open-world maps. Players looking for a game of endless quests will be drawn to the fantasy world found in many online adventure games, where you will always be needed to defeat a mythical creature or help a wizard in need.
What makes this genre so appealing is the sense of adventure and progression offered. Players will be able to experience their own heroes' journey, where your character will grow and gain new skills when overcoming their challenges. Many adventure games will also enhance this by allowing players to level up and learn new abilities, and by offering game achievements upon the completion of certain milestones.
To produce engaging lore, developers often draw inspiration from pop culture, mainly from literature and films that examine interesting themes and mythologies. Some will also incorporate literary conventions to help propel character growth, with players unveiling new elements of character backstory when they complete tasks or quests. By exploring and piecing together information, players can get a sense of the rich world underpinning the game. So, there is always an urge to explore and complete more side tasks in the best adventure games.
While there are several incredible PC adventure games that have thrived, the first adventure-based titles were released in the form of text-based narrative games in the 70s and 80s. In these, the player answered ‘yes or no’ questions to complete quests and explore the world. These PC adventure games evolved into more complex titles as the millennium progressed, and the genre found its feet during the 1990s and 2000s, with more expansive and detailed titles.
Looking back at the history of adventure games. It’s fair to say the genre has come far from its humble beginnings. Originally, these games were simplistic text-based stories, but as technology progressed, this soon developed into point-and-click adventures. Today, we now enjoy expansive open-worlds where the only thing limiting you is your imagination. The past decade saw the growth of episodic adventure games with the rise of digital distribution giving players new content to look forward to regularly.
This constant evolution has helped the adventure games genre remain one of the most popular genres of all time!